New Beginnings
Part 1

By: Mirri Skywalker

Disclaimer: You know...the usual ghist.....but I _DO_ own Mirri, Slate, Alyk, and Graey! So there!
(And introduction to the hectic lives of Mirri Skywalker, Graey LeCotarde, and Alyk Nikrud)


Mirri Skywalker clenched her teeth and pounded her fist against the hard stone of the Great Massassi Temple.
This sucks! She thought. Her father, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, put a reassuring hand on her shoulder.

"You must be calm and patient. It's the only way you'll ever be able to serve the light side of the Force." Mirri just nodded. It was a humid day on the fourth moon of Yavin. Beads of sweat ran down Mirri's cheeks and her back. She had been outside all morning with her father, who was trying to get her to lift a large boulder that had been stuck in the hard ground for more than a century. For someone who had inherited the powers of two great Jedi Masters and the former late-Emperor's Hand, the task should have been as simple has lifting a feather. Yet it wasn't the case this morning. No matter how much Mirri concentrated, no matter how much she pulled and tugged and pushed with the Force, the blasted rock stayed firmly in place. "Now," Luke said. "Do it again. And this time, clear away any doubt that you have in your mind. You must believe that the boulder will move."

"Can't I just, like, lift something smaller?" Mirri asked. Luke shook his head.

"How many times must I tell you that size matters not?" Mirri glowered at her father. She couldn't remember how many blasted times he had quoted his former Jedi Masters, Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

"Fine," she pouted, "I'll do it again." Mirri turned her attention back to the rock. Half closing her eyes, she took a deep breath, and reached out with the Force. Taking another deep breath, Mirri pulled with all of her might. She allowed her eyes to fall all the way closed, and pulled even harder. After a moment, Mirri opened her eyes, and peeked at the boulder. It hadn't moved an inch. "Aarrgh!" Mirri turned and kicked the side of the temple, and, using the Force, ripped up a piece of the earth and flung it into the air. "I can't believe this!" Luke grasped Mirri by her shoulders and gently turned her to where she was facing him.

"I know you're frustrated," he said softly, "but you must control your temper. That's what got you into this mess in the first place." Mirri looked towards the ground and felt herself blush. How could she forget what her hot-headedness had gotten her into in the last two months? Luke smiled. "Okay. I think that's enough for today. Why don't you go get cleaned up? Tenel Ka, Lowie, and the twins are graduating today. I don't want you to show up at the ceremony covered in sweat and dirt." Mirri nodded grimly, then turned and began walking towards the entrance to the Great Temple.

Upon entering the Temple, Mirri felt the a huge wave of guilt wash over her again. The pain that she had inflicted over the past two months......

"Hey, Mirri!" Mirri turned around to see her cousin, Jacen Solo, jog up to her. Mirri stopped so that Jacen could catch up. At sixteen, young Jacen Solo had begun to take after his father, Han Solo, the famous Smuggler and New Republic General. He was wearing a white shirt, navy pants, and a black vest. Mirri smiled. He definitly looked like her Uncle Han. "Wanna hear a joke?" Jacen asked as he fell into step beside her. Mirri smiled.

"Sure, why not?" Mirri said. Jacen grinned.

"Okay. How many stormtroopers does it take to change a glowpanel?" Mirri pretended to think.

"Gee, Jace, I don't know. How many stormtroopers does it take to change a glowpanel?"

"Two. One to change the glowpanel, and then one to shoot the other stormtrooper and take all the credit!" Mirri rolled her eyes. Jacen's jokes were getting even more terrible every day. "So," Jacen said, "how's training going? I heard Uncle Luke's been getting you up pretty early."

"Yeah," Mirri said absently mindedly. Jacen went on to talk about what he was planning on doing once he left the Academy for good that afternoon, but Mirri was only half listening. That nagging feeling was coming back to her again. The nagging that told her that she was responsible for what had almost happened to her cousins, their friends, and her father.....

"Mirri? Hey, Mirri, you there?" Jacen waved a hand in front of his eighteen year old cousin's face. Mirri jumped, and turned to face him.

"Yeah...yeah, I'm fine. Look, Jace, I'm going to go to my room for awhile and clean up. I don't feel like hanging around anyone right now." Before Jacen could respond, Mirri dashed into her room and locked the door behind her. Jacen stood with his mouth open for a moment, and then walked slowly up to Mirri's door.

"Mirri?" He said softly. "You don't need to isolate yourself from everyone. We've forgiven you for what's happened." When Jacen didn't get an answer, he sighed and then left in search of his twin sister, Jaina.

Mirri stood with her back to the door. She was shaking uncontrollably, those painful memories from the past surfacing again. "Yes," she said to herself. "I know you have, Jacen." She sank to the floor and held her head in her hands. "But can I forgive myself?"

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

Next door, Mirri's neighbor was closing a deal. A large amount of currency, as well as some "miscellaneous others" were changing hands. And it was making Alyk Nikrud jumpy.
"Jeez, Alyk, it's not that big of a deal," Graey LeCotarde mumbled, counting out his cash.

"The hell it isn't," Alyk responded through clenched teeth, waiting impatiently for the money. "Dealing glittersim isn't exactly a slap-on-the-wrist type offense, Graey."

He grinned slyly as he handed over the payment. "Who says you only deal in glittersim?"

She glared at him and dropped a small black satchel into a chair by the door. "Graey, darling, if you weren't my best customer, I'd be forced to hit you sometimes."

"Mommy's monthly check has to pay for something." He eyed the bag longingly before seeing her out. She could tell he was dying to open it. Just as he was about to close the door, he paused. "Same time next month?"

"You bet."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

Mirri watched with a keen longing as her cousins, Jaina and Jacen Solo, and their friends, Lowbacca the Wookiee and the princess of the Hapan system Tenel Ka, ignite their lightsabers, and hold them up towards the ceiling. The surrounding crowd, which consisted of her Uncle Han, Aunt Leia, a couple hundred New Republic guards and dignitaries, erupted in cheers and applause. Mirri covered her ears and sank down into her seat.
What's the big deal? She asked herself. I mean, all they did was defeat the Shadow Academy, Diversity Alliance, and Black Sun. No big deal. Of course, deep down inside, Mirri knew that her cousins and their friends had accomplished much in their short time at her father's Jedi Academy. Mirri looked up to see her father smiling proudly at the four young Jedi Knights.

Sighing, Mirri stood up and left the Grand Audience Chamber. She'd had enough of ceremonies for one day.

Maybe a ride around the jungle will be nice, she thought. A way to clear out my thoughts so I can think more clearly. Mirri turned and began walking in the direction of the Hangar Bay. A few minutes later, her brand new speeder bike was ready to go. Pulling on her father's battered flight helmet, Mirri flipped the switch on the consol, and the speeder rose up slowly on its repulsorlifts. It was a beautiful day on Yavin 4, it's sun shining down brightly on the Great Temple.

Mirri turned her bike in the direction of the jungle. The river. That's where she'd go. No one would think to look for her there. Mirri pressed down on the bike's pedels, and with a whine of the repulsor engine, the speeder bike shot off towards the river.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

"What do you mean you can't make it?" Graey slumped back in his seat, shocked. "Look, I told you before, I owed this guy! There was nothing I could do! Listen, Alyk, you gotta come back, I'm dying here..." Alyk sighed. "Fine, Graey. I'm halfway to the docks, so I'm not coming all the way back. You can forget that." She flinched against the moan coming through her comm unit. "This ain't even my speeder, for Chrissake! It's on leave." She checked her watch. "All right, Graey. Let's make a deal. If you can meet me out here, by that rusted shed, in 30 standard minutes with double the cash, you got yourself a second shipment."

He agreed instantly and left to find some transportation as Alyk reset her destination coordinates for the river.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

The memories were coming back now, in full force. Mirri tried to close her eyes, yet whatever she did couldn't stop the pain of the last two months from coming....
Luke was on the ground, panting. The dark figure stood over him, lauging evily, and holding his violet colored lightsaber within striking distance of Luke's defensless body. Jaina and Jacen stood off to the side, hovering protectivley over their younger brother, Anakin. Mirri was off the side, not sure what to do. What should she do? Her Master, or her father? She had to make a decision, and fast. The dark figure lifted his lightsaber high into the air, and before Mirri knew what she was doing, she lept at him....

Mirri was snapped out of her dream as she heard voices approaching. Jumping up from her spot on a large rock, Mirri tried to dive for the nearest bush, but her foot slipped on a wet spot, and with a cry of surprise, she fell into the river. She came up to the surface, sputtering and coughing. The voices were louder now, and she knew they were coming towards the river.

