NOTE: This chapter will make the most sense if you have read The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton. In the Courtship of Princess Leia, a very wealthy system called Hapes offers to join the New Republic. Leia is very excited because of all the resources the Hapan planets will be able to offer in order to aid the New Republic, but there is a catch: Leia must marry the Hapan Prince Isolder. Han is devastated, and enters a high-stakes sabacc game. He wins the planet Dathomir, which he intends to use to impress Leia, but it turns out that the planet is controlled by a warlord. Han kidnaps Leia and takes her to Dathomir. Luke and Isolder go to Dathomir as well. In the end, Leia and Han end up getting married, and Isolder marries a native girl from Dathomir.
Jara sat in a cafe on Coruscant, drinking a cup of kaffe. Now that she had fulfilled her mission, she wasn't sure what to do anymore. There was no way she'd be able to get any sort of government job; Fey'lya would make sure of that.
She had grown up on Corellia, where her mother had left her. Bria had left her with the Corellian branch of the resistance, but to Jara, that was abandonment. Everyone affiliated with the rebels were too busy making plans to overthrow the Empire, and they didn't like having her underfoot. Most of them resented having a child to worry about, but once Bria was promoted to commander, there wasn't anything they could do about it. Jace Paol had always been nice to her, but then he'd gotten promoted, and she never heard from him again. I wonder what happened to him…
When she was ten years old, she ran away. Caught up in the excitement of the destruction of the first Death Star, none of the Rebels bothered to look for her. She had made her way to a restaurant with a "Help Wanted" sign, and had asked to talk to the owner. Naturally, they scoffed at her, but she proved herself. The restaurant's waitress droid malfunctioned, and nearly dumped a customer's food all over the floor. Her quick reflexes from living on the streets saved the dishes, and impressed the restaurant's owner. He'd offered her the job on the spot.
The owner, Wris Duckar, was a cunning Devaronian with an eye for an opportunity. He saw Jara not as a valued employee, but as a dancer who could satisfy the desires of human males that the Twi'lek dancers could not. However, for the time being, he agreed to hire her on as a waitress.
When she was fourteen, there was a change in government. She heard about the defeat of the Empire, and how the Rebels had fought bravely. She hadn't cared much- until she heard about the brave exploits of General Solo on Endor. She figured she would wait a couple of years, save for a shuttle ticket, and make her way to Coruscant. Anything was better than Corellia, where the rich were always rich and the poor where always poor.
Things didn't exactly go as planned. She started getting leers from some of the human- and non-human- customers. She wasn't the only one who noticed. Wris Duckar decided it was finally time to harvest Jara's true potential. He asked her to start dancing in the restaurant, for double the pay.
The dancing paid off, and by the time she was sixteen, she had earned enough for a shuttle off the planet. She figured she would take everything she had and walk, but when she told Wris, he reacted… badly. He threatened to enslave her if she tried to leave, and the conversation ended with a shoot-out in the restaurant. Jara was very happy to find out that the restaurant, which not only had gotten a bad reputation among many of its regulars, but had to be closed for repairs.
She caught the next shuttle to Coruscant, and found herself in exactly the same place she had been six years ago- broke and jobless. Things were a little different though, because she didn't have to go back into a career as a waitress/dancer, although she would have been welcomed by some of the seedier places on Coruscant. Instead, she became a speeder driver, which was the perfect occupation because it meant she got to come in contact with a few important government officials. She even drove Threkin Horm to a few New Republic council meetings, including the one that sparked the Hapes scandal.
She had driven him to the New Reception Hall, where he had ordered her to wait outside. For several hours she waited, until a stream of people erupted from the New Reception Hall. Most of them were talking about Isolder and his proposal to Princess Leia Organa. Jara dismissed it as just another celebrity scandal for the holodroids to report on. When Threkin Horm got back into the speeder, he was very excited, and spoke frantically into his comlink about the "potential this had for the New Republic."
"Princess Leia is sure to accept this offer," he had said. "Just make sure that General Solo doesn't get in the way."
This peaked Jara's interest, but Threkin said no more. For weeks, there were heated debates on whether the princess would choose the prince or Solo. Jara was secretly rooting for Isolder, as she thought Solo deserved all the bad luck he got.
Jara had figured that Solo would step down, just as he had where she was involved, but she was shocked to hear that Solo had kidnapped Organa, and taken her to a planet called Dathomir. There had been rumors of Isolder following them to Dathomir, but she doubted it- it wasn't like a prince to get his hands dirty.
Jara was shocked when, weeks later, it was announced that the princess would be marrying Solo. Jara snuck into their wedding, and caught her first glimpse of her father.
