This story is dedicated to Markus who suggested the crossover and helped in the story's development. Enjoy!
From his place upon the second floor veranda, Charlie Lavigne, enjoying a third cup of fine coffee brewed a la Creole and a second helping of country ham, grits, and biscuits with homemade strawberry jam, ruminated over events of the past weeks. How incredible that, in less than four months, he would come face to face again with not just two Jedi, but three. Marbe and Kirel Tasou he met during their sojourn to Earth whilst escaping Emperor Palpatine's ongoing Jedi purge. What made the young Jedis' journey that more memorable, and incredulous to the uninitiated and unenlightened, was the fact their initial contact occurred during Earth's very distant past – the Cretaceous Period to be precise. Within those weeks as guests of their prehistoric hosts, the Tasous learned much of this planet's past, and its future, courtesy of Charlie.
Yet, and Charlie knew this, the Tasous' initial Earth landing, coupled with discovery of the whereabouts of their father's old Jedi Master, not to mention stumbling upon a Holonet recording of Ricar Tasou's final message to Master Hox, was only the beginning of their unforgettable adventure. Not long after the Tasous discovered that Holonet recording, and learned Artmo Hox was indeed alive and well, and living on Earth amidst the dinosaurs, Marbe and Kirel encountered their first Earth contact.
Well, Charlie didn't exactly count as he actually made a special time trip to ensure the Tasous' safety. He had already knew the young Jedi would eventually encounter an iguanodon trio en route to the Nesting Grounds, and Charlie took great pains not to reveal the female's identity. See, previously he had a hasty conversation with a pair of flying lizards, who, along with their mother, long ago, witnessed a crime. No, thought Charlie, do not let the Tasous on this secret; let those eyewitnesses reveal the truth in their own time. He wondered how Marbe and Kirel reacted upon meeting the iguanodon Anakin, for Charlie later learned of another of the same name, who, at the moment the Tasous and their prehistoric friends faced certain death, engaged in a final showdown with the son who would ultimately sway the wayward father back to the light side of the Force.
On this morning, Charlie reflected on events of the past evening. As a man who possessed the talent for time travel, Charlie delighted in reliving red-letter dates and meeting the famous and near-famous. He got to know his host, Jean-Paul Beauchamps, much better. It surprised Charlie to learn that Jean-Paul also possessed tremendous powers, not Force-sensitive, but magical. Yes, Jean-Paul was a wizard yet that fact was completely and successfully kept under wraps. In his 19th Century antebellum American world, Mr. Beauchamps took great care his true nature would never be discovered. The fact that he married a Jedi Knight compelled Jean-Paul to guard his and Marbe's powers, keep them under wraps. As much as the Beauchamps' abilities could eventually change the course of history, all the secrecy was justifiable.
There was one more player – perhaps two – in this unfolding mystery involving Charlie's god-daughter's forebears: the servant Orielle who he had met a second time, on the day he called on Marbe at La Belle Terre. To tell the truth, and Orielle clarified a few points, Charlie had already met the Jedi from Alderaan. She was on the run, escaping the initial Jedi Purge, the dreaded Order 66, when she discovered the same time slip which served as Artmo Hox's salvation. Only Orielle landed in Jurassic Earth, not the Cretaceous. Transmitting a hasty message to anyone who could help her, Orielle, upon landing, found herself engaged in a life-and-death battle with an Allosaurus. Somehow, in the ensuing struggle, she dropped her lightsaber; it fell into a deep chasm. There was no way, not even with her keen Force powers, to retrieve it. Enter Charlie, who, quickly tossed Orielle another lightsaber. Regaining her bearings, Orielle at once vanquished the charging predator. Afterwards, she thanked the kind man who came to her aid, and he in turn rewarded her with a short visit to a wondrous valley populated by spectacular creatures Orielle had never before seen. Later, although Charlie warned that the final destination may not be to her liking, Orielle was soon whisked away to 19th Century Natchez, to the plantation La Belle Terre. Her master, she later learned, was no ordinary southern gentleman, and his new bride...
