Stellar Pathways, Part 8
By Michael J. Pfeffer

Part 8
Last Night on Earth (Or wherever)

March 30th, 1998
8:43 PM relative time
Star Cruiser Triumphant

The first ship to jump out of hyperspace was the 911, followed by a flock of fighters.
They began orbiting the Star Cruiser and landed, one by one. Daria set Eddie to
autopilot and leaned back.

"Rough night, huh?" Mara Jacobs asked.

"Yeah," Daria said. "We were lucky, though."

Mara smiled and stared at the ceiling. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a
small green crystal shard. "I guess this thing really does work," she said. "My parents,
like, kept this ever since I was born. It feels like someone's watching over me when I
have it," she said with a sigh. "Then again, I don't want to bore you."

"Wait a second..." Daria said, fumbling through her jumpsuit pockets. She found the
small jade crystal that Mara Jade had given her. "Let me see that for a second?" she
said, snatching the crystal from Mara's hand.

She tried to fit the shards together like a puzzle. They fit right into place.

"This is getting crazier by the minute," Daria said. "We gotta get out of here."

"What _is_ this?" Mara asked, a question in her green eyes.

"Ever wish you had a sister?"

"Well, no offense, but not when I remember that Quinn exists."

"You've got one." "Oh, no," Mara said, burying her face in her hands. "You're sticking
me with Quinn? What did I do to deserve this?"

"No, no, no," Daria said. "Mara Jade. She's your sister."

"Mara Jade?" Mara asked. "You're right. This _is_ getting crazier by the minute."

The 911 landed a few minutes later to a crowd of well-wishers in the hangar bay.
Michael, now stumbling along with minimal aid, leaned on the wing of a nearby X-wing.
Mara was the first off the 911, although she tripped and almost fell getting down the
hatch in her hurry.

"Look, Michael, let's just clean up, collect our rewards, and get out of here," Daria said
as she helped Mara back up.

"Yeah," Mara said. "This is getting too crazy. I just found out that I have a sister, and
we just blew up some Imperial warship, and they're probably going to come after us, so
we gotta GET MOVING!"

"What's this about a sister?" Michael asked. "I _do_ know everything about you, right?
Or is there still something about drug dealing up next?" he said with a grin.

"Yeah, and is she available?" Jesse asked, walking in, followed by Mara Jade and

Mara and Mara met face to face for the first time. Mara Jacobs pulled out her crystal
shard. "Look familiar?" she said.

"Wait a second... if you're my sister, then how come you've been on Earth all this
time?" Mara Jade asked, crossing her arms.

Mara Jacobs shrugged. "Beats me. Your parents probably jettisoned me in some
capsule or something.

"Like Superman?" Mara Jade asked.

The Earth residents goggled. "How'd you know about Superman?" Trent asked.

Jade shrugged. "We may be in different galaxies, but we can eavesdrop."

"Right. Guys, we gotta get moving. I sense that the New Republic might have some
questions." Daria began to hustle everyone back into the 911.

"It's been fun," Jesse shouted to the arriving New Republic guards. "But this is for
cooping me up in the brig almost forever." He flashed his middle finger at the guards
just before the hatch closed.

"Everyone strapped in?" Michael called over the intercom.

"Everyone's accounted for and feeling super-duper, Mr. Andrews," Eddie piped up. "I
made sure that..."

"Hang on!" Michael shouted, punching the ship up on its repulsors, turning it 180
degrees, and blasted out of the hangar.

Luke and Leia were just catching up to see the ion thrusters ignite.

"Shouldn't we stop them?" Leia asked. "I mean, they know so much, and have so much
to offer."

"No," said Luke, shaking his head. "They've balanced themselves already."

The MJP-911 rocketed back into hyperspace. Home beckoned again.