star wars couples

4

coruscant nine nine [66/?]

sasapodkopayevawieber  asked:

I hope, if you have the chance (I know you're busy), that you write more about Lyra Erso because I'm listening to the Rogue One novel Catalyst and I'm annoyed that Lyra's POV always seems to trail into long anecdotes about Galen instead of about her :P

When Lyra Erso—though she isn’t ‘Erso’ yet, and won’t be for a while yet; then she is ‘Inair’, after the little village on the rock—is born, she is loved. She is a fat and cheerful baby, and the village passes her from one cradle of arms to the next. She teethes on the elected Senior’s datapad, and is nursed by the local holotech; she takes her first steps during a village hall, and the Senior has to call order to get back to export taxes. (Even now, she has dim memories of many mothers brushing out her hair and teaching her to set snares, fathers beaming at her as she learned the names of rocks and plants, watching her dance.)

Then the Jedi Order came when she was five cycles, and that was the end of that.

.

Do you ever stop to think how strange that is? Dooku asks Master Yoda, not so very long before Lyra Inair is taken away from that little village on the rock. Every Jedi is a child his family decided they could live without.

Master Yoda does not answer.

.

Lyra Inair is twelve when she gathers up her things—what passes for ‘her things’ as a child raised in an Order that forbids attachment. A regulation datapad, some robes. A few worthless knickknacks she bought in Coruscanti markets, a book of poetry printed on flimsi from a University student who had been handing them out on a street corner. She gathers these things up and puts them in a sack, and hefts it over her shoulder.

Loaded onto her datapad she has transmits from all her friends, promising they will stay fast; she trained alongside them and that makes her their sister forever. Even if she is not a Jedi—

They are, of course, all far from the temple on Coruscant, journeying to strange worlds with the masters who chose them as padawans. None of them walk with Lyra to the landing-pad, where the freighter waits with the other almost-hopefuls. Ready to whisk them all away to some other place, to free up their bunks and meditation spots for those who might someday wield a lightsaber.

A statistic, because Lyra has always liked numbers, remembers them. In a given class of younglings, there is a 77.36% chance they will be chosen as a padawan and begin down the path to Jedi Knighthood. 

Lyra has beaten the curve. The thought does not bring her any joy.

There is a stink of bitterness, all of the almost-Jedi gathered together in the belly of a freighter. It’s a physical thing, there with them—Lyra could reach out and touch it, and she is not even strong enough in the Force for that. (They hate each other. She hates them. They all serve as a reminder to one another of their failures and so they just hate one another, blindly and absolutely.) 

It makes them all snappish and irritable, until Lyra plunks down on the durasteel floor and assumes a meditative pose. 

Her hands are shaking.

What are you doing, Thregar says wearily. Lyra, get up.

No, she says. She wants to double over and pound her fists against the floor until they bleed; she wants to scream. She wants to wake up and find this is all an awful dream, and her master wants her to fetch something for them. Water, maybe. She imagines padawans do a lot of—fetching things.

Lyra, what good will that do? Uskyer asks, and zie sounds tired too. We’re not Jedi, we can’t—

The Force is with all things that live, Lyra says, reciting the first Truth. Then she adds, Jedi or not.

Her eyes are swimming, and when she squeezes them shut she can feel the tears spill over. She refuses to cry, she refuses to let her grief and bitterness overwhelm her. Peace. Balance. I am alive and the Force is with me, she murmurs, timing it with her breathing. It evens it, steadies her. The Force is with me, because I am alive.

She hears the rustling and heavy thud when Thregar and Uskyer sink to their knees. Their voices join hers, and the others follow.

.