"Talk about strange, even stranger, coincidences," Charlie muttered to himself. "It was a tender, tearful reunion for Marbe and Orielle. The latter hadn't seen the former since the Clone Wars, and Marbe was just a little girl. Orielle was a mere teenager herself. But who was that Cherokee lady I saw her with this morning?"
Could Orielle's friend, Tallulah, one of the few remaining Cherokee in all of Mississippi, be a Jedi as well? Unusual she would show up yesterday evening just as one of the Beauchamps' many guests experienced trouble with a stuck carriage.
"I don't know how she did it," said Toby, "but she did it. The whole carriage, even the horses, just raised out of that mudhole. Then it set down on solid ground. It didn't raise up much, but it was enough to get Gen'ral Taylor back on the road."
In the warmth of the kitchen at La Belle Terre, the house servants, Mammy Gracie and Orielle, along with Gracie's grandson Toby, sat around the table enjoying their morning meal, a welcome respite from the harsh realities of plantation life. Yet here, at the Beauchamps, life was far different for Gracie and Orielle than for their neighboring counterparts. It was strange, but Jean-Paul and Marbile Beauchamps actually allowed them much freedom, even taught them to read and write, an illegal activity in most slave states. Of course, the Beauchamps took great pains not to let their well-heeled neighbors and friends discover what actually went on at home. To the outsiders – the "plain folks" as Jean-Paul called them – the handsome Creole couple were just that: Cultured, wealthy, exceedingly kind and nice people. No one ever discovered that Jean-Paul, a native of Lyon, was magical, or that Marbile, née Marbe Tasou, was actually a Jedi Knight who hailed from a faraway galaxy.
On this morning, while the servants finished their meal, a visitor appeared at the back door. This was Tallulah, a full-blooded Cherokee who was also Orielle's best friend. Tallulah was a rarity these parts, what with most of her people resettled – forced to move actually – in faraway Oklahoma and Texas. She was only ten years old back in 1833, when the order went out that all Cherokee and other Native American tribes had to move from those fertile lands of the Deep South, which served as their ancestral home, just so rich planters could have it to expand their cotton fields. Was Tallulah bitter? Hardly, since she was an orphan thus having no permanent family ties. Instead, she chose to remain in Natchez and work for Jean-Paul Beauchamps who had just arrived from France. He was in need of a native girl who knew the land and ways of the people. He also detected something in Tallulah. Was she magical? Force-sensitive? He couldn't tell right away, but there was something about her...
Orielle and Tallulah met in the stables, away from prying eyes. Not that they feared discovery of their friendship, on the contrary. Yet there was reason for such secrecy. The Beauchamps greatly guarded their privacy, justifiably so, as did Orielle and Tallulah. They knew that the regular servants, slaves, overseers, even the occasional passerby, never set foot in this part of the plantation. Here, in the stables, was a little room which stayed locked at all times. What that room contained would never be understood by regular people; they wouldn't know what to make of it.
"Tallulah," said Orielle, glancing about for snooping folks. She had to be extra cautious whenever the stablehands were nearby. "I'm so glad you came. We have a visitor–"
"I know," said the Cherokee beauty, her long black hair neatly tied back with rawhide ribbons. "Charles Lavigne, a man from the future. He's been in conference with Marbile and Jean-Paul all morning. That thing Marbile did with General Taylor's carriage last night...I had no idea she was of your circle."
The pair discussed the previous evening's events, and ruminated whether what Marbile Beauchamps did could be eventually discovered.
"Most likely not," said Orielle, "since no one other than you, Toby, and myself witnessed what really happened."
"But," said Tallulah, "to explain why not only the carriage, but the horses, seemed to raise off the road..."
"Ladies, am I interrupting a private conversation?"
Tallulah wheeled around to see Charlie Lavigne strolling through the stables. His eyes scanned the women and their surroundings, but he quickly explained he meant no harm.
"You have my word nothing you say will go beyond these walls," he said, "I take it Marbe did the Force thing with Taylor's carriage."
To this Orielle nodded, admitting, "Yes, it was so. You were there, so you must have witnessed it. After General Taylor and his daughter departed last night, the carriage struck a deep rut in the road. His man came to the house and told us. Of course, Mr. Beauchamps didn't want Marbe to rush in, using her ways with the Force...But...He's the future President of the United States, so Marbe had to make things right. She just closed her eyes and the carriage and team simply lifted up. Not by much but enough to continue the journey."
