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Sequel: A Last Good Bye

Reaching Through Darkness


Ch 42

I had hoped the baby would be a girl. Karen and I had talked about both sex and decided a girl would be the best one. Girls are less troublesome and frankly cuter than boys, at least that was my opinion. Karen seemed less concerned about the sex than I did. She was the one who refused to know the sex ahead of time, saying she wanted to be surprised. I argued against that, but my argument was backed by a small fear that I would not confront. That fear was that I hoped the child was not a boy so the child could not grow up to be his father.

I watched Karen peacefully sleep on her bed as I rocked the baby slowly. The baby too was asleep and both the mother and the child needed it after giving birth some hours ago. I had to admit I was glad to have that nightmare over with. Despite all of our technology, there is still some danger in labor and I was worried for my apprentice and hoped nothing would happen to the baby.

Yet, nothing happened except for a lot of cursing and cries my apprentice gave as the waves of pain rolled through her. I had tried to shield myself from such agony, but our strong bond would not allow me any protection, so I suffered along with her. In the end it was worth it as I saw my apprentice look down at her wiggling, softly crying boy in her arms. Her face was soaked and her sticky hair framed her face, making her look even more tired than I knew. I watched her stick a finger at one of the swinging, tiny hands of her baby. The baby grabbed onto the finger and squeezed. Karen smiled and hushed her baby to silence. She was a natural mother, I reflected to myself.

The baby was given back shortly for tests. Karen gave in to her lack of energy and just lay back, nearly asleep. She was so tired she gave no fuss to the healers who checked on her ever hour. She fell asleep quickly after that. One healer managed to convince me to take a shower and get something to eat while Karen would receive a sponge bath. I was not too happy to be separated from my apprentice, but the healers were having a field day and would not allow a stubborn Jedi get in their way.

I was stopped by many others on my way to the room, inquiring about the baby and my apprentice. I glowed in pride as I told them the news and then excused myself. They all knew of Karen’s story of how she became pregnant and she was met with sympathy and respect for keeping the baby. Not all the Jedi stuck with the idea that a woman should keep the baby so to not to commit murder. This resulted in a rather large and heated debate that caused some tension for a good week. It was only until Karen got annoyed with knights and master and had them sit down and hear her logic. I almost felt sorry for them, getting the hot end of my apprentice’s temper, but afterwards there was peace in the temple again.

I showered, forced some food into my empty, growling stomach, and headed back to Karen, hoping she would be awake. She was not, but the healer who was walking out said she needed to sleep as much as Karen could. Rather than mindlessly sit there, I decided to visit the baby again. The baby woke up, blinking his bright blue eyes at me, unsure of who I was. I asked a near by healer if I could hold the baby. The healer said yes and showed me how to hold the baby properly. The baby seemed to like my touch and he was quiet. His little nose and suggestion of darkish hair made me think of Karen. I could only hope someone so innocent looking could turn out so well.

With permission, I carried the baby to Karen’s room so I could surprise her when she woke up. The baby went back to sleep once I had sat down and gotten comfortable. I could not help, but stare at his tiny features. He looked so frail, but he was also strong. He had made it out of an attacked. His father, a sith, had tried to kill him, and yet this little boy survived. It would be my job to make sure he stayed alive.

Master Skywalker came into the room. Everyone but me had been banned from Karen until the baby had been delivered and everyone was stable. Apparently Master Skywalker had been granted the first visiting rights. He came in quietly, noting that Karen was asleep and I had the baby in my arms, wrapped tightly in a traditional blue blanket. I saw him glaze intensely at the baby boy and felt the Force grow and narrow onto the child. The baby responded by opening his wonderful blue eyes and turned his little head to the direction of Luke.

“He is strong in the Force.”

I nodded at Master Skywalker’s softly said words. I assumed the healer who was guarding the door from other curious Jedi told him the sex. The baby had inherited both parents’ connection to the Force. I wondered if Karen knew this fact or not. I was not sure if she was going to like this. She had hinted to me and others she almost didn’t want the child to grow up as a Jedi, but to lead a normal life like so many billions did. I wondered if she was hoping the child would not have to lead the confusing and painful life that she did.

“She will make a great mother for him.”

I dearly hope so. A baby was a large responsibility that even I had not come to realize until the last few months as we prepared the baby’s room. I still was not sure how to change a dipper and I had a feeling I was going to miss a lot of sleep as would my apprentice.

“He will grow up to become a great Jedi.”

There was a hint in Luke’s voice that echoed my fear. We both did not want a sith amongst us and while we understood the dark side was not something that could be inherited or passed down like a cold, certain personality traits could lead to someone turning dark. The boy in my arms was calm and peaceful as anyone could hope for. His innocent face did not speak a dark future, but one never knew.

The baby woke up again and started to fuss and cry in my arms. I rocked him and quietly hummed to him, but he would not calm down. To make matters worse Karen started to stir and then woke up suddenly. Her eyes went to the baby and she sat up. As best I could, I gave her the child, who quieted down quickly. I nearly laughed at the whole scene. Karen really would do fine. When the baby had been fed a bottle of baby blue milk, Karen looked up at me.


I encouraged her to go on.

“I have a name for him.”

I nodded again.

“He saw be called Tem. Yeah, Tem Nightingstar. Do you like it?”

I asked her why Tem. It was such a short, simple name.

“It stands for ‘The Emperor’s Mistake.’ This blond man wanted me to see him as the new emperor and thought he could turn me or destroy me. Maybe he thought my child would be the next emperor, but he’s wrong. My child will be his mistake.

I allowed the name, Tem to run through my mind a few times, practicing shouting it in parent frustration and using it softly to calm a crying child. Yes, Tem was a fine name.

“Hi, Tem.”

Karen said it in that babying way that most people talk to newborns. The baby looked at Karen in a peaceful manner as if he approved of the name. I smiled and felt Luke’s approval behind me.

And it was done. The Force was our witness. Tem Nightingstar, son to a wonderful, strong mother, had been born.
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