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"Lost a transport!" General McQuarrie announced scanning the monitors. He pounded his fist on the console. "I'll make sure the ready room and mess is clear! They are going to have to evacuate immediately!" He got on the comm and sounded all alarms.

General Rieekan rubbed his temples. "Princess, I really think you should consider leaving. There isn't much else we can do here. We can only hope that most of the transports are protected by the squadrons evacuating. You as well, Farr, and the rest of you. I'm going to clear the halls, follow up on the announcements and make sure the other personnel in the passages know to move. I can see from the monitors that shuttles are arriving from that star destroyer. I'm afraid I must insist."

"General, with all due respect, I intend to get out of here, but if we can clear the path for as many of the transporters waiting to leave, we can give clearance to allow more to escape! Not to mention the fighters out there still waiting on orders." Princess Leia said not budging from her post.

General Rieekan sighed. He should know that it was no use arguing with the Princess. She was so stubborn, and short of picking her up and dragging her out himself, she wasn't going to leave. He knew that Mon Mothma would have his head if she didn't get on a transport, but he felt that it was a waste of time arguing. Not when he could save as many of his men and women still waiting for orders in the trenches and in the passages of Echo Base. The base would need to be clear. "Princess, I know I'm going to regret this, but I beg of you, don't stay here much longer. That goes for the rest of you. You'll need to get out and to your transports as soon as possible. I'm going to make sure that the passages are clear. I hope to see you all in the hanger when my transport flies out. May the Force be with you all!"

The few personnel left in the command center briefly gave each other a defeated look. They all turned to the Princess. "If you wish to go, I can't stop you, but as for me, I intend to stay here and see a few more transports get out before I head to my own. There's no guarantee that we will even make it out of here, or out on to our transport, but if I can help a few more get out with communications and monitoring. I'll do it!" She said eyeing the screen.

"You're all clear, head for the eastern sky with your escorts," Princess Leia spoke into her headset. Moving away from the microphone. "We've still got fighters out there!"

"Princess, we're sending more ground crew." Farr responded.

"Ah, it's probably better at this point if they move away from there. The generators are probably going to get hit and we'll lose power. They'll have to command from the ground."

Others of those left followed General Rieekan, leaving the Princess with a bare bones staff of two and Threepio. She didn't blame them, maybe they could even help Rieekan. He could still give commands via his comms, helping the battle above them. There may be a few injured in the hallways, the walls were closing down in a few places, and they also may need assistance. She hoped they would make it to their ship.

Threepio started to panic, "Mistress Leia, we are doomed! We must escape!"

Leia shouted, "Threepio, check those systems!"

"Yes, Mistress Leia," Threepio said in a defeated manner.

Sending commands to the ships was almost futile. With just the three of them, they were able to get a clear view of the fighting, helping to direct the ships, but the truth was, many in the air were having to eye ball the whole situation. 'If they get those generators...' Leia thought, knowing the inevitable. They did have some semblance of backup in areas inside. A few essentials run by interior fuel cells, but that was just in the more dire emergencies. Farr started to sweat, and it seemed she regretted staying back with the princess. McQuarrie seemed to be the picture of cool, but he was showing signs of strain as well. Threepio had bouts of anxiety, it was unnerving that the one individual in the command center who seemed to have the least control wasn't a living being at all. Leia often forgot he was only a droid, but he seemed to be a real person to her, and he was too valuable right now to shut down. They heard walls falling in and tried to remain cool as they directed the pilots and ground staff still battling outside. Then it happened. They were being hit. The walls shook with ice falling and Leia caught Threepio before he tried to fall. She gave the General and Major Farr a look and they looked back. Stressed and worried, Leia heard bounding footsteps coming into the command center, which was now starting to show wear from the battle above. Utilities and vents falling from the ceiling as well as chunks of ice. A deep voice shouted, "Are you all right!"

She turned and couldn't believe it. Han was supposed to be long gone. "Why are you still here?" she shouted with anger. It sounded as if he was the last person she wanted to see, but in fact, she had hoped he was far away by now, safe from this fighting.

She went back to work, looking over McQuarrie's shoulder and the command center rocked again. An arm pulled her away. Leia then yelled at the others to get to their transports. She couldn't resist Han's pleas. Farr and McQuarrie dropped everything and took off with Threepio going in the opposite direction into another corridor. She was willing to stay there in the command center until it fell as long as the battle continued, but then Han had to come back. 'Why didn't he leave?' Leia asked herself. She resigned herself to his persuasion and allowed Han to pull her out of the command center.

Word on the comm as they ran through the halls informed them that stormtroopers had invaded the interior of the base. Threepio was nowhere to be seen. Leia only hoped he somehow followed McQuarrie and Farr to the transports. The ground shook and the ceiling started to fall down. Han pushed her down and fell on her to protect her from the debris. 'What did he think he was doing!' she thought to herself. He pulled her back up.

Just a few moments ago, in the command center, Leia was not afraid. She was willing to stand there until the walls fell upon her. There were often times in the middle of battle where she felt like that. She was willing to risk her own life and die for the cause. It was what was most important to her in those times, and focusing on the Rebellion was what kept her sane. She was never afraid of dying for the Rebellion. It wasn't so much that she herself wished to die, that she had a death wish, it was more of the feeling of noble sacrifice in refection to her previous losses and the sacrifices of those who came before her. There were other moments though that took her away from that focus. Risking her comrades in the command center? She wasn't even thinking about them, and now dwelling on it, that made her feel guilty. She and Han ran through the halls of Echo Base, and suddenly she not only wanted to live, she felt alive again, but how dare he think he had to protect her as the ceiling fell on top of them and then feel he had to be the hero and pull her up again. As they ran, she caught a glimpse of Threepio off into the distance. It was then that a blast hit and a wall of ice and snow fell blocking their path. They were trapped. Han sent a comm to Rieekan telling him that he had Leia, but that the path was blocked and he would try to get her out on the Falcon.

Threepio felt all alone. He could not remember which way to head after he lost the others that he had been following. He ended up in the tauntaun cave. Threepio shrieked and headed out towards another corridor where he found another door and walked through it. It wasn't the transport hanger, but he did see a familiar face. A very worried Wookiee stood at the end of the ramp looking frantic and called for him to climb on board. "Oh Chewbacca, I'm very relieved to see you."

Chewie roared.

"Well, I never! I imagine I should expect that from a Wookiee," Threepio responded.

Chewie roared again.

"Chewbacca, Captain Solo and the Princess were just behind me, they should be along anytime now."

Chewie roared again.

"Transport? Oh, I don't think they will ever make it there, I was only able to get here myself." Threepio answered.

Chewie paced outside the ramp and tried to hail Han on the comm.

Leia could feel something familiar and it wasn't pleasant. She was tired and weak and images had come to her mind of previous encounters she had had with Darth Vader. As they moved towards the Falcon, another blast hit and they were trapped. Not only that, they were completely in the dark. "I have a bad feeling about this." she said.

"You think?" Han answered.

The comm rang and a worried Wookiee roared into it.

"We're trapped pal, going to see if we can dig our way out. Can you hang on a bit longer?" Han called back into the comm.

Chewie roared.

"He said he could hear marching in the distance." Han told Leia.

"Tell him to get out of here!" Leia whispered loudly. "At least he knows we are here, we'll think of something. He can come back, or get us help later."

"Chewie, fly out of there now! Come back later . Don't worry about us, you can help us later. You hear?" Han called into the comm.

Chewie roared.

"Don't give me that? Close that ship and get out of there!" Han demanded. "We're surrounded by ice right now. Not much we can do but wait it out. You know the Rebellion will send a rescue team after it's safe. You hear me? You get out of there!" Han demanded.

Chewie roared.

"He's already getting the engines warm. Having a bit of trouble, but he had Threepio with him," Han told Leia.

"Threepio? Threepio got there and we didn't? We're probably close enough..." Leia whispered.

"No go, you hear that fire? That's Chewie shooting from the Falcon at Vader and some stormtroopers. Quiet," Han whispered and turned off his comm. Chewie, after much effort and a few twists of wires, was able to get the ship in the air and away from the hanger, still firing from the cockpit.

Leia and Han kept still in the collapsed ice. Leia thought hard about something warm, anything to direct her thoughts to anything or anywhere else. Not laying flat on her stomach on the icy floor with Han crouched over her in the near darkness, the sounds of imperial footsteps and orders heard faintly through the icy walls. She remembered a trip she had taken with some other junior senators to a warm hot springs when she was young. She thought of the heat radiating from the hot molten lava that warmed the clear springs. How soothing it was. She could almost feel the mist and hear the hissing from the stones. In reality, the hissing was the distance breathing of Darth Vader and the mist was from Han's close warm breath.

Luke, having left the battle as the other pilots were racing to their x-wings to escape the planet, looked out to the landscapes with the Imperial shuttle and the last of the battle. He imagined it was search crews, but when he saw the Falcon depart, he had some hope that his friends were able to escape. He hopped into his x-wing, with Artoo in tow, and followed. He had intended to depart from the rest of his squadron as days before he had a vision from Obi-Wan Kenobi pleading with him to find a place called Dagobah, but since he was soon following closely, noticing that Imperials were in pursuit, called out to Wedge and Hobbie and soon they were backing the Falcon. He tried to hail the Falcon, but got no response, not knowing that Chewie was manning the ship alone with only the aid of Threepio, and with a faulty hyperdrive. Hoth was surrounded by an asteroid field and while that could act as a buffer, Luke, Wedge and Hobbie all directed the Imperials toward it while firing and protecting the Falcon. Luke found it odd that the Falcon was only firing from one canon assuming that Han or Chewie would be in one of the gun wells. After finding a window, the Imperials having taken a brief repose away from their location for the time being, Luke sent Wedge and Hobbie back to helping transporters get away to hyperspace to the rebel fleet. Luke piggybacked onto the Falcon, and boarded through the hatch. He was surprised to find a frustrated Chewie alone with Threepio.

Chewie roared.

Threepio translated, "Captain Solo and Mistress Leia are still on Hoth I'm afraid, Master Luke. Chewbacca is having some trouble with the ship."

"Well, hopefully they can hold tight until we can help them. Let me see what I can do to help with the ship," Luke said looking to Chewie.

Chewie roared with an affirmative.

Luke could tell something was wrong with the hyperdrive, and while he had other plans, plans which included leaving the rebel fleet temporarily and embarking on his own adventure to Dagobah, he had to help his friends. Getting into the ship, and having some sense of how Han had rigged the thing, though it was like no other ship he knew of, he consulted Chewie about taking parts off the hyperdrive of his own x-wing, and using it as a temporary solution until they could get somewhere to replace it. It was as they were discussing this that the Empire took notice of them again and started to fire. Chewie and Luke both ran to the cockpit. Luke riding along the asteroid field started to dart in and out of it, using the rocks to help take out some of the ships. It worked for a while, but then it didn't as the star destroyer moved closer.

Chewie roared.

"I know, Chewie, let's think. What would Han do?" Luke answered.

Han would go directly into the field he thought, as crazy an idea that would be. Luke closed his eyes and reached out into the Force. He found a path with the tie fighters chasing them that would allow the least amount of hits to their shields. He implemented the shields on his own x-wing as an added buffer, though he admitted that it did seem to slow them down some.

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca is worried that we are going further away from Hoth and will be unable to return for Captain Solo and Mistress Leia, Master Luke," Threepio translated. "This is madness! We should turn back! Surely it's the only way!"

"We can't turn back right now. Let's see if we can find a planetoid or somewhere to hide until we can figure this out," Luke suggested.

Chewie roared in the affirmative, and tried to comm Han. They may still be close enough where Han could still hear it, if he hadn't turned it off. There had been no answer though.

Threepio cried out, "We're doomed."

In the shattered halls of Echo Base, a stormtrooper called out after returning from the hanger. "A freighter matching the description you gave us left moments ago, Lord Vader."

Darth Vader clutched his fist and then searched out into the Force. He then sent a message to his star destroyer. "Admiral Piett! Send fighters to capture that ship! I do not want it destroyed! Is that understood! I want them alive!"

Darth Vader turned, his cape flying with the stormtroopers following. Their boots crushing the debris and the fallen ice. When Vader got outside into the cold Hoth air, he looked around at the sky. Any ships that were in motion had to be outside the atmosphere. He returned to his shuttle and headed for the star destroyer.

Leia felt herself being slapped, "Wake up, come on your worshipness, wake up! Don't go to sleep on me. Come on!" Han called.

"Hey! Just what are you doing?" Leia called out with anger.

"Keeping you from freezing to death!" Han told her.

Leia apparently had dozed off. Han had a small hand lamp in his hand and it seemed to be quiet out there beyond their icy cocoon, "You got anything on you that we can dig with?" Han asked grabbing a small knife from his boot.

Leia had one as well on her, digging into the same area that Han was working, and started to pick at the wall. "Hang on, your hands will freeze."

Han pulled out a rag from his jacket and wrapped them around Leia's hands.

"Do you know where this leads to?" Leia asked.

"Not sure, but I can tell it's not too thick here, we should be able to at least get into one of the rooms," Han said while picking. "The moving will help keep us warm. Hopefully we can find one of those smaller generators once we get out of here. I haven't been able to get up with Chewie, but hopefully there might be something around we can fly out of here. There's no way I'm staying on this ice ball longer than we have to," Han suggested.

"Probably our best bet, not sure they are going to risk coming back to see if any stragglers were left behind," Leia sighed with defeat. "I wonder if there is anyone else out there stuck like we are?"

"Maybe, but if they are out there, it's a chance they will freeze or one of those monsters will get to them first. Now, don't get all high and mighty and think we can go out there and find someone. We have to stay alive, got it? If we happen to come up on someone, well, that's different," Han said as he dug.

Leia was starting to hurt from the slow moving digging, "I wish we had something better than this to dig with. You sure you don't have anything in there that might work better?"

"It gets too long, and I'll try to blast it. I don't want to risk getting heard if there are any Imps out there still. We are probably better off in here. It's cold, but if we stay awake, we'll be warm enough not to freeze. That's one thing, sweetheart, one of us dozes off, we got to wake the other one up? Got it? Don't let me sleep too long, or we both end up ice cubes. Even if we take short shifts, the danger of one of us dozing off while the other has, oh just stay awake until we get out of here," Han ordered.

"I understand. What makes you think you can give the orders though, hotshot?" Leia answered with annoyance. "It's not like we've not had to endure the cold before."

"Well, I didn't know this was going to be a fight. Look, we have to stay alive. Maybe now is not the time to argue about it," Han said poking through the small hole he was making with the knife.

"Look! I can almost see something, give me your lamp!" Leia asked.

She put the lamp through the hole and it was a room, it was dark but deserted. "Take a look, Han."

"It's the pilot's storage room. Here, help me push some of this out of the way, we might be able to squeeze you though," Han said already pulling at the icy walls.

"What about you?" Leia asked pulling.

"Don't worry, I'm not going to stay in here. There's probably something out there we can use to make the hole bigger. This is going to take some time otherwise. Take off your snowsuit." Han said.

"It's cold! And what's underneath is bound to get wet." Leia said with concern.

"You'll fit through better. Don't worry, I'll push it through and you can put it right back on again." Han said trying to reassure her.

"Just don't watch," Leia ordered.

"What? It's not like you aren't wearing anything under there. And there's barely any light with this lamp. Come on!" Han said, "I'm getting cramped in here."

She took off everything, but the thin silk coveralls underneath. "Whoa, it really is cold isn't it?" Han smirked.

Leia looked down and saw her nipples popping up visible through the clothing and turned red. "Ah now, Princess, I couldn't help myself. Now, let's see if we can slide you though without getting you stuck."

Leia went head first through the opening they made in the wall. The sides were already slippery from the ragged picks with the knives they made, and she had trouble getting through at the hips. She pulled on the icy wall trying to push herself out.

"Need a push?" Han called out.

"I think I can make it," she said as she struggled. Straining and pulling with her hands, and sucking in. It was her hipbones that were really making it hard. She accidentally kicked Han while trying to push off the floor in the icy cocoon.

"Ouch! Watch it, your worship! That was my knee," Han called out.

"Sorry," she said sheepishly.

Suddenly she felt his hands on her buttocks and a giant push as she rolled onto the floor.

"Han!" Leia shouted.

"What? You got out didn't you?" Han said innocently with a smirk on his face.

Leia got up, brushed herself off and grabbed the snowsuit through the hole after Han pushed them out at her. She looked around the room and found a large pole and a shovel. The shovel wouldn't fit through the hole, but she could use it to help on the outside, and the pole gave Han something to help make the hole bigger in order to free himself out of the icy cocoon. Pointing the lamp around, there were blankets, a few beds and a small heater. "I hope that thing works!"

"It's just one of those they use in the cockpits if they get stranded. Not going to have much heat come off it, but it's better than nothing. Hopefully there's enough of a charge to let us keep warm for a bit. Here, take these blankets and wrap them around yourself. Don't turn that heater on yet, it might make it too wet in here. The blankets will be enough for now. There's some extra coats, I'm going out a bit and see if I can find something," Han said looking through the storage lockers. "Look plenty of rations. At least we won't starve."

"Might freeze to death, but we'll have full stomachs?" Leia smirked.

"Something like that. Just stay here?" Han said putting his hand out as he put on another layer.

Leia with a worried look said, "Don't be too long, or go to far. I don't want to be stuck here by myself."

"If the corridor is clear here, I shouldn't have to go too far. Just bundle in those blankets to keep warm. It's going to be dark, but I'll see if I can dig up another lamp, too." Han said leaving Leia alone in the dark.

The blankets made it much warmer. Warm and safe enough to sleep if she needed to. She took some of the cots and put them together so they made a box to help insulate some of the heat from her body, and bundled herself into it. It made it very cozy, almost like those forts she would make as a child with cushions from one of the sitting rooms. She laughed thinking about the time she stained one of them and one of the housekeeping droids has argued that it was a rare piece of furniture that she had ruined. Then she got sad again thinking that it didn't matter anymore, that the entire palace was gone as well as the planet, let alone any of the furniture. It wasn't long before she drifted off into sleep.

Chapter Text

Somewhere out in space...

Chewie manned the cockpit as Luke and Artoo rigged a make shift hyperdrive with parts from the x-wing. Chewie was still dodging the odd tie-fighter, but what was left of rogue squadron had been directing their attention elsewhere. Between Artoo's talents and Luke's creativity it wasn't long before they could get something working, though it was weaker it would get them into hyperspace. Once they were out of the Empire's range, Luke went back up to the cockpit and asked Chewie, "So your original destination was Tatoonine?"

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca said, he and Captain Solo had intended to make a stop prior to arriving on Tatooine for a few supplies. After they would head to Tatooine to plead with Jabba and pay Captain Solo's debt." Threepio translated.

"Chewie, I don't think we have enough power to go anywhere else. We could get to somewhere close and hold out a bit, maybe get the hyperdrive properly fixed, but as we have it now, we have the risk of even popping out cold here in the middle of space," Luke shook his head and looked at the coordinates. "It looks like we could make it to Tatooine. I don't really want to go there, but at least I know the place. We don't have to land in one of the cities, we could hide out in one of those canyons near Anchorhead. I have an old friend, Fixer, he's bound to come up with something. We might even be able to take care of Han's thing with Jabba the Hutt. I have a feeling it will work out even be better without him there. I could act as a mediary."

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca still worries. He doesn't like the idea of leaving Captain Solo and Mistress Leia on Hoth," Threepio translated.

Luke gave Chewbacca a sad look. "Chewie, I know they are alright. Don't ask me how. I just feel that Leia is fine. There's no way we can return there right now, and you know as well as I do that they both have survived in all kinds of conditions on missions. Look how well Han did rescuing me when we were trapped outside overnight. At least they will be smart enough to stay on the base somewhere. We'll get in contact with them. It's possible they are even off planet by now. Besides, Wedge and Hobbie know they were stuck there and they are headed back to the rebel fleet. We'll get them back."

Chewie cried a soft roar.

On the bridge of the Executor, Darth Vader stood looking out into the vastness of space. They had eluded him again. Admiral Piett approached. "Lord Vader, I have the bounty hunters you requested assembled," he said with disgust.

"Thank you Admiral," Vader said while he walked to the assembly of various individuals looking each over. He had worked with many of them before, and occasionally, one would come through for him, though none of those present had ever let him down. He explained the situation. "You will find the Millennium Falcon and report back to me. No excuses. I want that ship and I want them alive!" He walked specifically up to Boba Fett and pointing his dark mechanical hand into his face, "And no disintegrations! Is that understood!"

The group left for their mission, and Vader walked away from them and back out to the bridge window to look into space. He reached out into the Force. While he was unsure exactly where Skywalker was located, he knew that his association with the Millennium Falcon would bring him out of hiding. He could tell from previous encounters with the group and intel given to him by those who had worked for him in the past, that it's pilot and co-pilot were known associates of Skywalker. He knew they had to be some kind of weakness. While on the surface, he may have told his staff that he intended to bring the boy to the Emperor as a prize. Luke Skywalker, the individual who had destroyed the Death Star, son and probable powerful force user, it would be Vader with his own agenda for him. The boy had to be powerful, he was sure of that, and he had hoped that the boy had not been corrupted by Kenobi. He would have him, and he would have him soon. He could feel it.

Vader called out, "Lieutenant, get me everything you can on the individual known as Han Solo. Leave no detail uninvestigated! Do I make myself clear."

"Yes, Lord Vader." The lieutenant turned frightened and left.

Hoth-Echo Base

Han Solo pushed his way through the dark corridor. The bodies of two of the base staff were laying in the rubble. He knew Samallis, he joined in some of the card games they would get going with some of the guys in the hanger bay. The other poor bastard he couldn't even identify, his face had been blasted apart. He checked their pockets for anything. Maybe something that could be sent to their loved ones, or anything like a tool or a gadget of some kind that he and Leia could use to help them endure this place. The guy he couldn't identify had a flimsy in his pocket with a small note on it. He put it in his own pocket and covered the men up with the ice. They most likely died from some firing of blasters from those stormtroopers. He knew the Imps had been close, and this was fairly close to that pocket they had been stuck in before they found the pilot storage room. He kept walking and then came to a dead end. He pushed through the wall, and kicked a bit. He had brought the shovel with him, and holding the lamp in his mouth, Han dug through to open the corridor. He came into an area with parts and a few maintenance uniforms used by some of the mechanics on base. He found a few with the name of a female mechanic on them he knew and grabbed a couple of them. Leia might be able to make use of them, and they might be close to her size. Looking around, there were plenty of engine parts, but no ships. He had to be close. He was sure if he found just one ship, he might get it working. He was a bit tired though, and they would have to do some more digging as the doors would not budge. It may be too early as there may still be Imps around to try to use his blaster to unlock it, as if that was the only reason he couldn't get through. He had a feeling it wasn't. Debris was probably everywhere, and blocking any escape. Already in this room, parts of the ceiling and duct work had fallen onto the floor. He walked around with his lamp looking to see whatever else he could find. There was an astromech sitting there, and he turned it on. It was obviously malfunctioning and was probably here for repairs. He recognized it as being one from Zev's ship. He set to work looking around for things to fix it, and found a microspaner and parts of a blasted out droid. If he could get it working, it could be useful to them. A few lights flickered on the droid as he crossed a few wires. While it still needed some work, Han was getting a bit in need of some rest himself, and he worried about Leia being alone in that storage room. This could wait, and he made it so they could easily go back and forth between the two rooms. As he head back to storage room, he found Leia pacing wearing only a blanket with the silk underthings hanging over one of the lockers.

"Where have you been!" She snapped at him.

"I've been trying to find us a way out of here, your worship. I'm sorry I took so long. Here I got you some clothes." Han said handing her the clothes and shining the small lamp, rigging it up so that it could hang from the ceiling giving the room a dim light.

"Thank you." Leia looked at the clothes and gasped. "Riza?" These are Riza's clothes? That woman who was always trying to get you to come to her quarters, and always finding ways to drape herself on to you?"

"Why you jealous?" Han answered with a yawn.

"No, why would I be, but it's just that...she was..." Leia couldn't really come up with the words to answer.

"Yeah, yeah, your worship, I know. If it makes you feel any better, she kind of got on my nerves. Anyway, I thought they might fit you, and they'd at least be dry. Who knows what else we can get to in here," Han answered.

"Thank you," she answered, feeling a bit bad for snapping. "Did you find anything else out there? I just don't know if I want to wear Riza's clothes is all," Leia answered.

"Would you get off Riza, or just tell me why it bothers you so much? Got to a room with a bunch of parts, the maintenance locker and storage I imagine. It's hard to get your bearings as to where things are in here now that the ceilings and walls are all destroyed. There's a broken astromech in there. I can see if I can fix it. We might be able to use it. I couldn't get out of that room through the other side, but I think we can work on it. I just thought I would get some rest before trying it. Were you able to get warm enough?" Han asked.

Leia turned around and put on the coveralls trying to stay covered with the blanket, after ripping off Riza's name tag. It made a small hole, but at least it was dry. "Yes, I sort of made a nest over there with the cots and the blankets. You're welcome to use it yourself. Maybe while that lamp is sort of barely illuminating this room, I'll see what else I can find in here."

"Sweetheart, I'd suggest to just keep this door closed and not go venturing out right now if I was you," Han said moving the blankets and cots around for his own comfort.

"And just why is that?" Leia said putting a hand on her hip.

"I tried to cover them up, but I found Samallis out there all bloody and dead, and someone else I could even tell who they were because the face was blasted beyond recognition. There was a flimsy in the pocket." Han said, giving it to Leia.

Leia stood under the lamp, "'Trevel, meet me after my shift for mess, Riza'. It says. I imagine that was Trevel then. He was a decent man, worked medical. Well, at least Riza moved on from pestering you. If I ever get out of here, I'll write the families of Samallis and Trevel."

"I wonder if Riza even made it out," Han murmured quietly.

"Could you drop it with Riza!" Leia shouted.

Han got up from the cots and stood, "You're the one who keeps bringing her up. Look, she might have died, they all may have died. Samallis and Trevel are laying right outside this door dead! As for Riza, you should ask yourself why that bothers you! Nothing ever happened with me and Riza. Look, I'm very tired, and I'm hoping to get some sleep so I can work on getting us out of here, and not do this thing we always seem to end up doing. Look around this room and see what you can find that we can use, and try to be quiet about it."

"You're right, Han. Who knows who died. I'll try to be quiet," Leia said more calmly.

Dagobah

"Reckless I told you!" Yoda slammed his cane down onto the ground.

"Luke will come here, I know he will," Ghost Obi-Wan soothed his living Jedi Master.

"Watching him, I was. Obi-Wan, again proven. Reckless. To Tatooine he goes," Yoda says closing his eyes.

"Yoda, I still have faith in Luke. I believe that Luke will be the one to make it right. Perhaps it is you who needs patience," Obi-Wan answered.

"Patience? You talk to me of patience?" Yoda groans. "To the girl I will go, in her dreams. Make her see."

"She may not live, she's trapped on that defeated base," Obi-Wan answered.

Yoda replies, "Watch her I have, and live she will. In good hands you have left them. It may not have been the obvious choice, but willed it the Force did. To Chewbacca, fortunate that you found, and left them in the hands of the Wookiee and smuggler."

"I had to make do with what I had at the time. Chewbacca seemed to understand and guides him. He doesn't even believe in the Force. I was amused by his rantings while traveling to the Death Star. Knowing full well that all that time, not only was the Force guiding his destiny, but he was putting it to use without his even realizing it. Oh, he's not force sensitive, but he's like those monks who somehow figured out how to allow it to guide them. He called it luck." Obi-Wan laughed, " I must admit I was surprised after talking to the Wookiee, meeting him and seeing his ship. Not what I expected as temporary protectors at all," Ghost Obi-Wan laughed.

"Quite, running from the Force, willing him back it does. Worked out well it did. Yes, I believe I may be able to persuade the girl to come. In time, also the boy. Though yet so reckless," Yoda grunted and shook his head.

"Leia seems very committed to other things, she may not wish to train?" Obi-Wan remarked.

"She is guided by her determination. Little she may need," Yoda answered.

"The boy will come, Yoda, I know he will," Obi-Wan answered.

Yoda closed his eyes, "Future is uncertain."

Tatooine

"Over there, Chewie. We can disguise it with a tarp. Not even the Sand People go here, they think it's haunted. Rumor has it, that the krayt dragons have taken over this place, but in reality, it's the way the wind blows through it. It's close enough to a place I know we can borrow a speeder," Luke assured Chewie.

The ship slowly lowered into the canyon, and Luke and Chewie went to work on securing the tarp. Luke grabbed a couple of blankets to use as coverings in the sand. "Artoo, Threepio, you both stay here. We shouldn't be long, maybe overnight, just keep an eye on the ship. If you hear noises, Threepio, just remember that it only sounds like that because of the way the rocks are formed. Don't let anyone into the ship!" Luke told them.

Luke pointed the way to the farmstead, and he and Chewie walked. It was only two miles, but in the desert suns, it seemed much longer. They had brought plenty of water and when they reached the farmstead, they were met by friendly faces.

"Luke! Look Calo, it's Luke!" a large woman peered out with open arms.

"Deela!" Luke hugged her back. "Deela, this is Chewie. He's a friend of mine. Deela is the cousin of my Aunt Beru."

"A wookiee? Wow, charmed," she put her hand out cautiously.

"Don't worry, Chewie is harmless and a friend," Luke assured her.

"Well any friend of Luke is a friend of mine," Deela said, "Come in, come in."

"Luke! It's good to see you." Calo said with a bit of hesitation.

"What's wrong Calo?" Luke asked.

"Well, you know a year or so back, someone came looking for you. Guy in a Mandalorian helmet," Calo said. "He didn't come here, but I heard tell of it in town. Just be careful is all."

"Yes, I know who you mean, nevermind that right now, and I promise not to take too much of your time," Luke said realizing he may be jeopardizing his relations by visiting.

"Don't worry about it, Luke. It's just what happened after? Well, you know, I just got worried is all," Calo said. "So what brings you here?"

"Still have a landspeeder? I need to borrow one. I promise to return it." Luke said hesitating.

"Well, there's one out there in the shed. Doesn't work, but if you get it going, you can keep it. I seem to remember you being pretty good at that stuff. I replaced it a while back. I'd just assume you weren't seen in my regular speeder if you catch my drift," Calo answered.

"I'll see what we can do, between Chewie and I, I bet we can get it to work," Luke answered.

"Not before you sit down and have supper with us you won't!" Deela demanded.

Chewie roared.

"Chewie is always up for something to eat, Deela," Luke said cheerfully.

