Writer: Callista Loveday
Summary: Star Wars meets Gone With the Wind. Takes place 10 years after Return of the Jedi. Mara is sick, Luke and Han are in jail, and the War of Xishago leaves Leia hungry and poor.
Spoilers: Mostly all books after the Timothy Zahn trilogy
These characters belong to George Lucas, not me. I am not getting
any money off of this. I am writing for fun.
Queen Leia Organa Solo pushed back a group of chestnut-colored stray hair from her face and sighed in irritation. The streets of Mardicon were always full of people, and the wide skirts of the women in this
old-fashioned town seemed to make it look more crowded. Everyone
here rode around in a carriage and a horse, an animal that only
existed on the moon of Xishago. "Your Highness!" a deep voice called
out. Leia almost spun around, but reminded herself she was Anne
O'Colum. She gasped as a grip clutched her arm.
"Wedge! You scared me!" Leia exclaimed.
"Sorry," Wedge Antilles apoligized. "I just wanted to know what you
were doing here. I'm off to fight in a battle. I take it you're not here because of the Black Sun and their weapon exchange, though. he teased, and motioned at her dress. It as a long light blue dress with black trim, Victorian style, with a skirt that bellowed out amusingly. A matching hat with a wide brim completed the outfit.
Anne blushed. "You caught me. But here I'm Anne O'Colum, all right?
At least I will be until I can get to a little town named Marjorie."
Wedge frowned. "Why do you want to go there? The smugglers we're
after have been starting battles with the New Republic for months,
and after they're done here they'll be fighting in Marjorie. You're
not safe anywhere on this moon."
His friend sighed again. "I know, but my aunt and my cousins are out
there. What else am I going to do?"
With a concerned look on his face, Wedge asked, "You just had your
baby five months ago. Shouldn't you be staying with little Amidala?"
Wedge seemed interested in her answer, so she continued. "Mara Jade
Skywalker is going to have her baby in two weeks, her friend that we were staying with just left town, although she left us the house, and I only have one servant to help me!" By then she was yelling,
and looked around to make sure no one noticed. But the people in the
streets were thinking of their own problems, and had enough chaos
"I don't know what to do." she admitted softly.
Her patient listener smiled sympathetically. "I wish I could help
you, Lei- uh, Anne, but there's nothing I can do. I'll see you back
"Wait! Can I borrow your blaster? I need to go through Shabbytown.
That's where all the scum and villiany stay. It's even worse than
"Well if it's that bad maybe I should go with you," Wedge suggested
and handed Leia his blaster.
Leia climbed unto her carriage and hit the horse with the whip. "I
can shoot straight. As long I don't have to shoot far."
The rebel pilot grinned and shook his head. 'That's some woman.'
Leia cracked the whip harder on her already tired horse as the
bridge to Shabbytown came closer. She figured if she went fast
enough, no one could stop her.
Two men searched for food under a small bridge in Shabbytown. Their
torn, faded clothes seemed even worse after staring at a beautiful
waterfall close by. The water hitting the rocks made a loud noise
that drowned out the pitter-patter of their bare, unprotected feet
hitting the ground. The sound of a horse galloping caught their
attention. Ever since the Black Sun had come and invaded their
shelter, they had been forced to live with the other poor bums and
free slaves that hadn't been able to find a job.
One man, a tall pale man that had once been am unfortunate slave to
a hutt, tapped his friend on the shoulder. He motioned for him to
follow, and they moved to their victim.
The pale man jumped up to the bridge. He grabbed the horse to stop
him. "Give us the horse, lady," he commanded.
The woman in the carriage, a petite pretty lady in her early
thirties with brown hair piled on her head, said through clenched
teeth, "Step away, sir." With a glare that would melt Hoth, she
pulled out her blaster. The other man climbed onto the step. "You
don't want to do that."
They struggled with the weapon for what seemed like a long time. The
men noticed the woman set the blaster on stun several seconds before
it was stolen from her hands. She let out a short sob, then her eyes
fell on the whip.
She grabbed it before anyone could stop her, then struck the man
holding her horse on his upper arm. He howled in pain. But to his
shock, fell backwards into the river. His friend watched with wide
eyes, then slowly turned back to the woman.
But it was enough. The brown-eyed lady allowed herself a small
victorious smile and kicked her attacker. He screamed, but fell
The woman cracked her whip on the horse's back, then disappeared
into the early night.
