Title: Don't Look Back

Era: Pre-RotS

Genre: -

World: Canonish

Characters: OCs

Synopsis: Nisha Vyom-Vokar prides herself for the ability to not allow the past to affect her day-to-day life. But sometimes the pain of the past catches up.

Warnings: -

Series: None

A/N: - Disney Animated Movie Quote Challenge "I never look back, darling. It distracts from the now." Edna Mode – The Incredibles

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Nisha Vyom-Vokar stared out the window of her office with an impervious gaze. She was the owner of a multi-billion credit freight company and known as a tough but fair boss.

She turned from the window and headed back to her desk.

She dimly heard the interview playing on the holonet and felt like laughing. A week ago, she had been interviewed on the Yadara Modee Show as a guest; talking about her life and philosophy. "I never look back, darling. It distracts from the now."

If only that was true.

Forty-eight years ago her husband, Javed, had taken her and their children on a tour of planets in the Outer Rim. It had been a wonderful trip with Lakshmi, Kalyan, Kamakshi and Singh when they were attacked by pirates.

The pirates severely beat both Javed and her in front of the children before separating them.

The beating had left permanent damage to her body; she lost the unborn child she suspected she was carrying and Javed had been left with severe nerve damage. Kalyan, Kamakshi and Singh were traumatized by their experiences and Lakshmi . . . Lakshmi had vanished into thin air.

The pirates all gave different versions of what happened to Lakshmi. One claimed she were tired of hearing her cry so she beat her to death and tossed her lifeless body out an airlock. Three pirates claimed that during a spell of boredom they had slowly exposed her to the vacuum of space before blowing her body out into space. One pirate claimed that she and several others had seen a way to make some extra money so they decided to sell the children into slavery and Lakshmi was sold minutes after she was separated from her family but help arrived before they could sell Kalyan, Kamakshi and Singh. Yet another pirate claimed Lakshmi had accidentally gotten mixed up with a slave shipment at some port.

It ate at her not knowing what happened to Lakshmi.

Yes, she didn't dwell on the Past because it detracted from the Now and the Future; not to mention leave you bitter. Yes, she had accepted that Javed would never walk again, that Kalyan, Kamakshi and Singh would have nightmares for the rest of their lives because of the experience but she couldn't live without knowing what happened to Lakshmi.

Not that you would ever know if you looked at her office or toured her estate but she kept a holo of Lakshmi by her bed and had a holo of her aged so she would know what her missing, presumed dead, daughter looked like as an adult.

When the news hit and the search began all sorts of crazies and sickos had called or sent them messages, claiming that they had seen Lakshmi or could lead authorities to where Lakshmi was, but they were all scam artists and con beings, looking for ten minutes of fame. It galled her to even think about the level of depravity some beings would stoop to for money, fame or attention.

Those that couldn't lead them to where she was claimed all sorts of bizarre things like she was bought by a childless couple who were raising her as their own to the Jedi Order had rescued her and she was being trained as a Jedi.

One by one they disappeared as other things happened and she and Javed showed no interest in hiring them to learn more.

With the nut jobs mostly gone they tried to heal but it had been hard with Lakshmi's chair empty and her exact fate left up in the air. Javed had had the hardest time and he spent a lot of his free time going over the reports and the sparse information authorities had.

She on the other hand put on a brave face for her surviving children and did what she had always told her children: don't look back. The 'what ifs' would drag her down if she dwelled on them.

What if she and Javed had postponed the trip a few more days? What if they traveled to the Core instead? What if they hadn't brought the children with them? What if-

"Stop it!" she shouted; slamming her hand down on her desk. The rush of agony scattered her thoughts like frightened birds and she collapsed into her chair; weeping.

Nisha wept until she felt drained.

With a sigh she stared at her desk; her eyes falling on the stack of datacards waiting for her to look at.

She picked up her datapad and selected the top most datacard and started reading the reports.

The pile was about half way gone when she popped in a new datacard and started to read its contents.