Chewie roared.

"Good, I've got bantha steaks and some of that fungus dressing you love. Dinner should be ready in an hour. Maybe you can even start work on that speeder if you like," Deela said.

"Sounds great!" Luke answered with grin and followed Calo to the shed.

Luke and Chewie took a look at the landspeeder. It had rust in spots and wouldn't start, but Chewie looked at the parts that seemed to be malfunctioning, as did Luke, and it didn't look like anything that a microspaner or a patch or two couldn't fix as well as some oil. They soon got to work on it.

Shortly after, a young woman came in to watch. "Hey Luke," she cooed at him.

"Teela?" He said as he was coming up from under the landspeeder.

"Yep, it's me. Good to see you," she smiled.

Years ago, Teela would barely give Luke the time of day, let alone flirt with him. She always seemed surrounded by different guys from her school. She was a bit younger, and sort of Luke's cousin by way of Aunt Beru, but they really weren't related at all. Heck, he really wasn't even technically related biologically to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru for that matter. Still, he thought that Calo might be mad if he suddenly started flirting with his daughter while he and Chewie were guests.

"Just working on this speeder," Luke tilted his head and waved his microspanner.

"I see that," she laughed. "Mama wanted me to call you to get cleaned up and come get ready for dinner. Is this your wookiee friend?"

Chewie roared.

"Yes, this is Chewie, Chewie, meet Teela. Don't worry Teela, Chewie is a softie. I know a lot of people are intimidated by him, but he's a great friend, trust me," Luke assured her sensing her fear.

Teela went up to Chewie and hugged him and he hugged back gently as not to scare her.

"You really are sweet. Pleased to meet you, Chewie."

Chewie roared.

They got into the dinner table and all the cousins were gathered. Not only Teela, but her four older brothers and her younger sister as well as Calo and Deela. The boys seemed to be all still working on the moisture farm and from the talk they had branched out into a Bantha farm as well with a herd fenced off in the distance.

"Yeah, the banthas, have to say the Tuskens weren't too happy about that, but we were able to strike a good deal, and we got them as babies. I know the Tuskens are special with their banthas, but I gave them an offer they couldn't refuse and it worked out nicely for the both of us. They leave us alone, and we leave them alone. Been trading with the tribe. You'd never believe they'd give up some of their banthas, but with the drought, they would have lost them anyway. We trade water and they trade bantha calves. We've been doing quite well with that," Calo explained.

"That's great!" Luke answered digging into some of the traditional Tatooine food he thought he would never miss, but did.

Chewie and Luke went back to work on the speeder. They were able to get it started, but it had gotten too far into the evening to get back to the Falcon, so Deela offered Luke and Chewie a place to stay for the night. Chewie being so large, and feeling comfortable out in the shed, took to a large lounger that Calo had out there. Deela put some blankets on top. Luke she gave a room in with the boys. Two of the boys actually had homes of their own and only happened to have just finished work in time for dinner, but their beds were still empty in the room with the younger two boys so there was plenty of room for Luke to stay there. Luke went out to the Tatooine sunset to watch the suns go down. As he stood there, he could feel a presence come up behind him. It was Teela who came up beside him and rested her head on his shoulder. She pointed to the roof of their home and motioned for Luke to follow. They climbed some steps that really couldn't be called steps, but acted as such, and she sat on a insulated tarp she had laid out on the top.

"I love to sit here this time of day and watch. The colors are so beautiful," she remarked.

"I used to like to watch the sunsets, when I lived here. I always dreamed of leaving when I saw them. Thinking of adventure and possibilities. It was if I knew I really didn't belong here," Luke said with a gulp.

"That's funny," Teela said as she got on her stomach, feet bouncing in the air her hands playing with her hair. "I always think how beautiful it is, and how lucky I am to be able to enjoy it. It's the reward at the end of the day. It makes me feel proud that I live here."

Luke turned to her and looked how beautiful she looked in the sunset. She was just a young girl when he had left, barely 16 years old. Now, three years later, she looked so grown up. She looked at him with those sparkling eyes. She moved up closer to him and closed her eyes and kissed him. He grabbed her and held her close and her tongue started to move into his mouth as she pushed him down onto the tarp.

Luke jolted, "We really shouldn't do this. Your father might not like it, and you're practically my cousin!"

"I'm not really your cousin, and who cares what my father thinks. It's not the first time I've brought someone up here," Teela laughed.

Tatooine girls. They never seemed to be this way when he was younger to him. He knew guys the other girls were always all over, but Luke seemed to miss out on that part of adolescence. Teela pulled him back down onto his back and started rubbing his chest,and then back to kissing him. Luke put his hand on the back of her head gently. Teela came up for air and stared down at him and smiled.

"You on something? I mean, ah.." Luke started to say until she put her finger on his mouth.

"Yes, it's OK, trust me," Teela answered as she opened up his shirt and started removing her dress.

With only a skirt and Luke's pants still on, she rolled on top of him and pulled him close to her, so they were laying side to side. They went back to kissing as Luke started to fondle her breasts. Teela moaned a little when he rubbed her nipples. Biting her lip, and smirking, she moved her way down to his pants, slowly opening them up and moving her hand inside. Luke gasped as she rubbed gently on his soft shaft, while pulling down his trousers a bit. She moved down his chest with gentle kisses, and then took his hardness into her mouth and slowly moved her mouth up and down, gliding her tongue gently along the shaft. Luke covered his mouth with his hand as he groaned a bit, then placed his hands on her head gently rubbing and holding on. She popped it out of her mouth and looked up at the dusky light and smiled. She moved her way up to his mouth to kiss him some more. Luke made his way with his mouth to her neck kissing gently as he moved his hands down to her wet slit, moving his fingers gently through the folds and listening to her gasp into his ear. She grabbed his shaft and caressed it, and as she did so, Luke pulled the rest of his pants completely off, kicking his boots off as well. It made for a awkward pause in the love making, but Teela just laughed and Luke looked sheepishly at her as he tugged the last boot off.

Teela lay on the tarp completely nude, as Luke swooped down next to her and cuddled in looking up at the colors in the sky. He then moved to the side and put his arms around her stroking her back and moving his hands to her buttocks. She grabbed his face moving in for a deeper kiss, moving her fingers in his hair. Luke unlocked the kiss and moved down to her breasts taking turns with each one, sucking one nipple and then the other while caressing her wetness. He moved down kissing and licking her belly button, making her giggle, then found his way down between her legs, moving his own legs up in the opposite direction as she took him into her mouth and her took her into his, guiding his tongue through her folds and taking in her scent through his nostrils. He could feel her gasp as he bucked inside of her mouth.

"Watch the teeth," he whispered. She laughed.

He turned back around and allowed her to taste herself with more kissing, and she grabbed his hard manhood and pulled him inside of her. They held each other tightly as they slowly moved their bodies in rhythm with each other. Taala moved Luke onto his back and she straddled him, looking down and then up as the light got dimmer and dimmer. Luke started to bend up to kiss her and Taala moved onto her back as Luke finished their love making session and now spent, collapsed onto the tarp. Their sweaty bodies glistened in the dusk as they watched the last sun disappear.

Then they got themselves dressed, and made their way back down to the shed.

Chewie roared.

Luke caught part of it, but from what he could tell, he knew that Chewbacca was well aware of what they had been up to by his sense of smell. Luke laughed. It wasn't the first time Chewie called him on something of that nature. Teela plopped on the lounger as Luke helped Chewie finish prepping the speeder for it's use tomorrow.

"So, I take it you guys will be leaving us then?" Teela said twirling her hair and grinning.

"Yep, I'm afraid so, right after breakfast," Luke said almost guiltily.

"I've really enjoyed seeing you again, Luke," Teela smiled.

Luke scratched his head and then grinned as well, "I've never seen a finer sunset."

"I bet you haven't," and she blew him a kiss.

Chewie laughed.

Hoth- Echo Base.

Leia had been looking through the room for items she could use as she listened to Han's gentle snoring. Usually, that noise bothered her, but now, it was only reassurance that he was still alive. It hadn't seemed so cold once they moved into the room, and she even got the little heater going. Between the blankets and the heater, though it was still cold, it wasn't unbearable. Not much unbearable than walking around the hanger with the door closed. She was able to find a couple more of those hand lamps which would be handy as well as a few blasters and some tools. There had been a few personal items belonging to the pilots, and while she was tempted to take them in case she saw them again, or in the event they died during the battle, there were just too many of them to be able to fill into the backpacks they had found. She made a bag with essentials, so when they found a ship, or just so they could just have something to grab if they had to leave or hide right away. After looking a bit, tired of the cold, she curled in with Han, who groggily woke up.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you, I was just trying to keep warm," Leia said. "It's not unbearable in here, but it's just nice to be able to get warmer in bed here to take the chill off."

"Yeah," Han said sleepily. "It's alright, I probably should get up anyway. You know I'm used to sleeping in spurts anyway. What did you find?"

"Some more of those lamps, some blasters, a few tools, various personal items. This or that. We might make use of some of it," Leia said listing the items.

Han started to move, but Leia stopped him, "Not yet, you make it warmer here."

"You know you just want me close to you," he smirked. "Seriously, I have to go take a leak. Though where right now, I don't know."

"There's a fresher in here, it's just a hole now, but I imagine it will have to do. I've already used it," Leia said pointing to the closet door.

"I'll be back," Han said pointing at her and getting up heading for the door.

Leia buried herself into the nest of blankets and cots trying to absorb the heat from when Han was sleeping there. It did help a bit, as she was tired of being so cold. Han soon came out and nestled in with her.

"It feels like a break to get warm again," Leia said nestling in more.

Han put his arm around her. Leia shrugged away.

"Hey, I'm just trying to get you warmer. What's wrong with you, your worship," Han said with annoyance.

"Put it back, It's just..." Leia said looking away.

"You didn't seem to mind on that one mission not long ago. I know you haven't forgotten," Han said gritting his teeth.

"No, I haven't forgotten. I just don't think about it."

"And why is that, Ice Princess," Han smiled.

"Oh don't you call me that, too. I know what they all say about me behind my back," Leia said with anger. "And yes, you do know better."

"Oh, I most certainly do," he said with a smack of his mouth.

"I should swat you." Leia answers with a smile.

"I should find something around here to loosen you up again," Han laughed.

"I thought we weren't going to talk about that again," Leia answered.

"Was it so bad? You seemed to like it at the time," Han said almost sounding hurt.

"No, but I shouldn't have, and I have to keep my mind on other things," Leia answered.

"Like what? The war, being dead inside? I seem to remember it wasn't my idea. What was that thing with kissing Luke anyway. That poor kid," Han laughed.

"I wonder if he got out of here?" Leia says worried.

"I'm sure the kid got out," Han gritted through his teeth.

"Why are you still here anyway? You were supposed to leave!" Leia says annoyed.

"That's just it, I can't never seem to leave. I wonder why that is? Tell me, sometime just tell me."

"How should I know, Captain," Leia answered pulling the blanket over her head for more warmth.

"I love it how you call me 'Captain', when you're pushing me away," Han answered.

"I thought I was moving closer to you to get warm," Leia answered.

"I don't mean physically," Han snickered.

"Then I'll move in only because shared body heat is a survival mechanism," Leia answered with a smirk.

"Oh, You are making it too hot in here, Princess," Han smiled.

"That, that right there, and do you have to do it in front of everyone?" Leia shouted.

"There's nobody here but us." Han answered.

"I don't mean now," Leia growled.

"Admit it, you love it," Han retorted.

"Never, I'm too stubborn." Leia said turning away.

Chapter Text

Rebel Fleet- Hidden Location on the Edges of the Galaxy

Jan Dodonna waited in his office studying the notes of the battle that had taken place on Hoth. He looked up at Mon Mothma, "Probe droid. That's what Rieekan said. Must have gotten something suspicious, troops working outside, the generators. We should have been more careful. How in the hell could they even believe that we'd have a base on Hoth of all places!"

"I imagine that was exactly what inspired them to have probe droids scan the area in the first place, Jan. We simply cannot dwell on that now, it's done. We have become more aggressive as other groups have joined us. Ground troops invading some of the more desolate, yet productive planets and moons for the needs of the Empire. In space, we can move around, divide, and allude the probes more fully. Still maintaining our main operations," Mon pointed out. "Has General Rieekan arrived yet?"

"Yes, he's waiting outside with some of Rogue squadron," General Dodonna replied.

"Send them in," Mon ordered.

General Rieekan, Wedge Antilles and Hobbie Klivian all entered the conference room. Mon motioned for the three of them to take a seat at the table and Dodonna sat as well. Mon Mothma stood at the head of the table.

"I've read your account of the battle, Carlist. I'm sorry that I myself was not at the debriefing, so I just want to update myself. I understand that Commander Antilles and Lieutenant Klivian may have some new information as well?" Mon said looking around the table.

The door opened and General Draven arrived, "I'm sorry, Mon, I was held up. Have I missed anything?"

"No, we've just gotten started in fact, please have a seat," Mon said motioning towards a chair. Dodonna sat there rolling his eyes and taking a deep breath and sighing. "Antilles and Klivian may have some more to add to our original debriefing of the battle on Hoth."

"Do you believe that our previous visitor, Governor Chalis may have been a mole?" Draven said abruptly.

Rieekan cleared his throat, "Governor Chalis was still on the base when Hoth was invaded. Wouldn't she have left prior to the battle? Why even yourself, Mon and Jan had departed by the time the Imperials invaded. I believe it was the probe droid. The invasion came shortly after."

"It's just that I find it odd that she arrived on base, an Imperial governor, and shortly after we are attacked," Draven said angrily.

"General Draven, Chalis was able to give us information in good faith. I cannot stress enough how helpful some of her information has been. She herself is probably just as much an enemy of the Empire as we are. General Rieekan himself has reported the probe droid and all evidence have pointed towards that fact," Mon said sternly.

"I'd like to also address the disappearance of Princess Leia. I am aware earlier that you, Carlist, have stated that Captain Solo informed you that he was going to take the Princess out on his ship when trapped while trying to escape the base, and that the Millennium Falcon was spotted leaving Hoth. We have yet to hear anything from that ship, however, you tell me that both Commander Antilles and Lieutenant Klivian have stated that she was not on board that ship? Gentlemen, would you care to elaborate," Mon asked with great concern.

"Ma'am. We were in the air and in direct communication with Commander Skywalker. He had contacted the Falcon and was informed that both the Princess and Han had been trapped in a tunnel on base. Luke told us that Han insisted Chewbacca leave as there were stormtroopers firing on the ship from inside the hanger. Luke attached his x-wing to the Falcon at a later point and boarded the ship, and we fired at the ties that were coming after it. It seemed as if the focus from the Empire had been diverted for some reason on the Falcon as soon as it hit the air, and not our transports. It's possible it allowed us to free several transports and security pilots to escape without Imperial fire. We did see the Falcon hit hyperspace," Wedge explained. "Only Chewbacca and Luke were on the Falcon at that point."

"We haven't heard from Luke since, ma'am," Hobbie added.

"I see," Mon replied with concern. "General Draven, do we have any indication that Princess Leia has been captured by the Imperials?"

"None of my sources have been able to confirm. I believe that if she had been captured, we would have heard of it. She surely would be made an example. It may just be a matter of them waiting for the right time, but as of now, I don't believe she was captured," Draven stated.

"I don't think they would kill her there on Hoth either, though it's possible she had another type of accident," Dodonna stated grimly.

"I've seen the Princess survive the most dire situations. If she's on that planet, she'll find a way to survive, and Solo is with her. I plan to send a rescue team to Hoth when we can deem it safe. It's possible we have a few others trapped there as well," Rieekan spoke gruffly.

"Yes, I believe you're right," Mon said with a bit of sadness. "Carlist, why wasn't Princess Leia with you? Wouldn't you have evacuated the entire command center?"

"Mon, as I told you before. She wouldn't leave. I felt it important to try to get as many troops out of those corridors and onto transports. General McQuarrie and Major Farr were able to get to theirs and they said that Solo had to drag the Princess out of there. If if makes you feel better, I was the one that told Solo she was still there, knowing he'd get her out. You know as well as I do how stubborn she is," Rieekan said sadly. "You know for a fact that I would never have intentionally left her on the base."

Mon shook her head. "Please let me know immediately when you hear from Commander Skywalker. You are all dismissed for now."

Tatooine- Tosche Station, Anchorhead

"Wormie! Fixer get out here!" Camie yelled from the door of Fixer's shop.

Chewbacca laughed.

"Wormie! So, you decided to come back to Anchorhead? You staying this time?" Camie asked folding her arms over a huge pregnant belly and smirking.

"Nah, I just need some help with something is all, was hoping Fixer still had his shop," Luke replied. "This is Chewie, he's a friend."

"Ah, hey, Chewie," Camie replied a bit intimidated.

Chewie growled softly.

"Luke! Great to see you, what can I do for you?" Fixer said running out.

"Fixer, meet Chewie, Chewie this is Fixer Loneozner my friend I was telling you about," Luke said grabbing Fixer's hand.

Chewie growled softly in greeting.

"Got this hyperdrive on the speeder, wonder if you could help us out with it," Luke said pointing behind him.

"Sure, let's get it in there and have a look," Fixer said walking to the speeder.

Though Chewie did most of the work, they got it into Fixer's shop and Fixer scratched his head. "What exactly kind of ship does this thing belong to?"

"It's from a YT-1300," Luke stated.

"That's an old one for sure. I've seen YT-1300 parts, and this doesn't even come close to the original hyperdrive," Fixer laughed.

Chewie roared.

"It's got two of them on it, and now one from my x-wing as well. This is the main hyperdrive though, the other is more of an emergency backup, only giving quick spurts through sublight," Luke explained.

"I don't even know what this is originally from, but yeah, I can see what I can do. How well do you know this ship? Is it yours?" Fixer asked.

"No, it's not mine, and I know it some, Chewie knows it a whole lot better than I do, it's my friend's ship," Luke explained.

"Ok, let's see what I have here," Fixer said looking at the large part in front of him.

For a couple of hours, Luke and Fixer chatted and repaired the hyperdrive with the help of Chewie. Fixer couldn't understand Chewie, and Luke only knew some, so it was a bit of a challenge for them, but they were able to get it into some functioning order.

"You might want to get someone who really knows this ship better than I do to work on this with better equipment and better supplies, but I think this will get you around the galaxy a bit anyway. Let me grab my speeder and I'll follow you," Fixer added. "Why don't you have something to eat first, I can get Camie to throw something together."

Chewie roared.

Luke laughed, "Chewie likes to eat, and sure, would be nice to stick around a bit longer. I have some business here on Tatooine, so I'm not planning to fly off anytime real soon. We have time and it would be good to see Camie."

"So, you were with Biggs when.." Fixer said.

"Yeah, I was," Luke said sadly.

"Wormie, I've got some of the best vegetables from my parent's farm. I hope your friend likes to eat!" Camie said warmly.

"Oh, Chewie likes to eat alright," Luke said laughing.

Chewie laughed.

"I love to cook, but it's usually just me and Fixer most of the time. Not for long though," Camie smiled.

"I see that, and that's wonderful," Luke said as he chomped on some food. "Hey guys? I hope it goes without saying that you didn't see me here, if anyone asks. I've been to see some family, but ..."

"You're wanted by the Empire. We know Luke, we know. And we know he is," pointing at Chewbacca, "as well. I've seen his holo in Mos Eisley as being wanted by the Hutts. It's none of our business, we want no part of it. We never saw you, alright?" Fixer said.

"Thanks Fixer, I was hoping you'd not turn on us," Luke said with his mouth full.

"Luke, it's like you've never eaten before!" Camie laughed.

"It's just, I haven't had too much food from home. You should have seen me at my cousin's yesterday. We've been on rations mostly for a while now," Luke answered.

"So, you really are with the rebellion," Fixer said.

"Sure am," Luke answered.

"Good luck with that Luke," Fixer said and then laughed. "Can you do something about the Hutts while you're at it?"

Chewie laughed.

Fixer followed them back to the Falcon and helped them replace the hyperdrive. They let him inside and he couldn't believe it, "This is crazy! And it works? Amazing. These, the weapons, has to be illegal"

Chewie roared.

"Chewie's a bit insulted. The owner of it is real proud of it. You can keep it quiet that this ship is here, can't you? I'm trusting you with a lot here, Fixer. Really," Luke said with concern.

Fixer grabbed his shoulder, "Luke, of course. I wish I could help you guys even, but I've got a good life here. Take care of yourself."

"You too, Fixer. And give my best to Camie," Luke said giving Fixer a hug.

After Fixer left, and was gone a while, Luke turned to Chewie, "We have to move the ship somewhere else. Can we get the speeder on here?"

Chewie roared.

Hoth- Echo Base.

Leia's dream...

Leia was walking in the dark with the light illuminating her steps. She looked everywhere, but couldn't see anything but black. As she walked, she saw a light in the distance. She stepped closer to the light. Underneath the light stood a tiny green alien. He sat down and said, "Sit, sit, Leia, and talk. Fear not young one. Senator Bail Organa, your father knew I did. Real parents knew, I did. Send for you I must."

Leia sat down and the light surrounded them both. "Who are you?" Leia asked.

"Jedi Master Yoda, I am. On Hoth you are trapped are you not?" Yoda asked.

"Yes, is this a dream?" Leia asked looking around.

"Dream, yes, but vision it is. Talking with you is real. Real I am." Yoda spoke.

"Real?" Leia said confused.

"Real I am and with you in your dream, I speak. Dagobah you must go. Come to Yoda you must. Do not return to Rebel Fleet. To Dagobah you MUST come. Coordinates I give you. To Luke Obi-Wan has spoke. To you I speak." Yoda spoke closing his eyes.

"Obi-Wan, but he's dead. Luke never spoke of Dagobah. I don't understand," Leia answered.

"On Hoth, Obi-Wan to Luke came. Rescued he was, ask you must. Soon Hoth you will leave," Yoda insisted.

"But Luke isn't here." Leia said sadly.

"Not to Luke you must ask. Luke to your friend he spoke," Yoda said sternly.

Leia shook her head. "Why? Why must I come to you?"

"Strong in the Force you are. Come you must. Return in your sleep again I will," Yoda said softy.

Leia woke up finding Han's arms locked around her and cots laying on top of them. She nudged Han awake to free herself and pushed the cots off to make her way to the fresher. Han stretched his arms out and noticed that his clothes were wet from sweat. He took them off and looked into the lockers for something else to put on. As Leia came out, she gasped as the full backside of Han Solo stood before her.

"What are you doing?" she said covering her eyes.

"Getting some dry clothes on. It gets almost too warm under all that stuff you piled on top of us. Why are you covering your eyes? It's not like you haven't seen my bare ass before," Han laughed.

"I just wasn't expecting to see it so early in the morning," Leia said still covering her eyes as Han slipped on some coveralls he found in one of the lockers.

"Admit it, you looked. I'll get us something to eat. Go keep warm. I put a pot on the heater, and the water should melt soon," Han said putting the maintenance clothes on. "I'll wash my things and hang them up to dry. It almost gets too warm bundled up with you under all that stuff."

"It feels good though after this cold air. Han, May I ask you something? When you were out with Luke that night, did he say anything about a place called Dagobah?" Leia said rubbing her hands together near the heater.

"Something like that. Never heard of it. Kept ranting Ben, Ben, Yo something or other and something that sounded like Dagobah," Han said stirring the water and putting some caf crystals into it.

"You won't believe this, but I dreamed of an alien creature I didn't recognize who said his name was Yoda, and that I was come to him to Dagobah," Leia said looking up at Han.

"Huh, that's almost like what Luke was saying," Han said pouring the caf into cups.

"He mentioned Obi-Wan Kenobi as well, that he had come to Luke. He knew we were on Hoth, and that you would have heard what Luke said," Leia said taking the caf and starting to sip it.

"Sorry there's nothing to put in it, but at least it's hot," Han said drinking his own.

"It's alright, I'm just glad to have it. It was just strange with the dream. He said he would talk to me again, and that we would be able to leave here," Leia said. "This Yoda said he knew my father and my real parents."

"That is weird. Dreams tend to be though. Maybe you heard Luke talking about it and it got in there, I don't know," Han said holding both hands on the cup to warm them.

"I don't remember him mentioning it though," Leia said shaking her head.

"Yeah, you were too busy giving him that kiss," Han said standing up.

"Would you drop that. Luke and I aren't like that," Leia answered.

Han grunted, "Well it sure looked that way to me. Did you sleep with him, too?"

"No! Well not in that way you mean, you know missions where we have to keep safe. You have, too. What business is it of yours anyway?" Leia shouted almost spilling her caf.

"Oh, I don't know," Han answered tossing his empty cup on top of the lockers.

"Just because that one time you and I got carried away, doesn't mean that you can..." Leia gritted through her teeth and then let out a, "Grrrr."

"I'm sorry," Han said getting some rations out. "I shouldn't have brought that up again."

"Luke's been around the base though, I suppose you guys all talk about your conquests and all that. Speaking of which, you better not have about, you know. Don't think the girls don't talk, not that they really talk to me much about it anyway," Leia said finishing her caf and biting on a ration cube.

"They talk, sometimes it's just talk, and I've never said anything about what happened that time with us. The kid? Really? He must be quiet about it," Han said shaking his head.

"I think he thinks of you as an older brother, so maybe it's hard for him to bring up that kind of thing with you. As if you would judge him. You, of all people," Leia laughed.

"What do you mean me of all people? I suppose he does," Han replied.

Leia laughed, "You know what I mean, your cantina girls and whatever else you probably did. I wouldn't have known about Luke if someone hadn't asked me if it bothered me if she pursued him. Luke and I spending so much time together. Oh, and I shouldn't say this, keep this between us. He's been to the clinic for a time or two with various related ailments."

Han laughed, "No, he never talks to me about that stuff. Here I was thinking he was a pretty naive kid who wasn't into that sort of thing too much. It's always the quiet ones."

"Well, I asked him to be careful, and he told me he was. I don't think it's anything that lasts though. He's had girls and guys come on to him. How could you not know," Leia laughed.

"The kid? The base slut!" Han paused and laughed so hard very little noise came out.

Leia started rolling over with laughter. "We," she paused, "shouldn't talk," she laughed some more. "About him like this." with tears in her eyes.

"I needed that laugh. He talks to me, but it's different with us," Han said wiping his face.

"Hey, you know what, you're quiet, too," Han smirked with a click.

Leia growled, "You know how busy I am with High Command! And you know that most of the base thinks I'm above such things, or hands off, or the Ice Princess."

Han growled, "I've noticed."

"Don't bring up... Before, yes before there were a couple of nice young men who I may have spent some time with. Now, they would just get in the way, and it would be fraternization. I can't help having a higher rank than most," Leia shrugged.

"Yeah, Yeah, Princess," Han said rolling his eyes.

"Luke tells me a lot of things. I can talk to him about a lot of things, that's mostly what we do, talk. He's probably my best friend. He treats me like I'm a regular person, and not royalty or a member of High Command but I swear it's not THAT way. Then as I said, it's not that it's really your business. It's not that way with anyone," Leia said then took another bite of her ration bars.

"I think he's sweet on you is all. What am I?" Han asked.

She couldn't tell him that she felt guilty that her first thought in the morning was of him, or that her gut sometimes flipped when he was around, or any of that. No, she couldn't give him that satisfaction, but she knew what he was fishing for always. He'd never show his own feelings either, she knew that, or she wasn't really sure."You're my friend and Chewie, too. You're not like the rest of the base. You're my mean friend," she laughed.

"Mean? Me mean? You're the mean one, your worship. I can't count how many times you smacked me. Did I ever smack you back? No. You're the mean one. So, that's what I am to you, your punching bag?" He smirked.

"Sometimes that was done to cover up covert operations, and other times you justly deserved it," she smiled.

"It entertains Chewie. I wish he were here, we'd get that door open easy with him here," Han said a bit sadly.

Leia replied thoughtfully, "That was probably hard for him to take off and leave you here. I can't imagine how frantic he must be. You should see him when you are off on some mission, or that night you saved Luke not long ago. It broke his heart. I sat up with him all night."

"You sat up with him? In the Falcon? He never told me," Han answered.

"He eventually fell asleep, and I slept in your seat in the cockpit. We really didn't get that much sleep though. I kept thinking that both of you would freeze to death in the snow," Leia said looking down at her feet.

Han stood up and tossed her some gloves to change the subject, "We really should get to work on getting out of that maintenance area so we can look for some way out of here."

"I might have the codes to the door, but I imagine it wouldn't even matter if the power is out," Leia noted.

"If I get that droid powered up, we might be able to use it to power the door," Han said clapping his hands together and walking out of the pilot storage area to the other room.

Leia spotted at the side of her vision the buried bodies that Han had mentioned before. She tried not to think about it. Han hung one of the pocket lamps from one of the exhaust tubes hanging from the ceiling and brought the droid under it.

"Look around, see if you can find anything useful. Something we can pry that door with, or pull out a panel," Han said as he got to work on the droid.

Leia could hear the beeps as she searched, and found a medical kit and some sanitizing solution. She put it on a table as items that could prove useful to them later. She noticed that one of the lockers pulled out further from the other lockers and pulled on it a little more. Behind it, were two bottles of whiskey. That could be useful as well, but she didn't want Han to see them, so she tucked them away intending to hide them in her snowsuit later. It didn't look like jet juice, but the real thing. There was a datapad that didn't seem to have much on it, but books and a diary from it's owner. It felt like intrusion, but those books could be entertainment later. The diary really from the first page only appeared to document some statistics of some type. She laid it on the table.

"I think I got the droid working!" Han shouted as the droid beeped and moved across the floor.

"Can you get it to work on the door, or at least rig it so it will power it up?" Leia asked.

"Only one way to find out," Han replied.

The droid rolled to the door and probed into the crevice. They heard a click and the door moved.

"It worked!" Leia shouted.

"Of course it did, now, let's see how bad it looks out there. Let me go first," Han said started to move towards the door.

"Captain, I assure you that I can handle whatever is out there, if you'll allow me," Leia said as she opened the door wide.

They heard a sound not far away, it didn't sound human. It was muffled growling.

"Probably one of those wampas. Get your blaster ready," Han spoke quietly.

With pocket lamps sticking out of their pockets, the two of them moved through the debris and ice. Off in the distance, a wampa was eating either a tauntaun or human remains. They really didn't want to know. Leia pointed her blaster at the wampa's skull with one blast as Han started firing randomly a few times.

"You'll probably attract more, would you stop firing!" Leia whispered loudly.