They assign her to the Agricultural Corps, Geological Engineering Division because she’s good with numbers, knows the names of rocks. It’s—

Well, it’s—

It’s like filling a space she didn’t realize was empty, like sucking in a desperate deep breath after too many years starving for oxygen. Like stumbling into a warm, disorganized office full of datapads and flimsi weighted down with rock samples, and people who think about time as ancient strata ringing worlds. They are all castoffs here, and that’s what the throng of sentients about her age shout, when she pushes past them. They begin singing an old Coruscanti drinking song and Lyra’s ears burned, all the way to the fourteenth floor.

Ah, the sentient she will learn is Master Eldos Banhat, who pioneered the singularity theory of galactic creation, says when she lets herself into their offices. You must be the new recruit. I told them to send us a human, you have such intriguing taste buds.

Lyra spends her first day in the Jedi AgriCorps licking rocks as Master Banhat takes notes. At the end, he makes her a cup of Hoth chocolate, and tells her that she’s going to be brilliant. 

Lyra only cries a little bit, swallowing the Hoth chocolate in awful, scalding gulps to cover up the tightness in her throat, how unhappy and happiness have collided inside her, and stormed.

.

She is. She’s good at it, really brilliant. (I told you, Master Banha says, and Lyra sticks out her tongue at him, because she is allowed, here in the irreverent bad-end of the Jedi Order.) Better than she ever was at sparring or meditation or theology. That’s—well, it’s either cruel or the will of the Force, or both. She isn’t sure which.

.

Master Banha pats her head sometimes with one of his appendages. Sometimes he calls her padawan, as a joke.

Lyra doesn’t have much of a sense of humor.

.

The first time she’s given her first survey—her first real geological survey of a newly-discovered planet on the Outer Rim, just her and a knot of workers, who can carry equipment or mark readings down, but must defer to her expertise—Lyra comms her friends. The joy is bigger than her, it begs to be shared. (She would tell her village, but there is no village, not for her. Not anymore. She is called ‘Inair’ but that is all that is left of the rock.)

It’s like reaching out to the dark side of a moon. Her friends been fighting enemies of the Republic since they were twelve, leading armies since fourteen, marshaling revolts, spies and warriors and mystics and there is Lyra, thrilled that she has been entrusted with a pile of rocks far from the bright center of the universe.

Ignore them, Thregar says. He’s grown into himself some, now that he has students relying on his word. The Educational Corps suits him, Lyra has thought before, and will think again. Different isn’t lesser, Inair, you know that.

I do. But—

Everyone knows there is a hierarchy. Everyone knows that Jedi are at the top. It stings, to be reminded how far she is from that, how insurmountable that gap. But she can’t tell that to Thregar, who has sloughed off all his bitterness like an unnecessary skin. Lyra seems to be the only one of them who has kept it clutched to her chest, let it fester and itch.

I know, Lyra says lamely, and begins outline the survey plan in her head.

.

It’s broadly against the Code, but when Lyra’s research is published in one of the leading geology journals in the Republic, she carefully clips it. Keeps it hidden in a nested folder in a nested folder in the downloads file on her datapad, because vainglory is frowned on as much as attachment.

But sometimes she pulls up the file and reads it, smiling at her own name in sharp, clear-cut Aurebesh

.

She almost didn’t go on the expedition to Omrine. She’d fought it—she’d had enough of exploratory surveys, she wanted something challenging. She’d heard of a cross-world promotion that required some geological expertise, Lyra had begged and begged for something like—

Instead, she had gotten the survey of Omrine.

The moment she disembarked the freighter she noticed it. Omrine felt like something roiling, a volcanic shelf in the midst of shifting, and Lyra had run every test and disappeared into caves for weeks and she hadn’t understood, she’d been confounded and—

May I buy you a drink, Mistress…? the handsome Republican engineer with cheekbones like sheered silicate asked. His name was Galen Erso and he was here on a similar sort of expedition, but for a very different purpose. He was looking at her, just at her.

Omarine was useless.

.

When Lyra Erso—properly Erso now, with a Justice of the Republic informing that indeed, they were—was married, she was loved. It felt right. (It was a pity, all that came after.)