Prissy, Mara's personal servant, rushed out to meet Leia the moment
she came back.
"Miss Leia! Miss Leia! Miss Mara is having her baby!"
"What! But the boy isn't due for another week yet!" Leia exclaimed.
Her hair been pulled out of place in different places, and dirt was
smeared on her face.
Prissy, once an orphan with nowhere to go, sighed and explained it like Leia was a three year old. "Babies don't come according to plan."
"For a ten year old, you sure do have a sharp tongue!"
"I'm fourteen!" the skinny blond argued. Her green eyes flashed and
she added smugly, "Besides, Mr Luke said you've had a sharp tongue
since you were eighteen."
"Oh did he? Well I remember a certain lanky kid who whined all the
time." Leia shot back. Prissy opened her mouth to argue, but Leia
added quickly, "I meant Luke!"
Leia pushed back the servant and ran to second floor. "Mara? Are you
all right?" she called out.
"Leia? Leia come here..." a weak voice said.
The queen walked into the dimly lit room and almost gasped at
what she saw. Mara lied in the bed looking like she was a thousand
years old, instead of in her early twenties. Her usually
well-groomed strawberry-blond hair was down, tangled in a million
One trembling hand flew to Leia's throat, and Mara turned her head away. Even that movement seemed to use up her strength.
"Oh, you poor thing," Leia muttered to her self. Her sister-in-law
was in the worst condition she had ever seen. It scared her.
"Leia? It's time!" Mara said softly.
"Oh. Oh! I'll- I'll get the doctor!"
"Hurry!" Mara exclaimed before Leia was running out of the house.
Prissy watched her silently, wringing her hands.
"Prissy, watch Mara. Make sure you do anything she wants. Please, Prissy, hurry!" Leia said.
She jogged noisily out to her carriage. At least the horse was calm. The sounds of cannons rang out, and the princess noticed that the streets were empty. There was an eerie silence in the town.
She silently told the horse to move faster. When it didn't agree, she whipped his back several times. It probably wasn't good for him, but right now only Mara mattered.
She raced to the next town. 'What I wouldn't do for a good speeder right about now,' she thought.
A moaning sound came to her ears. She gave a better look around.
Ten people could be seen from around the corner. They were men in the Rebel Alliance uniform, but they were lying on the ground. Blood drenched their clothes and they were in great pain.
Then she turned the corner, and stifled a scream. Tens, hundreds, thousands of men lied in the streets injured.
She stopped a man walking by. "Is there a Luke Skywalker here?"
The man smirked and said in a tone that made Leia want to strangle him. "I don't know. Go find out yourself. What, do you think I took their names?"
"Look, *buddy*. You don't know who I am. I'm Le- Anne O'Colum," she added. Having a different identity was REALLY getting on her nerves. "My friend Luke is a general. Surely he must be here somewhere?.."
The man shook his head, but seemed sympathetic. "I'm afraid there are no generals by that name. He was either in a different battle, or was killed. I'm sorry."
Leia felt like her insides were getting crushed slowly and painfully. She turned around to get her horse, forgetting her cause.
"Your Highness! Uh, I mean Anne!" Wedge called out from the center of the injured. Leia began to move torward him, being careful not to step on anyone. Wedge's wound wasn't bad, at least. His arm was a bit bloody, but it appeared nothing was broken. She sat down beside him.
Wedge watched her face sorrowfully. "Many of these men will die, Leia. There isn't advance medicine here." He looked down at the ground. "I wish there was something I could do..."
The young queen felt a lone tear escape. "I'm sure there is, Wedge. I'm sure there is! You just need to think really hard, and pray for help. There's always an answer." She lowered her gaze to the ground. "Was Luke at the battle?"
It was Wedge's time to stare at the ground. "Yes. But he was taken prisoner. Aslong as he's taken prisoner, he'll be safe. When he's released, the war will be over. But there's something else. After you had left, Han left too. He came here to fight in the battle. He is with Luke."
"HE WHAT! When I see him again, I'll... I'll..." Leia trailed off. Then the anger vanished from her face and was replaced with sadness. "IF I see him again."
She stood up, straightning her blue dress. The hem was now dusty, but she didn't care at the moment. "Sorry to leave you Wedge, but Mara's having her baby. I need to find a doctor." Wedge nodded his acknowledgement, and pointed to where a doctor was.
Leia put on her best diplomatic face and turned the doctor to look at
her. "Sir, I need your help."