"Well, he appears to be dead, your worship. Come on, and keep an eye out for more. There's probably a breech somewhere around here," Han motioned leading the way.

The breach was the open hanger door, and the sight of three ships covered in debris stood before them.

"Well, I hope at least one of them works," Leia said as Han moved towards the small shuttle.

"We used this one before, remember? On one of those covert missions," Han remarked.

Leia looked around for more wampas, "I wonder if there's a way we can close the hanger door, to keep the wampas out."

"Sweetheart, we might not be able to get it open again, besides, at least it gives us some light to work with. We can watch for the wampas. Let's get this debris off," Han said starting to move objects away from it.

Leia shivered, "We can work a while, then go inside to get warm again, and do it in shifts. Otherwise, we'll freeze."

"Yeah, I just hope after getting all this stuff off it that it works. You know what, we'll make it work. There's enough stuff around here, and I can't see the both of us squeezing in that x-wing over there," Han said moving his arm pointing to the x-wing.

"So that's it then, we go in shifts," Leia said standing watching Han push a conduit out of the way.

"Yeah, so get your royal butt moving," Han demanded.

Leia started pulling on a large and heavy beam that was moving very slowly. Han reached around her body to help her move it. Leia flinched away and gave him a dirty look.

"I was just trying to help, your worshipfulness," Han said arms in the air.

"Would you stop calling me that!" Leia shouted gritting her teeth and pushing on the beam until it fell to the floor and bounced away.

Chapter Text

Tatooine- Mos Eisley

Dengar and Bossk sat in Chalmun's after arriving at the spaceport in Mos Eisley. Both took the chance that Solo was finally going to own up to his debt to Jabba and return there, but even if the likelihood was slim, it was still possible that they could get a few connections just from listening to a few of the lowlifes who were known to frequent the place. Chalmun himself was actually out at the bar, arguing with Wuhur, the bartender, about something, what they didn't know. They could only understand Wuhur's end of the conversation. Chalmun was the only wookiee they had ever seen who wore clothes, and he had a blaster sticking out of his pocket. The policy was no weapons, but apparently that didn't apply to Chalmun and it's not like it hadn't stopped anyone before. Dengar recognized a gambler he had done business with before and got up and walked up to him. He was a short alien with curly ears whose species he didn't recognize, but at least he spoke Huttese, and Dengar understood and spoke Huttese as well as basic.

"Hey, Jaf," Dengar said sitting down next to him and nodding looking at his empty glass. "Get you a drink and have a chat?"

"Dengar. Never turn down a free drink. Not free though, no?" Jaf hissed.

Dengar gets up goes to the bar and brings another round for Jaf, "So, you wouldn't happen to have been near Jabba's lately have you?"

"Just got back yesterday. Got into a few games of chance, won some, lost some, what do you want to know?" Jaf asked.

Dengar got up, moved over to Jaf and whispered in Jaf's curly ear, "Well, been looking for Solo's ship, wouldn't happen to know if he's turned up have you?"

"No, Jabba's would have been a mad house if that happened. He's still hot over him owing that shipment. Hell, the money he's offering is worth more than that shipment ever was. I think it's the whole walking away from it and thinking he got away with it. He's taken it really personal. He was fond of the guy I guess, or embarrassed, maybe even hurt. Probably his pride, that slug has no heart. I really don't know," Jaf whispered back.

Dengar noticed a stranger staring at them. Just one of the locals, old man, no one of importance. He didn't even recognize him. Probably one of these backwater farmers. After Jaf leaves, the guy comes up to him.

"I've seen that holo, the one Jabba has posted. Haven't seen the guy you mentioned, but I might have something," the older man whispers.

"Oh yeah? What do you got?" Dengar asks.

Man opens his hands and moves his fingers. Dengar drops a few credits in his hands.

"Well, I was out just a couple of miles from Anchorhead, trading with some of the locals, and I see a freighter covered up that looks a lot like that one in the holo. Now, I didn't see anybody, but it sure looked like that freighter alright. Was in this canyon they say is haunted by dead krayts. Was just yesterday," The old man whispers.

Dengar gives him another credit as a thanks and walks over to Bossk, "I think I might have something."

Hoth-Echo Base.

Leia wipes her hand on her forehead after about a hour of clearing debris from the ship. The constant working helped keep her warm, but the cold was still getting to her, and outside the light was starting to get dimmer. Han stopped to stare at her. It was almost dim enough that she appeared to be a silhouette with the setting light from the hanger opening surrounding her and he stopped and took a few seconds to take it in. As he's staring, they heard growling approaching and another wampa had turned up from the outside, approaching the hanger. They both took out their blasters, and as it entered the hanger, they fire and take it down. They moved closer to it's body, look around the landscape for anymore and then Han stared down at it's body.

"We should move this thing away from the hanger. I think these things are solitary, but maybe they eat each other, too," Leia said looking seriously at Han.

"Yeah, we can slip it away from the door. Just keep an eye out for more," Han replies looking out at the icy scene. "I don't see them coming out those for those other 'bodies'. Maybe they just eat live things."

Leia looked out and saw what he meant. She could see orange and beige uniforms laying in the distance. Her fellow rebel comrades who died in battle.

"We can just leave him here, maybe a warning for others?" Leia gulped.

"Yeah, good idea," Han replied grimly.

They moved back inside and looked at the ship. It still had more debris and it was going to be a lot more work. The path to the ramp had been their priority thinking that at least if they could get inside, they would have a more friendly place to camp than the pilot supply room, and that part wasn't even cleared.

"Let's call it for the night. It's starting to get dark, and we've already worked so hard, and I'm really freezing," Leia said looking up a Han with weariness.

"Yeah, sweetheart, I think we should," he said putting his hand on her back and directing her back to the maintenance room.

When they got inside the maintenance room, the light over the droid was still shining, giving the room a dim light. Leia stood there as Han watched her remove her gloves."You're hand is bleeding," Han noted when he saw the blood on her fingers.

"It's just a scratch," she replied.

Han took the medical kit off the table and grabbed her hand and cleaned her wound. She looked up at him as he delicately dressed it and put the medical kit back on the table. Still holding her hand he started to rub them with his. Leia's stomach flipped making her nervous, and she tried to get control of her emotions. "Don't do that?" she pleaded.

"Do what?" He asked in a mockingly innocent tone.

"You know," she said looking at the cut on her hand.

"I'm afraid I don't, your worshipfulness," he laughed.

"Stop calling me that!" she shouted.

"Leia, why are you so afraid?" He asked her.

"I'm not afraid," she moved back.

Han could feel her nervousness, "There's nothing to be afraid of, I've never seen you afraid of anything, anything except for feeling something."

"I'm not afraid," she answered.

"But you're trembling," he said moving closer and pushing her further back closer to the lockers.

"I'm not trembling, I'm cold," she said softly. "Please, let go of me."

"Because I'm mean?" he laughed softly.

She laughed a little with that, "You're bad."

"And you like it, you like me admit it, and you like it when I'm bad."

"I like..." she started as Han pushed her up against the lockers. He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her passionately. She wrapped her arms around him and did not resist. When their lips parted, he looked into her eyes and she into his and she pulled him closer moving her lips closer to his. She moved in for a deeper kiss. He pushed her further into the door of the locker and his hands moved up to her hair. She held him tight as if it were for dear life and he pressed his body onto hers as they held each other. Leia felt as if the weight and pressure of everything she had endured for the past few years had temporarily lifted away and she was suddenly relaxed, and far from trembling.

And then it happened, a loud crash outside the door. Leia scooted from Han's arms and moved to the corridor and into the pilot's storage room. Han turned around and watched her as she left. He opened the door to the outside, and a stiff wind blew in. It had only been more debris that had fallen down from the hanger ceiling. Lucky it had not been close to the ship that they had been digging out, but unlucky that it ruined his moment. He closed the door to keep more of the cold air from coming in and looked at the items on the table. He grabbed the datapad and took it to the pilot's storage room.

Leia had taken the melted water from near the heater before Han had returned, and then took it into the fresher. She stood there washing herself the best she could and stood looking in the mirror at her reflection. She was deep in thought while she washed her face on automatic pilot as her mind went elsewhere. She made herself vulnerable again. Feeling anything but anger or determination or a sense of duty kept her sane. She had lost so much, nearly everything she ever had, but this man was always challenging her. Only he was always leaving, or said he was always leaving. Only he never left, in fact he was the only one here for her right now. As she sat cleaning, she could hear him outside the door.

"Hey, Leia, you in there? I need your help, hurry up with ya?" Han yelled.

She fixed her clothes that she had undone while cleaning up and set the pot of water back next to the heater. Han had his foot up on a chair with his pant leg up and a gash on the side of his leg he hadn't noticed before.

"That knife I keep in there must have shifted when we were cleaning up the debris," he explained wiping up the blood.

She rolled a rag up and said, "Hold still, just put pressure on it and hold this rag still. I'll be right back."

She went into the mechanic's storage and took out one of the bottles of whiskey and the medical kit. She brought it back into the pilot's storage room and shut the door.

"Wow, where did you find that?" Han smiled but then cringed when she poured some of the whiskey on his wound, "stings a little."

She got out a bacta patch and set it on the wound, "How did this happen?"

"Probably got loose when we were climbing out on that stuff, I don't know. So you found some whiskey?" Han smiled with his eyes wide.

"Yes, I wasn't going to tell you," she smirked.

"Keeping it all for yourself then, I take it?" he laughed.

"And I made good use for some of it, as you can see," she said pointing to his leg. "You brought that datapad in?"

"Yeah, I don't know who it belonged to, but I thought it might be fun to go through it," Han suggested.

"Yes, that's why I put it on the table. There were books on there, some diary, seemed like prying though," she bit her lip as she took it from him.

"Well, what's on it?" Han said changing his clothes as she stared at the screen and took a seat on the cots.

"I think it's Wes Janson's. His name is on some of the document orders. The front page of that diary was just statistics, I didn't really explore it though," Leia said looking through and flicking with her fingers.

Han laughed, "That could be entertaining. Probably some of his ideas for pranks on there as well."

"First page is just a bunch of dates, second page, lists the names of the rogues, some of the greens and blues, and even some of High Command with numbers and tallies next to them. It's like that for a few pages, and then..." Leia's face suddenly went red with anger. "It's betting! They were betting on me! This is all predictions of things I would do around the base! Did you know about this?"

"I knew they were betting on stuff, but I wasn't sure what," Han answered. "They kept me out of it for some reason. Probably because I kicked their butts at cards."

"Chewie's on here with numbers next to his name!" Leia put her hand on her mouth. "Are you sure? I can't believe Chewie was betting on me."

"Gimme that," Han said taking it from her. He started reading.

"You can read?" Leia said smirking.

"Yeah, you know I can read, why I..." then he started to laugh.

"What's so funny?" Leia asked.

"The Princess will complain about the state of the flight suits more than three times today, The Princess will eat mess with Luke four or more times this week and Wedge will join them at least one time, The Princess will find some reason to yell at Solo at least twice a day this week if he is on base," Han laughed.

"Give me that thing," she ripped it from his hands as Han laughed at her.

"Oh, a page on Luke, I bet he participated. Women Luke Skywalker hasn't slept with, my name is on there, Mon is on there, then there are a few others crossed out. Including Riza!" Leia exclaimed and shook her head.

"Riza must have gotten around. Not that there was anything wrong with that. Um, not me, I swear..." Han said waving his hand.

"Is the Princess not a virgin? Hmmmm most are no's, but this! It says Rieekan and yes!" Leia put her hand on her face after reading. "I've known him most of my life! He's like my uncle! Not only was he betting on me, but..."

"Embarrassing? Probably embarrassing so many think you are one, or maybe not. Rieekan doesn't think so," Han laughed.

"Most likely to sleep with Princess Leia." she stared at the screen. "Oh, you are on there, Wes has his name on there with little hearts," Leia said as she put the datapad down.

"Wes had a crush on you?" Han said with a befuddled look.

"I'll check it later to see what books are on there, that part didn't look so bad," Leia said a bit flustered and changing the subject.

"I'm gonna clean up some, did you leave some water?" Han said looking into the pot.

"Sorry, I'll pull some more ice from the hall. There might be some in the basin still in the fresher," Leia said taking the pot out to the door.

"Did you yell at me today, Princess?"

"Yes, more than once and then some," she turned and smiled.

After picking out some of the ice from the wall outside and putting it near the heater to boil, Leia arranged the cots and blankets to get ready for bed. She had been worn out from all the working outside and mentally exhausted from everything else. Fighting a war she could do easy, trivial datapad entries and making out in the mechanic's storage room were something else. She moved the pot off the heater to close enough to keep it melted, but far enough to allow it to cool, and brushed and arranged her hair. She buried herself into the cots and shortly after Han came out of the fresher, kissed her on the forehead and buried himself in as well.

"Goodnight, Leia," he said and turned off the pocket lamp.

Tatooine-Some remote out of the way place not far from Jabba's palace.

Luke was traveling in the speeder alone on his way to Jabba's palace. He and Chewie had worked up a disguise from things that he and Chewie had found in the Falcon, so even the remote chance that anyone knew him or that anyone recognized him from Imperial wanted holos he wouldn't be known as Luke Skywalker. He had taken a name combining the name of his dead co-pilot Dak, and Janson's. Odds are Jabba would ever know anyone named Dak Janson, nor would it occur to him to look. Chewie had given him the credits that he had been holding for a while that Han didn't even know he even had, and probably would have squandered if he had even known anything about them. Chewbacca only hoped the credits would be enough. He had a feeling it wouldn't, but Luke had a comm, and Chewie was willing to barter himself if need be. Luke would never allow that, and knew Han would kill him if Chewie was forced into that situation.

When he arrived at Jabba's palace, Luke announced himself as Dak Janson, a representative of Han Solo and Chewbacca, and was escorted by a tall Twi'lek man. As Luke was asked to wait while the man announced the guest to Jabba, he looked around and saw an interesting assortment of characters throughout. There was a group of various alien species engrossed in an elaborate sabacc game which included passing around a nude four armed female of some species he wasn't familiar with who also had the most beautiful purple skin. There was a Twi'lek girl dancing and she was mesmerizing him with her beautiful moves. There was an orgy of half dressed humans and a Duros man engaged in orally stimulating each other and loud music coming from the area where the Twi'lek man had gone to see Jabba. It wasn't long before Luke was allowed entry, and with some help from Chewie and Threepio, he had an idea of what words to use.

"Oh great and mighty Jabba, I'm pleased that you have allowed me the honor to have this chance to meet with you," Luke said in Huttese.

"You speak my language well, I am impressed. So, you've been sent by that deadbeat Solo and the Wookiee to arrange a payment I have come to understand?" Jabba answered in Huttese.

"I do, and I assure you, it is much more than the bounty you are currently offering for their heads, your greatness," Luke said, wondering if dealings with Jabba influenced how Han talked to Leia.

Jabba laughed as did many others in the room.

"I will take your money, but I want more. Han Solo has embarrassed me! Three years he has made me wait for him! I loved him like a son, and that was how he treated me! How can I allow such a disgrace go unpunished. Dak Janson, what can you do for me to make it right?" Jabba asked.

"I don't believe I understand, great and noble one," Luke answered.

"Can you deliver a shipment? Entertain me? Fight?" Jabba asked while grabbing something gross from the bowl beside him and slurping it as the poor creature screamed.

"Fight?" Luke said reluctantly and asking a question more than answering one.

Jabba took it as an answer. Jabba whispered to the Twi'lek man and the man clapped his hands. Out came two Gamorrean guards who escorted Luke to another side of the palace. It was some kind of arena, and it was empty. Luke stood there a while waiting as nothing happened and then after some time, Jabba arrived with a crowd of his palace guests and slaves and then the Twi'lek man clapped his hands. The Gamorrean guards opened a door and a krayt dragon emerged with Luke standing alone in the arena. Luke thought to himself, 'oh one of these kind of deals again', and closed his eyes for a moment. The audience gasped as the dragon just stared at Luke and didn't do anything at all for a moment. Luke moved to the side of the dragon, who had just started to move and was acting aggressively as Luke climbed on top of his back. The audience cheered, and Jabba laughed. They had been behind a force field of some type that kept Luke and the dragon safely away from the audience, as Luke noticed as the dragon bucked up close to the crowd, something was stopping him from going further offering protection for the revelers. The dragon started shaking his head back and forth very fast with Luke struggling to hold on. Luke climbed higher to the top of his head, holding onto the spiny appendages and the dragon started moving it's large tail up towards his head to strike Luke. The crowd roared.

Jabba was having a laughing fit. Luke, knowing he could easily make the dragon fall asleep, having known something about krayt dragons from having grown up on Tatooine, but also knowing that Jabba would probably expect some kind of entertaining show, kept this up as long as he could. Luke then stood on top of the dragon, reaching out into the Force to protect him as well as he could with the little training and knowledge he had, and he started to dance. Jabba laughed even more and the crowd was loving it. It was then that Luke moved his way down to the spot between the dragon's eyes and kicked it a few times. The dragon swaggered slowly back and forth as Luke held on and then fell down asleep. Luke jumped off, ran to the middle of the arena and took a bow. The guards came over to him and escorted him out and to a room in another part of the palace.

It was a beautifully decorated room with velvet couches and a beautiful bed and an assortment of food and drink laid out on a table. Luke cautiously took some fruit and sat on the bed leaning back, when the beautiful dancer he saw earlier soon showed up in his room.

"I'm here to entertain you as a reward from the mighty Jabba," she said bowing her head.

"To dance for me?" Luke asked.

"Or for whatever you would like," she forced a smile.

Luke wondered if she was a slave. "Would you eat with me?"

"Oh no, it's forbidden to eat with the guests," she answered.

"But you said whatever I would like, and I'd like for you to eat with me," Luke said looking at her.

She smiled, took some fruit and tried to feed it to Luke. Luke took the food from her hands and fed some back to her. She ravished it. Luke went to get her some more and she ate that with relish as well, "Do they feed you here?"

"They do, but it's not the same as what the guests eat. Do you like watching me eat?" She asked trying to turn it into some kind of fetish.

"Oh yes, very much so, tell Jabba I really enjoyed what you did for me," Luke answered.

Then he fed her some more. She smiled at him and licked her lips to seem more seductive. Luke, though known for enjoying a good night with a beautiful lady, didn't feel right taking anymore advantage of this one, who was probably only doing her job. Maybe she needed a good night's sleep as well. "I don't want to be lonely, how about curling up with me while I go to sleep?" he asked.

"Oh, that would be wonderful," she said and she went to find some pajamas that they had already in the room for Luke.

It made Luke sad that guests were treated so in a place where they had others enslaved.

Hoth-Echo Base, Leia's dream.

 

Leia walked again in the darkness. She knew what to expect now, she imagined from the previous dream. The light following her and Yoda appearing again.

"Young one, again we speak," Yoda said softly.

"Yoda? I asked Han and he told me Luke mentioned you, or he thought he did," Leia answered.

Yoda's eyes opened and his ears moved, "Knew I did, yes. Watching you both, I have done. Many years."

"You've been watching Han and I?" Leia answered nervously.

"No! It is Skywalker I speak of," Yoda answers.

"Why? Why me?" Leia asked.

Yoda pauses and closes his eyes, "Both strong in the Force, Luke and Leia are."

"Me, oh surely you don't mean me?" Leia was puzzled.

"You, strong. Maybe stronger. Know it you do. Trust your feelings," Yoda demanded.

"I don't like feeling anything, I don't feel anything," Leia answered.

Yoda looked up at her, "Stubborn you are, but determined you are. Fearless you are. Dagobah, you will come, soon you will."

"Is Luke alright? Do you know?" Leia asked.

"Alive he is. Reckless still," Yoda said closing his eyes.

"I will come, it might take some time, but I will come to you," Leia answered.

"Yes, come you will. Soon. Tell you when it is right," Yoda answered and disappeared into the dark.

The darkness was completely surrounding Leia after Yoda disappeared. There was no light, and it stayed that way for some time. She wondered how she could still be dreaming. She heard nothing, and then a sound. It was deep breathing, similar to that of Darth Vader, and then it softened and sounded different, more human and almost childlike while a dim light appeared, it asked. "Who are you? Are you an Angel?"

Leia woke up shaking.

Chapter Text

Dagobah

Yoda stood up from his meditation troubled. While the attempts of infiltrating Leia's dreams proved to be successful, he knew she remembered them from their discussions and seemed not to be resistant to them, he felt the danger of her shields being lowered, as well as his own, while using the Force in that manner. At the end of the last communication, he felt the dark presence trying to cut into their discussion. Yoda tried to leave and had pushed Leia away, but he could feel that she didn't leave when he did and their communication may have been breached by another. Leia's shields in general were strong. He wasn't sure if that was something she had learned on her own, or from their own attempts in directing the Force when Luke and Leia were infants to protect them from being discovered. Luke he knew not to be as shielded as Leia seemed to be. He wondered if perhaps Obi-Wan had something to do with that. Yoda closed his eyes and called for Obi-Wan to speak to him, and Obi-Wan's voice called out.

"Your attempts to contact Leia are troubling you?" Ghost Obi-Wan spoke as Yoda sat in his dwelling.

"Successful in reaching her I have, I fear another presence I do. Wait to contact again I shall. Disturbing this is," Yoda replied.

"It must be someone who has a connection with her. I'm actually impressed that you have been able to contact her with only that brief contact you had with her as a baby. When you implemented their shields before they were separated," Obi-Wan remarked. "Was it perhaps Luke's presence?"

"I think not, for dark it was. Troubling it was. Afraid that is may be Vader," Yoda said closing his eyes.

Obi-Wan suddenly appeared as a blue haze before Yoda and sat on the bench in his small hut. He rubbed his beard and spoke, "There is only so much I can see from this end. Qui-Gon may have some insight, but he would have no connection at all with young Leia. We could consult with him and perhaps he felt that ripple in the Force. Vader did have her on the Death Star, but I doubt he knew who she was, or what she was capable of while she was in his custody," Obi-Wan conjectured.

"Connection to I he did have, though as strong not it was to you his master. My shields weak they are during communication perhaps," Yoda said moving about his hutt.

"It is possible. It's through the living Force with which you are communicating with her. Wait to speak with her again, and ask her if she felt anything or heard anything after you left her in the dream. If she can indeed remember," Obi-Wan suggested.

"Call to Luke again you must. Fear for him I do," Yoda spoke.

"He's in a place of great temptation and it does have me worried. Not to mention the danger he is in. I can only hope that Chewbacca will convince him or help him leave Jabba's palace," Obi-Wan spoke with a worried tone.

"Gone there he should have not," Yoda pounded his cane down on the dirt floor.

"It may be a great learning experience for him. Already he is learning by his own instincts," Obi-Wan noted.

"So reckless like his father he is. Afraid he may go on a dark path I do. Meditate on this I shall. Go to the boy," Yoda insisted.

"My energies outside of Dagobah are weak. I need to wait a bit longer. I have been watching him, and he does seem to be on the right path. It's only taking him longer to get there. What of Leia? Will her attachment to the smuggler be a problem?" Obi-Wan asked.

"Attachment she has, but distraction is not. Terms of old Jedi code we must think not. Fights it she does, but focused she is. Loves him she does, but determination her guide will be." Yoda answered.

"I just remember what it did to Anakin. She seems to be prone to anger, are you sure you want to bring the both of them into this?" Obi-Wan questioned.

"Her anger is her strength. From darkside is does not come, but from the light. Feel it I do," Yoda spoke.

"We've learned so much in our exile, haven't we, old friend," Obi-Wan observed.

"We have indeed," Yoda answered.

"I must work on the boy," Obi-Wan said as he disappeared.

Tatooine-Jabba's Palace.

Luke awoke in his room to a very dirty looking Rodian presenting him with a wash basin and towels. "You must clean up. A change of clothes has been provided for you, Dak Janson," the man said as he left.

The clothes included pants, a light shirt, chaps and armor. Were they planning for him to entertain Jabba some more? Was this standard wear in the palace? There was also a helmet of some sort sitting on the dresser. Luke took a chance and tried to comm Chewie. "Are you there? It's um Dak? I don't know how long I'm expected to stay here, but I just wanted to let you know things are fine so far. Will tell you more later."

Chewie gave a soft roar to indicate that he heard him loud and clear. They knew they had to be careful.

Luke washed, put the entire outfit on, and then looked in the mirror. He took some fruit and ate it as well as some bread he recognized as being the flatbread that was often common on Tatooine. The dancer must have left at some time while he was asleep. He hoped she hadn't gotten in any trouble eating and sleeping in his bed. After a short time of being allowed to wash and eat, the Rodian returned and demanded Luke put on his helmet and follow him.

Luke walked through the halls of the dank palace. He had childhood notions of what a palace should look like, but nothing he saw here at Jabba's was remotely anything like a palace in the way he expected. There were some luxury items, like in the guest room he stayed in the night before, but in general, it was kind of a dump. And the people everywhere? He remembered Obi-Wan saying Mos Eisley was a hive of scum and villainy, however, Jabba's was even worse. Luke was taken directly to Jabba, but he was pushed aside as others were waiting and expecting their turn with the Hutt. A Devaronian was explaining an exchange involving a glitterstim shipment and Jabba had seemed very pleased by this particular deal, whispered to the Twi'lek man and he was escorted to another area of the palace with a very happy face. The next individual given audience with Jabba, was a female Zelton, being tugged by a Gamorrean guard, and though she wasn't resisting very much, Luke could tell she was to be property and not here for any kind of deal. Jabba demanded she be turned around and demanded the guard remove her clothing and had another female bring her another outfit. Luke was shocked when the young woman was expected to change while the entire room watched. Jabba was laughing and eating another one of those screaming creatures he seemed to love. The woman actually seemed to enjoy her new outfit, looking down and smiling while admiring it. It was a skimpy silk bikini in teal and green with long drapes hanging from the sides. Jabba commanded her to dance for him, and she did, very beautifully, with the drapes flowing making her look like some of the beautiful insects he had seen on another world during one of his missions on a jungle planet. After some time, Jabba was pleased and she was brought before him where she was commanded to sit and to Luke's horror, had a collar and chain placed around her neck, with Jabba himself holding the end of the chain. The next individual was an Ithorian man who had to be pushed and pulled to be placed before Jabba. A protocol droid was brought in and was necessary to translate for the man, who seemed very scared and frightened.

The protocol droid translated, "Mighty Jabba, I plead for mercy. I did not know that property belonged to you. I would never have stolen that ship if I had known it had contained the property of the mighty Jabba."

Jabba repeated in Huttese, "You knew it was my property, because your own daughter was among those on the ship! Those slaves belonged to me! You had no right to steal what was mine! This was not the first time that you have stolen from me, Ithorian! You owed me for your property and never paid. You thought you could save your daughter by stealing my slaves!"

"Mighty Jabba, I beg of you, I meant no harm. I only wanted to save my farm!" the protocol droid translated the man's garbles.

"Your farm was my farm! You will pay with your life!" Jabba shouted as the floor opened underneath and Jabba's stone dais was moved closer to the gate so that he and the others could view the Ithorian attempt to survive being ripped to pieces and devoured by the rancor. Everyone in the palace laughed, though Luke got the impression that many laughed only because they were required to. It was disgusting to Luke and he wished the poor man a quick death as so he would not endure anymore pain. After the show, Jabba's dais was moved back once more and Luke was pushed forward. Luke stood there and said in Huttese, "And what does the great and powerful Jabba wish of me?"

Jabba laughed, "Today my boy, I will ask that you, Dak Janson, fight my most powerful guard! If you win, you may stay here as my guest or leave if you wish, if you lose, you will die!"

Everyone in the palace laughed.

Luke assumed it was just another one of those Gamorreans who seemed to be everywhere, but then he felt a loud rumbling as a very large Besalisk in armor bounded up to the center of the floor and the crowds moved back as far as they could. Luke was given a small sword, and the Besalisk had a shield and two larger swords in two of his four hands. While Luke had his lightsaber hidden on him, he didn't wish to bring it out to alert Jabba or anyone in the palace as his possible association with Jedi or even to the fact he knew how to use one. Luke had to think quick. He reached out to the Force and at first, it seemed that he was only dodging the blows which angered Jabba and his guests. He knew he had to do something more entertaining in order to please the crowds. Luke looked up and saw a pulley hanging above and bounded to leap to catch it. He wasn't sure he had the ability to do it, but he wasn't about to doubt himself and only trust in the Force. The leap made the crowd roar as he hung in the air slowly coming down again, and he swayed back and forth swinging around the Besalisk, who stared at him with wonder and amusement, trying to swat Luke with his sword as if he were a pesky fly. Luke fell down in a crouch behind the Besalisk, and slid through his legs, taking parts of the pulley rope that had come down with him and wraping them around the Besalisk's legs. His four arms swinging with two swords trying to undo the ropes. Luke did a swipe at the man, not wanting to mortally wound him, but thinking that Jabba would not be pleased if blood was not shed somewhere and the swipe made the Besalisk drop one of his swords. As the Besalisk moved forward, he tripped, his legs still caught up in the rope, and he pulled himself across the floor, making the audience laugh and roar. Luke standing over the Besalisk, then went to stand on his back as the man tried hard to pull him off with his arms, though with Luke's movements and the handicap of arms that were unable to move into that particular position so that he was unable to grab Luke. The Besalisk then tried to make himself get up again, with Luke rolling off his back. The Besalisk's legs were still tangled in the ropes, but he had a bit more movement so he shuffled angrily towards Luke as Luke again dodged his swings. Luke then looked up at the curtain that was now compromised by the missing pulley and willed it to fall on the Besalisk. To everyone in the throne room, it appeared to be an accident. Luke took what pulley was left on the ground from when he swung down before, and wrapped it around the covered Besalisk and tied it in a knot, with the Besalisk shouting and wriggling.

The crowd went wild and Jabba was laughing very hard. Jabba called out. "Dak Janson! You have amused me greatly! You are welcome to visit as my guest any time in the future! Stay! I would love to have you as my honored guest!"

"Great and mighty Jabba, I thank you for your hospitality, but I'm afraid I must be on my way. I am honored that you are pleased," Luke took a bow.

"You disappoint me greatly, Dak Janson, but I will never forget you." Jabba sat laughing. "May you return to my palace again soon."

Star Destroyer Executor

Admiral Piett stood outside Darth Vader's meditation chamber patiently. He had a message for Lord Vader, but with the explicit instructions that he not be disturbed, he had no choice but to wait. Lord Vader had told the Admiral that as soon as he could find any information he could on Han Solo that he was to inform him immediately, but since this was not a hail from the Emperor, it would have to wait. After fifteen minutes of standing at attention, Lord Vader's chamber finally opened and Piett sighed a bit of relief. There had been one instance where he had to wait two hours, and unless there was an emergency on ship, Piett was expected to wait for Lord Vader when the words immediately were used. Piett was good at his job, Vader seemed pleased with him, and he did everything he could to not suffer the fate of his predecessor, Ozzel.

