Greater Than the Sum of Their Parts: Prologue
Rating: PG

Dramatis Personae

Tahiri Veila — Jedi Knight (female human)
Noelani Darklighter — Jedi Apprentice (female human)
Luke Skywalker — Jedi Grand Master (male human)
Mara Jade Skywalker — Jedi Master (female human)
Han Solo — Captain Millennium Falcon (male human)
Leia Organa-Solo — Jedi Knight (female human)
Jacen Solo — Sith Lord (male human)
Lumiya — Sith Lady (female human)
Jaina Solo — Jedi Knight (female human)
Ulya Tu — Commander, The Festering Wound (female Yuuzhan Vong)

"To see something new born in you and Tahiri. And to give you whatever small help I am able to give to see that birth arrive."
— Jedi Master Ikrit to Anakin Solo (Conquest)


Tahiri lets out a scream of pain. It is a writhing agony that shoots out from her pelvis wrapping around her body. Every nerve from her head to her toes burns with it.

Sweat covers her body, causing the thin hospital gown to cling to her. Her legs ache from being in the stirrups for hours on end, her body twisted, granting access to her most private parts to the medical droids as they float and cluck to themselves.

The wave of pain recedes, and Tahiri leans back.

The droid hovering between her legs speaks soothing words, words in a language which Tahiri doesn't understand.

The wave of pain comes again, slashing across her. The intense pressure building, demanding she push.

She grabs hold of the cushioned metal bars beside her bed, handgrips for just this purpose, squeezing them as pain pushes her higher than she could ever conceive of going.

She lets out another growl of pain, as the bar to her right squeals with the sound of overstressed metal.

Again, the pain slides away, granting her a brief respite. She leans back again, still panting. One of the droids places ice chips on her tongue.

Tahiri closes her eyes as she considers the fact that the traditional spot for the father of her child is being taken by a droid.

Anakin, why did you have to die?

It is an old pain, one she has been suffering with for the entire pregnancy. The Tusken in her despairs, her life-mate is gone — never to hold her child, never to hold her.

The Yuuzhan Vong in her cries out in her anger at the gods for taking away her lover.

Then the pain once more washes over her, driving all thoughts away.

"Itlack" The droid's command is harsh and demanding.

And Tahiri can only hope it means, "push."

For that is what she does. As she pushes, the pressure builds, reaching a crescendo as her body stretches beyond what the fifteen year old Jedi would ever believed possible.

The pain crests for a moment, and then washes in again, not giving her a respite.

Her body demands that she push again, and she does.

Finally the pressure passes, her body shakes at the exertion, and she lets out a small gasp.

A few moments later, she hears the tiny wailing cry of her newborn. She collapses back against the bed, her sweat-slicked hair sticking to her forehead.

The droid gently lays the babe in Tahiri's arm, and pulls down her gown, directing Tahiri through gestures on how she should nurse.

Tahiri watches as the baby begins to suckle. In the background the droid floats away, shifting the bed slightly to lower Tahiri's legs as it leaves.

Grateful to be able to close her legs, she lets out a small sound of relief, half sigh, half moan.

Then finally all of her attention is focused on the small life from her womb.

The end result of that single night on the Exquisite Death with Anakin. Images and sounds from that night flicker through her mind. The ancient Tusken ceremony, the symbolic words they both whispered to one another. Then what they did afterwards — the consummation of their marriage.

She reaches down and unwraps the newborn from the swaddling clothes, tears coming to her eyes as a tiny fist flails in the air. Tahiri gives a half-laugh, half sob, as she tucks the blanket back around her child's body.

She closes her eyes, and gently blows out her breath, feeling complete for the first time since Anakin died. She glances down at her daughter, her eyes lighting with life and joy, even as she wonders how this small being can make such a huge difference in how she feels.

Before long, the baby stops drinking, and drifts off to sleep, a gentle contentment rolls of the child in the Force, and Tahiri smiles happily as well, the exertions of the past eighteen hours of labor finally taking their toll as she slowly drifts off to sleep.

Three days later Tahiri awakens on a Mon Calamari beach, her body sore and tender, every muscle she has aching gently. She uncurls herself from the tight ball that her body had contorted itself into, brushing the sand from her face and hair.

She looks around, trying to find something, not quite able to.

Not quite sure what she was looking for.

She absently rubs her stomach, as emptiness and loss fills her soul.

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