This story is dedicated to Markus who suggested the crossover and helped in the story's development. Enjoy!
I suppose that pronouncement included their families, thought Bail Organa, en route to his home planet of Alderaan, his precious cargo securely wrapped in his arms.
A baby girl, Leia, born just hours ago. The child's twin, a boy named Luke, was on his way to Tatooine, to Owen and Beru Lars. Obi-Wan Kenobi took Luke to Tatooine, vowing to remain on the arid planet and watch over the boy. No harm will come to either child, not with the Emperor vowing to destroy each and every Jedi, and that threat included their families.
Already, hundreds of clone troops swarmed the galaxy, slaying every known Jedi Knight and their families. Anyone, Palpatine reasoned, who is so as much associated with the Order is an enemy of the Empire, thus they deserve one thing: Death.
So many killed in the blink of an eye. Mace Windu killed by Palpatine himself. The others, stationed throughout the galaxy, hunted down and slain in cold blood. One padawan, Zett Jukassa, bravely defending Bail as he attempted to enter the Jedi Temple, soon was blasted to oblivion by clone troops. Bail had to get out of there, look for Yoda and Obi-Wan, but there was something else he had to do, and time was of the essence.
All this death and destruction, annihilation and purge, all in the name of "peace." And the Senate, enraptured by the imminent end to the Clone Wars, erupted in applause – "Thunderous applause," as Padmé Amidala put it, noting this is how liberty dies.
Well, thought Bail, maybe he could not bring liberty to one family, and precious freedom just may be lost. However, at least, for the time being, the Tasous will be safe. Bail owed that much to a dear friend and her children, youngsters who long ago exhibited much Force potential, and they were only five years old. Marbe and Kirel would have made excellent Jedi Knights if their mother had her way. Unfortunately their father felt otherwise.
Ricar Tasou was a Jedi Knight at the same time Obi-Wan was a mere Apprentice. Ricar, ever dedicated to the Order and holding a tight rein over his emotions, nevertheless went against the Code: He allowed himself to fall in love. Belma Bucpa hailed from Alderaan; she and Bail Organa knew each other since childhood. A woman celebrated for her beauty and penchant for grand entertaining, Belma, on a whim, accepted her friend's invitation to come to Coruscant for the Senate sessions. She, given her talents for throwing lavish social affairs, would certainly be welcome in those high government circles. This was during the early years of the Clone Wars, and space travel, even by civilians was risky, but Belma, a fearless sort, pushed aside any fears.
It was a dinner party given at Belma's spacious and richly appointed apartment in Galactic City. In attendance were several senators, including Padmé Amidala of Naboo. A handful of Jedi attended, most being away in battle including the celebrated Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.
In that small circle of Jedi was Ricar Tasou, a handsome, sensitive forty-ish man with lambent green eyes and dark wavy hair that tumbled about his shoulders. Kind-hearted, naturally friendly and open, Ricar instantly struck a friendship with Belma, much to the dismay to his Jedi sensitivity. The Jedi Code stressed no personal attachments as they lead to fears of loss. Fear leads to hate which leads to suffering – All paths to the dark side. Yet Ricar found the vivacious Belma Bucpa far too precious to let go too soon. He searched inward, meditated on what to do. He had no idea he would fall in love with Belma, and he had to make up his mind. Either violate the Code by marrying Belma or gently let her go. It was not easy, and Ricar consulted with Yoda on what to do. Naturally Master Yoda cautioned Ricar, "Attachments, form not. Meditate on this, you must."
After much thought and contemplation, Ricar reached the unthinkable decision: He had to leave the Order; his love for Belma was that great.
Ardently the Jedi persuaded Ricar not to make this hasty, life altering decision. Marriage means instant expulsion from the Order. No emotional attachments. But Ricar, partially hating himself for falling for the charming Belma, pleaded his case. He knew there was a war on. He knew his Jedi expertise was sorely needed, but he reached deep within, letting the Force move him, guide him. It was his destiny to pair with Belma Bucpa, produce children that one day may become even greater Jedi than himself.
Obi-Wan understood this, and he cautioned Ricar that leaving the Order meant slim chances of ever returning. Once a Jedi forms deep emotional attachments, fear and anger take over. Obi-Wan had counselled his own Apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, of this far too often. Yet, Obi-Wan, and the others, knew Ricar Tasou was no Anakin. He had no emotional hang-ups, no "mommy" issues. Ricar had a total absence of fear, a bottomless wealth of honor and dignity.
With some reluctance, the Jedi Council agreed to and accepted Ricar's resignation.
At first, Ricar had a tough time settling into his new role as husband; there was not much for him to occupy his time. Belma encouraged her new husband to take on an active role in the Republic, perhaps act as military advisor. After all, we are at war, she reasoned. He could also begin recording that Holocron, detailing every aspect of Jedi training. It was hoped that the Tasou children, Marbe and Kirel, born nearly a year after Ricar and Belma's marriage, would follow in their father's footsteps. However, the younglings, having reached their third birthday, were deemed to old. Younglings are often trained from very early childhood, more often from infancy.
Nevertheless, even if their children would never become Jedis (and Belma wanted that so much), the Tasous became one of the most successful and prosperous couples. Their spacious penthouse, which boasted a spectacular view of Galactic City's skyline and the Jedi Temple, was the scene of many a social gathering. Ever the gracious hostess, Belma gave lavish dinner parties, balls, luncheons, musicales, and receptions. She was deeply devoted to the performing arts, so it was a given not only would the food and company be splendid, her guests would also be treated to an impromptu performance of top musicians, actors, and dancers from throughout the galaxy.