"Lord Vader," Piett nodded.

"Admiral," Vader spoke.

Piett cleared his throat, "I've been able to bring up information and known associates of Han Solo as you have requested." and he handed the datapad to Lord Vader.

Vader noted the information. He was aware of his association with the rebellion, that he was the captain associated with the Millennium Falcon that had been involved in many traitorous acts involving the rebel forces. His criminal past was more of interest this time. What could he learn of his associates before the destruction of DS-1.

"Who brought you this information, it's very detailed," Lord Vader asked.

"The bounty hunter Boba Fett, sir. He seemed quite acquainted with much of Solo's activities," Piett answered.

"Make sure he is rewarded. This may be of some use to us. Do you have anything else?" Lord Vader asked.

"The bounty hunters Dengar and Bossk believe the Millennium Falcon has been spotted on Tatooine, though it's location has not be determined. They followed a lead, but it was no longer where their source had told them it was spotted, sir," Piett said staring straight out and still at attention.

"That is of no use to me. It is possible that the Millennium Falcon was spotted on Tatooine, but I want verification! Do you understand! I see he has associations with Jabba the Hutt. It's possible he went there. Tell them to stay on Tatooine and verify that information! I will give them no reward for just hearsay!" Darth Vader commanded.

"Yes, Lord Vader, I will inform them," Piett answered.

"Send a message to Boba Fett, and have him join us here on the Executor. I have a job for him," Darth Vader said looking at the data.

"Yes, Lord Vader," Piett responded.

"You are dismissed," Vader said walking away from the man.

Piett relaxed his shoulders and walked out of the room. Being the Admiral of the flagship of Darth Vader was very stressful. It wasn't for him to question, but why would Lord Vader be so interested in just one ship? He was so disgusted by bounty hunters, and didn't understand why Lord Vader was using them instead of Imperal agents. Not when they had some of the best agents available at his disposal. He hoped that Vader hadn't known he thought that, he heard rumors of the sort and it scared him.

Darth Vader contemplated his meditation. While there he felt a strong ripple in the Force. While he suspected that Yoda still lived and was somewhere out there in hiding, he could tell that he had been contacting someone else who was even stronger in the Force. What was that presence? He felt as if he almost had felt it before. Was it his son? He didn't believe so, but it was possible, but he sensed the presence was female. Who out there was as strong in the Force as he himself was? He knew it wasn't the Emperor, though powerful, the Emperor wasn't as strong in the Force, but had powers in other ways. Why would he converse through the Force with Yoda? Had Yoda turned to the darkside and was now coming to take his place? The disturbing part of his vision was that it made him remember his past self as a boy slave. Who was this mysterious person and why did he have a connection to her?

Hoth-Echo Base.

Leia had climbed out of bed after her dream and went into the fresher. Everything was frozen in there, so she had get some of the warm water from near the heater to pour on it as to thaw out what was previously left to even be able to make use of it now. It was so disgusting to live this way. After a bit of an ordeal, she was able to relieve herself and remembered her dream. What was that bit at the end? That wasn't Yoda? It felt dark and threatening, but then it was calm and soothing and more of the light, like Yoda seemed to be. It was an odd feeling. She took her lamp back into the room, crawled into the warm cozy nest, and was startled that Han had removed almost all of his clothes, save for some undershorts. He was snoring loudly, so hopefully he was deep in sleep and she didn't wake him by putting a chill on his bare skin. She couldn't help but look at him though, and she stared and took him in as he rested there for a bit. He wouldn't know, he was asleep. He did tell her he woke up with his clothes damp from the heat created from being buried under all of that stuff, so that was probably why he had done what he did. She buried in next to him, and just laid there awake thinking about what was happening with the Rebel Alliance while she herself was still stuck here. Would they send a rescue team to get them? Was there anyone else still trapped here? Wouldn't they have tried to get to the hanger if they were? Who died in the battle that she wasn't aware of? Was General Rieekan still alive? Was Wes Janson? Wes Janson and his betting pools and his using her as a way to have fun. She laughed, but she was also angry about it. It was fun laughing about it, but it was horrifying as well. She went and got the datapad, put the pocket lamp on it and tried to hide the light under the blanket so she wouldn't wake up Han.

At first, she started looking at the books he kept on the datapad. She was surprised there were pulpy romance type novels, but many were political mysteries and historical fiction. Much of which were fantasies taking place in the Old Republic one thousand years before it's fall. After looking through his library, she went back to the diary to the spot where she and Han had left off earlier. She gasped as she saw a more morbid list. Who was most likely to survive the war? It had nearly everyone's name on base, but those crossed off were people she knew who had died. She knew because she wrote to some of those families, at least those she knew she could contact. There were notes next to some of the crossed off names. Wes had put something amusing or kind about each one he knew personally. Leia felt bad being so upset about Wes using her as some kind of amusement. Who knew what kind of baggage he was holding himself. Everyone in this war was, not just her. So he used that to forget the heartbreak. Just like she used her devotion to the cause for hers. At least he seemed to have gotten a lot of pleasure out of it, or seemed to. Leia rarely allowed herself an escape from reality like that. Then the sensible part of her thought that it would have been a breach of security if the Imperials had ever gotten Wes's datapad. Oh Leia, why do you think so much?

Han began to stir a bit. Afraid she was waking him, Leia got really still and turned off the lamp. She didn't want Han to wake up and see her looking at Wes's diary again. He moved up a bit, she could tell he was getting up, and she slipped the pad between a cot and turned the lamp back on.

"Move, I gotta get up," he said groggily and half awake. "Where am I? Which one are you?"

"Hoth, still. It's Leia," she answered.

"Oh, yeah, I remember you," he answered.

She couldn't remember this happening before. Not on any missions they had been on anyway. Well this was going to be interesting when he really woke up she thought. He kept the door opened while he did his business, and Leia covered her ears and cringed and hoped it hadn't frozen up again to make a mess.

"How come I can't hear the ship? Are we stuck? Chewie!" Han shouted after walking out a bit disoriented.

"Chewie's not here, remember?" Leia said laughing.

"What planet is this?" Han said walking around in the dark, and feeling around for something.

"It's HOTH!" Leia said with a bit of anger.

"Hoth, that place is too cold. Remind me we should never go back to that place. Which one are you again?" he asked finally finding the bed.

"Which one do you think I am," she laughed.

"Um, let me think," he said laying down putting the blankets on him. "Why is it so kriffing cold in here? Chewie?"

"Chewie isn't here," Leia was starting to wonder if she should really wake him up.

"I need Chewie. Get Chewie," he grumbled softly and then he was silent, hopefully back to sleep.

If she saw Chewie again, she would ask him if this was normal. She hoped Chewie was fine wherever he was. It will make a fun conversation in the morning with Han anyway. Leia got up and walked out of the room to the maintenance supply room and pointed the light at the medical kit. Her muscles ached from all the lifting and she hoped to find a pain reliever of some sort. She took a couple and chased it down with a little of the whiskey. She walked back to the bed and curled in all the blankets to get warm again. Hopefully she would sleep better and not have any visits from Jedi Masters or whatever else out there might try to talk to her.

Tatooine-Somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

Luke returned to the Falcon to see a very relieved Chewie at the top of the ramp. After Luke recounted his adventures in Jabba's palace, he and Chewie removed the tarp and climbed back into the Falcon. Chewie took off with Threepio strapped in behind him.

Chewie roared.

"Master Luke, Chewbacca thinks that he and Captain Solo are still in danger from Jabba even though you paid him the fees," Threepio translated.

"I don't know. Jabba seemed pretty pleased with getting his money and having me entertain him. Chewie, that place is awful. Slavery and all kinds of things go on in there," Luke remarked with disgust.

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca agrees with you. He never liked Captain Solo doing business with him, but he did pay them well, and it was a steady income. Chewbacca was trapped by his life debt to Captain Solo or he would have no part in doing that kind of business," Threepio translated.

"That doesn't seem fair to you," Luke stated.

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca thinks that Captain Solo was trapped as well. Once you find yourself working for Jabba, it's hard to leave his employment. In a way, they were also slaves to Jabba, which is why Chewbacca isn't so sure that Jabba will still not be satisfied," Threepio translated.

"Maybe, so next stop getting this ship looked at? Any ideas?" Luke asked as they entered hyperspace.

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca knows a man in Bespin that can help with the ship. He'd really like to contact the Rebel Alliance first though. He got a few leads from General Rieekan in the event they wished to return. It's just a matter of knowing where to go where they wouldn't recognize the ship," Threepio answered.

"Got you. I might be able to contact the Rebel Alliance from my x-wing. If you know of some desolate place we can stop for a bit, we can land there for a bit, and I can try the safe channel," Luke said optimistically.

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca knows just the place, he will set the coordinates right now," Threepio translated.

Luke walked back to the crew quarters and laid down on one of the cots. He stared up at the ceiling for a while, but then he heard a voice.

"Luke! You must come to Dagobah! You will train with Master Yoda," Obi-Wan called out to him.

"Ben? Ben?" Luke sat up looking around.

"Luke, you must go to Dagobah! The galaxy depends upon it!" Obi-Wan insisted.

"But I have a few things to do first! I need to help Chewbacca, find my friends!"

"Luke, Dagobah you will train with Yoda! You will not be ready!" Obi-Wan insisted.

"I will, Ben, I promise, I just, it's just I have a few things to do first is all," Luke told him.

Obi-Wan disappeared and Luke drifted off to sleep.

Down on the ground, Dengar and Bossk looked up in the sky and saw a YT-1300 freighter. Dengar took a holo of it leaving and growled.

Dagobah- Yoda's Dwelling

"Told you I did," Yoda spoke.

"Patience, Yoda, he will come," Obi-Wan insisted.

"Take this seriously he must!" Yoda said angrily pounding down his cane.

"Is it possible that you could speak to young Luke in his dreams?" Obi-Wan asked.

Yoda closed his eyes for a few moments, "No, Know me he should not. He should be tested if arrives he ever does."

"You were always so stubborn," Obi-Wan said shaking his head.

"A young Jedi was more stubborn than I. And that young Jedi was Obi-Wan," Yoda said pointing his cane at the ghost.

Hoth-Echo Base

Leia opened her eyes to see Han making caf and smiling at her he said, "Good morning, sweetheart, did you sleep well?"

"No, I didn't," she said feeling a pain in her head. "I woke up from a dream, that alien again telling me to go to Dagobah. Then I stayed up for a bit, but then something entertaining happened. You got up. Asked me which one was I, went to the fresher with the door opened, so I had to be exposed to that scene and covered my ears. At one point you asked me if something was wrong with the ship, and where we were. Then you asked me who I was again. You kept asking for Chewie, too. I honestly wish that I had a holo recording of the whole thing."

Han looked down and put his hands through his hair and just grunted. He passed Leia a cup of caf.

"Han, has that ever happened before? Do you sleepwalk? I don't remember you doing that before," Leia said concerned.

"I didn't know who you were? I didn't say anything else did I?" Han said all worried.

"Just what I told you," Leia said laughing. "You did ask me which one was I a few times, and then repeated after at one point, 'Oh Yeah'."

Han sighed, "I did that before. Chewie told me. It's happened when we've been on planet too long. I don't know. I had a dream I remember last night. Chewie died."

"Oh no," Leia said concerned. "I'm sure he's alright."

"I hope so. Maybe that alien you talk to knows?" Han laughed.

"He might. It was upsetting though the last time I talked with him. He didn't tell me anything bad, and he did tell me he knew Luke was alive, so I could ask about Chewie, if he knows. Will you take me to Dagobah, wherever that is, if we can get off this ice ball?" Leia asked.

"If we find out where it is, and he tells me where Chewie is. If we can't find it, I doubt anyone else could. That is if you get your yell at me at least two times today quota in," Han said with a grin.

"I'm sure we'll have no trouble fulfilling that quota. So, Han, which one am I?" Leia smirked sipping her caf.

"The most dangerous one."

Chapter Text

The Rebel Fleet-Home One

"General Rieekan, are you sure this is a good idea. I'm more than willing to back you up, but the danger, not to mention the loss of life we've already endured from the battle, of attempting to go back there..." Admiral Ackbar said shaking his head.

"Admiral. I need to know. Don't worry, we'll be careful, and it's just a small mission of me and a few men. I can't just leave it alone. I was responsible, the base was in my care. If just one person can be saved, it will be worth it. If the Princess, if she's still there, and we can get her, it will be worth it. There may even be something we overlooked, things that could give the Empire intel. We just fly in, see what's there and fly out," General Rieekan spoke grimly.

"There may not even be anything or anyone there! You're taking a big risk," Dodonna added.

"What if the Empire has expected us to return for wounded, security breaches, I must say I'm very worried about sending a team out there," Admiral Ackbar said gruffly.

"Security breaches may be enough reason to go. We are with you, Rieekan. I can send a surveillance pilot in the event we don't hear from you by a certain point," General Cracken spoke.

"Thank you," Rieekan said gruffly.

"I hope you find out something hopeful, General. May the Force be with You!" Mon Mothma added.

Moon RF546

Chewie and Luke touched down on the stony surface of the moon and Chewie had to adjust to level the ship. Landing on a rocky planet was rough, and walking on one was even harder. Luke looked out and could only see rocks, boulders and mountains.

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca says that the settlement is not far from here. If we walk a short distance, we should be able to make a cleared out path," Threepio translates.

"You sure about this place? Do we really need to go to town?" Luke says pointing up to his x-wing.

Chewie roars.

"Chewbacca says the locals are in dire need of medical supplies, and are willing to trade. He has a box of bacta strips with some medicine in the cargo hold," Threepio translates.

"Are they property of the Rebel Alliance? I mean, you aren't stealing are you? I wouldn't want to steal from the Alliance! I don't know Chewie," Luke paces at the top of the ship ramp.

Chewie roars.

"Chewbacca says that they are part of a shipment that he and Captain Solo had acquired by accident some time ago. The Rebel Alliance did get most of that shipment. These are a people with little contact from the outside world and are desperate for anything. The trade will be good. They will have fresh food, he wants you to trust him," Threepio translates.

"Chewie, I can just make contact..."

Chewie roars.

"Chewbacca says that you should use the name Dak Janson again. They will ask for Draygo, that is the name which Captain Solo uses when he is here. You may wish to use the disguise as well, Master Luke," Threepio translated.

"What about Artoo and Threepio? I might not understand everything you say?" Luke asked.

Chewie roars.

"Chewbacca says you will understand enough, Master Luke. Oh dear, it seems we are to stay here with the ship,"

Luke and Chewie, after suffering the large rocks, found the cleared road and started to walk towards the place that Chewbacca had stated was cleared for traveling. Luke was glad he had boots on, but he wondered how Chewie was doing, not having any footwear at all, but he seemed to be fine. There were no trees, only rocks, so when they actually were able to see the settlement, it was still far enough away that it took them a while to get there. Luke and Chewie stopped for water a few times and took turns carrying the box of supplies. As they got closer to the settlement, a cart being pulled by some kind of leathery backed creature approached them. A human man was in the cart.

"It's the Wook! Hey, where's Draygo! Hi, I'm Cole, I saw you from far off, thought you might need a lift the rest of the way," Cole said cheerfully.

"Hello, I'm Dak. Draygo couldn't make it this time, so I'm helping the Wook," Luke answered.

"What do you have for us this time?" Cole asked as they climbed up into the cart.

Chewie roared.

"It's bacta strips and some medicines," Luke answered.

"Oh wow, that will be valuable. I'm sure we can find some arrangement that will make you happy, Wook," Cole said with some good humor.

The village was surrounded by a loosely made rock wall, more like rock piled into a wall, with an opening big enough for the cart to go through. Luke noticed that a large piece of metal laid to the side for some reason, he assumed it was some kind of barrier. He wondered what dangers these people here had. Inside, it was mainly humans, there was one other Wookiee, and also a group of Twi'leks.

"What is this place?" Luke asked not really meaning for it to be out loud.

"We help each other. It's a community, a family. We've been here since the Clone Wars. It started as a peaceful commune, but we've grown and had a few more join us. The other Wookiee, Standfree, was a slave who escaped. We offer refuge for anyone who wishes to seek it," Cole answered. "Everyone works together, we have a small farm area towards the back of the village."

"Is this the only settlement on this moon?" Luke asked with caution.

"So many questions!" Cole just answered and smiled. "We are happy to have you visit us, Dak."

Dak directed them to a mess hall with tables where many of the villagers had gathered and were eating and drinking. It didn't seem to be spirits and it kind of reminded Luke of some of the towns even smaller than Anchorhead where they really didn't have much at all back home. People came up to Chewie and shook his hand, referring to him as the Wook, and spoke with Luke just to be friendly. He didn't think they were drugged, but it was a strange place with so many people acting so positively. They were each given a plate of food and something to drink. It didn't seem to be a restaurant and it was if they weren't expected to pay for it. Cole was gone already. As they were sitting there, a young man with red hair and golden brown eyes and a young female with brown hair and copper skin sat next to Luke, a little too close and hanging on him as if they were old friends.

"Hi, I'm Evo and this is Sala, is this your first time to Savan village?" the girl asked.

"Yes, I think so. He's been here before, I think," Luke responded pointing to Chewie.

Chewie roared.

"If you need a place to stay tonight, you're welcome to stay with us! We'd love to have you. I'm sure Cole will just give you that dank storage place where he puts all the traders, but we rarely see new people and would love to have you," Sala said caressing Luke's back.

"Uh," he looked at Chewie, Chewie just shrugged. "I guess so. Let me finish eating, and and I'll catch up."

"That sounds wonderful!" Evo said gleefully.

Evo and Sala hung on Luke as he finished his meal and Chewie, after eating, pounded his chest, roared and made an indication to Luke to just go on, while he went to finish dealing with Cole. Evo and Sala took Luke to the garden, where others were working.

"We have to get an hour in of work time, everyone here does their share. Right now we are weeding. Would you help us?" Evo asked smiling.

"Sure, why not," Luke said trying not to be a horrible guest.

The others came up to him and introduced themselves and everyone was singing and making a game out of weeding, digging and clearing out the brush growing among the plants in the garden. He noticed a pen with some animals in there, some small round creatures he didn't recognize as well as a few of those same animals he saw pulling the cart. Luke wasn't as up on fauna of the galaxy to know exactly what they were, but he did recognize that they had a few nerf.

After they were finished their hour, Evo and Sala told Luke to follow them to their home to clean up. He got to a stone building that was connected to many other similar stone buildings and appeared to be occupied by more than just Evo and Sala. A young Twi'lek woman was sleeping on the couch.

"That's Calar," Sala whispered. "She works at night and always ends up crashed on the couch. Probably should wake her so she can get ready to start her shift.

Evo shook her, then kissed her on the mouth, "Time to get up darling," he said gently." He then turned to Luke, "Follow us."

They took him to what looked like a community shower for the whole house and he realized that they expected him to shower with them. He had been to a base where they had a system like this, where the soldiers all showered together in a large room, but this wasn't that large of a room, and since there couldn't be more than just a few people in the house, he wondered why this kind of system was necessary here. Oh well, he thought, at least he could get clean.

They all took off their clothes and walked in. Evo turned on the water, and jets of water came through the top and the sides. It was a real water shower and not just sonics, which gave Luke a bit of a novelty. As Luke started to wash, Evo lathered up his hands and started to work Luke on his chest, and Sala worked on Evo's chest.

Sala then looked at Luke and said, "Do mine?"

Luke looked at Sala a moment, she was very beautiful, so he lathered up and started working on her back. She looked at him and took his hands and put them on her breasts. As Luke was working on Sala's breasts, Evo started up Luke's legs and then Luke's eyes bolted as Evo was rubbing his genitals.

"Um," Luke got a bit startled.

"Feels good doesn't it? Just relax," Evo said.

Sala moved Luke's hands down further her torso until he got to her crotch and Luke started gently cleaning and rubbing that area for her and moving down her legs, trying to be gentle. Sala moaned. Sala moved away and started working on Evo's lower body bending over and bidding Luke to continue from behind. Evo started washing Luke's buttocks. They all rinsed off and Sala turned off the water and gave both men towels to dry off with.

"That was interesting," Luke said.

Sala just smiled. Evo said, "Come, follow us," pulling Luke's arm. Evo's towel fell to the ground, and Luke was clutching his in front of him as Sala followed after having hung her towel up to dry. Luke was led to a room where there was a very large bed, and he wondered if the whole house shared the bed. Sala, still naked, got some oil and started to work Evo's back as he laid down.

"Um, can I get some clothes, I think my friend may be looking for me?" Luke asked standing there, starting to get a bit uncomfortable.

"Relax, Dak, lay down. We'll work your back as well. You're staying here with us tonight anyway. Cole will make sure your friend has somewhere to sleep tonight."

Luke watched Sala rub Evo's back and after a bit of time, Evo turned around and kissed her. Sala took the oil and put some on Luke's hands and asked, "Get my front while Evo gets my back. This stuff is amazing, we press and make it right here. It's so good for the skin."

Luke watched how Evo was rubbing, so he did the same. Sala moaned as Luke and Evo both rubbed the oil all over her skin. After she had the oil worked in she said, "Dak hasn't had his massage yet!"

Evo then kissed Luke then got behind him and Sala worked the front. Evo started with Luke's back, and Sala moved right to Luke's legs and worked his whole body. She giggled and Luke moaned. She kissed him, as Evo was still working on Luke's back, and then she unlocked Luke and kissed Evo over Luke's shoulder.

After the massage, with everyone very relaxed, Evo turned off the lights, and curled next to Sala and Luke. They mingled and touched and fondled each other until they fell asleep.

Luke woke up alone, wrapped in sheets with his clothes and small bag sitting next to him in the bed. He checked the bag. It looked as if no one had looked into it, and his lightsaber was still there inside hidden in the bottom. The house appeared empty. He got dressed, and looked for the fresher. After he found it and made use of it, he then walked down to the room that had the couch. The Twi'lek, Calar, was there and kissed him full on the lips. She then said good morning and introduced herself.

"I saw you briefly last night when I came in. So you work nights?" Luke asked.

"Yes, we have a problem with a large predator that roams at night, and a few of us keep watch. If we see one, it's meat for the village for the entire week," she smiled.

"What happened to Evo and Sala?" Luke asked.

"Oh, they told me to tell you to go down to the mess hall and get something to eat. Your Wookiee friend will meet you there. They were both sorry they weren't able to say goodbye, but they had to work in the mine today," Calar informed him.

"The mine?" Luke asked.

"Yes, Dak, we mine an element that is traded with various underground organizations. I believe they use it to make something else, I'm not too sure. Few come here though, but every few months, a ship comes and takes it away. There's some group on the other side some miles away from here that brings and trades with us occasionally, but I'm not sure what exactly they are. Some kind of warriors," She explained. "They leave us alone, but occasionally someone from the village joins them. They are fighting the Empire I believe."

"Are they rebels?" Luke asked, not knowing about any bases in this remote area.

"I think they just blow things up, I imagine they are rebels of some sort, I really don't know," Calar explained.

"Well, it's been nice meeting you. I'm going to get some breakfast and wait for my friend," Luke said as he walked out.

When Luke got to the mess hall, Chewie was a bit angry. "What's wrong, Chewie?"

Chewie roared.

He couldn't make it out exactly, but he got the impression that they had to leave right away or that Luke was late or something of that nature. Luke grabbed some bread and fruit to go and they walked back to the ship. Cole wasn't around so they didn't get a ride and Chewie growled off and on occasionally, frustrated that Luke couldn't understand him. When they got back to the ship, there was a man standing there covered in ammo, holding a large blaster and looking a bit rough. Chewie raised his bowcaster.

"Who are you?" The man said gruffly.

"We mean no harm, we just wanted to trade with the village, I'm sure we will be on our way," Luke said trying to calm the man down.

The man was alone, but not intimidated by the Wookiee with the bowcaster aimed at him or young Luke appearing not to be much of a threat. "I've got people watching you! You aren't Imperial spies are you?"

Luke gulped, "No, of course not. Are you with the Rebellion?"

Chewie roared and shook his head.

The man spit, "Those wimps! No, just a bunch of flash and talk with those rich optimistic losers."

"Seriously, we just want to get off planet and get out of here," Luke said trying to calm the man down.

"Let me see what you have on your ship that can convince me of that!" The man said getting up into Luke's face.

Luke closed his eyes for a moment then moved his hand, "You will walk back to your people and leave us alone."

"What was that?" The man yelled and spit again.

"You will walk back to your people and leave us alone," Luke repeated.

"I will walk back to my people and leave you alone," the man repeated.

"You saw nothing here, no ship, no Wookiee, no human," Luke said.

"I saw nothing here, no ship, no Wookiee, no human," the man repeated as he walked away.

Chewie laughed.

Luke said, "Let me get up in the x-wing and see if I can make contact, then we have to get out of here, fast. This place is weird."

Chewie growled.

Up in the x-wing, Luke tried to make contact on the secure channel. He tried several times, but apparently, the codes had been scrambled. Luke made sure the x-wing was secured to the ship, then he climbed back down and and met Chewie in the cockpit. "No go, Chewie. They must have changed the frequency already. Say, what exactly is this weird place anyway, and who was that guy?"

Chewie growled.

"Chewbacca says that man is most likely a member of one of the insurgent groups not connected to the Rebel Alliance. The village is a commune. He and Captain Solo used to transport minerals to other planets. The mineral is used to make some sort of drug." Threepio translated.

"Like medicine?" Luke asked.

Chewie shook his head negative and grumbled.

"Those people are really weird," Luke remarked as they started the engines for take off.

Chewie roared an affirmative.

Hoth-Echo Base.

"This isn't going to work!" Leia shouted in the hanger holding onto a very large conduit pipe that was too heavy to move.

"Trust me, it will work," Han shouted back. "I suppose you have some better idea!"

"Can't we cut it! We can barely move it!" Leia shouted back, "We just got this thing dug out of the ice!"

"Just slide it onto this flat sheet of metal, it's got to work!" Han shouted, "You aren't even helping!"

"Not helping! Not helping! We've already been out here for hours, I'm getting cold and we've been doing nothing but digging!" Leia shouted.

Han stood there walking in circles pulling on his hair and moving his arms in frustration. "Maybe we should just take a break?"

"Maybe we need to try and get out of here!" Leia shouted.

Leia felt frustrated, angry and mad and was tired of being cold, tired of being stuck on this planet, and tired of camping out in the pilot's storage room. Her face started to get really red with anger as Han took off into the maintenance storage area to get away for a bit.

She looked at this large piece of the former hanger ceiling that was currently blocking the way to the ramp of the ship they had partially dug out after hours and what seemed like days of digging. It was possible the ship wouldn't even be able to even fly. Han had assured her that since it had been buried it would be enough to keep the extreme cold temperature at night from destroying the engines, and she hoped he was right. Leia stared at that large, heavy thing, and started kicking it and blaming it for everything that had ever happened to her. She was brought to this moment and she had absolutely no control of anything in her life right now, and she didn't like it. She hated this conduit with a passion. She stared at it and thought about everything awful that had happened in her life, all her frustrations and her helplessness in this situation. Then without warning, the whole pipe rose off the ground and flew out of the hanger with great force, nearly hitting her.

"WHAT DID YOU DO!" Han came out running hearing the noise and seeing the conduit gone.

"I don't know, I really don't know, it just got up and flew out," she said shaking.

"I don't believe it!" Han said with astonishment. "How? Is there some sort of magnetic pull out there? I can't figure this out? What's wrong?"

Leia was still shaking and was starting to cry, "I don't know what happened. I wanted it to happen and it just did. I don't understand it."

Han walked up to her and held her as she stood there upset and afraid, "Why don't we just go and get warm a bit, get something to eat."

"Yeah, good idea," she said walking back inside still holding on to him.

Han had to admit to himself that he was scared, too.

Star Destroyer- The Executor

Darth Vader was going over the latest instructions the Emperor commanded of him. The Emperor had become impatient and felt that Lord Vader was focusing his priorities in ways that did not please him in his pursuit of Skywalker. So Vader was doing his job of being the Emperor's fist and bringing order to the galaxy and overseeing some of the work done on the new DS-2 in the works and various other operations to keep order in the galaxy. The truth was that Vader had become so obsessed with finding Skywalker, that he had let a few important Imperial details fall to the wayside and he was making up for lost time. It still frustrated him that Skywalker was no where on his radar, and though the evidence given to him by Dengar and Bossk had confirmed that the Millennium Falcon had indeed been on Tattooine, it was no longer there and hadn't been spotted for sometime. When Admiral Piett had gotten word that Boba Fett was due to arrive on his ship, Vader asked for him to be brought to him immediately upon arrival.

When Boba Fett arrived, he led him to a quiet conference room and spoke, "Fett, have you had any leads on the Millennium Falcon?"

"No, sir, but I will not rest until it has been found," Fett answered.

"Are you aware of it's appearance on Tatooine?" Darth Vader said looking in the opposite direction towards a view window.

"Yes, Solo was not spotted there, however a similar ship was. I asked a contact at Jabba's palace, and a representative of his by the name of Dak Janson came and paid Solo's debt to Jabba. I'm afraid I have no record of a Dak Janson," Boba Fett informed him.

"Probably an alias, and I imagine that it wasn't Solo himself. Jabba and his people would have recognized him. What of the Wookiee? Skywalker? The Princess? They are often associated with the ship as well," Vader inquired.

"No, sir. This Dak Janson looked nothing like anyone associated with Solo. Perhaps he was a paid mediary. There was something interesting about him though," Boba Fett added.

"What would that be?" Darth Vader inquired.

"This Dak Janson was very skilled. Jabba had him entertain guests in his palace by fighting a krayt dragon and a Besalisk warrior. It was said that the man was able to take down both with great skill. He was capable of leaping and bounding in ways that many in the palace had never seen or expected by someone so small or so young. It was wondered if perhaps he was some type of performer or skilled warrior. They were quite impressed by his abilities," Fett informed him.

"Interesting, quite interesting. How high did he leap?" Lord Vader asked.

"Have you seen the ceiling of Jabba's palace, sir? It's quite a high jump, and they said he had done it from the floor, sir."

Vader thought to himself. Who or what kind of human could do that kind of leap? A very skilled Force user or a Jedi could. Could this Dak Janson be Skywalker? The description didn't match, but he could be in disguise.

