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This chapter is going to be a long chapter so I apologize ahead of time.
Chapter 12: Ahsoka
The Djarin family remained on Terra for the next month which gave Mando plenty of bonding time with the kids. Amelia had grown so attached to Mando in fact, that you seldom saw one without the other. Mando has learned that Amelia favored a more physical approach to fighting while DJ favored his force abilities. When the twins trained together, they moved as a unit, playing off of each other's strengths and weaknesses. Whenever they trained together, Mando's heart would fill with pride as he watched them.
While Mando focused on the physical aspects of their education, Star focused on sharpening their minds. She was in charge of their school lessons and even began to include Aksel into the lessons. Star also worked with them on their Force abilities. Aksel would have seperate lessons from the twins because he was technically still a toddler. Aksel has stolen the hearts of everyone in the town, especially the females. Papa has fully accepted him into his family and refers to Aksel as his grandson.
In between training and raising three kids, Star and Mando spent time planning their next move. Nova had stayed in contact with Ahsoka up til her death and Papa had kept track a little bit after she died. They had created a map and timeline of where she has been and where she might be now.
Star brought up their plans on the screen inside the living room/headquarters.
"Okay so heres what we do know: After the Battle of Endor, Ahsoka headed into the Unknown Regions. Fortunately for us, Terra isnt that far from that region of the galaxy. Unfortunately, we dont know where exactly Ahsoka went after the battle. The coordinates mother left us were educated guesses at best but my mom was born and raised in the Unknown Region. I trust her." As Star sat down in between Andrina and Papa, Mando took her place at the front of the room.
"Star and I dont know when we will return from our mission so we have decided to bring the children along with us. We decided that it would be safer if they travel with us because we won't be staying in one place too long. The remnants of the Empire are looking for Aksel and they could still have their sights on Star and the twins."
Papa clenched the top of his cane and said angrily, "Why must the Empire always come after my family? They stole my daughter and grandchildren from me. I had to send my son away to keep him safe. Now, my family cant even call a place home! " Papa tightened his grip, causing the wood of his cane to crack, "I have always believed that the stress of keeping us safe from the Empire is what really killed my Nova. I know its wrong of me to say this but, I'm glad she didnt live to see this. It would have broke her heart."
Papa's eyes began to water as memories of Nova flooded back into his mind. Star wrapped her arms around him and handed him a handkerchief. Papa wiped his eyes and gripped his daughter's hand, "This was the last thing your mother and I ever wanted for you or your brother. Star you should be married with Mando and going on adventures together without having to worry about all this bullshit. You guys can't even have a proper wedding. I have failed you both and for that I'm so sorry."
Star squeezed her father's hand, tears filling her own eyes, "Oh Papa. Its not your fault. None of this is your fault and if mom was here right now, she would be so proud of you. I am proud of you and I love you so never blame yourself ever again. Okay?"
Mando put his hand on Papa's shoulder in an attempt to show comfort (not one of Mando's strengths). Papa relaxed and said, "Thank you Star and Mando. Sorry for bringing the mood down everyone but the Empire really pisses me off...Anyway, lets change the subject."
This time Andrina popped up from her seat. "Okay so we have refuelled the Razor Crest and made some minor repairs. Dont worry, we did not use droids. With the help of Kaelyn, we have loaded ample supplies and extra fuel into the cargo bay. Kaelyn reports that there have been no new transmissions that require your attention. As far as equipment, supplies, and fuel goes, you guys are set." Andrina then picked up a data pad from the coffee table and said with a smile, "I have some good news for you two. Look what came in this morning." She then handed the pad to Star.
Star looked at the screen and as she read the contents, her smile grew. Star handed the pad to Mando and said, "Its our marriage license. You are now looking at Mrs. Djarin. I did not want to leave Terra as Ms. Star Estrid Revna but as Mrs. Star Estrid Djarin, so I had our marriage licenced before our trip." Star looked up into his helmet covered eyes and held his hand gently.
Mando smiled under his helmet and squeezed her hand. He was so overjoyed that he could not find the words to describe how he felt. Luckily for him, Star didn't need words, she could always tell and feel what he was feeling. They stayed like that for awhile until Papa cleared his throat, "Im gonna go start dinner. Andrina, care to join me?" Andrina nodded and followed him out of the living room. As he walked to the kitchen, he called outside for the children to come and help him cook.
