Deleted Scene: Jerod and Lucinda in Captivity

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A/N: This next deleted scene came after Chapter 18, the scene where local Rodians watch the trial of mining captain Pawa Wanga. It's from Jerod Skywalker's point of view, and was included so that you could learn more about the Skywalker family (including Jerod's father Navith) and Anakin leaving the Jedi Academy, and so that Jerod and Lucinda felt more like real people than token "captured victims."

However, we judged that the scene didn't provide enough value given how it impacted the story's pacing. We opted to go straight into the Nagobu Street bombings scene with Til'trius instead. Some of this material ultimately made it's way into Chapter 3, but large parts of it never resurfaced. Enjoy!

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Jerod Skywalker watched in horror as Pawa Wanga's voracious appetite was turned against itself, the infected Rodian peeling away and devouring his own leg.

Is this the destiny Lucinda and I have to look forward to? Will I be transformed into some soulless monster and consume my wife... or her me? He shuddered. Or will Krul inject us both with the disease, turn us loose on our friends and associates, and then have us feast on them, and lastly ourselves?

Jerod grimaced as Pawa Wanga's head slumped in death, while his tendril-fingers still whipped around, tearing off his flesh down to the bone. Given that he and his wife were the trials' main attraction, Jerod could only imagine something worse was slated for them.

A thought amused him. It was common in a happy marriage to hope that somehow life would allow for you and your spouse to live long, stay beautiful, and pass away at the same time. For life seemed hollow without one's companion brightening the world. It was cruel to roll over in your bed in the morning to find yourself cold and alone. Better to die together than to have no one who shares your life's most precious memories. Jerod remembered having such thoughts, but this wasn't quite how he had imagined such a wish could play out.

He felt Lucinda's comforting arms wrap around him, and she whispered in his ear, "What are you thinking about?"

"Oh, just about what Krul's storing up for us." Jerod snorted. "He doesn't seem like the sort of host that will disappoint."

She seemed to pause in consideration of that. "What lies ahead won't be pleasant. And yet, we lived good lives, Jerod. I have no regrets."

"We live good lives," he corrected. The past tense she uses makes me feel like we're already dead. Maybe she was fine believing that. That was so like her. Not in a negative way; Lucinda just was able to quickly accept a situation and its shortcomings. It helped her do the right thing regardless of circumstance.

He couldn't function that way. Sure, he pondered potential negative outcomes, but he didn't affirm their inevitability. Too much fire in his bones to admit defeat. Perhaps it was simply an overactive entrepreneurial mind, which looked for new ways he could turn circumstances in a market to his advantage. Of course, maybe he was judging Lucinda's words too quickly. Instead of trying to cope with her anxiety, it could be that he was projecting his own dread onto her words. I've been guilty of that before.

"Jerod?" she asked, likely curious about his silence. "Have you thought back and looked at what we managed to accomplish? And continue to accomplish? From our humble beginnings on Alderaan, a freighter pilot's son and a musician's daughter fell in love, made a place for themselves amongst the stars, created a series of successful business ventures, helped several ailing worlds, and raised two good boys."

"Wow," Jerod responded, "It's starting to sound like we were spun right out of a fairy tale. Minus the whole being captured by raving lunatics and disgruntled employees who blow the heads off of your friends and torture your children part."

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