The man shook his head. "I'm afraid that's the other way around. You wouldn't happen to be a nurse, would you? These men are dying, miss."
"I'm aware of that, but a woman might die without your help. My sister-in-law is having her child, and I don't know what to do."
The doctor shook his head again. "Look around you! There are few doctor's and not enough time. You'll have to do it yourself. There's nothing to it. Now if you'll excuse me, I have work to do."
Leia's mouth dropped open in shock. There were very few people that had the guts to talk to her that way. Her husband Han, for one.
'Hang on, Mara. I'm coming,' she thought to herself.
Prissy let out a sigh of relief as Leia came in the door.
"Miss Leia, where's the doctor?"
Leia shook her head and began to climb the steps. She walked like she was a thousand years old. "He's not coming. You'll have to birth the baby alone."
Prissy began to whimper. "I don't know anything about birthing babies. I only told you I did because I wanted to come to Mardicon."
Leia stopped on the steps and turned around to stare at her. "You WHAT!?" She yelled. She rose one hand and struck her servant on her thin face. The girl screamed and covered her face. Without a word she fled down the stairs and ran to the parlor.
"Leia?" a voice called out from the bedroom.
The queen started climbing the steps again. She had had four children herself, and with Prissy's help they would get through this. She hoped.
"Leia?" the voice called again.
"Coming, Mara. Coming," Leia replied.
Three hours later, Prissy and Leia worked together to help Mara's baby.
"Scream, Mara, scream all you want," Leia said through clenched teeth. "There's no one to hear."
But thankfully, the baby was born.
Two hours later as Leia stared out the window at the quiet streets, she began to talk to herself. "Don't you worry, Mara. We'll get out of this town. We'll get to Marjorie before the Black Sun arrives."
"You don't have to keep talking for my sake, Leia. THank you for staying with me. You could of left, but you didn't." Mara said quietly.
"No, I wouldn't of left you." Leia answered and placed a wet towel on Mara's forehead.
She left the room and called down to Prissy, "Pack a couple dresses and our fine dishes. We'releaving immediately."
Hours later, Prissy, Leiana and Mara lied in the back of the carriage as Leia sat up. A very long line of people marched sorrowfully next to them. What looked like hundreds of men in Rebel uniforms kept their eyes on the dirt road in silence.
"I sure wish these men would hurry. I'm hungry and they're so slow!"
"I wouldn't be so glad to see them leave. With them goes the last say of law and order."
The turnpike to Tara was just ahead, but Leia stopped.
Prissy sat up next to Leia. "What is it?"
Leia turned to face her so she could watch her expression. "Look in the field ahead."
Prissy's puzzled face turned to horror as she saw the hundreds of dead bodies in front of them. The Rebel's bloody unifroms clashed with Black Sun's drab grey ones. She stifled a cry so she wouldn't wake Mara.
Leia took a deep breath and told her fear. "If this much damage was done here, then what will Tara look like? I'm afraid to find out."
The truce between was insignificant to war. "Miss Leia, what do you remember about Tara?"
"I remember riding horses in the summer. There was a creek on the proberty, and the sunlight would dance on the water. There were always beautiful balls, and the outfit's were the most elegant thing's I could imagine. My Aunt Ellen was always so kind. And my cousins..."
"What about them?"
Leia's voice turned flat. "Let's just say my cousins weren't the nicest they could of been. Well, we should get going."
"Wait." Prissy began to climb in the back again. "When we leave this war behind us, will we still be friends."
Leia forced the force to trot. "We will be friends, Prissy. But you realize this war can never be left behind. Never."
Prissy's chin began to quiver. Leia added, "Will you come to Naboo with me?"
Prissy hesitated for a moment. "My place is here. I can't leave."
They went on the turnpike in silence. Leia looked around at the old houses on the street to see their damage.
But she didn't see the foam at the horse's mouth.
All of the houses's were burned down. None were spared.
It was pitch black, and Leia guessed it was around midnight. The moon was covered by dark clouds, and they were lucky to find the entrance to the house.
Then the horse stopped. Leia whipped his back several times, when finally it dropped on the ground. "He's dead!" Prissy screamed.
Leia ignored her and climbed down to the ground. Her blue dress was now totally ruined.
"Where's Tara? I can't see it? Did they burn it?"
The clouds moved, revealing more light.
"It's there! They didn't burn it!"
She bolted toward the house. It was a pearl white, with black shutters. There were columns on a big porch, and it had always reminded Leia of a real country house. But she supposed it was.