Damn, she thought angrily. It's probably Jaina and Zekk, wanting to spend some 'quality' time together before Jaina leaves for Coruscant. Mirri choked back a snort of laughter. This should be interesting. Hiding behind the large boulder, Mirri peered into the small clearing next to the river, and was surprised to see an extremely good looking (not better looking than Kyp, Mirri reminded herself) guy, and a young woman around Mirri's age with long, dark brown hair, having a conversation.

They don't look like they're from the Academy, Mirrit thought. Moving around the rock, Mirri tried to get a better look at the two strangers--and abruptly stepped on a Siren fish.

"Shit!" Mirri hissed. The Siren fish jumped up from its spot, and let out a shrill scream. "Dammit, you piece of shit! Shut the Hell up!" Mirri's words were lost in the fish's noise. Looking up, Mirri saw the two strangers looking directly at her. "Damn."

"Can we help you?" the brunette asked icily.

"Ummm..." Mirri looked around quickly and spotted the fish. "Just, uh, doing a little fishing." The guy had a very guilty expression on his face, but was trying to appear cool. He was a few years older than her, she could tell. The young woman seemed to be in her early twenties, and was giving her a cold stare. Suddenly her face seemed very familiar...

"Have I seen you around school before?" She asked warily, standing up from behind the rock.

"Maybe." The woman replied, easing slightly. "I'm a...uh, a friend of Graey's." She gestured to the guy on her right. "He's a student at the academy."

'Graey' looked uncomfortable. "Uh, hi." He was shifting a lot, and fingering something in his pocket. Mirri briefly entertained the notion that he had a gun, but dismissed it. He didn't look very dangerous.

"I don't really remember you..." She admited. "I'm Mirri Skywalker." She stepped forward and put out a hand. Graey took it reluctantly. His hands, she noticed, were very cool and pale. She had also caught the woman's expression when she had said her last name. "Um, do you know my father?" She tried her best to appear innocent.

The young woman smiled slightly. "We merely know of each other. I'm Alyk. Pleased to meet you." She shook Mirri's hand gently as Mirri pondered her strange answer. They know of each other? "Um, if you'll excuse us, we have some... business to take care of."

And with that, she proceeded to disappear into the woods. Graey watched her for a second and looked back at Mirri. "Um, it was a pleasure..." he muttered, half sincerely, before joining Alyk. Mirri stood silently for a moment.

"Weirdos."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

The ride back to the Academy was uneventful. A large bonfire had been lit outside in the courtyard, and Mirri could see her cousins and their friends dancing to the music of Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes. Rolling her eyes in disgust, Mirri proceeded towards the entrance of the temple. Before she could get through the door, though, a pair of large hands gripped her shoulders and spun her around. Mirri let out a gasp of surprise as she came face-to-face with her boyfriend, Kyp Durron. The twenty-eight year old laughed when he saw Mirri's surprised expression, and before she could say anything, he leaned down and kissed her passionately. That was what woke Mirri up. Grinning, she kissed him back.
"What are you doing here?" Mirri asked as Kyp lead her toward one of the many crowded tables. The Jedi Knight smiled.

"Well, I was passing through the Yavin system, when a thought occured to me: who in the galaxy needed a visit more than the one and only Mirri Skywalker?" Mirri hit Kyp on the arm.

"Shut up. No, really, why are you here? I thought you were going back to Anoat System so you, Kam, and Kirana Ti could clear up that problem with the locals."

Kyp looked into Mirri's bright blue eyes, and his expression became serious.

"Some things are more important," he said softly. Reaching up, he brushed a strand of Mirri's dirty blonde hair away from her face. "I was worried about you."

Mirri scowled. "What do you mean? I'm fine."

"I can see that," Kyp said, running a speculative eye over Mirri's athletic frame. Mirri slapped him playfully across the cheek. "But," Kyp said, that serious and no-nonsense Jedi look that Mirri hated coming back to his eyes,
"I was worried that you had...." Kyp's voice trailed off, and he looked off towards the bonfire.

"...that I had turned back to the Dark Side?" Mirri finished for him. He looked back at her, and nodded slowly. "Well, I didn't, and I won't. Ever again." Kyp looked Mirri in the eye.

"Mirri, it isn't that easy..."

"Look, Kyp, can we please drop the subject? I know what I did! In fact, I can't stop thinking about it!" Mirri jumped up from her seat, and as she did that, her voice rose to a shout. "Do you have any idea what it feels like to have surveillance on you 24 hours a day?! Do you know what it feels like to have people look at you in disgust every time you walk by?! Do you know what it feels like not being able to sleep at night because you have nightmares of the horrific things that you did, or could have done?!"

"Yes, I do!" Kyp jumped up and faced Mirri. Looking around, Mirri noticed that the surrounding tables had gone silent, and were watching her and Kyp.

"Slug him!" one of the guards called out, grinning. Mirri turned to him, and using the Force, dumped his Alderranian Berry wine on his white tunic.

"Mind your own business,"she snapped. Mirri turned on her heel and began walking towards the temple. Kyp took off after her.

"Mirri, wait--"

"Shut up, Kyp. Just shut up. I am in no mood to listen to this right now." Mirri broke into a run and took off towards her room. She got there a few moments later, and sat down in the aisle, panting for breath.

When will they just leave me alone? she thought.

Standing up, Mirri turned and began to walk into her room. A sudden sound stopped her, however, and, turning around, saw the young man down by the river--Graey, isn't it?--go into his room with a black satchel. Narrowing her eyes, Mirri crept up to Graey's door. Peeking inside, she saw him take out a black vial, and quickly dump the contents into his mouth. Graey quickly stuffed the vial back into his bag--but not before Mirri caught sight of a spark of blue.

Mirri gasped. Glitterstim! It was the only drug that she knew of that sparked when it came into contact with light. Mirri backed up quickly, and abruptly crashed into a pile of crates that had been pushed up against a wall. She fell down with a loud crash.

Damn! she thought. I have got to work on this undercover spy stuff. Jumping up, Mirri sprinted for her room. Yes! she said to herself, I'm home free! Yet her moment of triumph was stopped short as she saw Graey standing in her doorway, with a very....very...angry expression on his face.

"Umm..." She shifted uneasily and looked around for any sign of escape. None. And Graey's arm was stretched across the door, blocking entry. Graey narrowed his eyes.

"You always sneak around spying on people?"

"Me? Spy? You must have me confused with some other Skywalker..."

"Look." he interrupted, putting on his best "cool" act. "We don't know each other, right? And tattling on me wouldn't be in your best interests, right? So let's just forget the whole thing, okay? Live and let live. I'll pretend I never saw you sneaking around spying on me, and you pretend you never thought you saw me doing anything remotely wrong, okay?"

"Thought I saw you?" She asked harshly. "I don't think so. I know glittersim when I see it, Graey." She instantly regretted saying it, and prepared herself for a fight. Graey was silent for a moment before slumping against the door and moaning.

"Oh, maaan..."

She blinked. This was not a response she had been prepared for. He closed his eyes and banged the back of his head against the door.

"Um, Graey? You okay?" She asked, making sure the hallway was deserted.

"My life is over." He muttered.

"What? How?"

He opened one eye. "You're going to tell your daddy, and then he'll kick me out of the academy, and then he'll tell my parents, and they'll fry me like a gerusiann steak." He closed his eye again. He looked so pathetic. Mirri thought for a moment before smiling coyly.

"Tell them what?"

He picked up on the sarcasm and opened his eyes, surprised. Mirri just grinned.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

The next morning dawned gray and rainy. Waking up was the hardest thing for Mirri. Glancing over at her beside chrono, she moaned. She'd overslept again. No telling what Luke would give her as a punishment. Probably oiling the joints in the cleaning droids, Mirri thought with a grimace. Those things were SO annoying. Pulling on her still damp clothes from the day before, Mirri took off down the dark corridor of the temple. She rounded the far turn--and smacked right into Graey.

"Well, we just seem to collide into each other every where we go," Mirri said. Graey looked nervous, and he avoided Mirri's gaze. "Hey, I said I wouldn't tell anyone."

"I know that," he snapped. Mirri sighed, put her arm around Graey's shoulders, and began walking with him to the Dining area.

"You know," she started, "you don't have to be such bantha snot all the time."