Just before the children reached age five, Ricar made a profound decision. He decided to return to the Order, but only at the behest of his good Jedi friend Plo Koon. Plo learned much from Ricar, and from his former Master Artmo Hox. It seemed Master Hox, an expert in lightsaber combat but not such a good pilot, had been missing for several weeks. At first it was feared Artmo had been captured by Separatist forces, perhaps, most dreadedly, by General Grievous himself.
To honor a friend's request, Ricar reluctantly returned to active duty, much to the delight of his Jedi brothers and sisters, especially Yoda, Plo, and Obi-Wan.
His words to Belma before departing to search for Artmo: "My love, I have no idea if I'll return to you. Keep this."
He handed over the Holocron. "Let my children train in the Force as it runs through them with a fury. I can feel it; our children will grow to be powerful Jedi, especially Marbe. There is so much potential in her, and I can tell it is she, not Kirel, who will have a profound impact. I am not sure how, but she may be destined for something far greater beyond our own galaxy. Teach my children well. Have Bail look after them if anything happens to me. When the time comes, let Kirel and Marbe go their own way, for it is the Force that guides each in their chosen paths..."
That was the last time Belma Tasou saw her husband. Within days of departing, word came back that Ricar, while searching for Artmo, took a chance, believing his former master may be held prisoner on Grievous' ship. The only reports which came back were of General Grievous' forces captured Ricar Tasou. The Jedi had precious time to send several messages, but not before he received one more – from Artmo Hox. What happened to Artmo? Ricar's former master crash-landed on an unknown planet in an uncharted star system far beyond their own. All Artmo could tell his former student, "I believe I'm in the same place as you were, when you were a mere Apprentice, but the creatures you described do not resemble..."
That's when Ricar realized exactly what happened to Artmo. Only Ricar knew this, and he was in no position to reveal that information. Such is too dangerous in the wrong hands, and Grievous would torture such information out of Ricar. Master Tasou resigned to die instead of telling the Separatists about the time slip. It would mean his son and daughter would never fulfill their chosen destinies. It could mean changing history, thus sending the whole galaxy into the darkness, just as Palpatine wanted all along. Oh yes, Ricar had the Chancellor's number long ago, and he cautioned Belma, "Do not put your trust in that man!"
Belma received her husband's message with a heavy heart. While she mourned Ricar's impending doom, she held steadfast for the younglings' sake. No outward display of emotion lest the children let down their guard. Mourn him, but let him go.
It was Obi-Wan, after the defeat of Grievous and death of Anakin Skywalker, who personally sent Ricar's lightsaber to Belma. This was done in haste as the Jedi had to take a special delivery to Tatooine.
He told Belma, "Ricar was a fine man, a noble Jedi who put others before himself. By resigning the Order, he thought not of his own happiness but of yours and that of the younglings. Be proud of him, Belma, but don't mourn him. He is now one with the Force. Perhaps, when and ever the Empire falls and balance to the Force is restored, I shall personally cheer on Marbe and Kirel. They shall make splendid Jedi. However, there is one..."
Obi-Wan, of course, referred to the infant Luke Skywalker, who, it was hoped, would fulfill his father's destiny and bring balance to the Force. Unfortunately Anakin, consumed by evil and Darth Vader, never realized this, and all that was good in the boy burned out of his very being as sure as the fires of Mustafar devoured his flesh.
Bail Organa made haste to the Tasou apartment. If the clone troops hadn't already been there, that is.
But how could they be? As of now, it's just Jedi being slaughtered, not their families. Yet, in time, the infamous Order 66 would extend to the parents, siblings, spouses, children, anyone remotely connected to the Jedi Order. Bail hoped and prayed that much.
Belma was there, watching the smoke rising from the Jedi Temple. She also saw Bail's craft speeding toward the landing platform. Something awful had happened, Belma thought with dread.
Once Bail arrived and disembarked from his craft, he said to Belma, "I want you and the younglings to hurry! There's been an attack on every Jedi, and I fear your younglings may be next."
Belma welcomed her good friend inside, asking, "What has happened, Bail? I saw the smoke from the Temple. Is it true?" She had a deep premonition earlier that day, that some awful fate awaited each and every Jedi. She saw, in her mind, Plo Koon ambushed,, Ki-Adi-Mundi gunned down, Obi-Wan making a narrow escape from turncoat clone troops. She also saw young Zett Jukassa killed while coming to Bail Organa's aid. If Ricar had lived, he, too, would have faced the same fate. At least he, along with the others, is one with the Force. She feared for Marbe and Kirel, so she, thinking far ahead, arranged for escape to Alderaan. This she told to Bail Organa.
The Senator from Alderaan said, "There isn't time, Belma. Gather the younglings and droids. I will transport you to another place within Galactic City, to a safe house. There you will find refuge. It may not be in the most desirable part of town, but at least you will be safe."
In time, Belma and her family will find themselves housed with an elderly Coruscantian couple. The house was, as Bail said, not in the most elegant of neighborhoods; in fact, it was downright shabby. Yet it served as apt hiding place until the Tasous could arrange another escape far, far away from Coruscant, perhaps away from the galaxy altogether. That escape would not come for nearly twenty years, after someone would betray the Tasous' hideout. And that came after one of the children made an innocent request.
Copyright @2006 by P.R. Parker. All Rights Reserved.