He looks so happy, she had thought. She believed that this man should be denied happiness for abandoning her, but at the same time, she wanted to be happy for him and the princess. And Leia was gorgeous- much prettier than Bria. Jara almost didn't blame Solo for leaving her mother. Almost.
Not long after her eighteenth birthday, the Solos were in the news again. This time, it was because Leia Organa-Solo was pregnant- with twins! Jara was furious. He hadn't even bothered to try and find her, yet he wanted more kids. She told herself that she only felt bad for the twins, and that she hadn't needed him anyway. She resolved to stay away from him, and not interfere with his new family.
Yet somehow, not long after her eighteenth birthday, Jara found herself at a New Republic recruiting station. She told herself that she was only enlisting because the speeder driving business was down, and she was short on cash. She got her uniform, and bribed an officer to trade uniforms with her. She then requested to be transferred to the Quenfis.
Jara shook her head, thinking of her most recent confrontation with the Solos. She had figured it would be a surprise to his wife, but Solo seemed to have genuinely been unaware of her existance. Bria had lied.
Her mother had come back to Corellia from time to time- twice in Jara's lifetime. The last time she'd seen her mother, Jara was nine years old. On her way to Nar Shaddaa, Bria had stopped at the Corellian resistance outpost to discuss plans for "obtaining funds vital to the cause of the rebellion." Bria had stopped to see Jara for a half hour.
Nine year old Jara sat in a chair outside the conference room. She could hear her mother's voice inside, so persuasive, so resolved. Jara was sure her mother could charm a Tusken Raider if she set her mind to it.
"Bria, are you certain this is a good idea?" General Torbul said. "Getting mixed up with smugglers is only going to complicate this mission."
"General, I am certain that we will be able to use the smugglers in this mission," Bria said.
"For what cost? Smugglers are notorious for working to benefit only themselves, Bria. I don't think they will be able to see the greater good our mission is working to achieve without thinking of themselves first," the general responded.
"You see, General," Bria's voice took on a more devious tone, "there is a certain smuggler that I think will be only too willing to help us. And if we can convince him, I'm certain that he will be able to assure the involvement of his friends."
General Torbul hesitated. "Alright, Bria. You have my permission to conduct this mission as you see fit. I'm warning you though- when you reach the treasure room, be careful that the smugglers don't help themselves."
Jara could tell just by listening that her mother was pleased. "We'll take heavy artillery, general."
The general chuckled. "Dismissed, commander."
Jara looked up to see her mother walking through the door. She was tall and proud, but could easily fake submission and innocence if the situation called for it. She almost felt bad for the poor smuggler Bria would undoubtedly charm into aiding her cause.
"Well, Jara," Bria said, barely looking at her own daughter. "Looks like I'm off on another mission."
Jara nodded. "Have fun."
Bria shook her head. "Jara, you are just a girl. You don't understand the Rebellion. You take for granted that we are fighting for you- for your freedom!"
No, you're fighting for yourself- for your own glory! Jara thought. Bria loved the rush, and the power the Resistance had given her. Bria never neglected any of those responsibilities, but when it came to Jara, well, that was the one responsibility Bria was willing to let slide.
Focus, Jara, she thought. You've got something important to ask- don't distract her. Taking a deep breath, she asked, "Who is Han Solo?"
Bria glared at her sharply. "Where did you hear that name?"
Jara gulped. "Oh, I just heard a couple of Rebels mention him." The truth was, she had begged Jace Paol, her mother's second-in-command, to tell her who her father was. She didn't want to get him in trouble, though. He was going on this next mission, and he would have to put up with Bria.
She snorted. "No one important, Jara."
Jara would not accept this. "He's my dad, isn't he?"
Bria's head snapped up. Her eyes narrowed. She opened her mouth to say something, but thought better of it. She sighed dramatically. "Yes, Jara, he is your father. After he found out I was pregnant, he didn't want to stick around. He wanted to join the Imperial Navy, and he said a kid would just hold him back. I, of course, only wanted the best for you, so I let him leave, and took care of you myself." She said this although it had been some great burden.
Yeah, you took care of me all right, Jara thought. "What happened to him?" She asked.
Bria's tone got edgy. "They kicked him out of the Imperial Navy for stealing supplies. That Bantha dung wasn't even good enough for the Imps. That's why I fight in the Rebellion. For you, Jara." With that, her mother stood up, and walked away from Jara without looking back. Abandoned again.
Back in the café on Coruscant, Jara downed the rest of her kaffe. She was about to leave, when a man donning the Corellian bloodstripe appeared next to her table.
"Is this seat taken?" He asked.