"Me? Bantha snot?" Graey turned to Mirri, an angry look in his bright eyes.
"You obviously don't know who you're talking to, Little Rich Girl." Mirri held back a laugh. Whoever this guy was, he wasn't too good at come backs.

"Right, whatever, Graey." The two trainees entered the dining hall. Since both of them had woken up late, the hall was virtually empty. "Good," Mirri replied. "Now we can eat in privacy." Mirri led Graey over to a table, and forced him to sit. He did as he was told, but reluctantly. A serving droid trundled up to the table, and asked what they wanted to eat.

"Ah--um, I'm not-"

"We'll both have a Correllian Ale," Mirri said, cutting Graey off. He glared at her. The droid acknowleged them with a nod, and left. "So," Mirri began. "Why don't you tell me about yourself."

Graey hesitated. Should he? She didn't seem all that bad....No, he said to himself. She's the Master's daughter, not to mention she can't be trusted. Graey had heard rumors that the spunky eighteen year old had turned to the Dark Side only two months ago.

"Well?" Mirri prompted. Graey shook his head.

"Not much to tell," he said softly. Before Mirri could say anything, he stood up. "Um, I'm supposed to meet Master Skywalker for a lesson. It's been nice talking to you, Mora."

"That's Mirri."

"Whatever."

"Well, do you want to do something later? Maybe go for a ride out on my speeder?" Mirri called after him. Graey didn't even answer her. "Asshole," she murmered. Mirri looked around the empty dining room. Sighing, she stood up. Jaina, Jacen, Tenel Ka, and Lowie had left Yavin 4 early that morning.

"I wonder if Zekk might be in the mood for a little prank...." Mirri said to herself. She smiled, and went off in search of trouble.


New Beginnings
Part 2

By: Mirri Skywalker


"If you're lookin' for trouble, you just found it, bantha-meat."

Mirri ducked as the massive Androecian hurtled his fist towards her. She flinched as it connected with something behind her. Probably someone, actually. When there was silence for a few seconds, she cautiously looked up. The Androecian was snarling at something behind her. She turned and saw that Graey's "friend", Alyk, had actually caught his fist. She had a strange expression on her face.

"Picking on little girls now, Slate?"

He growled. "That ain't no little girl. She's a Jedi."

"She doesn't have a saber on her." Alyk observed.

"She's wearin' the seal."

"But-" Alyk argued, pushing his fist away, "She's not armed. I'd say odds are you'd have an unfair advantage in this fight."

He scowled and shoved Mirri out of the way roughly. She collided with a wall, and felt a flash of pain along her right side. That's it. She thought angrily. Let's just see what the little Jedi can do, shall we? She felt the force welling up inside her. The dishes on the table next to her began rattling. Meanwhile, Slate was advancing on Alyk. With a grin, she pulled what looked like the hull of a saber out of her coat pocket. As she was distracted, the dishes on the table dropped and remained still. No way! She's a Jedi?

Surprise number two was when Alyk ignited it. What the hell? The glowing green blade came out only about six inches before stopping. Also, the end formed a point. Mirri mentally flipped through one of her textbooks, trying to remember its name. Lightdagger! That's it!

So what the hell was a spice smuggler doing with a lightdagger?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

Alyk grinned when she saw the bewildered expression on Slate's face. "Not so tough now, are we?" Alyk said, all the while advancing ever so slowly towards the Androecian. Slate backed up as Alyk advanced towards him. Bumping into the wall, he let out a yelp of fear, and took off down the dark corridor. Alyk laughed at the 7 ft. tall alien's antics. Hitting the ignition stud, Alyk switched off her dagger, and stuffed it back into her leather jacket. Mirri walked slowly up to her, staring enchantedly at Alyk.

"Where in the name of the Force did you get that thing?" she asked incredulously.

"That's for me to know, and you to find out, Kid," Alyk replied, cracking her knuckles. Mirri narrowed her eyes.

"I'm not a 'Kid' you ass." Alyk lifted her eyebrows, and looked at the small and compact eighteen year old. She was asking for trouble alright. Alyk considered maybe giving the girl what she wanted, but dismissed the notion. If Skywalker found out she was running drugs and spice into his academy....anyway, it wasn't smart to upset a Jedi. Especially one who had just been redeemed from the Dark Side. Alyk began to walk away.

"Sure, whatever. Look, I have some....business to conduct, and then I'm leaving. So why don't you have a couple drinks, and then take a ride on your speeder?" Alyk nearly laughed out loud when she saw the teen's face get red. She began to walk down the corridor, towards Graey's room, hoping that Skywalker would take a hint and leave. However, it wasn't the case.

"So," Mirri began, falling into step beside Alyk. "Where you from? Or is that another, 'for me to know, and you to find out' question?" Alyk looked over at Mirri coolly.

"You catch on quick, kid." Mirri didn't say anything, but continued.

"You're a Jedi, huh?"

Alyk laughed. "Me? No way. I don't believe in any of that stuff. Just an ancient hokey religion to me."

"Oh, really?" Mirri asked. She looked sideways, and a moment later, with a small flick of her wrist, grabbed Alyk's pant leg with the Force. The older girl let out a cry of surprise as she tripped and fell to the ground. Mirri couldn't hold in her laughter as Alyk picked herself up, and searched the ground for the 'object' that had tripped her. Alyk turned to Mirri, and angry expression on her face.

"What's so funny?" Mirri straightened up, and calmed herself down.

"Nothing," she said, a playful glint in her bright blue eyes, "absolutely nothing." Alyk looked down at Mirri. I'll have to keep an eye on this one, she thought. She's too cocky for her own good.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

She growled slightly, but let the incident slide. Eventually the kid wouldn't be able to run to daddy or her ridiculous Force for protection, and that would be the day she'd hit more trouble than she could imagine... With a resigned sigh, she turned to the little delinquint and gestured toward Graey's door.

"If you'll excuse me, I need to discuss something with Graey... sort of personal..." She explained vaguely, subtly directing Mirri toward her own door. "So why don't you go back to your room and have a nice, warm bath and we'll talk later, kay?"

Mirri found herself moving towards her room, already looking forward to the sweet-smelling shampoo, the relaxing bubbles...

"Hey!" She whirled around to face Alyk. "How did you do that?" The smuggler grinned slyly and tried to play innocent.

"Do what?"

"That was a Jedi mind trick!"

"Was not!" She crossed her arms. "Just a very simple form of hypnosis." She smiled smugly. "See? You don't need the Force for everything." Mirri scowled.

"I hope all your enemies think that way too." She paused. "Hypnosis?"

"It's easy." Alyk replied, shrugging. "I'll explain it to you tomorrow, okay? I really have to talk to Graey."

Gee, maybe she isn't such a bitch after all. Mirri smiled slightly and opened the door to her room.

"Sure."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

Alyk was true to her word. She showed up during lunch to explain the hypnosis thing. It turned out to be as easy as she said.

"Okay, let's say you're talking to someone, right? Now, when two people are communicating, they both do little things while they're listening, or talking, or whatever. Like, they fix their hair, they stand a certain way... you following?"

Mirri nodded.

"So what you hafta do is watch for those little behaviors and start copying them. Just subtle things. Don't imitate them exactly or they'll notice. Just copy the small stuff. It doesn't take very long, just a few minutes normally. Then you do something, like, say, brush your hair out of your face." She did just that. Mirri found herself doing it too, but caught her hand just in time. Alyk laughed. "See? If they start following your lead, then you've got 'em. It makes people a lot more prone to the power of suggestion. You catch on to it, though."

Mirri smiled. "That's so cool! And I guess it doesn't work too well on Jedi, though, huh?"

"Sometimes you meet gullible Jedi, or young Jedis-in-Training. It makes it a lot easier to get people to see things from your point of view though. And to stay out of your business." She said the last part deliberately. Mirri grinned.

"Hmm... you know, of course, that now I'm going to have to try this out on someone, don't you?"

"Of course." Alyk looked past her and nodded her head in the direction of the door. Mirri turned and saw that her father had just entered.

"If you ever wanted a raise in your allowance, now's the time to go for it."

Oh, this was going to be great.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

Mirri turned to look back at Alyk in disbelief. "Are you nuts? You must have been kicked in the head by a ronto or something!'

"What?" Alyk said. "Don't tell me that you don't think you can do it." Mirri narrowed her eyes, and muttered a curse in Rodian. She stood up, and holding her head high, started walking towards Luke. Alyk let out a snort of laughter. Maybe this would teach the kid some respect for people.