Her uncle met her at the door. His eyes seemed haunted and empty, as if he were a ghost. Leia didn't seem to notice. She noticed her cousin's mammy behind him and gave her a quick hug. Mammy was close friend's to her aunt, as when Leia was a child she would run to Mammy to play.
"Where's Auntie Ellen?" Leia asked. Her voice sounded like a child again.
Mammy looked away. Joe, the house servant came in behind her. Leia hadn't noticed it before, but there was no furniture in the hallway.
Joe replied for Mammy. "Miss Ellen was taking care of the woman down the street, when she got sick. Miss Correen and Miss Suellen got it too, but they's doin' fine now."
Leia looked around. "Auntie? Auntie?"
She stared at Mammy. "Auntie?"
Mammy pointed to the parlor.
Leia rushed past her and swung open the door. There were a few candles in the room, which were creating shadows on the wall.
Again, there was no furniture except for one bed which Ellen Organa was lying on. Leia slowly crept up to the bed. The figure didn't move. The figure didn't even breath.
Leia let out a loud scream before sobbing.
A half an hour later Leia finally came out. Her eyes were red and puffy from crying.
"I'm going to the guest room to lie down. Have some food sent up."
"We ain't got no food, Miss Leia. The Black Sun used this place as their headquarters. What they didn't take they burned. We managed to save Miss Ellen's jewelery box and a gun," Joe said sorrowfully.
"That was the first thing they took."
Prissy entered with a very tired Mara. "I'm starving. What are we going to do about food?"
"We can sell Miss Ellen's jewelery box," Mammy suggested.
"No!" Leia yelled. "We can sell my dishes and my dresses in town. Joe, you do that tomorrow morning. I- I need to go outside and think for a while."
She walked outside to the field. There was no more cotton anymore. Her stomach rumbled and realized she didn't have any food for two days. The sun was beginning to rise.
With a start, she saw a carrot in the ground. The bitter sound was so horrible that she spit it out and kneeled on the ground.
'Is this what I have become? Going from a queen's live to becoming hungry? Is this what war does? Is this all it leaves behind? Destruction, sorrow?'
"As God as my witness, I'll never go hungry again!"
It was two month's later and things were beginning to look better. They had more food, thanks to the things they had sold.
Correen, Suellen, and Scarlett had to work in the fields, even thought they resented it, and Leia found out all the field hands had run off. Maybe it was for the better, anyhow.
Leia opened the door to the outside. The cool breeze in the usually humid air felt wonderful.
Her hopes rised as she heard a whistling noise coming from the driveway. A figure was walking down the road. Maybe Han or Luke had come home! She glanced down at her dress. The once bright, clean blue was disguised. But the dress still reminded her of her daughter Amidala's bright blue eyes. She wasn't sure how Amidala had gotten those eyes. Han's eyes seemed to change every day, so you never know!
She ran down the road to greet her visitor.
"Hey, are you that anxious to see me?" Wedge teased. Leia tried to hide her disappointment.
"Did you bring news of Han or Luke?"
"No," Wedge admitted. "But I do have good news."
"Well?" Leia promped.
"It's kind of a long story. Last month I went to Coruscant. Everyone was all panicked, you know? I figured that perhaps someone had worn a blue shirt with a lime green skirt, but no."
Leia giggled. Wedge smiled back and continued. "Everyone wanted to know where the Cheif-of-State was. So I told them. They want me to bring you back."
Leia flinched. "I'm sorry, but I can't do that. I need to help my family here. But will you tell my kids that I'm safe?"
Wedge frowned. "I wish you would come, Leia, but I can't force you. I will tell your children. They knew you were safe, though. That force sensitivity thing."
"Besides, I need to wait for Han and Luke. Luke will know I'm here. When do you suppose the war will be over?"
"Leia, the war has been over since the battle I was injured in. We won!" Wedge laughed.
"Really?!" Leia asked. They joked around for awhile, then Leia got serious. "Wedge, if you don't hear from me in four months, come get me."
Wedge promised and left. Leia wished she could go with him, but walked back to Mara. The doctor said it would be months before she would fully recover. Leia hoped he was wrong.
A week later Leia was walking down the staircase when she saw a Black Sun soldier crawl through the window. She grabbed the gun from her room and stood in the middle of the staircase.
Then the man walked to the hall, carrying her aunt's jewelery box.