Once everyone was out of the living room, Star let out a yelp as Mando grabbed her ass and gave it a firm squeeze. He then bent down to whisper in her ear, "Why don't we go upstairs, Mrs. Djarin?" Star giggled as he gave it another squeeze and lifted her up. She wrapped her legs around his waist and her arms around his neck as he carried her upstairs.
Fortunately for everyone, dinner took a few hours to prepare since this was a farewell meal. Mando and family were leaving tomorrow so family and friends were coming over to bid them ado. Papa even had little projects that the kids could do to help him like decorating cookies. Though Aksel got the frosting more on himself than on the cookie.
Andrina was cleaning up a frosting covered Aksel while Papa and the twins set the table, when Mando and Star rejoined them. When Star saw Aksel she couldn't help but laugh as she walked over to him and picked him up. "Aw. Aksel look at you. Lets get you cleaned up." Star took the rag from Andrina and cleaned off Aksel's face, claws, and ears as he grunted in protest. Shortly after cleaning him up, the guests began filing into the dining room. The guests included Andrina and her family, Star's uncle and her brother Leon, the Mayor and his family, and even Kaelyn left his hiding spot inside the Razor Crest.
The night was filled with fun and frivolity as everyone enjoyed each other's company and the food. The children were able to meet the extended family and have some fun with Andrina's kids. Star caught up with old friends and her brother. Leon, who was now 11 years old, bombarded Mando with questions about his adventures. As the night progressed, talks about their upcoming wedding became the central focus. Star soon was surrounded by the ladies of the group and Mando could tell she was excited to finally have their wedding. Mando was excited too and couldn't help but wonder what she would look like in a wedding dress.
As it got closer to the kid's bedtime, the mayor and his family said their good byes. Shortly after, Andrina's husband and kids left, the kids making sure to hug the twins and Aksel before leaving. Mando carried a very tired Aksel upstairs with Papa carrying the twins right behind him, leaving Andrina, Star, and Andrina's mom to clear the table.
As Star picked up plates she asked, "Delta, did the results come in yet?"
Delta scrapped some food into a trash bag and answered, "Yes. Your pregnant again, 5 weeks pregnant to be exact. Congratulations."
Andrina put a pile of plates in a sink full of soapy water and said, "This is great news Star! This time Mando will actually be here to enjoy the pregnancy with you. He gets to watch your belly grow and feel the baby when it starts to move. And when its born, you guys can enjoy all the firsts together! Plus," -Andrina rested her hand on the small bump her own belly-"we get to enjoy being pregnant together. You should be super excited right now."
Star sighed and touched her stomach, "Im excited but Im also terrified. I barely survived my pregnancy with the twins and nearly died giving birth to them. My doctor at the time warned me that the next pregnancy could kill me or the baby or both of us. I don't want to leave the kids and Din alone."
Delta came around the table and pulled Star into a hug. "Don't worry Star, it wont come to that. Under my care, you will have a healthy pregnancy and birth. Plus this time around, your pregnancy will be a lot less stressful. As far as I can tell, your not having twins again which means less stress on your body. This time, you have your loving husband, friends, and family here to support you. I promised your mother I would watch out for you and that's what I intend to do."
"Thank you Delta, Andrina. You guys are the best." Star shook her hands and arms to shake off the bad vibes, "Okay, enough emotional stuff. Lets hurry up ans get this done so we can go to bed."
After a quick breakfast and tearful goodbyes, the Djarin family and Kaelyn left for the Razor Crest and was in hyper drive before noon. Star was sitting in the copilot chair with her legs resting on Din's lap. Aksel was fast asleep in her arms amd the twins had cuddled up in the corner of the cockpit with a fluffy blanket. The kids had all decided that dawn was too early to be awake and promptly decided it was nap time.
Mando put the ship in autopilot and leaned back in his chair. He was about to slip into his own dreamland when Star said softly, "Im pregnant. Again." Mando sat straight up and snapped his head towards Star. (Well, that sure woke him up.)
"What did you say?" Mando asked, probably a little too harshly as he watched Star sink further into her chair.
Star looked nervous as she said, "I'm pregnant... Are you upset?" Mando rubbed her leg reassuringly.