Mirri walked slowly up to Luke, her heart thudding loudly in her chest. Calm, she told herself sternly, I have to be calm, or this will never work. Taking a deep breath, Mirri jogged over to where Luke was talking with Mirri's other Jedi instructor, Tionne.

"....and Lando is having trouble finding funding for Gemdiver Station, and--" Luke cut off as Mirri came jogging up to him. "Hey, sweetie. How's your day going?"

"Hello, dear father. I was just, uh, wondering if we could spend some quality time together. I mean, what better way to strengthen the bond between father and daughter than a nice, uh, relaxing walk in the jungle." Luke narrowed his eyes.

"Alright, out with it. What have you done this time?" Mirri pretended to be hurt.

"Why, father, how could you jump to such conclusions!" Luke laughed out loud.

"You're as a bad an actor as your Uncle Han." Luke reached up and scratched the back of his head. Mirri did the same, only she scratched her arm. Luke turned back to Tionne, and began talking to her again. Mirri leaned against one of the tables, where, unfortunately, Slate was eating.

"Hey, get out of here, Jedi brat!" Slate cried.

"Bite me!" Mirri snapped. Luke turned around to face Slate.

"Stop it, you two. Slate, go back to your meal. Mirri, stand over here." Mirri moved over, reluctantly it seemed, to stand behind Tionne. "Anyway," Luke continued, "like I said before, Lando is having some trouble finding funding for Gemdiver Station. I told him that I'd be happy to give him a loan, but Corusca Gem mining isn't exactly cheap, and not to mention--" Luke cut off, as he noticed Mirri copying his same gestures. They were small movements, and to someone who didn't know what to look for, they wouldn't be noticeable. But Luke was a Jedi Master, and he noticed everything. And he also knew in an instant what Mirri was trying to pull over on him. "Alright, young lady. Enough."

"What?" Mirri asked innocently. "What did I do?"

"You know very well what you were trying to do. I can't believe that you actually thought you could get away with it. Let me guess: you were going to ask for a raise in allowance? Or maybe a new speeder bike?"

"It seemed like a good idea at the time," Mirri grumbled. Luke sighed, and turned back to Tionne.

"If you'll excuse me, my impish little daughter here seems to be in the mood for replacing the motivators on the broken down speeder bikes in the hangar bay." Tionne nodded, and Luke took Mirri's arm and dragged her down the corridor toward the Hangar bay. The last thing Mirri saw before turning the corner was Alyk Nikrud, hunched over her drink, laughing hysterically.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

Mirri pounded her fist against the stone wall of the hangar bay. "I can't believe this!" she yelled, her voice echoing off of the walls. "I'm going to kill her!" Mirri looked over at the three finally repaired speeder bikes. It had been been three hours since Luke had forced Mirri to sit and repair all of the broken speeder bikes in the hangar.

Getting up from her spot on the floor, Mirri cracked her knuckles. They'd pay. She was sure that Graey had been on it too, the little nerf-herder. Walking as fast as she could, Mirri headed towards Graey's room. To her satisfaction, she found it empty. Chuckling quietly to herself, Mirri grabbed a handful of Graey's underwear, and strode quickly out of his room. A few minutes later, she was back at the hangar bay, and, hopping onto her speeder, headed full speed into Yavin 4's jungles. After a short search, she found what she was looking for: a YT-2200 light Correllian freighter.

"Bitch," she murmered to herself. Grabbing a provision bag from the back of her speeder. She headed towards the ship, and a moment later, found herself inside the dark ship. "Probably has security," Mirri murmered to herself. Stretching out her senses, she searched the ship. Eventually, she found her way to the sleeping compartment, and, grinning wickedly, grabbed a handful of Alyk's underclothes. She ran back out to her waiting speeder, and letting out a snort of laughter, revved up the engines, and took off back towards the Academy.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

"You should've seen the look on her face, Graey!" Alyk said, laughing hysterically, "it was priceless!" The two 'friends' were walking out in the courtyard of the Great Temple, reveling in the warm sunshine.

"You should take it easy, Alyk," Graey said, his voice low, "that kid is psychotic. There's no telling what could happen if you piss her off enough." Alyk snorted.

"Yeah, right. What's she gonna do, rip me apart with Force lightning? As long as daddy is around to keep an eye on her, she wouldn't dare do anything of the sort." Graey sighed.

"I don't know, from what you said, she was pretty mad--" Graey cut off suddenly as they rounded the far turn of the temple, and saw, to his horror, that tons of under garments lined the top half of the hangar bay. Not just regular garments, he thought. Those are mine!

"Hey!" Alyk shouted, "what the Hell!?" Both Graey and Alyk took off toward the hangar bay, a sick feeling in both of their stomachs.

"She didn't," Graey said to himself, "she couldn't have!"

"She did!" Alyk said fiercly. "I'm going to strangle her!" Alyk jumped as a hand landed on her shoulder.

"How do you like my decorating?" Mirri stood behind Alyk and Graey, a feral grin on her angelic face.

"You are so dead!" cried Alyk. She leaped at Mirri, just as Master Skywalker rounded the corner.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

After skidding to a stop, she stalked back to where Graey was standing, trying not to look embarrassed or really ticked off. She growled and grabbed Graey's shirt as she passed, dragging him along behind her.

"Alyk," he called out ahead of him, "where the hell are we going???" Without turning, she glared at him and answered.

"To rid ourselves of a problem."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ --

Still laughing and trying to catch her breath, Mirri rounded a corner and came face to face with her father. He could tell she had done something.

"Mirri," he asked with a resigned sigh, "Do you know anything about the..uh, clothing out front?"

Unable to keep a straight face any longer, she burst out laughing. The Jedi Master crossed his arms. "Mirri..."

"No," she managed through giggles. She managed to straighten up. "I heard it was some locals playing a trick on a new student."

"Locals? Here?" He narrowed his eyes.

"You know, dad." She replied, brushing past him. "The kids that have been here a while." There was a moment of tense silence before he responded.

"All right. Behave, Mirri."

"You know me." She grinned and rounded the corner.

"That's what I'm afraid of," He muttered, shaking his head.


New Beginnings
Part 3

By: Mirri Skywalker


The next day Mirri was in a great mood. No problems like Alyk to worry about, and her and Kyp were getting along great.She smiled, remembering last night.
"Hey! Something's wrong with the holoset!" The loud, obnoxious voice of a fellow student snapped her out of it. She was in the lounge, sipping a stale "non-alcoholic beverage." Several guys were crowded around the small two-foot tall holoset that had been showing the news only moments ago.

"We're sorry to interrupt your viewing." A very familliar voice crooned from the small set. "But we thought this might be a little more interesting."

This was followed by a few seconds of static, and then several squeals of surprise and much load laughter. One of the guys gave her a strange look and moved slightly, giving her a clear shot of the holoset.

"AAAAAAAAAAIIIIRRRRGGGGGH!!!!!!!!" She screamed, spilled her drink as she leapt to her feet. The 3D image of her and Kyp making out filled her vision. With a yelp, she ran out of the room, only to find that the holoset in the cafeteria was palying it, too. And the one in the lobby....

It was everywhere! Breathing heavily, she ran upstairs to her room and slammed the door. She heard her fathers voice down the hall and prayed he passed her door.

"-mean it's not working?" After a second she heard his familiar sigh, and then footsteps went passed her door and down the hall. Thank god...

Sinking to the floor, she tried to calm herself and wondered how anyone could have gotten a tape like that. She banged the back of her head against the door and glanced up. An air vent overlooked her. On the other side was Graey's room. Realization practically smacked her in the face.

"Oh..my...god..." She muttered, standing. "I'm going to freakin' KILL THEM!!!"


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mirri jumped up from her spot on the floor, opened the door, and strode angrily over to Graey's room. She searched the hallway quickly, making sure that no one was around to hear Graey and Alyk's death cries when she strangled them to death. The corridor was silent, yet howls of laughter could be heard in the distance. It just made Mirri even angrier. Not bothering to knock, Mirri hit the release button on Graey's door. The sight inside didn't surprise her. Alyk was snickering evily, while Graey just let out a humorous smile. A moment later, both of them caught sight of Mirri standing in the doorway, with a murderous expression on her face. Graey's face went white, and he began to slink to the back wall, even though it wouldn't do him much good. Alyk, however, wore a sardonic - and not to mention triumphant - smile on her face.

"I assume you caught the matinee show," Alyk asked sweetly. Mirri strode into the room, shut the door, and locked it. Graey visibly gulped.