"Fett, if you were to guess from any of Solo's previous contacts prior to his association with the rebellion, to whom do you think he most likely would contact? An old business contact? And old friend? A previous lover?" Vader asked.

"I spoke with Dengar and Bossk. They believed from leads there that the ship was in need of repair. If I were to guess that Chewbacca was on that ship without Solo, he may go to Lando Calrissian. He's an old friend who would be familiar with that ship. He would be on Bespin, sir," Fett informed him.

"Go to Bespin and meet with this Calrissian, and report back to me. If you see the ship you will inform me immediately! Is that understood?" Darth Vader commanded.

"As you wish," Boba Fett spoke as he departed.

Dagobah

"It seems the girl is finding her strength. I'm quite troubled by how she achieved that feat," Ghost Obi-Wan spoke.

"Yes, yes, would you not move with the Force?" Yoda asked.

"But she had no control of her power. I can tell she didn't even understand how that happened. It could be very dangerous," Obi-Wan noted.

"Quite. Why we must have her come. Need that debris moved did she not? Move it she did?" Yoda answered.

"Yes, but I'm afraid she may be tempted by the darkside. That didn't seem to come from shear will, but from frustration and pain," Obi-Wan explained.

"Yes. Raw it is. Strong she is. Control she must learn," Yoda said closing his eyes. "Must think on this I will."

Hoth-Echo Base.

Leia was sitting on the cots covered in blankets trying to relax. She was still shaken up by what happened with the debris and her moving the large piece with her mind, or at least is seemed to be how she moved it. She could find no other explanation for it. Maybe that alien in her dreams was right. Maybe she was strong in the Force. It couldn't have just lifted up itself. Han had left her alone with her thoughts while he went to remove some more of the debris and hopefully get that ramp opened. If they got that at least done, they could see what was in the ship. Maybe a working fresher, galley, things of comfort? Even if they couldn't take off right away because of the need to clear more things, they could at least have that.

Han came back about an hour after leaving Leia alone, "I've got the ramp open. The ship has power! How are you doing?"

"I'm alright. It was just scary. You know it takes a lot to scare me, but that really shook me up," she said looking up at him.

Han sat down next to her trying to comfort her, but she shrugged away from him. He sighed, hoping that yesterday's make out session was a sign she was loosening up a bit, but maybe he was just pushing it a bit at the wrong time. He thought he had been playing this game long enough to know how to play it. He got up and got the bottle of whiskey and sat next to her again. "Here," he said offering her the bottle.

"What? You think because I'm so vulnerable right now that you can get me drunk and seduce me?" She yelled.

"Well that's better than sulking," he smiled making note of her sudden change from sad and afraid to defensive and commanding. "Just take it, I think you could use a swig."

"Just a little, maybe it will relax me," she took the bottle and sipped. "Maybe you could use a shave." She said looking at him.

"I've been thinking about that. Hear me out. When we get out of here, we're going to need a few supplies and probably some disguises. That ship isn't that well known as being associated with the rebellion. We can maybe go somewhere for a bit, then if that little green alien comes back and tells us how to get where he wants us to go, we figure that out, too. So, I keep growing the scruff," Han suggested.

"Sounds like a plan," She said almost defeated taking another sip. "I don't think I'd like you with a beard though."

"So, you admit you like me without one?" He grinned at her.

"It just looks even more scruffy than normal." She paused then said, "Just a little looks kind of nice."

"How much of that stuff have you been drinking, sweetheart? Take it easy," Han said taking the bottle. "You're almost giving me compliments here. Let me feel your forehead, are you sick."

"You're alright sometimes," Leia said reaching for the bottle again.

He handed it back, "Just one more, then I'm putting it away. Admit it, you keep me around on purpose and you didn't want me to leave."

"I didn't want you to leave. Not really, it was just easier," she said quietly.

"Easier?" He said taking a swig of the bottle himself and putting back in the locker.

"You were going to leave anyway. You still are going to leave, what's the point?" she began to lay down.

"I'd leave, you would call be back, sending those goons after me for some other mission. And half those missions you came along. I couldn't leave. I didn't even now when I was supposed to go. I have people out there trying to kill me. What if you were there and got in the middle of it. I'm a risk, to you, to your precious rebellion. You have been out there in the middle of that, more than once," Han explained.

"And I'm not a risk myself? That you haven't been in the middle of someone after me? She stood up, I think only Mon Mothma is above me on the Empire's most wanted list!" She shouted. "Do you know how many people died protecting me, for me, or because of me! Do you know how that must make me feel having to think about that?"

"I'm sorry, I didn't think of that. I know that's true. I'd like to at least get Jabba off my back, how to do that? I don't know if I really even know," Han said sitting down on the cots again.

Leia sat down next to him, "Let's do that then, let's get him off your back. We can think of something."

"No, sister, not you! This is my problem, not yours!" Han stood up again and shouted.

"Let's go somewhere, in disguise like you said. Just be regular people for a bit, then we can think of something," Leia said looking up at him.

"That's just it. We aren't regular people, but we'll go from the original plan of going somewhere in disguise and figure something out," Han said sitting down next to her and putting his arm around her.

"Look at you planning something. Sounds like an idea. If we ever get out of here that is," Leia said and gave him a peck on the cheek.

"We will, we'll get out of here, if we don't kill each other first," Han said.

Leia had to laugh.

Han walked her out to the ship, and he was right, the ramp was open, light was shining inside and after the past few days, it was the most wonderful sight to behold.

"I wonder if it will start?" Leia asked.

"You know, there isn't that much stuff around it, I wonder if we can get it going through all this? I mean, I've been in trash heaps and gotten out from stuff worse than this ice," Han said looking from it's cockpit.

"If you think it will work. I'm going to collect the stuff from the pilot's room and the maintenance room. Rations, the med kit, Wes's datapad," Leia laughed.

"The whiskey!" Han called out from the cockpit.

"That too!" she yelled.

She grabbed what she could and looked around. What if someone came back looking for them? Should she write them a note? She took the stuff up into the ship and called out, "Han! Get out here a minute!"

"What!" he shouted engines started.

"Let's write a note so they know we got out. That is if anyone cares," She said.

Leia went into the pilot's room, the heater was still warm, so she took a wooden broom handle and placed it on the heater until it caught fire.

"Sweetheart, that fire is going to go out before anyone shows up," Han said shaking his head and wondering just what she was up to.

"Just wait," Leia said then blew the flame out. The end of the handle was charred. She turned off the heater, in the remote chance that it would be needed by some poor soul later.

On the floor of the hanger, Leia wrote in large letters: L.O. + H.S. GOT OUT

Han said, "Give me that thing!"

Han then wrote underneath: ME JUUZ KU WERMO!

"OK, let's try and get out of here!" Han said leading her up the ramp.

The engines started and shifting slowly back and forth, Han was able to loosen the ship from whatever ice and debris was still laying underneath, after a rough start the ship started to lift up and out of the hanger.

"We did it!" Leia shouted and hugged him. "Now, where to?"

"Some place a whole lot more fun," Han replied.

Chapter Text

Millennium Falcon-somewhere in space

Chewbacca roared.

"Chewbacca does not think this is a very good idea at all Master Luke. He wonders if you have your priorities straight." Threepio translated.

"Chewie, look. I'm sure that Han and Leia are alright. Don't ask me how, I just know. The Rebel Alliance would never leave the Princess stranded, you know that! I know I told you I wasn't returning to the Rebel Alliance, at least not yet. The ship, while functioning, is going to need proper repairs at some point. I really don't think expecting the Rebel Alliance to take care of that is going to work, and they are just too short on funds as it is. You aren't doing a job for them now," Luke explained. "I've helped Han before get jobs, we could do one. Make a deal or two, then you can get the credits for some repairs. I don't think this person you know is going to do it for free?"

Chewbacca roared.

"Chewbacca wants to remind Master Luke that his life debt to Captain Solo does not extend to you, Master Luke. This is highly unlike you," Threepio translated.

Chewbacca roared.

"Chewbacca also is concerned as a friend of your well being. These years he has known you, he knew of your wish to be a Jedi, and now, you just want to go on a wild adventure through space. Even letting down the Rebel Alliance for which you have worked so hard." Threepio translated.

"I know, Chewie, I know. It's just that I never thought I could have that kind of experience on Tatooine of all places that I had at Jabba's, and that moon, it wasn't a job for the Rebel Alliance, but something different. There's a whole galaxy out there to explore, not as a member of Rogue Squadron or as a Jedi. I think I might like to see a little more of it before I start training as a Jedi. I've learned so much already, but this is different. And in a way, it's been a learning experience, too. This commitment to being a Jedi is serious, and I'm not sure I'm ready," Luke explained.

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca says that he will probably need credits in order to put the Falcon in perfect working order. Perhaps you both could take one job and then ride along to Bespin with him. He wants you to know he isn't too happy about it. Chewbacca knows a place where he can possibly pick up some work and contact the Rebel Alliance," Threepio translated.

"At least we can tell them we are alright, and see if we can find anything out about Leia and Han. I'm sure Leia is alright. I just feel she is, and Han was with her. Trust me on that, Chewie. I don't know what I'm going to find on this Dagobah either," Luke sighed.

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca says he does not like it one bit, but he will help you. He wants you to know he is disappointed in you, Master Luke," Threepio translated. "Oh Master Luke, I hope you know what you are doing. I hope I'm not required for anything remotely dangerous."

Artoo beeped negatively.

"I know, Artoo, I know, but it's what I want to do." Luke sighed sadly.

Bespin-Cloud City.

Boba Fett waited outside of the office of Baron Lando Calrissian, administrator of Cloud City. The holonet in the waiting room played some horrible Rodian soap opera and Boba Fett had been standing for an hour before he was led in by a man with cyborg construct on his head.

Lando stood there with a sour look on his face, his arms bent with his hands on his hips, "Long time, Boba Fett. What is it that I can do for you?"

"I'm looking for the Millennium Falcon," Boba Fett answered, "You know that ship. Have you seen it."

"Of course I know that ship, but I haven't seen it. Look, I don't know what you heard, but I haven't seen Han in years. Last I heard of him was 3 or 4 years ago. I'm sorry I can't help you," Lando said turning around taking a seat at his desk and propping his feet up. "Is this about Jabba?"

"I've been sent by someone else, someone who can cause a great deal of trouble for you if you know anything," Boba Fett warned.

"Well, I've been in a great deal of trouble before, and I've gotten out of it. I'm sorry, I don't know anything about Han or the Millennium Falcon right now. If you like though, I can get you set up with a nice dinner down at the restaurant before you go on your way. You can even stay over if you like, my treat?" Lando offered putting his hands behind his head and smiling. "If I might ask though, who wants him so bad? If it's not Jabba?"

"I've been hired by someone very important connected with the Empire. That's all I will say. If you see the Millennium Falcon, and you don't tell me? It won't go well for you or your operations here," Boba Fett threatened. "I believe I'll stick around a bit if you don't mind, then I'll be on my way."

"That's fair. I wish I knew where he was, but I'm sorry I can't help you," Lando said as he stood up. He pointed at Lobot who proceeded to open the door.

Boba Fett stopped at the door and turned back and said, "If you don't let me know and you see that ship, I'll know. Just know that."

The door shut and Lando went back to his chair, and turned around and looked through the window. "The nerve of some people," he said to himself shaking his head.

Sterdic IV-Cawa City spaceport

There was little trouble getting a docking bay to land, just a nice, normal, loyal Imperial couple from Mygeeto visiting on business for a couple of days. At least that's what the manifest said. The droids at the spaceport offered maintenance services, tour services, cleaning services or anything else. This part of the spaceport was almost too clean and too wholesome. There were a small number of stormtroopers maintaining order about, but they seemed unconcerned about Leia, Han or their ship. The local cantina was even what one could call nice, with business men and citizens out shopping and just stopping for a drink. To Han, it was a bit unnerving, but he considered it the perfect place to hide from anyone trying to find them and yet to still be in some semblance of civilization. That area of the city was incredibly dull, but being so, Leia thought sensibly that it might be safer that way, and if they were going to be careful, who would think to look there right? Even though he fought the idea of wearing a cape, Leia reminded him that he would have to give up wearing his holster rig to fit in, and it helped hide the blaster.

Leia was wearing a blonde wig she found in one of the cabinets, the shuttle often having been used for inconspicuous work, where disguises were needed, so they had plenty of costumes to work with. Leia had to change the dress she found because it was almost too nice. In fact, she had used it previously during a conference of Alliance supporters to address the needs for funds for the cause. A few rips of fancy adornments, and some additional accessories made for a more low key, but still nice dress. There were a few casual garments that were suitable. They fit everything into one bag and headed for a local hotel to check in.

They both were regretting it though. When they got to the hotel, there were no suites and only single rooms. There was no room service, but they did have running water in the fresher and sadly no tub. Basically, there was nothing exciting about this place at all, and while at the time they thought it would be a nice break, they both thrived on excitement. They looked at the local offerings for eating establishments, and found a small restaurant recommended by the desk clerk that seemed to have a decent menu and just right now about anything was better than those rations and that black make shift caf they had been living on the past few days. It was just your basic nerf steaks and spicy tubers that were common throughout the galaxy. Leia sat there picking at her food groaning about it, and Han was annoyed they didn't even serve anything alcoholic.

It seemed that most things had shut down for the day by the time they finished eating, and short of going to one of those boring bars with the business men and the locals, they stopped in a shop and picked up a couple of bottles of wine and some snack food. They headed back to their room where they could watch the holonet and see what propaganda the Empire had been broadcasting lately.

"This really was a great idea!" Leia said sarcastically slamming the door when she came into the room.

Han groaned, "We could go back to Hoth."

"Don't say that too loud!" she whispered in anger.

"It wasn't loud," Han answered.

"But what if someone hears?" Leia whispered.

Han was already looking for listening devices in the phones and behind the mirror as Leia went into the fresher and yelled, "I'm taking a shower!"

Han put on the holonet and found a smashball game and sat there and got out the glasses and poured some of the wine. 'I just know this is going to be a boring trip,' he thought to himself. At least he could watch a live game though.

Leia came out in a robe with a towel on her head and looked through the things for something to sleep in. She forgot to get something for that so she grabbed one of Han's shirts.

"Hey! That's mine!" he said.

Leia growled holding it, "It appears that I don't have anything else that's comfortable. You have another one!"

"Whatever," he answered.

She poured some wine and sat on the bed still in the robe holding the shirt, "Some place right?"

"Yeah," Han growled.

"I wonder if there is a more seedier part of town," Leia asked taking a sip of wine.

"Sweetheart, there's always a seedier part of town, they just don't let Princesses in them," Han answered.

"Like a rule, no Princesses allowed? I'll have you know I've seen plenty of seedy parts of towns," Leia insisted getting another glass. "I didn't have anyone stopping me from going there. Is there a law about that? I wasn't aware that I could have been arrested."

"Princess jail in the seedy part of town. You wouldn't want to know what goes on in there," Han said trying to keep himself serious and having a hard time of it.

"Want to go find the seedier part of town?" Leia asked looking at Han.

"Maybe tomorrow." he grumbled.

"You look weird and you stink. Take a shower," Leia said changing the subject.

"I don't stink. And this is a disguise remember? I'm trying to watch this game."

"Then you get the floor!" she said and got more wine.

"Take it easy with that stuff. Don't drink it all, and give me back my shirt," he said getting up and grabbing it out of her hand.

"We did get two bottles. That place didn't even have very much to choose from and frankly this wine is horrible," Leia said looking down into the glass.

"Yeah, but it beats freezing in that pilot storage area on Hoth," Han replied. "Look, tomorrow we're going to see if we can find a contact or your rebel cell or whatever, and then we're going to get you back with your people."

"And then what? You leave?" Leia said in an upset tone and finishing her glass.

Han looked at her put his head down, "Yeah, I gotta take care of this thing with Jabba."

"No, I'm going with you." Leia said calmly.

"Look, sweetheart, do you know what it's like there?" Han fumed.

"Well, I guess I'm going to find out then," Leia said playing with the empty glass.

"No, you aren't. Just drop it. I don't want to think about it right now." Han said opening the other bottle. "What's that?"

"Wes's datapad. I might as well entertain myself," Leia said stiffly.

"I'm getting a shower, you can have the shirt," Han said throwing the shirt towards her. "And I'm not sleeping on the floor."

Hoth-Echo Base.

The ship landed near the ion base and close to the entrance to the transport hanger. Rieekan arrived with Wes Janson, Hobbie Klivian and Major Derlin. Hobbie came as an escort in his x-wing with Wes piloting the small freighter. Rieekan wasn't sure what he was going to find, and how much they would be able to take with them, but they didn't want to be as conspicuous with anything larger. Many of those who had died were still here, but were covered in the snow with the flecks of orange still poking out from the snow in spaces. It was a somber scene. They were able to get into the transport hanger, and there weren't any ships in there because any there would have been used by those evacuating, but there were hunks of debris. Derlin had a monitor for heat signatures, and had something registered weakly close by. He showed Rieekan.

"Could be a tauntaun, hope it's not a wampa, but there is the possibility of one of ours being in there. See if we can get in and be ready. We may need blasters," Rieekan ordered.

Wes got a tool to jimmy the door and Hobbie, Rieekan and Derlin all cleared some of it out of the way. The door opened and the hall to medical was a mix of cave in and fallen duct work. The door to medical opened, and two people wrapped in blankets crawled out with a droid.

"Derlin, Klivian, get them out of there. Janson let's see if we can clear some of this away," Rieekan said gruffly with a smile.

"We didn't think anyone would come back," the young woman coughed.

"How did you survive in there?" Rieekan asked.

"2-1B, we ran out of rations and he hooked us up with fluids. One of them in there didn't make it. Blaster fire, we pulled him in here, tried to keep him alive, but it was too late," the other man said.

"We hid in the closet, after we heard them," the young woman said weakly.

"Have you seen anyone else?" Rieekan asked.

The young man spoke, "No, General Rieekan, we couldn't get out into the hanger, and the corridor is blocked."

"Klivian and Derlin, get them on the ship, get 2-1B if you can," Rieekan ordered.

Janson and Rieekan tried to move some of the stuff out of the way to get the droid out, as Hobbie and Major Derlin put the soldiers on the ship. The young woman Derlin remembered as one of his crew in the hanger, but he didn't know the man. Derlin asked, "Did you work medical?"

"No, I was a patient, worked in the generators. I was sick so I was in the medical bay. Casha just happened to be stuck in the hall when the stormtroopers went through and ducked in. The...other man...he worked in medical. Saved her life," he choked.

"We're going to do some more search and rescue, but you should be able to stay warm on the ship," Derlin said giving them some warm caf from the galley.

Rieekan and Derlin walked the perimeter of the base trying to detect more heat signatures. It was hard with so much of it collapsed, but with so much of the ceiling opened, they thought it would be as thorough as they could get with Derlin's equipment. Hobbie and Wes soon ran up to join them and they got above the command center and with some grappling hooks, Hobbie was able to get down there. Rieekan shouted, "Get any heat signatures in there?"

"No, sir!" Hobbie called out.

"Put the detonators in then. We'll set em off before we leave," Rieekan shouted.

Hobbie put the detonators all over the command center.

"It's a miracle we were able to get anyone alive out of medical, this looks really bad here. We'll have to debrief them more after we get them back to the fleet," Rieekan noted.

They walked around the outer base some more until they got to the other hanger, the one where the x-wings had been usually kept. "Anymore heat signatures," Rieekan called out walking behind the men.

"Sir!" Derlin laughed. "Looks like you have a message!"

Wes and Hobbie were standing there smiling and laughing as Rieekan made his way to the hanger. Rieekan smiled and laughed as well. "Looks like the Princess got out!" he exclaimed looking at the message written on the hanger floor.

Wes ran into the corridor that seemed to be a bit cleared and noticed the maintenance room had been moved around a bit. Hobbie followed and noted, "Zev's astromech."

Rieekan poked in, "We'll see if we can get it back on the ship. Janson? What are you looking for?"

"My datapad, sir. It was kept in here! It's gone!" Janson cried. "And my whiskey, too!"

"Your whiskey? Janson?" Rieekan laughed. "It's just a datapad and some whiskey."

Hobbie called from down the hall, "I think I found your whiskey, or what's left of it, Janson. There's an empty bottle here."

"They must have taken the other one," Janson said. "I hope they didn't get my datapad!"

"Janson?" Rieekan questioned.

"Sir, it's where I kept all the betting pools, sir. You know, those betting pools?" Janson said standing at attention.

Rieekan laughed, "Let's hope the Princess didn't see it. Yes, this sure looks like this might have been where they camped out. If you see anything in here that you want to take, grab it. Might be something that belonged to one of our guys. Derlin! Any heat signatures?"

"No, sir, it's clear," Derlin answered.

"We'll do another run and then get out of here. Don't forget to set off the detonators when we're done, Klivian." Rieekan said walking out of the room.

He looked down the hall and saw the bodies of the two men who didn't make it in the blocked passage way. He wiped his brow and stood silently for a moment. He felt like it was his base. He just hoped he did what he could.

After another hour of moving the ship, and checking the base, they set the detonators, and took off into space. Two survivors stuck here and no way out. It was worth it to come back.

Millennium Falcon

Luke had no idea where he was, and Chewie wasn't really talking to him. Chewie called to Threepio and Threepio talked to a dispatcher and they were able to land with no problems on one of those space stations where ships often stopped to refuel and do deals. Chewie beckoned Luke to follow him with Threepio following behind them and they ended up in the most dark and dankest cantina Luke had ever seen. As soon as he got in, this giant Trandoshan got right into Luke's face and said, "Never seen you here before? You're not one of them are ya? ARE YA?"

"One of what?" Luke asked.

Trandoshan just flicked his hand and went, "Eh, guess not."

There was a fist fight in the far corner, but no one was paying it any mind, and a Zabrak woman came up to Luke and said to him, "Follow me."

Chewie roared, and pushed him towards the woman and the three of them followed her down a corridor and into a small room where a Sullustan was sitting. She looked at Chewbacca and said pointing to Chewie and said, "Your friend, he's alright. At least we know he got out. Where he is, I don't know. Her, too. No contact. They left a message."

Chewie shook his head and the Sullustan shook his head and made a noise.

"We got a job for you," she said looking at Luke.

"Me?" Luke asked confused.

"Yeah you. You're to go to these coordinates. Drop off this box. We already put it on the ship. Thing is, that ship can't go there. Chewbacca knows what to do. Alright, get out of here," she orders.

Luke walks out confused and bewildered, but if Chewbacca knows what to do, it must be alright. Though Chewie isn't really talking to him right now, but OK. They get back in the Millennium Falcon and fly back out into space.

After several hours in hyperspace, and a good sleep, Chewie lands on a jungle planet. It doesn't seem like there is anything at all here whatsoever.

"Chewie, talk to me, where are we?" Luke asks.

Chewie shrugs grabs the box, and tells Threepio and Artoo to follow him. They walk about a mile through the thick jungle, Luke cutting through it with his lightsaber to help make the path a bit easier. Threepio complains the whole entire way and Artoo beeps in his "Shut up Threepio" kind of way. They get to a cave, and Chewbacca walks in where there's a ship. Chewie opens up the ramp, and they climb inside.

Chewie roars.

"Chewbacca says you may set the coordinates," Threepio translated.

"Will the ships be alright here?" Luke asked.

Chewie roars.

"Chewbacca says not for you to worry," Threepio translated.

"OK, so where are we going?" Luke asked.

Chewie roars.

"Chewbacca says you want adventure and mystery," Threepio translates.

Chewie roars again.

"You're going to get it," Threepio translates.

Sterdic IV-Cawa City

Leia woke up in the room alone, but was relieved to see that Han had left most of his stuff there. When he had said he was leaving her alone for Tatooine, she almost wondered if he would take off without even a goodbye to keep her from joining him. She stretched her arms and headed to the fresher to take a shower. When she came out wrapped in her robe, Han had come back with breakfast for her.

"This place has breakfast downstairs. I brought some up for ya," Han said while chewing his food.

"You know it's rude to speak with food in your mouth," she snapped at him.

"Well good morning then," he got up grabbed her shoulders and kissed her forehead and lounged back down on the bed with his breakfast and turned on the holonet.

"I almost thought you left me here alone." Leia said looking down at the food. "This looks alright. A little dry, but it will do."

"Sleep alright, no visits from aliens?" Han asked.

"Not this time, I haven't seen him for a few days. Maybe it was just a dream, or that weird thing that happened at the last one has him cautious. I'm sure it's someone really trying to contact me. I just don't understand why?" Leia said eating her breakfast.

"Don't talk with your mouth full," Han pointed at her and laughed.

"What should we do today?" Leia asked.

"How do you contact that rebel cell? You have any ideas? Got to be better than doing anything else around here," Han said moving his arms and rolling his eyes.

"I have an idea about that, somewhere in the Vola district? Whatever that is?" Leia answered.

"I'm sure it's the seedy laws against Princesses part of town," Han laughed.

"Probably," Leia grinned. "I'm sure you'll feel right at home there."

They decided to go ahead and just check out of the hotel, and they did a run for supplies and took it back to the ship before heading out to the Vola district. They were in the same disguise that they had been using since arriving on planet, and Leia had some semblance of where to go and who to look for here, though it had been some time since she had gotten that information. The place was a flashy watering hole for being in a less than glamorous neighborhood, and it reminded Leia of a few of the smaller places further away from the senate district on Coruscant. While they were sitting in their seats enjoying their drinks, a man came up to Leia and tried to make conversation.

"Hello, don't believe I've seen you around here before, are you new in town?" he asked. He was an older, but well dressed middle aged man with dyed purple hair and tanned skin. He smiled and took her hand. It didn't matter to him that she was sitting at a table with Han, and they both were obviously seated together.

"Hey buddy, the lady's with me!" Han said standing up forcing his hand away.

The man took a slight bow and said, "Excuse me, I wasn't sure if you had already put credits on this one. If you'll excuse me." he said while walking away.

"Well, that was weird, but you didn't have to be so rude," Leia said sipping her drink.

"He thinks you're a girl for hire," Han said in a whisper with a huff. "This place is probably full of them. Are you sure this is the place?"

"Pretty sure," Leia replied.

"Well, maybe it moved, or it's just not here anymore," Han whispered.

"Maybe, we could try out back," Leia whispered.

"Yeah, sometimes, it's a front for something else," Han replied with a whisper and checking the place out.

They paid for their food and drink and walked down the street a bit, turning back around the corner and to another block as to not look suspicious. They saw two stormtroopers walking nearby, nodding to some of the citizens. They just seemed to be from a local garrison and not on any mission. It was just unnerving because a lot of their interactions with stormtroopers had been in places either they or the stormtroopers were not supposed to be. Leia had to remind herself that she was just an average Imperial citizen making her way through the streets of Cawa City and not anything they might be looking for. They turned the block and went down an alley that Leia figured eventually went to where the back of that cantina was located.

Han said, "Let me go ahead, stay here and keep watch. I heard something."

"I think I can handle myself!" Leia whispered with annoyance.

"I know you can, that's why I'm leaving you alone for a moment, don't worry, I'll be right back," Han said as he ducked the next corner.

Leia waited a few minutes and didn't hear anything, but she felt something, and she didn't like it. Then she heard a few grunts. She made her away slowly towards the area where she though that Han went, and there had been an open door, she peered in trying not to be seen, and there was Han, on his knees, with his hands tied around his back and another larger man punching him, with a small dark alien she couldn't make out in some kind of armor standing with his arms over his chest and talking in a strange dialect. She took out her blaster, and with one hit, shot the larger man with her blaster and then dove for the smaller man in the leather armor, pulling out her knife and sticking it under his throat.

"He's a bounty hunter," Han said as he was struggling with his hands. "Probably figured out who I was."

Leia noticed the language as being Ubese and pulled the helmet off the man. She could make out a few words, but could tell he intended to take Han to Jabba the Hutt. He kept pleading for his life, and after Han got himself free, with the bounty hunter still pinned by Leia, Han pointed the blaster at his head and shot him once.

"Shut the door and lock or bolt it or something!" Han called out.

Leia slowly closed the door and they could hear radio signals outside from the stormtroopers wondering what the blaster fire was and where it came from. When they left, sounding as if they were headed towards the bar, Han and Leia took a brief sigh of relief.

"We gotta get out of here, we'll act all casual as if we don't have any idea of what happened, and just return to the ship, got it? Then we head somewhere else," Han said a bit shaken up with his face banged up.

"Let me help you here," Leia said wiping his face. "You look awful."

"Thanks, maybe it helps the disguise," Han laughed. "Let's get out of here."

"Not just yet, I have an idea," Leia said looking down at the dead bounty hunter. "Help me get this get up off of him." Leia then started removing his elaborate attire.

"I don't know what you're thinking here sweetheart, but maybe we should get out of here and back to the ship, as soon as it's a bit clear. You know someone is looking for these people," Han cautioned.

"Just help me get this stuff off!" Leia said frustrated.

"Alright, but what about that guy?" Han asked pointing at him.

"What about him, come on, it's not like you haven't done this before," Leia said lifting his clothes off.

They put what they could inside the helmet, and then it and everything else they wrapped in Han's cape.

They tried to walk where it was less conspicuous, it was getting a bit dark, and they were able to hire a speeder to take them to the spaceport. "He's getting medical attention," Leia said softly to the driver. "Just can't stop walking into walls. I think his vision is starting to get worse." She said trying to explain Han's appearance before he asked.

They got on the ship, Leia laid the bounty hunter get up down in the cabin, then went and took care of Han's banged up eye and face gently. She kissed him on the forehead and went to put the medical kit away and clean up a bit. She grabbed her blaster and headed towards the cockpit.

Han, turned at the controls getting the ship warmed up and ready to fly out of there, called out to her, "Where to next, Leia?"

He turned around to see the princess standing there with a blaster pointed at his head. "We're going to Tatooine. Let's get going," she said in an angry and serious tone.

"No, I said, I was doing it myself," Han said staring at the blaster pointed at his face.

She got closer and put the blaster right under his chin, "Tatooine, hotshot. NOW!"

"Alright, Alright," he started entering things in the cockpit, and Leia looked over his shoulder. "See, Tatooine, just like you said. Now, will you take that blaster away?"

"Not until we are in hyperspace," Leia said unflinching.

Han was actually a bit nervous. She wouldn't blast him would she? She couldn't. She could get a bit scary at times, but he thought he could trust her. She could get a bit volatile at times. Damn was she hot though right now. They got into hyperspace, Han got out of his seat and Leia moved the blaster down at her side, Han moved closer to her and pushed her up against the side of the ship.