"No I'm not upset, I'm just surprised. You did just say you were pregnant with no warning, no warm up to it. I am feeling a mix of emotions actually." Mando was in fact feelings a multitude of emotions simultaneously. He was excited, scared (he will never admit that one), happy, nervous about the future. If someone had asked him 5 years ago, hell, a year ago, what his life would be like now, this would not be it. A father of 3 soon to be 4, married, and on a mission to find sorcerers wasn't exactly what he imagined his life to be. Mando wondered if he could even handle domestic life. His life had always been unpredictable and dangerous, the only constant was that he was a bounty hunter who picked up bounties. He feared for the future and for the safety of his wife, kids, and unborn child. This life he has chosen was not meant for them.
Star placed Aksel in his pram, turned to Mando and held his hands in hers. Star gave him a warm smile and directed his hands to touch her belly. Mando felt a warmth fill him and a calm cover him like a warm, soft blanket. He looked down at his hands on her belly, then back up at her. Star said softly, "Calm down my love. I know your profession is dangerous but we shall face the danger the same way we did 7 years ago. Together."
Mando relaxed and rubbed her belly, "We're not having twins again are we?"
Star chuckled and said, "No. Delta is pretty sure we are not having twins." Mando relaxed again and leaned back in his chair. "Let's go over the plan again."
"The reason why the Unknown Regions are, well, unknown is because it is extremely difficult and dangerous to navigate. Luckily for us, my mother actually taught me the technique to travel through the Unknown Region. I suggest that the first planet we search be Ilum. This planet has close ties to the Jedi and the Empire that once occupied Ilum shouldn't be occupying it anymore. We should be extra careful when approaching Ilum just in case there's any stragglers." Star pulled up a map of Ilum on her data pad, and pointed towards a giant ridge. "This ridge should be a safer spot to land since it is far away from the Empirical mining spot and is hidden behind a mountain of ice. If we can land inside the ridge, it should allow ample cover for us and the Razor Crest."
"It sounds like a solid plan but I worry about the temperature. If we land inside the ridge, the temperature will be significantly cooler versus landing on the surface. It could freeze up the engines. My other concern are the children. As far as I know, they have never seen snow, they may not be able to handle it." Mando took the data pad from Star and enlarged a section of the ridge."I think we should land here. We will have the cover of the ridge plus this particular section seems like it still receives sunlight from the surface." He handed her the pad.
Star nodded, "I agree." Star took back the data pad.
"Star. We are going into this mission completely blind. I think we should find other Mandalorians to assist us. Gideon's attack on the covert on Navarro only affirmed our scarcity. Frankly, I can trust my fellow Mandalorians, I dont trust these sorcerers."
Star raised her eyebrow and said, "You know, one of our children could choose the path of the Jedi. DJ has shown some interest in it after hearing the tales of his grandmother and great grandmother. We can not ignore Aksel's affinity to the Force either. There is a strong possibility he could become a Jedi. Im not saying it does not scare me because it scares the hell out of me. The Jedi dont have the best reputation right now and death seems to follow them. But, my mother and her mother before her were Jedi and they lived in this region of space. I think we can trust their judgement."
"Amelia has voiced that she would like to begin Mandalorian training and to learn the ways of the Mandalore. Maybe we can reach a compromise. If we dont find Ahsoka or at least signs of her, then we head back into the outer rim and search for others of my kind."
Star thought it over for a bit, weighing the options in her head. The Unknown Regions were undocumented and unsafe. They have very little to go on and are basically grasping at straws now. On the other hand, they know the Outer Rim and have allies and contacts that can help them locate the Mandalorians. The Mandalorians could lead them straight to Ahsoka. Finding Aksel's kind wasnt the only issue, as they search, Star's belly will begin to grow and eventually it will be unsafe for the unborn baby to travel in hyperspace. Traveling sublight is not a viable option these days. Oh and lest we forget the imposing wedding. If they are going to search the Unknown Regions, it has to be now.
Star sighed and said, "Okay, we will go with your plan, but we are limited on time. It becomes increasingly unsafe for our unborn child to travel through hyperspace. Since I am half Fyrstanian, I will be pregnant for 12 months compared to a normal human pregnancy of 9 months. We have 8 weeks or two months to search the Unknown Region and make it back to Terra before I start to show. Where at that point, we will have the wedding and after about the 8th month mark I will not be able to travel at all. I would like to find more Mandalorians before then."
Mando nodded in understanding, "Okay, we will just have to be as quick and as efficient as possible." Din rubbed her knee gently, "why don't you rest and I will wake you when we arrive at our destination."