"Just the first five minutes," Mirri bit out. She walked slowly up to Alyk. "Consider yourself lucky that Kyp left this morning, or else, Jedi or no Jedi, he wouldn't have thought twice about chopping you up into microscopic pieces." Alyk pretended to be scared.

"Oh, no! Who knows what might have happened to me!" Alyk let out a snort of amusement. "Give it up, kid. You're messing with the big guys now." Mirri had had enough.

"Oh, really?" she asked. "Well, sorry to put a damper on your party, but I've messed with bigger guys than you can imagine." With those last words, Mirri punched Alyk across the jaw. With a cry of surprise more than pain, Alyk fell to the floor, and sat there a moment, working her jaw back and forth.

"You, brat!"

"Bring it on!" Alyk willingly obliged, yet instead of fighting hand-to-hand combat, she pulled out her lightdagger, and lept at Mirri. Graey, apparently having had enough of the bickering, used the Force to split the two girls apart.

"Stop it!" he cried. "This is ridiculous!"

"Wait your turn, you peeping tom! You're next, after I beat the living hell out of your girlfriend here!" Mirri, now conscious of the lightdagger that Alyk held in her hand, stretched out with the Force, and a moment later, all of her old street fighting techniques came back to her in a rush. Mirri lunged at the older girl.......and a moment later found herself thrown against hard stone wall. She slumped to the floor, and held her reeling head.
"What the....."

Looking up from her spot on the ground, Mirri saw her father frowning at all three of the brawling students. Obviously, Graey hadn't been intent on restraining her or Alyk. He had been calling Master Skywalker. Mirri glanced over at the opposite wall, and saw Graey helping Alyk to her feet. She wondered how her father had gotten in. She had locked the door after all. They all sat there for what seemed like hours, Mirri waiting for the explosion to come. To her surprise, it didn't. Master Skywalker sighed.

"My office. All three of you. NOW."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Graey was ringing his hands together and muttering, "oh man, oh man, oh man..." while Mirri shifted nervously. Alyk, on the other hand, looked totally calm. Inside, she was worried as hell about him asking her how she knew Graey, but she was keeping her cool."All right." Luke said quietly, sitting down. Maybe someone can explain how all this happened."

When no one volunteered an answer, he looked at Mirri. "You start." Glaring at Alyk, she began.

"Alyk just showed up out in the woods with Graey when I was out there and we started talking a little and she showed up again at the-" She paused, realizing her father probably didn't need to know she had been in a bar. "Showed up again later and tried to use a Jed-mind trick on me-"

"A simple form of hypnosis." Alyk interjected.

"Hypnosis, whatever. And she told me how, and I..uh, I sort of used it on you and got in trouble, so I...um..." She realized that saying it made all three of them sound extremely foolish. "I,uh, retalliated."

"With the underwear thing." Luke broke in softly. Mirri blushed.

"Uh, yeah. And then they taped that...uh, that..thing with Kyp..."

With a wave of his hand, Luke signalled her to stop. He looked at Alyk and Graey. "Is that what happened?" They both nodded. Luke paused.

"So, technically, Graey didn't really contribute much to this little cat fight, did he?"

"Little cat fight?!?" Mirri stood indignantly. Luke gestured for her to sit.

"I, uh, held the holocam, sir." He said quietly. There was a moment of silence, and then Luke burst out laughing. Mirri gave him a strange look. Still chuckling, he looked at the three most immature "adults" he'd ever seen.

"Apologize, and get the heck outta here."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alyk let out a breath once she stepped out of the Jedi Master's office. That had been a close one. Standing beside her, Graey slumped against a wall. "I thought we were bantha meat for sure in there," he said tiredly.

Mirri was on her way out, a surprised and disappointed look on her face, when Master Skywalker called her back into his office. She cringed, turned on her heel, and marched back into Luke's office. Alyk giggled.

Skywalker probably didn't want to embarress her anymore, she thought smugly. Alyk turned to Graey, and held out her arm. "Coffee?" she asked. Graey shook his head.

"Can't. I'm going to my room to meditate. I'll see you later." With that, Graey began walking briskly down the hallway towards the turbolift. Alyk watched the older boy in disdain, and then decided that this might be a good time to fix that broken motivator on the Raptor. Alyk sighed, and headed towards the nearest doorway.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Okay, what did I do this time?" Mirri asked. "And before you say, 'you tell me', I have a question. Why is it that I'm the only one who gets punished around here?"
"Think about that for a minute, Mirri. Think really hard." Luke said, a bit of humor seeping through his serious Jedi demeanor. Mirri glared at her father.

"Ha ha, very funny. You have any idea how many standard hours I've spent in my room thinking about all of the pranks that I've gotten in trouble for? A lot. And then a smuggler comes along with her drugged up freak of a friend, tapes my private life, and then shows it to everyone at the entire Academy, and doesn't even get in trouble for it!" Mirri stopped to take a breath. Her anger was simmering deep inside of her. Luke chuckled.

"What about you and the underwear?" he asked.

"At least that wasn't destructive! And besides, how was anyone suppossed to know it was theirs? It's not like it was labeled or anything." Luke rolled his eyes.

"Still, it was embarressing to them. And let's not forget here, young lady, that Alyk - is that her name? - is not a student at this Academy, so therefore I don't have any authority over her. And as for Graey, it seems to me that he never had any real involvement in the fight from the beginning." Mirri was pissed.

"But--but...it's not fair!"

"Life's not always fair, Mirri. You need to understand that," Luke said softly.

"It's still not fair," Mirri grumbled to herself. Luke gave Mirri a warning look, and she got the hint. She shut up and crossed her arms.

"Now," Luke sighed. "The reason I called you in here. I'll make it quick since Kendrack wanted me to give him a lesson in an hour." Luke looked Mirri in the eye. "I want you to start studying your Jedi lessons with your fellow students. I don't like how you've isolated yourself from everyone."

"Yeah, well, guess what? I'm going to isolate myself even more, now that everyone knows what me and Kyp do together!" Luke sighed to himself, and applied a minor Jedi relaxation technique. Mirri was in one of her cocky and stubborn moods again.

"Still, I want you to pair up with someone, even if it's for one of your lessons."

"Anyone in particular you had in mind?" Mirri asked, sarcasm dripping in her voice.

"Mirri...." Luke said, in his best warning tone.

"Sorry."

"Actually," Luke said, getting up from his desk and reaching for his Jedi cloak. "I do have someone in mind for you to pair up with." Mirri sighed, mentally running through the list of possibilies. Kendrack, maybe? Slate? Or did he want her to pair up with her cousin Jaina's boyfriend, Zekk? She sighed, and looked up.

"Who?" Luke smiled, a bit of smuggnes s in his face.

"Graey LeCotarde." Mirri's mouth nearly dropped to the floor.

"You must be kidding!" Luke shook his head, and began leading Mirri towards the door.

"He's as lonely as you are. I want you to be nice to him, and ask him to eat with you tonight."

"Who says I'm lonely?" Mirri snapped. Luke didn't even look at her. Instead, he went on.

"Apologize to Graey, and try to befriend him. As for the smuggler, if you want to avoid anymore time in your room, mind your own business. Now," Luke leaned down and kissed Mirri lightly on the forehead. "I have a lesson to teach. And don't forget what I said, Mirri." Before Mirri could protest, Luke jogged down the aisle.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mirri couldn't believe her bad luck several hours later when she found herself outside of Graey's room. With an angry sigh, she knocked on the door."Just a sec!" A voice called from inside. Great, he was probably refilling his glitterstim-filled bloodstream. But when he came to the door, she almost stepped backwards in surprise. He was wearing a very expensive-looking karate-style outfit in gold and black trim. He seemed kind of embarressed when he found out it was Mirri.

"Um, hi." She blinked.

"Hello."

There was an uncomfortable silence before he asked nervously, "uh, you wanna come in?"

"Sure." She followed him inside and sat on the bed to his gesture. He sat down next to her, making sure to leave some space between them. They both looked at each other expectantly. Finally, Mirri broke the ice.

"What are you doing?" He crossed his arms, sort of hugging himself protectively and covering part of the suit at the same time.

"Um, practicing. It's a form of fighting called Suhm-ni."

"Oh." She looked him over. "Uh, nice suit." A tinge of red crept into his cheeks.

"Thanks." Fed up with the pathetic conversation, she let it all out.

"Look, Graey, I'm sorry for the..uh, thing earlier and you want to be friends?" He blinked.

"Friends?"

"Study together. Whatever." He thought about it for a few seconds.