"Do you know how sexy you looked holding a blaster to my head?" He said whispering her in ear. She looked up at him and he kissed her and she dropped the blaster and pulled him in close and they held each other tightly still with their lips locked together.

After they unlocked from each other Leia yelled at him. "Get a shave! And try not to mess up the rest of your face," and she went into the cabin to try on the bounty hunter's clothing.

Chapter Text

Coruscant- Galactic City

There were hundreds of places to dock in the galaxies largest city, and Luke assumed this had to be the worst spaceport on the planet. Chewbacca assured him that it was not. They had gotten through Imperial dispatchers with fake ids, Luke being given the alias of a courier by the name of Tambo Sasmander and Chewbacca's id described him as being owned by the shipping company of which Tambo was employed. It put a bad taste in Luke's mouth, and he had no idea the destination would be Coruscant, but they got in and were seemingly disregarded by any security in the spaceport. After landing the ship, they were to go down six hundred levels to deliver their package. The ship was going to be inspected, it was required by law, and the only thing that Luke had on him at the time that might be questionable was his lightsaber which he hid on his person.

The energy here was unlike any that he had ever felt before. If it was the fact that so many people lived here, the Emperor himself or that the last Jedi Temple had been here? Luke didn't know, but he could feel it. It was overwhelming and strange to him. Leaving Threepio on the ship, he had only Artoo and Chewie with him. It would make it a little difficult, but he was starting to understand Chewie better and he was given credits and instructions. The air taxi was to take him to the two hundredth level where he would catch a lift to the level where he needed to go. It was odd how the city was constructed. Just one level built on top of the other, the further down you went, the older and more dingy and poorer it got. By the time they got to the six hundredth level, he couldn't barely tell if it was day or night, but the walkways were lit by the signs on the buildings and there were people everywhere. Chewie pointed where to go and they arrived at a warehouse where Chewie flashed something that Luke didn't see to a Dug standing at the doorway, and they were led to the back office where a large man with one eye was standing with a rough looking woman with red hair and a yellow tinge to her skin. He took the box from Luke and then gave him a packet with more instructions. Saying nothing at all. Then he turned around, got an envelope and gave it to Chewie. Something inside made Chewie laugh, nod his head and shake the man's hand. Chewie clutched it close and kept it from Luke. They left the warehouse and Chewie pointed to the packet which had another address on it and showed Luke which direction to go, but indicated that Chewie was heading back up to the docking bay.

"When should I come back? Do you know where I'll be?" Luke asked a bit worried.

Chewie made a motion that he would come get him, and turned to the lift and was gone, leaving Luke alone with Artoo. Luke made his way to the address on the packet. From what he could make out, it was another lift and twelve more levels down. Before he got to the lift, a group of rough men came up and Artoo started beeping wildly.

"Nice droid you got there. Old astromech like that would make a bit of change don't you think?" One of them said, though Luke could barely make his face out in the dim lighting. "What do you think Tunk?"

"I don't know," the other man slurred. "At least something for scrap maybe."

"It's not for sale," Luke spoke firmly.

"Who said we were going to buy it?" The men laughed.

Artoo beeped frantically.

"Aww now, little droid, don't you want to come with us? Can't be to nice being with this scrawny kid here." the first man spoke. Luke started to think he was the one in charge. The other men laughed.

Artoo shocked him when he stroked his dome.

"Feisty little thing you got there," the man said rubbing where he was shocked.

"Leave us alone!" Luke told him firmly.

"Or what? You call someone?" the man said putting his face right down into Luke's face.

Luke closed his eyes. "You will let us go and no longer bother us."

"What?" one of them said in disbelief.

"You will leave us alone and no longer bother us." Luke said again much calmer and sure of himself.

"We will leave you alone and no longer bother you." they repeated.

"You will go home and rethink your life choices," Luke spoke.

"We will go home and rethink our life choices," they repeated.

The men walked away and Luke called out to Artoo, "Come on."

Luke was beginning to think it wasn't them who had to rethink their life choices, but at least he felt he was getting better at the Jedi mind trick.

The address was a dank building that he couldn't tell anything about it from the outside. He knocked in the way the instructions said to, and he was led into an even darker, but dimly lit room and to another door where he could hear vibration and sound coming through. When he was led into the door, by a human woman with very long dark hair and a flowing silk dress, there were lights jetting everywhere, people dancing, loud music and drinking. He wondered if it was some kind of party, and when he tried to ask, he couldn't hear himself even talk it was just so loud. He was brought through all these people pushing and dancing and drinking to a room in the back where a group were playing cards.

"This him?" An older woman with jewelry hanging all over her neck and arms and wrists and around her waist asked.

The redhead shook her head and the woman took the packet. "Much appreciated. The credits will be delivered as per our deal. Stick around for a bit if you like. You're more than welcome to stay. Enjoy yourself."

"Is this a party?" Luke asked innocently.

"Darling? This is always a party!" She smiled.

Tatooine-somewhere hidden in the desert.

The ship landed in one of the spots that Han knew most likely to call the least amount of attention. It wasn't unheard of for a small ship to land in the desert of Tatooine for trading, and since it wasn't the Millennium Falcon, odds were that no notice of it would be taken. Han was very unhappy to be here, and even more unhappy that Leia was here. Even if she had a plan.

Earlier on route to the planet, Leia told Han her plan. There were detonators on board that could be discharged remotely and her plan was to rid the galaxy of the slave owning slug forever. Han had told her about how he was often found on his dais, a stone slab that was moved by minions to various parts of the throne room, and Leia's plan was to roll the detonators underneath as inconspicuous as possible.

"Sweetheart, I really don't think it's going to work. How do you expect me to get out? Odds are they are going to lock me up as soon as I get in there, though I'm pretty good at talking my way out of things, as you are well aware," Han explained.

Leia rolled her eyes, "Yes, distract him. I'll be the bounty hunter who brings you in. I don't expect to leave without you. And I won't activate it until you are safely out of there. I'm sure you can think of some way to stall him, right? This guy likes to be entertained from what you said, so entertain him!"

"I hate the idea of some poor slave of his getting hit with those detonators," Han said sadly.

"I know, that might be a sacrifice we have to make. Think of those in the future that won't though. How many years would Jabba the Hutt continue doing what he is doing and how many more will suffer? This is war, Han. We can do what we can as far as that goes, but the object of the mission is to get rid of Jabba the Hutt once and for all. Think of what he has been doing to the people of Tatooine for years! I've heard Luke talk about it. Ridding the place of Jabba will be worth it, and we're going to do it, you and me." Leia said brushing off Boushh the bounty hunter's outfit.

"And maybe a few poor smugglers like me who just happen to be in there trying to make a living," Han hung his head.

"There will be less of them with death marks like yours. All of a sudden you aren't going to be selfish about this? He's probably going to want to kill you! Let's get you free of him once and for all," Leia said rubbing his hand. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said selfish. It's just, we'll do it as best we can, alright. The target is Jabba." She paused. " This helmet really stinks, and it's going to be a furnace in that desert heat. I wonder if there's something in here we can clean it with." She looked around.

"At least this ship has an autovac," Han gritted a bit worried about this whole operation. "We've got a few hours, let's get some sleep."

The cots in the cabin were narrow and were on the sides of the cabin with another row of cots on top. Han put the one above his down so that he wouldn't keep hiting his head on it, and tried to get comfortable. "This is worse than that nest we made in the pilot's storage room on Hoth," he complained.

"I've had worse. I'm going to get out of this thing then I'll get some rest, too." Leia gave him a peck and headed for the fresher...

Before they got directly to the palace, they took pause hidden behind a dune and got some water. Leia took the helmet off, to cool off a bit. Otherwise when they approached Jabba's palace after a hike in that horrible get up that Leia had to wear they would have made her pass out by the time they hit Jabba's door. After speaking what little Ubese she could into the communicator outside his door, Jabba's masterdomo, Bib Fortuna, arrived almost immediately and escorted them to the throne room. Han played it up with a sad face, while Leia made attempts of pushing and dragging him. His hands were loosely bound, but Jabba didn't have to know that. What happened next surprised them.

Jabba spoke in Huttese, "Han, my boy! Your presence pleases me! Boushh, I'm afraid you're too late! The debt has already been paid! Please, stay, enjoy yourself. Someone come and free Han so I may speak with him."

"My debt's been paid?" Han asked dumbstruck, "Of course, it's been paid. I tried to explain it to that dirty bounty hunter over there, but he didn't understand!"

"Oh Han, so, when can we do business again?" Jabba laughed, "You wouldn't happened to have brought that Dak Janson fellow along have you?"

Han was really confused, but sure, he'd play along. Dak Janson? Didn't ring any bells, but alright, "No, haven't seen Dak in a while, but I can send him along next time I see him. What can I do for you Jabba?"

While Han was talking with Jabba, many of the other guests were distracted by Jabba's and his interaction with Han and the dancer who Jabba had let go to allow Han to come in closer for a heart to heart chat. Leia made her move and discretely placed the detonators under the dais. She hoped no one noticed. She would slide one down the trousers, and then kick it under with her foot. She stopped and nodded to another guest who nodded towards her and was offered a drink. A girl even came up to her and offered to take her up to one of the rooms. She started to move her way towards the front of Jabba, with the guise of watching the dancer and then slowly walked past the guard who was watching the dancer as well. She nudged him, showing interest and stood there a while watching Han and Jabba chat. Han could see her in the side of his eye, and then patted Jabba on his slimy side and promised to go right out and do another job for him as Leia left to go back up the stairs. Still talking and backing away, making promises telling him that he would get his ship and make that run and then he turned and left the palace. He didn't see Leia anywhere, she had gotten behind a dune and was watching, but as he left, one of the guards offered him the use of a small bike speeder to take back to Mos Eisley, courtesy of the great and mighty Jabba. He sped off a bit, not knowing where Leia went, and then it happened. There was a loud squishy explosion coming from inside the palace.

Leia had already taken off her helmet, stood up and yelled, "Han over here."

He moved over with the speeder bike, she climbed on the back behind him, flung that awful helmet in the air then held on and they fled back to the shuttle.

The Executor

"I understand you've made contact with Boba Fett, Admiral?" Darth Vader spoke looking out into the vastness of space.

"Yes, he's landed on the ship and is awaiting an audience with you," Admiral Piett spoke at attention with a bit of intimidation.

"Splendid, send him in, I hope he has news for me," The Sith Lord ordered.

Shortly after Admiral Piett escorted Boba Fett onto the bridge with disgust. He really hated bounty hunters. He left, leaving the two of them to conduct their conversation with privacy and went to attend to other duties.

"You have news for me?" Darth Vader asked.

"Yes, Lord Vader, I've spent several days on Bespin, but there has been no sign of the Millennium Falcon. I imagine that it was a dead end, at least for now," Boba Fett explained.

"Keep at it, that ship is bound to turn up. It hasn't been seen in any rebel activity lately, and I've no record that it's been destroyed. I understand you have more news for me?" The dark lord inquired.

"Sir, news on Tattooine is that Jabba the Hutt is dead. Dengar and Bossk were in his palace when Han Solo was brought in by the bounty hunter, Boushh. Jabba seemed to indicate that Solo's debt had been paid, and offered Solo another job, which he accepted. It was shortly after he left, that an explosion occurred in the palace, blowing the Hutt to bits, sir." Boba Fett added.

"Interesting, most interesting. Fett, were you aware that Boushh was found dead on Sterdic IV only a few days ago?" Vader noted.

"I was not," Boba Fett answered.

"Very interesting," Darth Vader stood thinking to himself and reaching out into the Force. "It would not have taken my notice if it had not been suggested that Boushh and his companion, who had also been killed had not be given a lead that Solo may have been on that planet. I'm sure that both are related. Continue to monitor the activities on Bespin and report back to me." Darth Vader turned and pointed to Boba Fett.

"I was led to believe that Calrissian hasn't seen the Millennium Falcon for years, sir." Boba Fett answered.

"Something tells me that it will return there, you will not question me. Do you understand?" Darth Vader said in a threatening voice.

"As you wish," Boba Fett answered.

Coruscant- The Night club.

Luke started to mingle among those in the large giant room. It was loud, and he could barely hear anyone, but the energy was of joy and pleasure and happiness. It wasn't a genuine happiness, but the kind of happiness where everyone was having a good time. Luke would turn around and someone would offer him a drink and at one point, he was starting to get a little loopy so he sat down. He wondered if someone had put something into the drink, knowing that drug use was common in such underground places, and Artoo stood by him. A beautiful woman with very dark skin and long brown hair sat next to him wearing a very skimpy dress. She had the most beautiful smile, and at one point he wondered if there were two of her sitting there. She kept speaking, but he couldn't understand her. She then stood up, dragging him by the arm for her to follow her and they went into a room. The room was a bit quieter, but you could still hear the music and the noise outside.

"I'm Verna? Who are you?" She said smiling. "I don't think I've seen you here before? Would you like to spend some time together?"

Artoo chirped.

"D..L..Tambo, my name is Tambo," Luke said remembering the name he was using on this trip.

"Hi, Tambo. Got some credits for me?" She said looking at him and starting to undo the back of her dress.

"Need some help?" He asked.

"Only if you have some credits," she said opening her palm and moving her fingers back and forth.

Luke looked in his pouch and found some credits. He wasn't sure if this was part of the deal Chewie worked out for the job, but alright, he'd play along.

"Nice, yes, get my back please," she cooed.

Luke undid her back and she slipped out of the dress revealing only a thin lacy underthings. She took out something from her purse, and offered it to Luke. It was some kind of mild drug and it made him feel a bit woozy, but was not unpleasant. He was worried she intended to drug and rob him, but he was keeping his wits, and she took some as well. She walked up to him and took his face into her hands and kissed him deeply, he returning the kiss, and then proceeded to remove his clothes. She stared down at his droid.

"He yours?" She asked laughing.

"Yes, he goes everywhere with me," Luke informed her and kissed her some more as she undid his shirt.

She pushed him down on the couch, which seemed to be dirty and stained, but at that point neither cared and proceeded to remove the rest of his clothes. "What is this thing?" she said looking at his lightsaber.

"Just a tool," he laughed. "Artoo, you want to look after it for me?"

Artoo opened up a compartment and Luke slipped the lightsaber in.

"I'd like to find some more tools on you, if you'll allow me," she whispered kissing him further. She took another hit of whatever she gave Luke and explored his nude body causing him a great deal of pleasure. She got out a few things from a nearby drawer one being a droid type object that came out, moved around and did pleasurable things to Luke. He was still a bit under the influence of the drug, and had never felt so weird and strange before wrapped in the beautiful girls arms.

Tatooine shuttle.

Han and Leia were cleaning up from their ordeal at Jabba's and were laughing. "I can't believe we actually pulled that off!" Leia was giddy.

"I never thought I would be free from him, when I first started to work for him, he was very kind to me. Reached out as if he cared, and kept us working," Han said sadly. "All those years, indebted to him and trapped."

"But you're free now," Leia said.

Han grabbed Leia's head and kissed her, "Where do I go now though?"

"You could keep working for the rebellion. We could really use you. You've been a great asset," Leia suggested.

"We? We? What about you?" Han asked.

"I want you to come with me. If you want to," Leia said taking his hand.

"That's more like it," he answered taking her into his arms and kissing her some more.

"I need to get out of this horrible get up, and get a shower. I know it's only sonics here, but anything really would be refreshing after all that ick from that suit. I don't know how that guy lived in that thing!" Leia noted getting out from Han's arms.

"Alright. Want me to join you?" He asked not really expecting she'd say yes, but to tease her.

She responded with, "Yes, yes I would."

The sonic shower was tiny, but they squeezed into it, and while they couldn't move much in it, it managed to clean them both while they stood there holding and kissing each other. They moved to Leia's tiny cot and continued. Kissing each other's bodies everywhere. The adventure, the freedom, the fact that Han had no excuse to leave, helped Leia relax a bit and let herself be more open to his affections. They made love for what seemed like hours, and after Leia fell asleep, Han got up and clean himself up some more and got dressed getting the ship ready for the next trip. He got up into space, not sure where they were bound next, so he headed towards his own secret part of the galaxy, his own secret smuggler's hideway. Leia had been there before, so he wasn't worried about the secret being revealed , and while in hyperspace, he curled up onto his own cot and took a nap himself, watching Leia as she slept before nodding off himself. Where and what would happen to him now that he was free of Jabba? He had to admit this was more scary than anything he had ever encountered before.

Leia's dream...

Leia was in the dark again, she felt naked, but it didn't bother her for some reason. Walking and not seeing anything at all, yet she kept walking in the darkness, waiting for the light. She was relieved when she saw the light again. Yoda was sitting down under it with his eyes closed.

"Time it is, Leia. To Dagobah you will come. Coordinates are in your head. Know them you will," Yoda said.

"Yoda? Will Luke be there?" Leia asked.

"Reckless Luke is. Hope to senses he comes. Dagobah he needs to be," Yoda said.

"Is Luke alright? Is he alive? Why are Luke and I so important?" Leia asked.

"In time. Know you will," Yoda spoke.

"Do you know if Chewie, ah Chewbacca is alright?" Leia asked.

"Chewbacca is well. With Luke he is," Yoda answered. "Much comfort will that give to know, yes."

"Yes. Yoda it does. I don't think I could go unless I knew that Chewie was fine or Luke," Leia answered.

"Love them all you do?" Yoda asked.

"Yes," Leia answered.

"Love is very powerful." Yoda answered. "Coordinates you have. Come you will." Yoda disapeared.

Leia still hung in the dark a bit and felt alone. She was trying to wake up, get out of the dream, when the presence came again.

"Who are you? What are you!" The deep voice called.

Leia was silent.

"I will find you! Much we have to discuss. I need help to defeat him. I can not do it alone!"

Leia woke herself up shivering and screaming, wrapped and trapped in a sheet. It woke up Han.

"Are you alright?" Han asked yawning.

"I had another dream. I know where we have to go. That dark presence came again though. It scared me," Leia said shaking.

Han got up and moved in next to her and held her. "Where do we have to go? Green alien?"

"The coordinates are in my head. You'll take me right?" Leia asked.

"Sure, we get out of hyperspace, and I'll reset them. I'm a bit nervous about using coordinates from strange dream aliens, but if it's what you want, I'll take you there," Han answered.

"It's not what I want, but what I have to do. I asked about Chewie. Yoda said Chewie was fine and watching out for Luke. He said Luke was reckless," Leia laughed awkwardly.

"If anyone is reckless, Chewie's a good one to look out for them. He took care of me after all. Try to get some more sleep," Han said going back to his cot.

"That dark presence came again. It only asked me who I was and for help. I'll ask Yoda if he's actually is on this Dagobah. It was all so strange," Leia said still shaking.

"Everything about this is strange," Han said sleepily.

Corucant-Galactic City

The large Wookiee made his way down six hundred some levels of Coruscant, constantly showing his papers with the protocol droid following him. Others seemed to get out of his way when he made his way in the lifts. He was angry and annoyed and tired of waiting. He hoped that Luke got what he wanted as far as adventure went, because he was getting a little sick of being his nursemaid. This wasn't like Luke. He had done this kind of thing for Han for years, but that was different, and Han was different and knew his way around in these types of places. When he got to the warehouse and the rave party, he couldn't see Luke anywhere. When Threepio described him and Artoo, they were pointed to a locked door and Chewbacca kicked and pushed the door in. There was Luke passed out and talking nonsense. Chewie got his clothes back together in order, noticed what few credits Luke had on him were gone, and then carried Luke out of the place and back on the lift and headed back to the docking bay. Chewie was not surprised he was going to have to bring Luke back. Not one bit. What had gotten into him? He smelled bad. He obviously had been involved with drugs and sex and who knows what else in that place. It could have been worse Chewie thought. Luke didn't even realize that part of this was doing a deal for the Rebel Alliance. Chewie blamed himself though for having the added side mission to the warehouse party. Out of anger, and Luke's desire for adventure, he thought a rude awakening was in order. He thought he knew Luke better. This was it though. They'd go back to the jungle planet, get back to their ship and stop this nonsense. Or Luke would be on his own, and Chewie would go back on his own and find the Rebel Alliance. He'd take his x-wing off the Falcon and let Luke fend for himself. When they got back to the little ship, Luke still was out. Chewie slapped him around a bit, then put him on one of the cots and monitored his life signs. Yep, he was just going to have to sleep this one off. Chewie got in the cockpit and headed back to where the Millennium Falcon was parked. He'd go back and check on Luke again when they got into hyperspace.

"Oh Chewbacca, I do hope Master Luke will be alright. Artoo is so worried about him."

Chewie just grunted.

Chapter Text

Docking bay- Coruscant, Galactic City.

Luke's dazy dream

"Luke, Luke, you must focus. The Sith must be destroyed, and you must begin your training. It's of the most importance. We must stop Darth Vader and the Emperor." Obi-Wan called through the Force

"Ben? Ben?" Luke called in a daze. Was this real?

"Your destiny calls. You must be trained by Yoda, on Dagobah. Why can't you see?" Obi-Wan pleaded.

"I will Ben, I promise, I'll get where you want, just not yet." Luke called out.

"You must be ready. I may not be able to help you!" Obi-Wan said as he faded away.

Chewie hadn't wanted to leave yet with Luke still recovering from his experience at the nightclub. Luke had been up all night throwing up and was semi-lucid. Threepio did a lot of the tending after Chewie had gotten the fluid drip. During the whole experience, Luke kept begging Aunt Beru for more soup and telling Uncle Owen he had finished his chores and to please let him sleep. Then there were his calls out to Ben. The kid was a mess. Chewie had a special mix of protein pouch and a punch he put together once Luke was starting to keep things down and it seemed to help bring some of the greenish pale look out of Luke's face. Whatever they gave Luke at that nightclub, his body wasn't used to it, and it was doing a number on him. Chewie didn't want to be in hyperspace and have Luke need a hospital. He was afraid to put him in one here on Coruscant, too, as his face and Luke's were on holos everywhere. Even with his disguise, he would eventually be found out, and probably end up as a guest of the Emperor. He really hoped Luke learned his lesson. When Luke started to feel better, he was regretting the whole experience, and Chewie really hoped he got whatever was going on with him out of his system. He sent a course back to the hiding spot of the Millennium Falcon the and attached x-wing.

Luke sat up in the cockpit with Chewie, who really didn't like the ship they were using as it was a tight fit for him, but at least once they got into hyperspace, Chewie could get out and get more comfortable in a flat seat behind the cockpit seats. Chewie rubbed Luke's head and Luke gave him a sad grin.

"I'm sorry, Chewie." Luke just groaned.

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca said he helped you as a friend, but this is it, Master Luke. Either you get back to the Rebel Alliance, or your secret mission to wherever that was. That mission you did with the package, actually was for the Rebel Alliance, he just didn't tell you. And he hoped that experience in the night club was enough. And Master Luke, even Artoo is upset with you. Someone in that night club tried to steal him! He zapped them to keep them from taking him. The nerve!" Threepio translated and added his own thoughts.

"I really don't know what's gotten into me Chewie. Once Ben told me more about my father, I wanted to be like him, a Jedi, then Ben died, I met Leia who got me involved with the Rebel Alliance. I imagine that I just found myself free to do what I wanted. Maybe it the was pressure of becoming a Jedi. The idea of avenging my father, then reading in Ben's journals that seeking revenge is not the Jedi way. The defeat at Hoth really got to me, too. I got scared. I don't know why. I should put my trust in what I know and the Force," Luke tried to explain.

Chewie roars, and pats Luke's hand.

"Chewbacca understands that you are scared, Luke. He just can't do this anymore. He doesn't know where Captain Solo is, he's worried for you, and Chewbacca has his own family somewhere. He hopes that what the Rebel Alliance is doing will help his own people be free," Threepio translated.

Chewbacca roars.

"Chewbacca remembers the Clone Wars. He fought with his people and the Republic against the separatists before his planet was a transformed into a tool for the Empire. He watched the Republic turn on it's Jedi generals first hand. We're you aware that the soldiers that served them were ordered to kill the Jedi? He and his general helped to save the Jedi Master helping them from certain death, after he killed the clone troopers sworn to protect him. They helped him escape. He only hopes that Jedi Master lived. When Ben Kenobi came to him at Mos Eisley, it gave him hope to see a Jedi again, and he had hoped that you were on your way to that path. He had great respect for the Jedi and remembers them well," Threepio translated.

"Chewie, I never knew," Luke answered.

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca says, you never asked. It is hard to discuss. His son is out there, he has a mate and he doesn't know where she is. A whole entire clan all slaves and all at the Empire's will." Threepio translated.

"I knew you had a family somewhere, Chewie, and that it's been difficult for Wookiees. Who was the Jedi, the one that you helped save?" Luke asked.

Chewie roared quietly.

Threepio translates, "That Jedi was Yoda."

"Yoda was the name that Ben has been giving me to go to," Luke answered.

Chewie roars.

Threepio translates, "Chewbacca doesn't understand how Ben Kenobi is talking to you, but Yoda was a real Jedi."

"Yes, I have Ben's journals, he comes up sometimes. He must have been quite powerful," Luke answered. "I feel like a fool."

Luke sat there with his thoughts. Chewie had been a good friend, but Luke had taken advantage of his friendship. Chewie had his own worries beyond Luke, and Luke couldn't help appreciate everything the Wookiee had done for him. He could only feel shame.

Dagobah.

"I've come to Luke again. I only hope I've gotten through to him. Even Chewbacca has seemed to have had it with his shenanigans," Ghost Obi-Wan told Yoda.

"On her way here, Leia is. We have one Skywalker to teach. The boy may yet come. Just too late I hope it is not," Yoda stood and turned towards Obi-Wan.

"I fear he will have to face danger before he's ready. I know his father now knows he exists. The girl has been kept anonymous, but he's become aware of Luke. That may have been my fault," Obi-Wan hung his head.

"If happens it will, help him we can not," Yoda sighed.

"We don't have a lightsaber to teach Leia, will you teach her to make her own?" Obi-Wan asked.

"Need of lightsaber, she will not," Yoda answered. "For powerful is the Force, as is she."

"I feel something else. The future is always unclear, but there is something more uncertain that I feel from the future," Qui-Gon added.

"Are you sure of what you see?" Obi-Wan asked.

"Maybe we are going about this whole thing wrong? You've never listened to me, padawan." Ghost Qui-Gon smiles.

Rebel Fleet- Meeting of High Command.

"Certainly we've had a few victories with the taking of a few smaller planets thanks to some of our legions, but what information we have coming in from spies, it is quite troubling," Admiral Ackbar grumbles.

"I agree, I can only hope we can hold these victories. It does seem to distract the Empire from our other activities. This information coming in is unconfirmed, but the Bothans are diligent and are investigating further. They have as much stake in this as we do," Mon Mothma added.

"If I may, the latest information I've received on another matter, involves your Commander Antilles, General Rieekan if you'd like to allow him to come in," General Draven said addressing the group.

"I've had him waiting outside. I imagine he wonders why he's been asked to this meeting," General Rieekan smiled.

"Send him in," Mon Mothma directed.

Commander Antilles walked into the meeting of High Command with a bit of skepticism. He had run a mission not long before that went wrong and it was rare that he was called before the whole of High Command. The way it had gone wrong was not his fault, nor the fault of those in his command who had been part of it. How were they to know that the Empire would have found out about their mission? The entire operation was botched. Being brought in by General Madine before High Command, he began to sweat. General Rieekan motioned for him to stand next to him, gave him a pat on his back. It eased his nerves some. Rieekan always seemed to be a bit fatherly towards he and those in his command and if it was bad, at least Rieekan seemed to be buffering it. Would they be split up into other squadrons? Reprimanded? Lose his rank? All kinds of things were going through Wedge's mind.

"Commander. I'm sure you're wondering why you've been asked here. I want to ease your worries. It's some optimistic news and General Rieekan thought you should be made aware of it. It is up to you if you wish to share it with your squad," Mon Mothma spoke, then put up a holo.

"This is from an operative we have on Sullust. He and another one of my spies have been involved in an operation we have been conducting on a refueling station in the outer rim. An assignment was passed on to another connected to the Rebel Alliance," General Draven showed the grainy picture.

"Sir, that looks like Chewbacca!" Wedge Antilles cried out.

"Do you see the man next to him, he is in disguise, but our operative was well aware of who he really was," Draven said pointing it out.

"Yes, I see him," Wedge took a good look, it wasn't obvious at first, but then he smiled and laughed. "It's Luke, he's alive!"

"I knew you'd want to know, Antilles," Rieekan said grabbing the man firmly on the shoulder.

"It's imperative that you keep the exchange you viewed confidential, Commander, however you may share that Luke has been spotted in the field alive," Mon Mothma cautioned.

"I understand, Ma'am." Wedge answered with a smile.

"Chewbacca has been in contact with our operatives a few times. We don't know why Luke or Chewbacca haven't tried to return, but I can only hope that Chewbacca is looking for Captain Solo. While I'm sure they have been in hiding, we still don't know where he or the Princess's current whereabouts are. If anyone can find Captain Solo, Chewbacca can, and we hope that the Princess is still with him. You can understand why we really need her back. She is not only a symbol and an inspiration to our rebellion, but a valuable member of our team," General Cracken added.

"You may go, Commander Antilles, we just thought you might be relieved to hear some news about Commander Skywalker," Admiral Ackbar said gruffly.

"Thank you, sirs, ma'am. I'm sure this will give my squad a bit of a morale boost," Wedge answered.

"We'll discuss that other matter another time," Draven added.

"Yes, sir," Wedge answered as he left.

Just outside of Dagobah.

In the pile of blankets and pillows on the floor of the crew quarters, Leia found herself awoken by Han standing over her nudging her awake. They had grown tired of the uncomfortable narrow bunks, and had made a nest on the floor of the crew quarters. Two days cramped in this small shuttle in hyperspace with not much to do, they had taken to reading one of the books in Wes's datapad as entertainment curled up with each other on the floor. The one they read was about a privileged prince who lives in a palace with his brothers and sisters and has every pleasure and happiness anyone would desire, but it does not pacify his need for something more. When he leaves his home, he finds many kingdoms of strange places, wars and chaos. It kept them entertained, and sometimes made them laugh. It was fantastical enough that was is escapist enough, but occasionally, it made Leia self reflective of her own life.

Dagobah didn't show up on any maps, and seemed to be a bit of an anomaly. Basically, if you didn't know if was there, you wouldn't be able to find it, and they really didn't know what to expect of the planet at all, not being able to find anything out about it. As they got closer to the atmosphere, Han had unexpectedly found himself out of control of the ship as it seemed to lure them in, with the location of the landing taking place to a specific spot on the surface. Han could not detect anything electronic or magnetic pulling them in, but it did mirror a tractor beam. Leia was leaning over his shoulder watching the controls in disbelief.