Tallulah added, "General Taylor was exceedingly grateful, although he had no idea how his carriage simply freed itself, even with those men pushing and pulling it, trying to free it. Tyler, one of the field hands, who tried to push the carriage from the rear, noticed how it seemed to raise out of the hole. I had to laugh afterwards, when he told me, 'That Miss Marbile got some powers! She had to make that there carriage move like that.' I said nothing, neither did Orielle. As it stands now, no one other than a precious few, know of the Beauchamps and their incredible powers."
Charlie smiled, saying, "I guess Marbe's powers came in handy last night. Had to be that 'saving history' thing. Say, I walked through here yesterday, just taking a little tour of the place, mind you. I noticed that locked room and wondered if..."
Orielle and Tallulah looked at each other. No one had ever questioned the locked room in the stables. No one ever asked, "What's in there?"
The latter admitted, "You we can trust, and I supposed Marbile – née Marbe Tasou – will not mind us showing this."
She removed a key suspended from a silver chain around her neck. Still looking about as if any unauthorized persons may come snooping, she quickly unlocked the door. Before she could enter the room, Marbile and Jean-Paul appeared in the stable.
Orielle quickly offered apologies, but, "Mr. Lavigne wanted to know why we keep this door locked. He is to be trusted, Marbe, as he came to both our aid when we..."
"I understand, Orielle," said Marbe with a smile. "He would have found our secret anyway. So, let Jean-Paul secure the area before freeing our treasure."
From his frock coat pocket, Jean-Paul removed what Charlie could tell was a wand. The transplanted French wizard grinned broadly, saying, "I only use this when absolutely necessary. Within seconds, this entire building will be shrouded in thick fog, so thick no one will be able to detect the stables, let alone the people inside."
He spoke a short incantation then, just as he said, a thick gray fog enshrouded the stables. Not even, to Charlie's surprise, did the few horses and mules there seem disturbed by the sudden obscurrance.
"The animals here," explained Marbe, "are particularly in tune with the Force, and Jean-Paul's magic."
She nodded to Tallulah who immediately went inside that room. Moments later, she emerged accompanied by the most curious looking fellow. Charlie recognized this at once.
"R2-T7!," he exclaimed. Turning to Marbe, he asked, "I thought Luke Skywalker took R2 back to Coruscant. But here she is. How did you manage to smuggle the droid to 19th Century America?"
To this Jean-Paul replied, "Thank that very perceptive parasaurolophus Sarama. She knew that R2 possessed the recording of the Tasous' entire adventure to Earth's distant past. She persuaded Luke to let the droid remain behind. Your friend returned to the Nesting Grounds, heard Sarama out, then thought it would be wise to allow R2 to be with her rightful owner."
Charlie, who still couldn't believe how his friend managed to transport an astromech droid to 1848 Mississippi, or how the Beauchamps managed to keep R2 under wraps, asked, "Does she still have...?"
"The recording?," said Marbe. "Oh yes. I watch it often, just to relive our adventure. We made wonderful friends, helped to reunite a mother and son, learned more of our father via Master Hox. And I still miss my brother, which is not very Jedi. We're not to miss nor mourn our loved ones, as attachments tend to foster fear and anger. Yet, I often wonder how my brother is faring in Luke Skywalker's New Jedi Order. Kirel does send messages, but there are so few these days. But I know you'd like to see how we fared during those days after you departed. I will tell you this: We finally made contact with a trio of dinosaurs en route to their Nesting Grounds. Also, and we wouldn't learn this until many days, a bounty hunter had somehow penetrated that time slip. Of course, we didn't know just who told Len Targ our precise location..."
"Don't let it worry you, Marbe," said Charlie, Why not let R2 show us what happened after I left you and Kirel just short of the old lakebed."
And with that, Marbe ordered the droid to call up the Holonet recording of the Tasous' entire Cretaceous adventure. Some of their experiences were quite unforgettable, poignant, fantastic, and, at times, harrowing, even life threatening...
Copyright @2006 by P.R. Parker. All Rights Reserved.