"Sure, I guess so." She brightened.

"Great! How 'bout dinner tonight?" He hesitated, then smiled.

"Sure. But I have to change first." She grinned.

"Whatever."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"So your mom make you do all that Suhm-whatever stuff?" She asked later, gnawing on a nexihc bone.
"Suhm-ni." He corrected. "And no. She hates any sort of fighting That's why I do it." He looked up and gave her a "that's all there is to it" look. She smiled.

"Aren't we the little rebel?" She asked sarcastically. He gave her a toned-down version of The Look and continued to eat in silence.

"Hey, if it isn't the little Jedi brat."

"Brilliant." Mirri muttered as Slate appeared behind her.

"This seat taken?" He asked mockingly, sitting next to her. Graey glanced at her helplessly from across the table.

If you don't mind, Slate," She spat, "we're trying to eat."

"So?"

"That strange odor of yours is making me nautious."

He growled and stood, towering over her menacingly. "You wanna say that to my face?" She looked him straight in the eye.

"That's your face? What do you shit out of?"

He snarled and smashed the table in two. Everything became still. He looked past Mirri, who was smiling smugly, and saw Graey behind her, gently tossing something up and down in his hand. A Gerulian redfruit. Graey grinned.

"Hey Mirri."

Without looking behind her, she answered. "Yeah?"

"Duck!" Just as she did, so he hurled the redfruit at Slate, hitting him in the face and knocking him backwards. There was a moment of silence before a familliar call filled the room.

"FOOD FIGHT!!!"


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mirri had just enough time to let out a whoop as delight before getting smacked in the face with an Alderaanian thranta pie. She staggered backwards, and crashed into the table that Slate had just demolished a moment ago. Quickly wiping her face with her shirt, she jumped up, and chucked her cup of Correllian Ale across the room. She dove towards the ground as some kind of seaweed flew through the air. Jumping up, she ran over to where Graey had set up a barricade for himself behind one of the tables. He was laughing hysterically, throwing anything that was within reach. The entire cafeteria was in a battle now, with shrieks of delightment, and shouts of horror ringing against the ancient stone walls. "Mirri!" Graey called over the shouts.

"What?" Mirri turned to face him, and he handed her a large bowl, with a huge assortment of fruits, liquids, meats, and who-knew-what-else in it. He grinned wickedly as he held up his own mixture.

"I don't have to tell you how to use one of these things, do I?"

"No way!" Mirri shouted. This Graey character was turning out to be pretty cool.

"On the count of three. One....two....--"

"STOP IT!!!!" a loud and extremely angry voice boomed off of the walls.

"Three!" Mirri and Graey jumped up from their barricade, and threw their food assortment as far as it would go.....and abruptly, without warning, the food stopped flying through the air, and the screaming had stopped. Mirri and Graey looked at each other in puzzlement, and then cautiously peeked over the table. The fight had stopped, and everyone had seemed to turn towards the doorway. Mirri directed her gaze to match everyone elses....and nearly had a heart attack. There, in the middle of the doorway, stood Master Skywalker. And he was wearing the food that Mirri and Graey had thrown only moments ago.

"Shit."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Luke stood in the doorway of the dining hall, his dark brown Jedi robes covered in the grime that Mirri and Graey had thrown at him. And from the look on his face, Mirri could tell that he wasn't happy. She leaned up against the back of the table, and put her head in her hands. She was dead. There was no arguing her way out of it this time. Probably make me live in the jungle, Mirri thought glumly. Graey put a reassuring hand on her shoulder. He leaned over slowly, and spoke into her ear, as softly as he could.

"Whatever happens, make sure you say it was my fault too," he whispered. Mirri looked at him in surprise. He grinned. "I've never had so much fun in my life!" Mirri smiled at the older boy. Before she could answer him, Master Skywalker began talking again.

"Who is responsible for this?" he asked, his voice frighteningly calm. No one answered. "Well? Who is it?" Again, the large dining area was silent. Mirri peered over the edge of the makeshift barricade and saw, to her horror, Slate advancing towards Master Skywalker. He had a sardonic grin on his alien face.

"I know who started it, Master Skywalker," Slate said, his voice full of smuggness. Mirri clenched her hands into fists. Oh, she was going to kill him.

"Well?" Master Skywalker prompted.

Here it comes....Mirri closed her eyes.

"Me!" a loud voice split through the eerie stillness. Mirri heard Graey gasp.

"What? What is it?" she asked. Graey grabbed Mirri by the arm and pulled her over to his side of the table. He pointed, and a moment later, Mirri repeated Graey's gasp of surprise.

There, covered in food from hundreds of different worlds, and walking towards Master Skywalker, was Alyk Nikrud.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"You started it?" Luke asked incredulously. "You're not even a student here." She stopped and croseed her arms.
"No, but I sure as hell can fight." Several students gasped as she grinned.
Luke looked really pissed.

"Well, since you and Slate seem to be the only ones with tongues around here, why don't I see you both in my office?"

Oh, God.. Mirri thought as Alyk shrugged and followed him through the doorway. Slate looked directly at her, a strange smile on his face.

"Don't worry, baby, I'll make sure Master Skywalker knows exactly who started our little fight."

She moaned as he proceeded to saunter to the door and follow Skywalker to his office. "Great." She turned to Graey. "Now what?"

He was looking towards the door and glanced at her. "I don't know about you, but I'm not letting Alyk get blamed for this one. What if she gets kicked out? Or banned? Or..." he gulped. "Arrested?"

Angered, Mirri crossed her arms. "Do you ever stop thinking about glittersim?" He gave her a pathetic, helpless look and she softened. "Oh... you like her, don't you?" He looked away.

"Of course not." She smiled and gently touched his arm.

"Right. C'mon, let's go hear her sentence. Then we can decide what to do." He cheered up a little.

"Okay."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mirri pulled Graey to his feet, as the students in the dining hall began to clean up. As she walked by, a couple of the older guys pointed at her and begin whistling. Mirri casually threw a half eaten nerf sausage at them. They
just glared at her. "So," Mirri said as she and Graey made their way to Luke's office, "why don't we pick up where we left off? Before shit head came in and ruined everything." Graey grinned.

"Um, where did we leave off?" he asked. Mirri shrugged.

"I dunno. Where are you from?"

"Gallinore." Mirri let out a low whistle. No wonder he could afford so much glitterstim. His parents must be loaded. Graey looked down at her.

"You?"

"Smuggler's Cove. I now reside in this huge rock," Mirri said, gesturing towards the stone walls. Graey chuckled.

"It's not that bad. At least the food is pretty good." It took Mirri a second to realize that Graey had actually made a joke. When it finally registered , she burst out laughing.

They were now close enough to Luke's office that they could hear the voices inside. Slate's raspy voice stood out against Alyk's cool and collected one. Mirri and Graey crouched down near the crack at the bottam of the floor, held their heads close the door, and strained their ears so they could absorb what the three occupants inside were saying.

".....and then she came over to our table and began making trouble..." Slate's voice explained. "She got mad when we told her to go away, and then she used the Force to hurl the table against the wall." Mirri's head snapped up. He was lying about her!

"I'll kill him," she growled. "I'm going to break his fucking neck once he gets out of there." Graey put a hand up to Mirri's mouth, telling her to be quiet. Slate continued.

"I think she needs help, Master Skywalker. One minute she's your perfect little angel, and then the next minute, she's like a Katarn! I personnally think that she should be kept on a strict schedule, and--" Slate's voice cut off as Alyk interrupted.

"Shut up, Slate, and stop lying. Master Skywalker, I'm going to tell you right now how the fight started. Me and Slate were arguing over who got to sit at that demolished table, and when he told me to move, I bluntly told him that he was going to have to make me. He decided that the only way of doing that was to throw the table across the room. Some of the food that I had been eating splattered all over the nearest trainees at the other table, one thing led to another, and there was a food fight." There was a moment of silence. Graey was still holding his hand over Mirri's mouth, and his breathing had become a bit ragged. Mirri looked sideways at Graey.

"Mmmm?" Graey looked over, and took his hand away from her mouth.

"Sorry," he said, his voice a bit strained. Mirri looked at him in concern.

"Hey, you okay? You seem a bit, I don't know, flipped out." Graey shook his head.

"I'm fine, I'm fine. Just be quiet, I can't hear what they're saying." Mirri nodded, and resumed her silence. They sat outside the door for another five minutes, with out hearing another sound. Mirri turned towards Graey.