"Hey there, lady," the man said. "Whatcha got?"
He moved up a step, but stopped when he saw the gun. Leia closed her eyes and pulled the trigger.
When she opened them, the man was lying dead on the floor. His face was bloody.
A door clicked above her and Mara stepped out. She shook from standing, but her voice was strong again. "You shot him. I'm glad you did."
She walked down the steps. "How are we going to get him out?" Leia asked.
"Look in his pocket. See if he has any money." Mara ordered. She grabbed the rail so she wouldn't collapse.
"You're right! There's enough money to pay taxes. I'm just ashamed I didn't think of it first."
They used a towel to wrab up his head and Leia buried him next to her aunt. In her opinion he didn't deserve to be next to Ellen.
'Death, death, death. When will this cruel war be over?"
Three days later, Joe walked up to Leia and asked a question they all hated. "Miss Leia, how much money do you have?"
"That won't be enough," he moaned.
"What are you talking about?" she snapped angrily.
"The taxes are being raised to 300 credits."
"We don't have that kind of money!" Leia exclaimed.
She brushed a tear from her eyes.
'If we lose Tara, what will we do?'
The next week, the inevitable happened.
A man and his wife came in a big carriage, his servant driving. Leia glared at him when he stepped out. "Good morning."
"Get off my proberty!" she demanded.
"Now just a minute, ma'am. I came here to make you a right decent offer. I was going to buy this place."
"We won't take your offer!"
"Well I now everything about you. I know what you can't pay your rent, and that your uncle turned idiot!"
Leia spit on his polished shoe.
The man climbed back in his carriage and shouted, "I'll be back!"
Neither were aware of it, but Leia's uncle was watching nearby. Mad, he climbed on his horse and attempted to jump the fence to get to the road. Unfortunately, he didn't hold the reins tightly enough and fell off head first.
"Noooo!" Leia screamed. She began to sob.
The next day, her uncle was buried next to his wife.
Two weeks later, twelve rebel's sat on the porch eating food. More and more soldiers gathered every day.
Scarlett had married a wealthy man so they could keep Tara. Although Leia didn't approve of it, she had to admit it had saved their home.
Mammy looked down the road. Two more figures were coming. "Who are they?"
"I don't know, but I bet they're hungry." Suellen said.
Leia didn't laugh with them. Those figures looked so familiar. With a cry, she ran down the dusty road to embrace her husband and brother. Tears flowed down her cheeks.
"Hey, miss me?" Han asked.
Leia laughed. Then she stopped to glare at him. "If you hadn't of left planet to begin with..."
Han shrugged. "Yeah, but I had to keep an eyes on your brother."
Luke reached for Leia's hand. "How is Mara? And the baby? I feel the baby is strong in the force."
Leia nodded. "Yes, I felt it, too. Her name is Leiana. Mara had some trouble in labor. She is extremly weak, but her strength will be restored in a month or so, the doctor said."
Han asked, "What went wrong?"
Leia swallowed hard. "There was no doctor. Prissy and I had to do it ourselves."
Leia laughed again. "There are a lot of people you need to meet." She motioned toward the curious people on the porch.
Once they were all introduced, Mara Jade came down the steps. Obviously Prissy had helped her into a new light purple satin dress with a diamond necklace. Her pale, thin face was powered and she looked more beautiful than she had in months.
At dinnertime, Leia wore her new red dress. Scarlett wasn't all bad, she figured. She told Han and Luke what had happened during the past months. Then she listened to their story. They had escaped from the Black Sun prison weeks ago, but they had trouble finding her. They traced Mara and Leia to Mardicon, and had overheard someone saying that the Cheif-of-State had been here and left for Marjorie.
Leia looked around the table at her family.
'I should of known I would get through this. The galaxy is a dangerous place, but I have these people to help me through it.' Leia proudly thought.
Queen Leia Organa Solo straightened her white ceremonial gown and stepped up to the platform. Her makeup was made up just like her mother used to wear it.
Clearing her throat, she said, "I come before you today for a special reason. I would like to apoilogize for the War of Xishago. I myself dealt with hunger and lack of freedom during the time. But I am not here for sympathy. It has been a year since our brave soldiers marched off to restore freedom, and some people are still suffering from the effects of thewar. Something must be done. And the time is now. As Cheif-of-State of the New Republic, I promise you immediate action. Thank you."
Leia held her breath, waiting for the response. Then applause rang out.
The galaxy was on it's way.