"Strap in sweetheart, I don't know what kind of landing this will be. I can't make any sense of it at all!" Han said in disbelief.

"It's so dark here, I wonder how we'll be able to find this Yoda?" Leia questioned as she strapped in.

"I imagine he'll find us," Han said as the ship rocked and jolted coming in for a landing.

It eventually came to a halt. The ship seemingly shutting down on it's own, while Han and Leia both tried to find their footing. They certainly were not level. Han tried to straighten it out a bit so they weren't at a tilt, and then he opened the ramp. He walked out to a humid, damp and dark climate, and soon after Leia followed him. As they got to the ground, it squished under their feet. The ship seemed to be landed in mud and dirt with swamp everywhere. A large something moved in the nearby swamp and Han took out his blaster, but stopped when the creature seemed innocent enough and didn't pay them any mind.

"Well, I don't see anyone here," Han remarked looking around and seeing various reptiles and small lifeforms crawling around and large birds flying over them.

"It's certainly got it's share of wildlife, there's something about this place though, a feeling. It just feels, I don't know, familiar?" Leia noted.

"Do you hang in swamps much, sweetheart?" Han laughed.

They sat together on a log for a bit looking around and waiting. Hoping for something to happen. After some time sitting there, behind them they heard a voice, "Why are you here?"

"I think we found your Jedi Master, Leia," Han pointed.

"Yoda? You know why I am here, you sent for me," Leia said puzzled by his question.

"Send I did. For him, I did not?" Yoda said jumping down to the ground and walking up to the both of them and pointing at Han.

"What do you want her for? If she's staying, I'm staying, too." Han said a bit indignant.

"Hmmmph," Yoda answered.

"Yoda, I wish for him to stay. I trust him," Leia answered.

"Distraction he will be. Much we much discuss. Stay if you must, but alone you must leave us. To the ship you will go! Call for you I will if you are needed. Not long will we be," Yoda requested.

"Hey! No one tells me what to do!" Han replied, "Look, I brought her, why I don't know, but I'm staying with her. I need to know she's safe here."

"Safer here will she be, than with scoundrel she is?" Yoda asked.

"Han, please, just go to the ship, I promise to come to you soon. Let me hear Yoda out first," Leia pleaded.

"Alright, but only because she asked. I'm not leaving though! Say, you know about Chewie? Is Chewie, OK?" Han asked.

"Chewbacca lives, and well he is. Very fortunate you are for friend you to call. For Chewbacca I know," Yoda answered.

"You know Chewie?" Han asked.

"Clone Wars. On Jedi lives clone troopers turned. Alive today am I for Chewbacca's aid I am in gratitude. For escape on Wookiee life pod I did, then rescued by Bail Organa I was," Yoda pointed to Leia.

"I knew Chewie was old, but I didn't think you'd know him, and he knew Leia's dad?" Han asked.

"Know he did not. Long story it was. To ship you must go. Go!" Yoda said pointing in the direction of ship.

"Alright, alright! I'm not leaving though! Sweetheart, I'll been on the ship," Han called out as he returned to the inside of the ship.

"Come, child, much we have to discuss," Yoda said bidding Leia to follow.

Leia followed Yoda through the dark path until they got to a small hut off in the distance. The hut was small, but Leia was able to climb in comfortably if sitting. She was small, but the hut made her feel as if she were a giant, and she laughed to herself imagining Han sitting in here as tall as he was, and possibly hitting his head on the ceiling. There was a strange smell. Well, honestly, there were strange smells everywhere, but it seemed to come from whatever was currently cooking on Yoda's stove.

"Root leaf? Eat, eat, good food it is," Yoda insisted.

Leia hadn't had breakfast. After Han woke her up, she basically got dressed and grabbed some caf. This stuff didn't smell good, but she was sure she had worse. She had been raised to not turn up her nose to any of the strange dishes served throughout the galaxy and she didn't want to be rude to her host. Yoda handed her the dish, and she took some of it. It actually wasn't that bad, and seemed to be rich in vitamins.

"Good food it is," Yoda smiled. "Smell is bad, but healthy it is, young one."

"I'm here, Yoda, you must tell me why? You said I was strong in the Force? Why not Luke?" Leia asked.

"Strong in the Force is also Luke. Only you have come," Yoda answered sadly.

"He will come, be patient," a voice was heard in the hut and Yoda looked up and grunted.

"Who is that?" Leia asked startled.

"Obi-Wan, here he is," Yoda said as if it wasn't odd he was here at all.

"But Yoda, he's dead! I watched him die!" Leia said astonished.

"Yes, but here he is still. You hear him? Odd that is," Yoda answered.

"But not odd that you do?" Leia asked.

"I was the first person to ever hold you as a newborn baby," the voice of Obi-Wan said.

"You? I know I was adopted, but you were there?" Leia asked.

"Hidden you were, strong in the Force you are. Hid from the sith you were," Yoda said.

"Did my parents know? My parents that raised me that is," Leia asked.

"Know they did. Of your brother, too," Yoda answered.

"My brother? I don't have a brother. So you hid Force sensitive children?" Leia asked.

"Hid we did. Father powerful Jedi he was, powerful. Take you as his own, Organa did," Yoda answered.

"Leia, did you not wonder how you were able to move that large object in the hanger?" The voice of Obi-Wan spoke.

"You saw that? It scared me! I know I did it, but I didn't understand how!" Leia said, eating some more of the rootleaf.

"You used the Force. We wish to help you. You need better control. In time you will find more control," Obi-Wan explained.

"I don't want to be a Jedi. Is that why I am here?" Leia asked.

"That is entirely up to you. Though we would love to have you, as there is only Yoda left. You can still be of help," The voice of Obi-Wan said.

"You spoke of a brother? I know of no brother," Leia said puzzled.

"You have a twin. Trust your feelings, Leia. You already know. Hide them, it will protect you both," Obi-Wan said.

Leia shook her head and nodded. She did know.

"Come child," Yoda beckoned her outside and to follow.

Leia followed down a path, following Yoda. They got to a collection of rocks. Yoda bid her, "Move the rocks."

Leia started picking up the smaller rocks with her hands, Yoda's eyes were shut. The larger ones would not budge. "They are too heavy!" she yelled out.

"Move them." Yoda said gently.

Leia still tried to push them with her hands and they would not budge.

"MOVE THEM!" Yoda said slamming his stick down.

Leia began to understand. She looked at the rocks and thought about how frustrated it made her feel that they were too heavy to move. She got angry at them and picked them up with her mind and moved them.

"You understand, but understand you do not," Yoda answered.

"What do you mean? I knew you wanted to move them without touching them after you kept insisting," Leia answered.

"Yes, mind, yes. How, no. Feel the Force around you. It binds us all, control your feelings. Anger you used, but other ways there are. Unlearn the anger and another method will come," Yoda answered.

Leia closed her eyes and try to feel what Yoda was telling her. She was feeling everything around her, the atmosphere of people's feelings, the lives around her different from what others felt. She didn't know because that was all she knew! Not everyone felt like she did! All this time she had been different! She looked at the rocks in a different way. Imagined them not by anger, but by just being part of everything else, and moved they did. Where she wanted them to go. Then Yoda did something else. He moved the rocks and he moved them towards her, and they were coming fast. Instead of ducking, she pushed them away with her mind.

"Done well you have. All that will be for now, tomorrow continue we will. To ship you will return, but stay on Dagobah you must," Yoda commanded.

"Han, he's my friend, I trust him," Leia said as a plea.

"Trust you may, and trust you can, but know him well you do, with what you tell," Yoda said closing his eyes, and turning away.

Leia nodded her head. Han of course would glaze over some of the weird beliefs and Force ability things that Leia had been doing. She needed to talk to someone though, and she thought he could handle the one thing she needed to talk about.

Uninhabited Jungle planet.

Chewie landed in the same cave where they had originally found the ship. He had flown over the place where the Millennium Falcon had been parked, and did see it there while flying over, covered in vines already from the growing jungle. He knew it would be safe, but it would take them some time to dig it back out again. The time spent here would determine if he would send Luke off on his own, or take him with him. They still needed to dig their way back to the ship, and would have to camp at least one cycle before they could leave. The landing was difficult and they got caught in some vines, but Chewie hoped the small ship would still be available to use for further missions, so he made sure that it would at least be free of anything that got caught in it's landing gear. After he and Luke and the droids got everything out of the ship, they made their way through the dense jungle towards where the Falcon with the x-wing attached on top still sat. Luke was struggling cutting the thicker branches, apparently this was the jungle's worse season, and when they had been there a few days prior, they had just hit the tail end of the growing season. The vines were starting to thicken already and it made it more treacherous to move through. Not to mention that the insects were worse, these huge palm sized biting menaces that were coming down on them, and the fact that it seemed to rain every hour for 5 minutes. After a few hours of this, they were only traveling a couple of miles, they made camp, and the tent they built was a welcome refuge after the half of a day of trying to dig through this mess. Of course, Threepio was complaining the whole way, and Luke and Chewie didn't blame him. Only Threepio wasn't being bit and only annoyed by the flying things. He would panic when anything would get towards what was viewed as the droids 'eyes' or visual components.

Luke took the bacta strips out of his pouch. Chewie's fur helped keep most of the bites to a minimum, though even he got it here and there. Luke treated his sores as well as his own. As they sat in the tent, Artoo taking guard outside, Chewie told Luke through Threepio about his life as a cub on Kashyyyk.

"Chewbacca said, they lived in cities in the trees, connected by vines and scaffolding. Each clan had what you might call a neighborhood of sorts, and Chewbacca and his friends would have contests of strength. Chewbacca often won, though he would lose from time to time to allow a friend to have confidence himself," Threepio translated.

"Did you lose, and tell me you won and let a friend win to save face?" Luke laughed.

Chewie roared.

Threepio translated, "Oh no, I was the most powerful of my friends. I hoped one day we all would fight together as a clan and it was part of our culture to boost our confidence."

"I had Biggs do that with me, only it wasn't to boost my confidence, he was only being kind. I was better at him though flying my skyhopper and shooting womp rats. I never let him win though. In other games, Biggs was kind. It was just that it was something I was good at. I had to own it because it was what I had that was mine. I'm afraid that my group I was a bit of an outcast," Luke said sadly thinking of his friend.

Chewie roared.

"Chewbacca said that what he did may have been similar to what your friend Biggs would do. Our families had our own homes, but all were welcomed. In the village, you were a family. Not just your parents and siblings, but your neighbors as well," Threepio translated.

"We were kind of like that around Anchorhead. The moisture farmers had to all band together. Tatooine was a rough place," Luke remembered.

Chewie roared.

"Kashyyyk was very beautiful and it used to be a paradise, before the dark times," Threepio translated.

"I hope you can have your family and home back again, Chewie," Luke said hugging his friend.

Chewie roared.

The next morning they packed back up and worked the jungle until they got to the Falcon. The rain was more severe today and though it made them wet, it kept the insects away. They still had to dig through the vines to free the ship, and Luke's lightsaber helped make the work easier. As Luke was clearing the vines, large birds began to descend upon them. Chewie got a few with his bowcaster, and Luke flicked them away with his lightsaber. They just kept coming and Threepio screamed with fright. When the rain started again, the birds flew away, tired of trying to get what they thought was an easy meal of the Wookiee and the young human. Once they freed the ship, they went inside and cleaned themselves up.

It was good to be back inside of the Falcon, and though Luke really thought that he wanted to just stop and rest before take off, Chewie insisted they get out right away before the vines started growing up around and trapping them again. They got up into the atmosphere, and off the planet.

It was then they were having trouble. They couldn't get into lightspeed. Chewbacca kept trying and Luke checked a few of the connections, but it just wasn't happening. Artoo plugged into the ships systems to try and figure it out, and as tired as they were, they put the ship on a sublight cruise mode and took a rest while Artoo was computing his results. Luke cleaned up and Chewie got something to eat, he was glad of the provisions they picked up, and the extra supply of protein packs. It seemed to be taking Artoo a long time, and Luke had fallen asleep.

Luke woke up to the ship rocking and alarms going off. Chewie was roaring, and Threepio was frantic. The ship was being attacked. Artoo was still plugged into the system, so Luke ran to one of the gunwells and looked out to see a strange ship firing at them. He could hear Chewie roaring, so he fired back at the ship, Chewie already firing from the cockpit. After a rough battle, they were able to finally jump to hyperspace and Luke took a deep breath and joined Chewie in the cockpit.

Chewie roared,

"Chewbacca has said that while they were trying to repair the ships navigational system, pirates had found the ship and were trying to steal our cargo. We have no cargo they would want, but they of course did not know that. Our shields are compromised, Master Luke. Chewbacca is taking us to Bespin where his friend who knows the ship may be able to help us," Threepio translated and described what Luke had missed.

"I understand, Chewie, after we do that, we'll see what we can do about finding Han and Leia and then I can get to Dagobah. I know that is where I need to go now," Luke answered. "I just have a bad feeling about this."

Dagobah-Inside the shuttle.

Leia, tired from the work out she got from Yoda, both emotionally and physically, made her way slowly up the ramp and into the fresher. Han stood there looking at her and she just gave him a tired nod as she went to take a shower. When she came out, Han was sitting in the cockpit of the small ship with a hot caf waiting for her. She took a seat and laid her head back in the chair.

"How'd it go, and how long he expect you to stay here?" Han said cutting right into it.

"I really don't know, but I'm exhausted, and I learned a few things. And apparently it's not just him, but "they". That's a long story, but you're only going to see Yoda. You don't want to know." Leia said taking the caf.

"If they are here, I want to know!" Han insisted.

"OK, but you are going to think this is strange. You remember how Luke was always talking or claimed to talk to "Ben". Well, he's here." Leia said looking at Han's expression.

Han's face made a gesture, then his hand moved as if he were going to speak, then didn't. "How do you know?"

"I heard him, or whatever Yoda said was him. Somehow I believe it. There's more, and this is the part that's hard for me to wrap my head around. The thing that I'm going to need time to digest," Leia let out a sigh.

"Well, it can't be weirder than the ghost of the old man," Han offered.

"Yoda was there when I was born, as was Obi-Wan Kenobi and my father, or who I knew was my father, Bail Organa. Han, I have a twin brother," Leia blurted out.

"And your dad didn't take him?" Han said, "Or did he die or something?"

"No, they said we had to be separated. It sounds like they might have had to hide special children for some reason, my brother and myself being among them," Leia explained.

"So you have a brother out there somewhere? Why does that bother you?" Han asked.

"In a way because I'm sure I know who it is, and I can't tell him, or anyone and I have to pretend to not know myself. They never told me who, I just know. Somehow I have to bury that knowledge so that they don't know. It's like trying to hide the location of the Rebel Base, something along those lines," Leia said a bit upset. "I want to tell you though, but what if you are captured or tortured and they get it out of you? What if that happens? Would it protect him or me? Or others, I don't know!"

"Sweetheart, you don't even know if what they told you was true really do you?" Han said, "Try not to let it upset you. Let's get out of here, if this is going to be like this for you, I'm not sure you belong here."

"Oh, I belong here. It just shook me up," Leia said drinking the caf and trying to relax.

Han rubbed her arm a bit.

"I remember as a kid there being Jedi. Then there weren't any around anymore," Han told her.

"Really? You remember Jedi, and you act like you don't believe in that stuff?" Leia laughed.

Han laughed, "Well, I was a kid, and I block out a lot of stuff. Maybe. You're not going to go all Jedi like Luke are you?"

"No, I don't think so." Leia said as she put her face down and looked away.

"What's wrong?" Han asked.

"The man I believe to be my twin brother? It's Luke, or at least I think so. We are the same age. Why would my father send me to General Kenobi? Put it together and it makes sense," Leia spoke without thinking.

"Luke? I thought you were older than he was?" Han asked.

"Oh, we are the same exact age. Officially it's even just by a couple of days. That could have been changed if true. Please forget that if you can. I shouldn't have said it out loud and what if it's not really true. My brother may be someone else," Leia said sipping her caf.

Han thought a moment. "You just seem older than him for some reason, I hope you don't think bad of me for that. You just seem more mature, he just seems young. No, I see it. Something makes sense."

Then Han laughed and then stopped. Then he laughed really hard.

"What's so funny," Leia asked seriously.

"Don't you remember?" Han laughed some more until he cried. "When...When Luke was recovering from almost freezing to death?" Han was laughing harder now. "I got you so worked up that you..."

"Oh please, you think that's funny. Imagine how traumatic that's going to be for him if it's the truth and he finds out?" Leia said trying to keep herself from laughing.

"You really didn't sleep with him did you?" Han laughed some more almost coming out of his chair.

Leia threw a ration bar at him. "Of course not! I told you I didn't! I shouldn't have said anything!"

"Oh, sweetheart, it's not just hard for you to accept. I'm just coping here is all." and Han started to laugh some more.

"Maybe it's not even true. Yoda never told me who my brother was after all," Leia said trying to bring some logic to the situation.

"I'm sorry," Han said trying to control himself. "I know this whole experience has to be weird for you. You don't need me to make it weirder."

"I need some time alone," Leia just sat there a moment, tried to remain calm, then left for the cabin.

Chapter Text

Millennium Falcon- On the way to Bespin.

Chewie sat playing Dejarik with Artoo while Luke practiced his moves on his lightsaber against the remote. He was relishing being able to practice, and he was so good at playing the remote that it almost bored him. He needed some real practice. As Han had pointed out so long ago that going against remotes was one thing, but going against the living was something else. Living beings were unpredictable and even though he had the occasion of going against the living with his lightsaber in his adventures with the Rebel Alliance, it wouldn't compare to facing someone like Darth Vader.

Luke was to go back into Dak Janson mode, and they even worked up a disguise for Chewie, though the Millennium Falcon was a well known ship, the way the x-wing was affixed on top, as well as a few things they had done on the jungle planet before departing gave the ship a slightly different look. Luke even painted the x-wing a bit to change it and make it look as if it were part of the ship, rather than just being towed by it. Still this Lando that Chewie knew would have to know who Chewie was, the ship, and they weren't really sure he would be willing to help him. Luke learned that Lando once owned the ship, and Han wasn't here so what if Lando made claim on it himself? He knew Han would never forgive him if something happened to his ship and they lost it completely. Han loved that hunk of junk more than just about anything in the entire galaxy as if the ship was person, a friend or something of that nature and he considered it his home.

Chewie told Luke it would take two days to get there as long as the patch and Artoo's calibrations held up. So Luke had a bit of time to figure out his plan and tried to meditate and contact Ben. While this usually rarely worked, as Ben would contact him rarely, Luke often tried. He felt as if he were watching him on occasion. He swore he heard his voice more than once, but on Hoth he saw him. He knew he saw him! He only hoped that Ben had not been watching him for the past couple of weeks. Maybe Luke needed to experience things like that to learn from them, or was he just kidding himself?

Dagobah-inside the shuttle.

On the floor, in the cabin of the small shuttle, Leia and Han were laying wrapped in the blankets together while Leia read some more of the story from Wes's datapad.

“The people were so tiny, that Flambal crushed a few as he walked through the street. Although he hadn't meant to hurt the tiny citizens, the crowds started a riot, shooting arrows into Flambal's ankles and heels. While it didn't really hurt him, it did make his feet itch.” Leia read doubling over with laughter.

Han was laughing, too. He then took the datapad out of her hand, rolled over and kissed her and she held him tight wrapping her legs around him, with the blankets all intertwined among them. While they were embraced and involved in physical activities that were somewhere between wrestling and foreplay, they heard tapping on the ramp. Leia got up still laughing wrapped only in a blanket, and opened it up for Master Yoda. Master Yoda shook his head, groaned and hobbled his way up the ramp. Han was still laying on the floor eating a ration bar wrapped in the blanket and looking out of the cabin door. Han waved as Master Yoda hobbled over to a box and sat. Han shut the cabin door, and left Yoda and Leia alone in the cramped space.

“Time for training it is,” Yoda said to Leia who stood before him a bit embarrassed wearing only a blanket.

“May I get you some tea, Master Yoda?” Leia offered.

“Hmmmph,” Yoda replied and closed his eyes. He then opened them again. “Long time it has. Yes, tea nice it would be.”

“How long have you lived here alone, Master Yoda?” Leia asked as she put the water on the small stove.

“Alone I am not. Here I have been since born you were,” Master Yoda answered.

“But General Kenobi was on Tatooine? Who was here with you, Master?” Leia asked putting the tea on to sit.

“The Force. Visits from Qui-Gon Jinn. Obi-Wan's master he was. Learned beyond death, and to Obi-Wan he visited as well. The Force is quite mysterious. Wrong the Jedi were,” Yoda shared.

Leia slightly burned herself as she fixed Yoda's tea and she put her finger in her mouth.

“Finger, show me,” Yoda called to her.

Leia showed her finger. Yoda rubbed it and it healed.

“That's amazing!” Leia said.

“The Force it was,” Yoda said taking his tea. “Bacta powerful as well though, no? Hee hee.”

Leia smiled, “Yes, it is.”

Han came out dressed and sat in the cockpit. Yoda gave him a look, “Talk with your friend I must, dress for training.”

Leia went into the cabin to change into her clothes so she could begin training for the day, and Yoda brought out a gourd of rootleaf soup and gave it to Han.

“Eat, healthy this is. Smells bad I know, but good it is. Better than rations, no?” Yoda said with a slight laugh.

“Ah, thanks,” Han answered.

“You, on trip I send. Return you shall. Leader of Rebel Alliance is whom?” Yoda asked.

“Mon Mothma?” Han answered.

Yoda closed his eyes, “Yes, for know of her I do. To her you go. Message I give you. Direct from Leia it will be, then you return. Distraction you are, but know she must that Leia is well.”

“Look here, I don't mean to get in the way of whatever it is you are doing here? Got it?” Han answered angrily and turned around in the cockpit.

“Understand I do. Fly you must, Do you not need the stars? Here, you sit her you wait while training she does. Rebel Alliance will know she is well, you will have stars, and well she will be. Understand? Restless you are. Dagobah is no place for one such as you. Why you stay I know, but return soon you will. Important it is. For her it is,” Yoda explained.

“I get it, I think. So I go off, send a message to Mon Mothma that Leia is fine, and come back?” Han says to Yoda trying to understand his words.

“Yes. Tell you where to go I will. Return soon you will. Needed here you will be,” Yoda answered.

“Where's she going to stay?” Han asked with concern.

“My home. All will be well,” Yoda answers. “Datapad you have?”

“Yeah, it's in the cabin,” Han answered.

“Bring to me, and coordinates I give you to leave and return,” Yoda says. “Rootleaf you eat, eat, good food.”

“It stinks,” Han says smelling it.

Leia comes out of the cabin dressed and sees Han smelling the rootleaf making a face. “It really is good, I had some yesterday. It just smells bad. What did I miss?”

“Yoda's sending me to Mon Mothma to tell her that you are, alright, I guess. Do you want to tell her anything? I'm supposed to come right back. He says I'm a distraction,” Han says looking at Yoda and then Leia. He takes a bit of the rootleaf. “Hey, not bad!”

“Told you I did,” Yoda grunts and turns.

“Tell her I'm with Yoda, he says she will remember who he is. In fact, give the ship my special codes. You know them. Han tell this only to her, no one else. If she knows it's directly from me and me alone, then High Command will take it seriously. How will you find her?” Leia asked.

“Yoda knows or something, get that datapad,” Han says.

“Know I do, watch I do,” Yoda answers.

“Yoda, you are really creeping me out,” Han answers.

“Hmmmmph,” Yoda says getting up. He takes the datapad and puts a few numbers in the notes. He points.“Destination, return.”

“Yoda, have you ever flown a ship?” Han asked.

“Years ago, I flew. The tea? Leave if you will?” Yoda smiles.

Leia looks at Han and he shrugs. “You want the caf, too?” Han says in jest.

“Caf? Yes, caf nice it would be,” Yoda says in a funny laugh.

Han grunts. “I hope I can get some from whatever ship Mon Mothma is on. At least leave me a little, OK?”

“We won't take it all, Yoda probably hasn't had caf in years,” Leia answers.

“He says you're sleeping in his hut while I'm gone, sweetheart. Can you handle that?” Han laughs.

Leia's eyes get wide.

Crykon Spaceport Cantina

“I'm there working for Clevo, you know and we come up on this ship. Looked like it might be carrying something good by the size of it. So, this ship, right? I swear it was a YT-1300 freighter, but it looked different. Like some weird modification on it.” The Toydarian described.

Bossk listens in as Dengar asks, “Did it look like this one? Without the modification?”

“Maybe, I don't know?” the Toydarian flits back and forth looking at the holo.

Bossk grabs the flying Toydarian by the neck and looks him right in the eyes? “Does this look like the same ship or not?”

“Maybe! I guess it could be? It's an old ship, how many of them are out there now?” The Toydarian struggles with the words.

Bossk throws the Toydarian across the room and he's able to catch himself in flight before he hits the wall.

“Call it in?” Dengar says talking to Bossk.

Bossk shakes his head.

“Yeah, Vader wants some proof. We could let Boba Fett know though. Let him know it might look different,” Dengar says grabbing his drink.

“And let him get all the bounty?” Bossk sighs.

“Where is Fett anyway?” Dengar asks.

“Cloud City I think, probably living it up while we go digging in the dregs,” Bossk answers.

The Executor- somewhere in the Mid Rim.

Darth Vader was spending more time in his meditation chamber. Somewhere out there, was a young woman who was very strong in the Force and had only come into his radar recently. He tried also to sense Skywalker, but doing so by meditation seemed futile. He tried to sense Yoda as well, he being the most likely Jedi to still be alive and most likely the Jedi the young woman was in communication with. It was so frustrating. Masking it from his master was becoming difficult and he sensed that the Emperor was starting to suspect something. As he came out of his chamber, Admiral Piett was waiting.

“Lord Vader, the Emperor wishes you to contact him when you are finished, sir,” The Admiral said stiffly.

“Thank you, Admiral. If you'll take your leave, I'll be with you shortly,” Vader answered.

“Yes, Lord Vader,” Piett exclaimed while leaving the room.

Darth Vader bowed before the holocommunicator, and the image of the Emperor appeared.

“Yes, my Master,” Vader said with the utmost respect.

“I'm sensing a greater disturbance in the Force, my apprentice,” The Emperor said menacingly. “We must find Skywalker. I know I've reprimanded you in the past on your pursuit, but this disturbance, I believe it to be more than Skywalker. We may have a greater challenge on our hands. Find Skywalker! Have any of your leads given you any insight?”

“I have made some inquiries and have some leads, my master,” Vader replies in obedience.

“My apprentice, you wouldn't disobey me would you, my friend?” The Emperor asked.

“No, my master,” Vader answered.

“See that you don't!” The Emperor spit out and disappeared.

Vader stood up and moved towards the door of his chambers. At least he wouldn't have to be engaged in these menial activities anymore to appease the Emperor. He could dedicate finding his son, or the strange girl, or Master Yoda full time now.

He walked to the bridge. Admiral Piett, contact Boba Fett.

“Yes, Lord Vader,” Piett answered, putting in the information into communications.

Boba Fett appeared, “Yes, Lord Vader?”

“Have you made any progress in locating that ship?” Vader said pounding his fist into the console.

“No, sir, but I believe I will soon,” Boba Fett answered. “I believe it will come in for repairs at some point in the near future. I will keep you updated.”

“What brings you to this conclusion!” Vader shouts.

“I have a contact who saw the ship go into hyperspace, sir,” Boba Fett answered. “It was having problems.”

“This is all you have?” Vader shouted. “Where is this ship? Who was your source?”

“A pirate by the name of Clevo, sir,” Boba Fett answered.

“I'll give you one more week!” Vader said cutting off communication.

Boba Fett was sweating. He had expected that ship to turn up anytime now, he was sure of it. Of course, it was harder now that Jabba the Hutt was dead. Solo was worth even less. Was he staying under the radar? Back with the Rebel Alliance? He would have heard or seen something if that was the case. He hadn't heard anything from Dengar and Bossk, or IG-88 who probably would foul it up and obliterate the thing. Maybe that was even what happened. Boba Fett knew if he didn't deliver, he would find his end at Vader's fist.

The Rebel Fleet- The Edges of the Known Galaxy

“The ship, it is one of ours, but out of circulation, sir,” Kyrell called out from his x-wing .

“The signal, could someone else have gotten it?” Yender called out to him understanding the meaning of it.

“It's doubtful,” Rieekan smiled from his command in the Liberty. “Escort it in, but have security ready.”

General Carlist Rieekan made his way to the hanger of the Liberty as fast as he could. Those were the unique codes of one member of High Command, but no vocal recognition sign was given. Rebel forces security were waiting in the hanger as the small shuttle flew in. Six armed men, with blasters aimed at the ship as a precaution with General Rieekan coming in towards them.

“General, don't you want to wait until we are sure? We've had no vocal confirmation or hail. Only the code, sir. It could be the worst outcome you know? Or an impostor?” the lieutenant warned.

“I'll take that chance,” the General stood as the ramp opened.

A few seconds later, General Rieekan saw Captain Han Solo come down the ramp and a grin was on his face. Reading Solo's face, it wasn't one of humor, or sadness, but more of seriousness.

“General, I'm glad to see you. If I may have a word,” Han asked before departing the ramp.

“Where's the Princess?” Rieekan asked.

“She gave me the code,” Solo answered.

“Gentlemen, you are dismissed, report to your stations immediately,” Rieekan ordered.

When they were alone, Han spoke, “She's fine, general, I need to see Mon Mothma. I have a message that is for her and her alone. Leia's not here, I guess I should tell you that.”

“Solo, using her code is dangerous, I'm glad to see you though on a personal level. I'll call Draven, he'll get you to Mon Mothma,” Rieekan said patting him on the back. “Where is she? The Princess.”

“I can't tell you, just believe me, alright? She's fine,” Han answered.

“She's not in trouble is she?” Rieekan asked.

“No, I told you she's fine. I can't tell you, she'd kill me, or something. I have to get back, that's important. Look, Rieekan, I trust you, but I can only tell Mon Mothma what she told me, OK.” Han answered.

“Alright, Solo, I have to ask though. I have observed a lot in my time on base and knowing the Princess, and I know that the two of you have been alone for a while. She's not um,” Rieekan could barely get the words out.

“What? Oh, you won the bet, we have Wes's datapad if you are asking.” Solo smiled and clicked his tongue.