"What the hell are they doing in there?" Before Graey could answer, the door to Master Skywalker's office swung open, making Mirri and Graey topple over backwards. Mirri looked up and saw her father glowering down at her.

"We're waiting for you to leave," he said sternly. "Mirri, Graey, would you please join Slate, Alyk, and me in my office?"

"Only if you leave the door open so Slate's stench won't--"

"NOW."

"Okay."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Three hours and eight different explanations later, Mirri found herself back in Graey's room, playing a very interesting game of sabacc. Threepio had finally shut up about the school regulations and was dealing in silence while Artoo occasionally let out a whistle or beep. The humans, however, were laughing and talking loudly and drinking Correllian ale (another thing Threepio had trouble disregarding). Alyk was actually pretty damn nice once you got to know her, and Graey was smarter than he let one. (Technically Alyk had been caught cheating twice already, but she had claimed she was perfectly honest when playing for money. She only cheated because "this was just a friendly game." Mirri had thought that that was hilarious.)

Luke had been strict, but at least he was fair. In light of how much of the trouble had been his fault, Slate was suspended for three weeks. Mirri and Graey both had extra work to do in the hangar, and Alyk was told that if she caused any more trouble he would get her shipping permit revoked for a while. She had told Mirri later that "most of the shit I ship doesn't need a permit; it's already illegal."

Right now, though, everyone was having fun (even Threepio was letting up a little). With the ale loosening their tongues, Mirri heard all about Graey's family and how much of an overworking superficial sociallite his mother was and how his father had split first chance he got... From Alyk she heard very little, but she pieced together a few things and deducted that:

1) She either didn't know where her family was now or didn't want to know
2) She had wanted to enroll in the Academy at one time but didn't believe in the Force, and;
3) She apparently piloted her ship, the Raptor, by herself

It was sort of weird talking to a druggie and a smuggler, but, for the evening anyway, they seemed totally normal. It was pretty cool. When they finally split up at three in the morning, she found she was reluctant to leave. Graey wished them both "sweet dreams" and returned to his room while she went next door. She felt a pang of pity for Alyk as she said "Well, goodnight, kid" and proceeded to go to the hangar to catch a speeder back to the Raptor. Alone.


New Beginnings
Part 4

By: Mirri Skywalker


The next morning dawned bright and sunny. Mirri rolled over to look at her bedside chrono, and saw that again she had overslept. Not by much though. "Screw it," she mumbled groggily. She pulled the extension out of the wall, and pulled her covers over her head. Luke wouldn't be to happy to see that she was slacking off in her studies. But, Mirri thought, he won't be too happy if I show up at my lesson in the middle of a hangover. Mirri felt herself drifting off asleep again. The dream was coming again......that horrible nightmare that sometimes kept her awake for nights at a time.

The alien face looked down at her, a snarl curling his lips. He pushed Mirri off of him, and, using the Force, flung her against a far wall. Mirri jumped up, and again attacked the evil Jedi. She spun around and aimed her foot at his face, catching him in the jaw. He staggered backwards, but he wasn't as stunned as Mirri thought he would be. He stood in his place, an evil smile replacing that look of rage. His blue-and-tattooed face seemed to see right through her.....and, without warning, he drew his lightsaber, and lept at her still wounded father, at the same time using the Force to trip Mirri and smack her head against the metal deckplates.....her vision cleared, just as the Jedi's lightsaber came flying down towards Luke.....

"No!" Mirri shouted, sitting up in bed. She felt as though she had actually hit her head on the deckplates, and not being able to take it anymore, Mirri jumped up from her bed, ran into the refresher unit, and threw up. She came out a few minutes later, wiping a cold towel over her face. She flopped back down on her bed and pulled her pillow over her face. "When does it end?!" she screamed, her voice muffled by the pillow. Sighing, Mirri pulled the pillow away from her face and slowly dressed. She might as well go to her Jedi lesson. She could care less about Luke yelling at her for getting drunk. Again. Mirri reached under her bed, feeling around for her boots. They weren't there. Mirri groaned. She wasn't in the mood to put up with this kind of bull shit today. She finally located them, sitting in a shadow next to her trunk. She picked them up, and began tying the laces, and velcroing the velcro. As she pulled her second boot on, a picture of Kyp caught her eye. He was smiling that gorgeous smile of his, his light brown eyes looking lovingly at her. She smiled despite the raging headache that was coming on. She missed Kyp already. Putting the picture back in its place, Mirri finished tying her boot. She ran a brush through her hair quickly, and tied it back with a long piece of leather. Standing up with a resigned sigh, Mirri headed out her door, and into the busy corridor.

"Well, well, well. Someone's up late. Who's the lucky guy this time, Mirri?" one of the New Republic technicians that Mirri had taken an instant disliking too asked in a mocking voice. To tired to do anything else, Mirri flicked him off. A few minutes later, Mirri walked into the bright sunshine. Uh-oh......she was going to be sick again. Mirri used a Jedi relaxation technique, and managed to calm the storm that was raging on in her head and stomach.

I just have to make it through the lesson....just the lesson...Mirri took a deep breath, and, locating her father near the landing pad, began walking up to him. She noticed, to her surprise, that Graey was also with him. He didn't look to bad, except that heavy circles hung under his eyes. Mirri assumed that he had taken a bit of glitterstim before coming outside, so as to quench the horrible feeling of a hangover. She knew that he couldn't escape the pain forever. She finally reached her father, and greeted him tiredly.

"So nice of you to join us, Mirri. I trust you slept well?" Mirri rolled her eyes.

"Sorry. My, uh, chrono wasn't working for some odd reason." Luke just shook his head, sighed, and began leading her and Graey towards the very peak of the Great Temple. Graey fell into step beside her.

"I tried waking you up. You were out cold. I just told Master Skywalker that you were, uh, taking a shower." Mirri looked at Graey.

"You were in my room?" Graey grinned.

"Hey, I didn't look at anything I wasn't supposed to. I'm an honest guy." Mirri let out a short laugh.

"Yeah, right. Where's Alyk?" Graey fell silent as they passed a couple of New Republic techs. "She's still in the Raptor. I think she's having the hangover that we really can't have right now." They had finally reached the top of the temple, and Luke turned to both of them.

"Alright. Let's get started. Mirri, you remember those defense moves that I taught you a couple of days ago. I want to see you and Graey spar a bit." Mirri groaned inwardly. Sure, she could spar. She just couldn't spar at the moment without throwing up everything that she'd eaten in the past month.

Taking a deep breath, Mirri got into her fighting stance. This was going to be hell.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alyk began walking up the steps that ran up the Great Temples side. She'd waken up early today, wanting to throw up whatever she was going to before having to ride the speeder all the way back out here. She still felt a bit groggy, but at least she didn't feel like she was going to hurl. She finally reached the top, just as Mirri and Graey were getting into battle stances. They both looked like shit. Alyk supressed a smile. Even though she felt pity for the two trainees, she couldn't wait to see both of them fight while in the middle of a hangover. Master Skywalker gave the command, and Mirri and Graey began circling each other.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Alyk laughed, ignoring the slight headache she had. She hated getting drunk. Hated drinking at all. So why down all that ale? Oh, well. It wasn't like she'd never gotten drunk before... Mirri looked at Graey helplessly, saying "Jee-zuz, I feel too shitty to be doing this." with her eyes. He had the same expression on his face. She watched his arms closely, waiting for the telltale flick that meant he was going to attack. Suddenly he struck on her left. She hadn't been looking hard enough... She caught his saber with hers and managed to beat him off. Technically they weren't really their sabers as they had yet to build their own, but they were good fro practice. This time she attacked first, putting Graey on the defensive. He managed fairly well, but Luke noticed they were both a little sluggish.

"Up late last night?" He asked innocently.

"A lot of studying to do." Mirri replied sarcastically, fending off Graey's new attack. She sighed and stopped, dropping her saber so the blade was almost touching the ground. Graey stopped, too, unsure. They both looked at each other for a few seconds before, at the same instant, they both grinned.

"Yah!" Graey called, jabbing at her. She dodged with new vigor, and they started mock-dueling. She noticed he had one hand behind his back.

"Mom hate fencing?"

"Yep."

Luke threw his arms in the air and gave up as they went at each other, mocking the fancy moves on the holoset.

"That's really more fencing than sparring, but close enough." He sighed, shoving his hands in his pocket. Mirri jabbed her saber to Graey's left, so from Luke's point of view, he had been run through. He moaned and she drew it out slowly as he made exagerrated dying actions and, dropping his saber, fell to the ground. He held his chest and feigned his great death scene.