Star gave him a small smile and said,"Okay but you try to get some rest too." Star took his hand in hers and squeezed gently before readjusting herself into a more comfortable position. Within a few minutes, Din could hear her soft snores and he knew she was asleep.
Red...everything was red.Nothing but grief, pain, and profound sadness filled her entire existence. What was this feeling?Screams. Agonizing screams filled the red existence. She tried to cover her ears to block out the noise but all it did was make the screams louder. She tried to scream for help but her screams were muted out by the others.Make it stop! Make it stop! Her head was pounding now and she screwed her eyes shut as a bright light flashed into view. When she opened them, the red void was no longer a void, there was a planet there and screams had ceased.Illum.She gripped her head as piercing pain filled her head, as if some one was stabbing her in the temples with a hot blade. The closer to the planet she got, the worst the pain. As they reached the orbit, the screams came back with a blinding force.Stop! We can't go! Turn around! Din we have to turn around! She screamed desperately but he didnt move. She couldn't move, she couldnt reach for the controls. She watched in utter terror as she watched Illum power up.No. My children. My love. Their going to die.Din! Din please you have to turn around! She cried out, tears flowing down her face. Forget the mission! Din please!Star watched helplessly as Illum fired its beam at the Razor Crest. She gripped Din's hand, sobs racked her body.Din, I love -
Mando was snapped out of his sleep by a bloodcurdling scream coming from a sleeping Star. The scream was followed by sobs as she cried out for Din. Din got up from his seat and shook Star's shoulders. "Star! Star, you have to wake up! Your having a nightmare." When she didnt wake up, he shook her again, with a little more force. "Star! Wake up!"
Star's eyes snapped open and she gasped as if she had been holding her breath and could finally breath again. With tears still streaming down her face she gripped Din's arms so hard that Din felt it through his Beskar armor. "Where are we? How far away is Ilum?!"
"Star whats going on-" Din stopped mid sentence when he saw the desperate look in her eyes, he saw nothing but fear in those eyes. "We are still a few hours out. Star, what did you see?"
Star loosened her grip a little as relief filled her being. "We have to go back to Terra. I had a vision. We can not go to Ilum. Din, if we go to Ilum, we will die." She felt fresh tears fall down her face as she gripped his hands and looked him in the eyes."Please Din."
Din saw nothing but profound grief in Star's eyes, and at that moment, Din promised himself that he would do anything to keep her from feeling this way again. Din intertwined their fingers together and got down to Star's level. "Okay. Okay. We will turn around but you have to tell me about this vision or nightmare you had."
Star gave him a small smile, nodded, and let him go to reroute the Razor Crest. Star looked over to the twins and to Aksel and was grateful that her screams hadn't woken them. She got up and tucked Aksel in a little more so he would be more comfortable. Star then readjusted the blanket for the twins.
Din turned around in his chair and said, "Its done, we are headed for Terra." He got up and wrapped his arms proactively around Star's waist and rested his chin on her head. He rubbed soothing circles on her sides and then her belly. Star sighed and relaxed against his Beskar armored chest while placing her hands on top of his as he rubbed her belly. "Your safe. We are safe." He whispered reassuringly to her.
Star turned herself around so that she could rest her head on his shoulder and wrap her arms around his waist. They embraced each other like this for awhile before Star finally told Din about her vision. Din listened silently and patiently as Star recanted her vision to him. "I know that it sounds like I'm just having a nightmare but I know what my visions feel like. I have never had a vision feel as real as this one, it was as if Ilum was calling out to me, warning me not to come." She shook her head, "I know that sounds crazy but I truly believe that we need to stay out of the Unknown Regions for now. I think we should refocus on finding more Mandalorians that could lead us to the Jedi."
Din looked at her, into her eyes, the fear now replaced with determination. "Its not crazy, this isnt the first time your visions have led us away from danger. I think that refocusing the mission is a good idea."
Star let out a sigh of relief that Din didnt think she sounded crazy and that he agreed with the plan.
"I love you so much Din."
"I love you too, Star."
Okay I finally finished this chapter amd updated the story.So sorry for the delay, after Season 2 came out, I hit a major writers block. Plus, work and my senior year of college certainly did not help matters.For those you who have stuck around this long, thank you so much for your support.To the newcomers, welcome and I hope you have enjoyed the journey so far.