Dear Missus Vyom-Vokar,

I know you have gotten many messages from people claiming to know where your daughter Lakshmi is and her fate and I debated long and hard with sending you this letter.

Nisha paused as she struggled with the emotions coursing through her. She hoped that her days of having heartless scum writing letters like this were behind her.

I know that for some time you haven't allowed yourself to think too much about her and I understand why and don't blame you. However, after I heard that you were going to be appearing on the Yadara Modee Show I knew I had to share with you the little I had seen a few years ago. She was sold into Slavery shortly after being separated from you, your husband and her sister and brothers.

You couldn't find her because she was given different names before they sold her. I am unsure what names they gave her but I have a feeling that she was given a diminutive of her first name, possibly a pet name. Something tells me that her last name while it was changed wasn't changed by much.

She had several different masters; one of them was a Hutt.

I wish I could tell you that she was alive and happy but I can't lie: your daughter is dead. She was beaten to death by primitives on the world she was living on. I wish that I could tell you it was quick but she lingered in this Realm for a month before she succumbed her injuries.

She's buried under the sand of a world with Twin Suns.

I know that this information is the last thing you wanted to learn about Lakshmi but I want you to know she didn't die as a slave, she was freed and found love. You even have a grandson. I don't know his name but I know he is widely known throughout the galaxy.

Nisha chucked the datapad across the room without finishing the letter.

She was furious.

She could take the thought that Lakshmi had been given different names; it had happened before in the history of Slavery. Either owners couldn't be bothered to learn the names of their slaves or they wanted to erase their identities.

It would have been easy to change the name of a five-year-old child and in slavery no one would have asked too many questions. She had even seen it in older people; threaten them with enough violence and they would give in because of fear.

However, she didn't, couldn't, believe that Lakshmi had had a child. It wasn't that she didn't believe that Lakshmi wouldn't be forced to allow herself to be used in that way if she was a slave. It was the fact that Lakshmi was incapable of having children.

When they had done an analyst of Lakshmi's DNA to do an accurate age progression image of her they had been informed that Lakshmi had been born without ovaries and a malformed uterus. She wouldn't have been able to carry a child to term even if she had an IVF done; she would have miscarried.

Lakshmi wouldn't have known the joy of bearing children. Nisha had no doubt though that Lakshmi would have been a good aunt to her myriad of nieces and nephews and there was always adoption.

Her sister Dipa had been unable to have children but she and her husband, Daniyel, had adopted or taken in almost an army of children. She loved her nieces and nephews even if she couldn't keep track of their names and those needing a place to stay during trying times.

The Holonet moved on and a report from the warfront came on. The Clone Wars was bad for business no matter how you sliced the meat pie.

She stared at the display and frowned a bit at the image of Anakin Skywalker. Javed more than once said that he thought the Jedi Knight looked like a member of the family; except for his blue eyes. Daniyel had even pointed out that his last name was Basic for their last name: Vyom-Vokar, Sky-Walker.

Nisha looked at him and admitted to herself that Anakin Skywalker did look like he could be a member of the Vyom-Vokar Clan but they had no proof that he was family and why would he be using the Basic version of their name?

For a moment, her eyes drifted over to her discarded datapad.

You couldn't find her because she was given different names before they sold her. I am unsure what names they gave her but I have a feeling that she was given a diminutive of her first name, possibly a pet name. Something tells me that her last name while it was changed wasn't changed by much.

The words from the letter echoed in Nisha's mind. Her lips parted and she whispered the pet name Lakshmi had had since she was a baby; "Shmi."

But, there hadn't been a 'Shmi' in any of the slave auctions or any sales records in the month since the attack; she had seen the records with her own eyes.

Of course, Lakshmi could have either been held for several months before she sold, when the search died down a bit or she was sold privately the first time or two.

Nisha shook her head viscously.

"Don't look back," she whispered as she sat down behind her desk. "Don't look back," she whispered again as she felt the tears begin to flow.

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