"Tell Maw and the kids..." he gasped. "...I'll always love them.." He gasped and rolled his eyes back in his head, dropping it to the floor. He lay still. Mirri and Alyk were practically killing themselves laughing. Luke just rolled his eyes.

"All right, all right, that's enough practice for today."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mirri opened her eyes for a split second, trying to get a visual of where everyone was standing. It had been a week since the food fight, and she was again in one of her Jedi lessons.

"No peeking, Mirri. Let the Force be your eyes." Mirri cringed, and closed her eyes again. She'd been in a handstand for over an hour, struggling to maintain her balance, at the same time use the Force to run through her body, letting it strenghten her, and lifting rocks of various sizes into the air. She felt her arm begin to shake with fatigue, but quickly used the Force to help her. "Good," Luke murmered. "Very good. Now....I want you to lift artoo." The little astromech droid let out a squeal of indignance, but didn't struggle when Mirri lifted him three feet into the air. She heard a low whistle of approvement from Graey. Or was it Alyk? She was having trouble concentrating. She lifted artoo higher, until he was five....six....seven feet off of the ground. The droid beeped in panic, and this time wouldn't shut up. "Quiet, artoo," Luke said sternly. The droid quieted down, but Mirri had a feeling that artoo was going to have a few words - er, beeps - with her when she finally finished the lesson. Mirri took another deep breath, and, reaching out with her senses again, lifted a cluster of rocks out of some mud. Luke spoke up a moment later. "Now....stand on one hand." Mirri was taken aback. One hand?! "It's alright," Luke said, af if reading her thoughts, "Let the Force balance you." Mirri nodded her head slightly, and slowly lifted her hand from the ground, at the same time, using the Force to help strengthen her arm. She stood there, unmoving. "Good...very good. Now--" Luke was caught off by the sound of a ship approaching, and artoo let out an excited series of beeps and whistles.

"What!?" Mirri's breath caught in her throat as she struggled to keep the various rocks and artoo afloat. Luke, realizing his mistake, turned quickly around, and saw that this time Mirri wasn't going to be able to hold her grip on the Force. In a last ditch effort, Luke called out, "Concentrate!", but he knew it was in vain. The rocks dropped to the ground, as Mirri toppled over. Artoo let out squeal of fear as he dropped seven feet towards the ground. Luke caught him just in time and lowered him gently. The little astromech took off towards the hangar bay as fast as his treads would allow him. Mirri sat up, rubbing her elbow.

"Wow, that was great!" Graey called as he jogged over to help Mirri to her feet. Mirri nodded, she was so exhausted.

"Man, I didn't think you had it in you, kid!" Alyk came up to Mirri and patted her on the back. "I say this calls for a celebration tonight. Correllian Ales on me!" Luke looked at Alyk sternly. "Uh, just kidding," she said with a nervous chuckle. After finding out that the three friends had suffered from severe hangovers last week, Luke had left specific instructions to the New Republic guards and kitchen droids not to let any of the three near the alcohol. No matter what they said.

"That's what I thought," Luke said, a smile creeping across his face. "Mirri, why don't you go get cleaned up. You can have the afternoon off." Mirri looked at Luke in astonishment.

"I do? But I thought you wanted me to---"

"Hey!" a familiar voice called. Mirri whipped around to see a very familiar face running towards her. Her eyes widened, and all of a sudden the fatigue that she had been feeling wore off.

"Kyp!"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

She covered the sparse yards between them in a second and threw her arms around him. "I can't believe this!"

"Hey," he answered, returning the embrace, "I couldn't leave my little imp all by herself, could I?"

Behind them, Alyk was retching and Graey looked disgusted. Mirri barely noticed. "Why are you back so early?"

"What's left of the fleet over there got it under control." He replied, shrugging. "I came back as fast as I could." Smiling sweetly, he caught her by the waist and started walking along next to her in the direction of the dorms. "I've got a surprise for you."

"What?" She asked instantly, walking a little bit faster. He laughed.

"Hey, slow down, Mir. You'll see when we get there." She growled and elboed him playfully. Behind them, Graey draped an arm around Alyk's neck.

"Doesn't that just make you feel all warm and tingly inside?"

"Yeah," Alyk responded, removing his hand like it was a dead croatian. "Like I'm going to throw up." He sighed and stuffed his hands into his pockets.

"Worth a shot." Alyk just glared at him.

"Never touch me again."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Come on, Kyp! Stop stalling and tell me what you brought me!" Mirri cried in frustration. They were sitting at a table in the dining area, sipping hot cups of stim tea. Mirri was nearly bouncing out of her seat she was so excited. Kyp laughed.

"Don't you want to know what happened in the Anoat System?"

"Sure," Mirri replied. "After you show me my surprise." Kyp rolled his eyes, and, with deliberate slowness, took a small parcel wrapped in cloth out of his tunic. He unwrapped it slowly, and held it out for Mirri to see. She nearly fell over backwards.

There, in a drab brown cloth, sat a huge Corusca gem, it's dark red color gleaming in the light. Mirri's mouth dropped open, and she gingerly picked up the heavy stone.

"It's gorgeous," she breathed. She turned it over and over in her hands. "Where in the galaxy did you get this, Kyp?" He smiled, and reached out for her hand.

"Where else? Lando promised me a free tour of Gemdiver Station. We went down into the gas giant so he could show me how they mine for the gems, and he let me try out the submersable. I think the force led me to it." He smiled that adoring smile of his, leaned over, and kissed her soundly on the lips. A couple of the other students whistled, but Mirri just ignored them. After what seemed like ages, they pulled apart, both a little breathless.

"What am I going to do with it?" Mirri asked, as Kyp grabbed both of her hands and pulled her to her feet. He began leading her back towards the courtyard outside.

"Well," he said thoughtfully. "You could save it, and then use it for when you build your lightsaber. Or you could have it sent to Coruscant and have it made into jewelry. I don't know, it's your choice." Mirri nodded, still staring at the enchanting gem. She stopped him when they reached the exit leading outside. Pulling her head close to his, she murmered, "Thank you," and kissed him again.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Graey sat on the large boulder by the river, deep in thought. It was later that day, and close by, Mirri and Kyp were playing in the river. Alyk had moved the Raptor over into a large clearing across the river, and was working on some minor repairs. Graey sat watching her, trying to understand why he felt so nervous when he was around the head-strong young woman. He knew that he liked Alyk. Yet he didn't know if he really 'liked' Alyk. I've been taking so much glitterstim that it's been messing me up, Graey thought, shaking his head. I don't know what I feel anymore. Graey was snapped out of his thoughts as a loud shriek broke the silence.

"Kyp! Stop it!" Looking over his shoulder, Graey saw Kyp grab a handful of river mud, and throw it at Mirri. She ducked just in time, and it splattered into the water. "So that's how you wanna play, is it?" Mirri proceeded to grab a handful of her own mud, but Kyp was there first, grabbing both of her hands, and pinning them behind her back. He cornered Mirri against a rock, and when her struggling to get free stopped, he leaned down and kissed her. Graey rolled his eyes. He turned back to watching Alyk fix her ship, and saw her wipe her hands on an oily rag. Sighing, he went back to thinking about his conflicting feelings.

Why was love so damn complicated? He wished he knew. Love? It's not love. He thought stubbornly. It's just because I'm so... dependent on her... for spice... That sounded reasonable. But it didn't explain so much... He just wished he could get close to her. Maybe then he would know...

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Luke Skywalker sat watching Mirri eat with Kyp, Alyk, and Graey. He smiled to himself. Sure, it had taken a huge toll on his patience and temper, but it was worth it to see her sitting with friends. Or, he reminded himself. Friends that she could share the blame of getting in trouble with. It amazed him at how different Mirri was from her mother and him. The only explanation Luke could come up with was that she took after her grandfather, Anakin. Yet even that he was uncertain of, since he'd only known his father for a short time.

Luke let out a short laugh as Mirri threw a piece of lettuce across the table, hitting Alyk in the head. The young smuggler let out a challenge, and retalliated by throwing some kind of dessert food. Mirri ducked, and the food landed at Luke's feet. The laughing at the table stopped abruptly, it's four occupants holding their breaths tensely. Luke just sighed, shook his head, and continued eating. Mirri grinned at her father, and turned back to her food.

One thing's for sure, Luke thought as he munched on his mynock tail, life around the Academy isn't going to be boring anymore.


Send feedback to the author here.