“That's not exactly what I mean. Is she hiding because of that?” Rieekan said stalling, “Because.” Then he makes a C shaped motion over his stomach because he can't say the words.

“No! That's not it,” Han answered nervously, “General, what do you take me for? “

Rieekan rubbed his forehead with relief.

“We were careful, I promise you.” Han answered.

“That I didn't need to know,” Rieekan said putting his hand on his face.

Rieekan called into his comm, “Draven, Rieekan here, where are you?”

“Home one,” Draven answered.

“Is Mon on board?” Rieekan asked.

“She is,” Draven answered.

“I have an urgent message for her, but you need to be informed first. I'll be arriving on a shuttle with cleared non-alliance personnel escorted by one of Corona squadron,” Rieekan spoke.

“Will be there, escorts will be waiting in hanger, Draven out.”

Han motioned for Rieekan to climb up the ramp as he himself reboarded the ship. Rieekan got on the comm to Yender for escort.

“Solo, Draven had intel on Chewbacca. He did a job for the Rebel Alliance not long ago, I thought you should know. Skywalker was with him,” Rieekan informed Han as he got the ship ready to depart.

“Thank you, general. I needed to hear that,” Han answered as they departed the hanger. Yender followed. “Wouldn't happened to have spotted my ship would you?”

“No sign of your ship. I'm sure it's out there though. Take it slow, it's close, just in another part of the fleet,” Rieekan cautioned.

“I'm sorry about Hoth. I know that had to be a blow to you,” Han said sadly.

Rieekan waved his hand as to indicate that he didn't want to speak of it, “So, you found Wes's datapad? We saw your note. He was with my team when we went back to look for survivors. Glad you got out, there were two still there, we were able to bring them back.”

“I'm glad Janson made it. His datapad has been entertaining us, General. Would you believe Wes had books on there? Don't tell him we have it. I think she wants to give it back to him herself. General Rieekan? You bet on Leia?” Han laughed.

“Me? No never?” Rieekan laughed.

They landed in Home One's hanger and two of the deck officers were waiting in the hanger to escort them to General Draven.

“General Rieekan, sir,” the man stood at attention.

“At ease,” Rieekan waved him off.

“Follow us,” the men, who Han didn't recognize stood behind him as he followed General Rieekan.

When they approached a door, one of the men stood and addressed Han and said, “Your blaster please.”

Han looked at Rieekan who rolled his eyes and then shook his head to indicate it would be alright. Han handed the blaster from his holster rig to the men, and they placed it in a nearby receptacle for safe keeping. There was a knock on the door, and Draven said, “Send them in.”

“Ah, I see why you were so secretive then Carlist. Have a seat, gentlemen,” Draven pointed to the chairs. “Where's the Princess?”

“She's not here, but she's safe.” Han answered.

“I'll vouch for Solo, Draven, but I'm bringing it to your attention that he used the Princess's codes to get here. He also knew the coordinates. As a matter of protocol, I know you needed to be informed,” Rieekan explained.

“Should we have a debriefing then?” Draven asked putting his hands together with a rather annoyed look on his face.

“Solo is delivering a message to Mon Mothma from Princess Leia and only to Mon Mothma. It is of a classified nature,” Rieekan said gruffly.

“And Solo knows this classified information? He's not even enlisted! He's a hired mercenary!” Draven shouted. “You know we can charge you with kidnapping!”

“That won't be necessary, if anything it was a rescue,” Rieekan explained.

“Rescue? A member of High Command was rescued, then her rescuer is here without said member?” Draven insisted.

“Hey, I don't have to take this. General Rieekan will tell you that Leia gave me those codes to get here. She just wants you to know she's alright. She'll return as long as you let me leave again. She just has something she needs to do, and I can only tell Mon Mothma. Got it?” Han spoke up and then put his feet up on the table. Rieekan looked at him and shook his head no, and Han put them back down. Rieekan didn't want to irritate Draven further.

“Mon is on her way to her conference room. I told her that you had some information for only her, she just doesn't know it's coming from him.” Draven said pointing to Han.

“Draven, the Princess trusts Solo, I know this. For whatever reason she sent him, I'm sure it's important,” Rieekan answered.

“She thinks it's the Princess because of the code transmission,” Draven said seriously.

“That's why I came to you first, Draven,” Rieekan spoke gruffly.

Draven punched something into Mon Mothma's communicator. “There, it may even speed up your meeting. She'll think something has happened to her. Otherwise, she'd just keep her waiting if it was just her.”

Rieekan laughed.

“What did I tell you, she's ready now. If you'll come with me,” Draven said walking out another door inside his office and down a hallway.

Draven knocked on Mon's door and Rieekan and Solo entered. Mon Mothma stood there seriously calm.“She's alive I hope?”

“Oh yeah, she's alive alright, she's just not here,” Han answered.

Rieekan cleared his throat, “Captain Solo has a private message for only you, Mon. He arrived on my ship not long ago, and I brought him as soon as I could. He used her codes, which is why you may have thought it was actually her that arrived.”

“Yes, I had hoped. Carlist, if you'll leave us, thank you.” Mon commanded.

“I'll be outside, Solo,” Rieekan said as he left.

Straightening her arm, Mon Mothma said, “Have a seat, Captain Solo.”

Han sat down and said, “I've felt like a smashball since I got here, I swear I haven't done anything wrong.”

Mon smiled, “Of course not, Draven can be a bit dramatic. So, you know where the Princess is, yet she isn't with you? And you have a message for only me? I take it she wishes it to be classified.”

“Yeah, about that. She's with a Jedi,” Han said leaning back in his chair.

“A Jedi? One that isn't Luke Skywalker?” Mon said with surprise. “I was aware of Obi-Wan Kenobi, but I know that he's dead.”

“Yeah, well this one is Master Yoda. I can't tell you where she is or anything. She's coming back. She just has to visit with him for a few days. I think he just wanted to get me out of the way for a bit, said I was distracting her something,” Han explained.

“Interesting, yes, I remember Master Yoda. So he's been alive all this time. I wonder if he would willing to come and help us?” Mon Mothma asked and then put her hand on her chin.

“I don't know about that, maybe that's what she's doing, I don't know. I got a feeling the old guy is staying where he is. I'm just here to tell you that Yoda is alive, she's with him, and I got to go back so she can come back. And she doesn't want anyone to know, only you,” Han told her.

“Captain Solo, do you believe she is safe there?” Mon asked thinking about the situation.

“Safe? An old Jedi has been in hiding for twenty odd years and never has been found on a planet that was hard enough for me to find, and you wonder if she's safe? Plus, you do know Leia well, right? I wonder if this Yoda is safe from her!” Han laughed.

Mon smiled, “I imagine you are right, I appreciate you coming to tell me. Princess Leia has been gone for quite a while, has she been there this entire time?”

“No, ma'am, she hasn't, but you'll have to wait for her to tell you that herself. It's not going to be me, understand? Rieekan out there though wondered if I knocked her up or something, and Draven thinks I kidnapped her, so you might want to find something to tell the troops before they start making wild wagers and such. You must be good at that. Tell them she's trying to drum up funds for the Rebellion or something, anything. Do you know how these guys entertain themselves?” Han smiled and put both his hands up in the air as if he was in retreat.

“I may have heard a word or two along those lines, and usually have known the Princess to ignore most of it, but I may be able to make an announcement of some kind to High Command without giving away the truth. I imagine protecting Master Yoda is of great importance, as well as Princess Leia,” Mon said stiffly.

“I have to ask, for my own curiosity, and you don't have to answer. I know why she's there, but do you have some idea yourself? I mean you knowing her dad so well, and all that?” Han asked.

“I may, but I'm not privy to everything. Her father did confide in me a few details, but not many. I had no idea Master Yoda was alive, or if he knew. I know enough that keeping this secret about Master Yoda is of the most importance,” Mon answered.

“Great, well I'll go see General Rieekan then and be off. That is if that's alright with you. And I want you to know I'm checking that ship for trackers!” Han said pointing to her, “So don't be trying anything.”

“You have no worries from me, Captain Solo. Thank you.” Mon responded.

Han walked out the door with Rieekan waiting for him. “Do I get my blaster back?” Han asked.

Rieekan laughed, “Of course you do. Do you mind taking me back to the Liberty? Yender will follow.”

“No problem,” Han answered.

After they returned to Han's shuttle, Rieekan asked, “Still have that death mark?”

“Jabba? Nah, Jabba's dead,” Han answered.

“So someone finally did him in? That must be a relief for you,” Rieekan answered.

“Yeah, I suppose. Wasn't at the time though. It's hard to kill a hutt you know,” Han answered with a grin and a wink. “You won't get that story from me.”

Chapter Text

The Millennium Falcon- On the way to Bespin.

The cargo bay was quiet save for the hum of the engines. Chewie had gone to bed for a while, leaving Threepio in the cockpit to alert him if anything went wrong. It was a good opportunity for Luke to take the time to meditate. At first, he used the sounds of the engines as a way to focus, but he was unsuccessful. When he let go, and focused on things such as Chewie sleeping, his own blood flowing through the veins of his body, extending it outside the ship to feel the vastness of space, he touched something powerful, and then he felt it, somewhere out there he could feel someone else out there meditating as well and making a connection with him, they were linked. He couldn't feel their thoughts or even where they were, but he could feel the power of the Force flowing through the two of them, and it was a comforting feeling and very familiar. He had never had a meditation experience like this one before. And then he heard it calling to him, "Luke? LUKE!". It brought him out of his meditation and his eyes opened.

"Come back! Come back!" he said out loud. Someone felt him and called out to him, but then he lost focus. He slammed his hand down and got up and went to the galley to fix some caf. He sat there at the holochess table. He had been so close to something. What was it? He didn't know. 'Oh if only I did as Ben said and went to Dagobah?' Luke drank his caf and tried to relax. He was so tense and frustrated.

Threepio creaked in with Artoo following. "Master Luke, you really should get some rest. My memory banks have noted that you have gotten little sleep, and humans require it. Would you like me to get the scanner to check your health?"

"No, Threepio, I'm OK, really, it's...I have a lot on my mind," Luke said putting his head on his folded arms laying on the table.

"Well, do be careful. I wouldn't want one of your circuits to blow," Threepio said as he creaked back to the cockpit.

Maybe Threepio was right. He made a connection out there to someone. Could it have been Ben? He didn't know any other Jedi, and he had never met the one that was supposed to be on this Dagobah. What exactly was going on?

Dagobah

Leia and Yoda both sat on the ground. Yoda had given her quite a workout this morning, and it included Leia carrying Yoda on her back. Leia was glad of having something to do that didn't involve anything physical. Her first attempt at meditation had brought her to her childhood bedroom where she sat with her father building a city with blocks while her mother sat in a chair above and looked down and supervised. She could smell her mother's perfume and see her father's smile as she laughed when a few of the blocks toppled. It made her happy as if she could visit a moment in time when everything seemed to be tranquil and peaceful. It was so real. She could reach out and touch them, when she came out of meditation, she became sad.

"Joy you must find in such memories. Always with you they are. No?" Yoda said to her trying to make her understand.

"It was so real," Leia said with anger and sadness.

"Angry not be, sad not be. Hard for you it is. Remembering, no?" Yoda answered moving closer and pointing with his stick.

"Yes, Yoda, it is hard. I've lost everything," Leia answered.

"Mourn them do not," Yoda said pounding down his cane.

Leia laughed.

"Funny it is?" Yoda asked.

"I've been accused by those for not mourning enough. They believe me to be cold and uncaring. Rarely will anyone see me cry. Because I don't wear my emotions on my sleeve. Honestly, I try my best not to feel anything at all."

"Watch you I have. Great Jedi you may have been in another time. Others before yourself always. Yet, worry for you I do. Feel you say you do not, but feel you do. Was it not good for you to be away from Rebel Alliance, yes? Much you have grown in short time," Yoda pointed out.

"Obi-Wan seems to think the same of Luke. This isn't a contest between the two of you is it?" Leia laughed. "I really have no desire to be a Jedi. There's just too much to do, so much I can do."

"Exactly this, your path is elsewhere, yet like Jedi you are. Control your ability and use to your advantage it will," Yoda explained.

"I get that. You say I have this ability, and yes, I've been able to do things since I've been here. I have seen things that I thought most people experienced, but realized it was because of my ability. Is Force sensitivity common in families?" Leia asked.

"Force sensitivity can be common in families," Obi-Wan appeared and spoke. "There was something about your biological father though that was very special. No one had the potential that he did, and you both inherited that ability. We knew you and your brother would both be powerful in the Force. So, you really do know then? Your brother. I'm not sure he should be told, and do bury that feeling. It may be used against you or him. Though I believe his identity has been revealed to those that can cause you harm. It is you who are still anonymous. Your instincts have told you the truth about him. We had hoped at one point to train one or both of you to take on the Sith."

"The Sith?" Leia answered.

"The Sith control the Empire. The Emperor, Sith Lord he is. As is Darth Vader," Yoda said hanging his head.

"I'd gladly blow myself up to rid the galaxy of both of them," Leia said standing as she spoke.

"I hope that will not be necessary. Your father, your biological father was thought to be the chosen one, the one who would destroy the Sith. We thought that the Sith were extinct. The Jedi became too comfortable and did not evolve. We became blind, and we lost our way. We were fighting a war, yet we were meant to be the peacemakers. A war that was begun and controlled by the Sith against the Jedi. By the time we figured that out, it was too late. With the new generation, we had hoped you would achieve what we could not," Obi-Wan explained.

"Obi-Wan, don't scare the girl!" Qui-Gon advised without Leia being able to see him, Obi-Wan swatted away at him.

"Yes, my father told me some of that, the father who raised me. To me, he was my father," Leia answered wondering what Obi-Wan was doing with his ghostly hand.

"Good man he was," Yoda said taking her hand as Leia nodded. "In meditation again. Focus on the now and think not on the past."

Leia closed her eyes and focused. Feeling the living things all around her, the plants of Dagobah, the many lifeforms, Master Yoda, then out to the galaxy, reaching further and further, until she hit something. It was a beacon in space that was calling out to her, it was powerful and familiar. She recognized it right away, and she called out, "Luke? Luke!". It left her shortly after as if it dropped out of space. She could still feel him, but it wasn't as intense. She came out of her meditation.

"I found Luke, at least I think I did. I was drawn to him, and he was reaching out for me. I think I scared him though, he seemed to drop out," Leia laughed.

"Yes," Yoda said smiling.

"I've seen him meditate, trying to reach out to the Force before. He sometimes gets so frustrated," Leia said laughing.

"Calm he must be," Yoda answered.

"I hope he comes to you, it was something he wanted. Really he did," Leia answered.

"Hmmmph," Yoda said. "Difficult he will be to train."

"Don't lose faith, that boy could be our only hope," Obi-Wan spoke.

"I'm sitting right here!" Leia said gritting her teeth.

Rebel Fleet-Hanger of the Liberty, inside shuttle.

"Thanks, Solo. The trip shouldn't take long and it would be a big help to us. General Dodonna was going to have to wait another cycle or two for one of our operatives to arrive to take him to the supply craft. You being already in a ship not normally associated with the Alliance, as well as your special skills, it couldn't have come at a better time," General Rieekan stated.

"I've delivered to that craft before, and that system outside Sullust isn't too far off my course. I'm glad to help out. I just need to clean up a bit, if you don't mind," Han answered.

"This ship doesn't look bad, Solo. Dodonna has ridden in worst situations, I'll assure you," Rieekan eased.

Han scratched his head. "It's the cabin," he then opened the door.

Rieekan looked at the cots from the bunks and the blankets and everything else all over the floor blocking the way to the fresher, "I see."

"These cots are really narrow, and when you're living in the ship..." Han tried to explain.

"No, I understand, Dodonna is on his way over here. I'll let you get with straightening it out," Rieekan replied starting out of the ship.

"Any chance the Alliance has any extra caf they can spare?" Han called out.

"I'll see what I can do," Rieekan answered with a laugh.

It was shortly after that General Dodonna arrived from another one of the fleet's ships for escort on Han's shuttle. Dodonna was an old man, a no nonsense leader, second only to Mon Mothma, and he took most things very seriously. He had commanded the largest of the rebel cells before the Alliance was formed and had been involved in defeating the Empire almost since it had begun. He had been a military man from the time of the Clone Wars, and the fact that he would be sent to this outpost, meant that his knowledge and guidance was needed with something of great importance. Han wasn't going to question it. Whatever, he thought, and he was only getting caf for it. Well, he did get an extra power cell, but then again, this wasn't even his ship. He wondered if he should have aimed higher, but for what? Protein packs? Dodonna often forgot that Han wasn't an official member of the Alliance, and would treat him as a soldier he would command, and then when he remembered, he knew he'd resent him that he wasn't enlisted. It would be an interesting trip, Han thought, and he hoped that Dodonna would be busy with his Rebel Alliance stuff and not up for chatting.

"Captain Solo, I trust the ship is ready to go?" Dodonna asked as he climbed aboard.

"All set, just waiting for clearance," Han answered.

"I was hoping there would be a table on board, somewhere I could work," Dodonna said looking at the small shuttle.

"These seats come down off the side in the cargo area, you could set one down and sit in the other. I know it's not much," Han said unhooking the strapped up seats.

"Ah yes, I suppose that will have to do. When Draven told me that you were escorting me, I was hoping it was on your ship. I find that table much easier to work on," Dodonna noted.

"You do know I was stuck on Hoth for days, and this was the only ship available for us to leave?" Han answered a bit annoyed then headed back to the cockpit and set up to leave the hanger. A call came from the dispatcher. "Get up here and strap yourself in, general."

"General, sir," he said as he slowly moved up to the cockpit seat.

Han laughed, long trip indeed.

Once they got going into hyperspace, Dodonna went to the chairs that Han pulled down and Han pulled off one of the cots from the bunk, put it on the floor and took out Wes's data pad. It wasn't long before Dodonna got up and called out to Han. "Captain Solo, would you come out and help me make some sense of this?"

Han got up and looked at Dodonna's charts. "I know this is classified, and I shouldn't show you this. You can be trusted I believe. Look at this pattern and tell me what you think."

It was Imperial ship movements from the past few weeks from an intel source in the field. "They're all moving in the same direction, but coming from different systems. What do you make of this?" Dodonna noted.

Han looked at the systems where the ships left instead of the destination. "Those are systems with factories that forge things for ships, parts, structures."

"Very observant. Somehow I knew you might have some idea of these patterns. You have a great knowledge of space travel and systems that has been very valuable to us. Quadanium is the report from our man in the field. And they aren't headed for the core worlds where they build ships. The Empire is up to something, and it frightens me," Dodonna leaned back.

"It's not really for me to ask, but you have some idea of what it might be, don't you? You know we've gotten those bastards before, and we can do it again. You were there," Han grabbed the man's shoulder.

"Yes, we've known for some time," Dodonna said looking at his reports with a worried face.

"I don't have much of this left, and I know it's not um, regulation, neither am I, but would you share this last bit with me? Somehow I think you could use it." Han said holding up the last of Wes's whiskey.

"I'm not one to touch the stuff on a regular basis, but it may calm the nerves a bit," Dodonna nodded.

Han poured and emptied the last of it, gave a bit to Dodonna and enough for a swig for himself. He clinked his glass. "May the Force be with us," Dodonna exclaimed before knocking it down his throat.

Han swigged as well, and patted the old man's shoulder. He then went back to the book, and thought to himself that this war was never going to end and he wondered if the old man knew it as well.

Millennium Falcon- Air space above Bespin.

Luke donned his Dak Janson disguise and was prepared to use his Tambo Sasmander name and ID with Chewie's fur painted a bit, the use of a optic device around his head, and his bandolier changed for a leather crossed vest. They hoped the Falcon looked different enough as to not draw attention. When they reached the atmosphere, Luke notified to the dispatcher that he was Tambo Sasmander looking to visit the well known gambling tables that were found in Cloud City. They were given a berth to land and they didn't suspect any trouble at all. The plan was that they would try and find this Lando person once they found a place to stay, and go from there.

Luke found the city to be beautiful, as well as the horizon of clouds and colors. The gas from the mines having given way to the glorious patterns in the sky. The droids followed, and they found a hotel, dropped a few credits with Tambo Sasmander as the name. The room had a nice window, Chewie complained that the beds were too small, but it was a decent room. The plan was to leave the droids in the room, and then search out Lando. Apparently, this was no easy feat as Lando was a big deal in the city, and his office insisted that a meeting with Baron Calrissian included a waiting list. Chewie had earlier given Luke a code word that only Lando would know, and it might cause him to seek them out. The code word was "Vizago" which meant nothing to Luke, and then included their room number. They left after being put on Lando's waiting list, then decided to see what the city had to offer.

They found a restaurant with a buffet and Chewbacca was in heaven. Luke had never seen such rich food before and tried to stick with more basic items. The restaurant was connected to a small casino that offered games of chance for citizens and visitors of the city, so the clients of the restaurant included people and species of all types, even a couple of other Wookiees. After they ate, they returned to their room. Threepio started to go into all the information he had on the planet Bespin and Cloud City and other details that Luke had to shut him down for a while so he could think.

"Chewie, there's something about this place. I don't know, it doesn't feel right for some reason," Luke said with a worried tone.

Chewie roared softly trying to stretch out on the bed. His legs were hanging off the corners even laying sideways. It would have to do. It wasn't long before they had a knock and standing there was a dashing dark skinned man and a pale bald man with cyborg parts on his head.

"Hello, I'm Lando Calrissian, who the hell are you?" Lando said addressing Luke in his disguise.

Chewie roared.

"Well, if it isn't Chewbacca. I hardly recognized you!" Lando said warmly and softly. He made a gesture at the man with him, and they both came into the room and closed the door. Lando then went around the room searching for something in much the way that Han would do on missions whenever they checked into rooms.

"Who are you?" Lando asked Luke.

Luke took out his ID saying he was Tambo Sasmander.

"Can't you talk?" Lando asked.

Luke laughed, "Of course I can talk."

"And you're with Chewbacca here," Lando said with a whisper. "Look, I gotta be frank with you, there's some trouble here. Big trouble. Got some bounty hunter been around here sniffing around for Han and the Falcon and a few other things."

"Is this about Jabba the Hutt?" Luke asked.

"No, this has nothing to do with Jabba, says he's coming from somewhere high up in the Empire. Look, I got a sweet deal here, and Chewbacca, it's nothing against you, but you are going to have to get out of here, and fast. Where's Han?" Lando asked looking around.

"He's not here. We had some trouble with the ship and Chewie here thought you could help. I take it you can't?" Luke asked a bit worried.

"Oh, please don't say you brought the Falcon here," Lando whispered.

"We brought the Falcon here," Luke whispered back.

"I was afraid of that, so where did you land it? I hope that bounty hunter didn't see it," Lando whispers.

Chewie roared.

"Well, I'll have someone look at it, then you got to go! You understand, and you were never here, got it! If that bounty hunter finds it, I'm gonna have to turn you in. I never saw you, understand. Tambo or whatever you are. I hope you aren't in any trouble, because if you are..." Lando shook his head. "I can't believe this. I thought Boba Fett would get tired and leave. That you'd never come here."

"I'm sorry, I didn't know," Luke said apologetically.

"Look, I don't know what kind of trouble you are in, and I'm sorry," Lando said made a motion to Lobot and left.

Luke looked at Chewie and Chewie let out a worried roar. Luke whispered, "Do you know who this Boba Fett is?"

Chewie shook his head yes, and roared softly.

Elsewhere in the city...

Boba Fett checked his data from the incoming manifests from his tap into the dispatchers of the city. One stuck out. It wasn't the Millennium Falcon, but something called the Twinsunrise and it was a modified Corellian light freighter. Pilot, Tambo Sasmander. The shape on the manifest was different, but there were also a few familiar things about it. Call it a hunch, but Boba Fett knew he had to go check this out. He decided to check out the hotels first, and found that this Tambo Sasmander checked in shortly after arriving on Cloud City. At least Calrissian wasn't keeping him in one of his guest suites. That made it easy. Boba Fett hid down the hall and did a stake out. After some time there came out a man, with bushy dark hair, a mustache, a bit shorter than Solo, so he figured it was someone else, and a Wookiee came out of the room. The Wookiee didn't look exactly like Chewbacca, but he would bet it was him. If the man wasn't Solo, and he couldn't be, it was someone who knew him, and he was sure of that. He'd send this info on this ship, the Wookiee and this Tambo Sasmander directly to Vader.

Dagobah

Yoda was floating in the air, with Leia guiding him through the Force. She gently put him down and then lifted a few logs and tossed them into the swamp.

"Defend yourself that way one day you may?" Yoda said, impressed with his young student.

"It's amazing, I never knew I could do anything remotely like this!" Leia marveled.

"Yes, hee hee," Yoda laughed. "Your anger, remember to control your anger. Path to the darkside it is. You have much power through frustration. Control. Only for good."

"Yoda, you must remember that young Leia does not wish to become a Jedi. She has duties to perform, responsibilities, attachments! She should not adhere to our codes and rules," Obi-Wan said reprimanding Yoda.

"Of great help this will be to her. Even if Jedi she does not become, for powerful she is. Great help to her people she will be," Yoda said turning away from Obi-Wan and pounding his cane down.

"You both keep talking like I'm not even here! I'm a trained diplomat! What is going on here with the two of you? Am I some kind of prize? Were we to be some kind of hidden tools in your personal power struggle? Look at the two of you!" Leia said in frustration turning away from the both of them.

"Did you not do the same? Arguing for justice in the Senate did you not? Pleading with your High Command? Bickering with your smuggler? Watch you I have. Selfless you are, yet questioning us you do. Guilty we are of putting hope on your shoulders. Tools no, but hope we foresaw. You I know can see such," Yoda said pointing at her as he spoke.

"I want to help, really I do. Don't misunderstand," Leia answered.

"She's right, we've put so much on the shoulders of those two in the hope that at least one of them could do what we couldn't," Obi-Wan spoke.

"Does not the Force move of it's own will? Think on this I will," Master Yoda spoke, and walked away.

The pallet that was on the floor of Yoda's hut wasn't the greatest place to rest, but it was warm and dry, and the fire he kept going had kept out the humidity. The warmth surrounded Leia as she lay there, but it was hard to sleep. Not because she was on the floor, or because there was always light from the fire, but because of so many thoughts. She tried not to think of her friends and the rebellion, but she was wondering what she was really doing here, and why it seemed so important for her to be here. She hoped it wouldn't be for long. Yoda wasn't great company, and the debates between he and the ghost of General Kenobi, though educational, were a bit tiresome. She did get a lot more out of her meditation, and thought about how useful it would be to fight in the way that they taught her. Growing up, her father had made sure she had many lessons on shooting and self defense, never realizing how handy they would be and how good she would be at it. She had taken down men and creatures twice her size more than once. She finally smiled at the satisfaction that she could now take on anyone with sheer will, but couldn't she always do that to some extent? She figured when Han returned, she'd end her 'training'. She knew she wasn't supposed to tell Luke that he was her brother, but it seemed deceptive. He was one of her few close friends! Why was it supposed to be a secret? How could they be expected to take on the Emperor and Darth Vader if their biological father had been murdered by Vader? That's what Luke had told her before that he was told by Obi-Wan that his father was killed by Vader himself. Yet, Leia had been held by Darth Vader and been able to resist him. She remembered that now. No matter the training the Alliance gave, many had given in to the secrets or chose death instead of being forced to tell their secrets. Leia was alive and she gave away nothing to Darth Vader the most powerful interrogator in the galaxy. Maybe she was that strong.

Yoda got up off his cot and stood over her, "Trouble with sleeping? Your thoughts, clear your mind. To a happy time, the other morning perhaps? Smiling I found you." Yoda touched her head, and she went back to thinking of the story on Wes's data pad and laughing and she drifted off to sleep.

Cargo ship, near the Sullust system.

The small shuttle was coming up on the cargo ship and they would be landing soon. Dodonna turned out to not be such bad company. He mostly kept to himself, but he wasn't as demeaning as Han had found him in the past. They even chatted a few times. Han wasn't much of a talker really, and neither was Dodonna, but Dodonna had a lot on his mind. Han couldn't believe the old man opened up to him the way he did. He imagined he had no one but High Command and everyone else was below his rank. He imagined they were all going through this, this thing that was hovering over them all. He knew Leia had some of that as well, but she had him, and Luke and Chewie to talk to and take it out on. The fact that Dodonna could even speak with him about the things he did and trust him made Han feel that he somehow had gained some respect from him. Han often felt that many of higher rank on base looked down on him, as he wasn't an official member, or about his past. He usually didn't care one way or the other really. He always put Dodonna in that column. To actually gain some respect from someone who he thought he would never be able to win that from, it seemed to mean something.

They landed and Han opened up the ramp. They were preparing for something big here as there seemed to be a lot more than the usual rations and medical supplies. There was a lot ammunition and it appeared they were preparing for battle. It was none of his business, but he stopped to look at the faces of some of the people moving about the huge ship.

Dodonna stopped and shook his hand, "Thank you, Captain Solo for taking the time to bring me here."

"Don't mention it really, hope it works out, whatever you're doing here," Han answered.

"When you see the Princess, give her my love," He smiled, and turned as one of the officers pulled him away.

Han checked the ship for trackers anyway before he left the hanger, even if Mon Mothma promised they wouldn't.

The Executor

"Lord Vader, this just came in. I was sure you would wish to see it immediately," Admiral Piett said standing with the information given to him from Cloud City.

"Interesting, set a course for Bespin, Admiral," Darth Vader commanded.

Chapter Text

Bespin-Cloud City

Chewie and Luke promised to leave as soon as they could, hoping Lando wouldn't get into any hot water, but Lando made good on having his people take care of the ship before they left. While they were working on it, Chewie and Luke decided hitting that buffet again wouldn't be too dangerous would it? Chewie pulled up a picture of Boba Fett on the holoprojector so that Luke would get a visual as to what to expect if he saw him, and Luke was convinced he could take on one bounty hunter. He had taken on much worse. They didn't want to make Lando mad, but Chewie really loved that buffet.

It wasn't that crowded, and after they filled their plates, they both found a quiet table to keep a low profile so they could enjoy their food. Chewie was constantly looking over his shoulder while eating, on the off chance that in this large city Boba Fett would pick this restaurant over the many that had to be in this city to find them. It wasn't even the closest one to their room. Even though the restaurant wasn't crowded, Luke, or Dak Janson with the ID of Tambo Sasmander drew the attention of a beautiful Devoronian girl who kept giving him the eye. Luke noticed her, gave her a nod, and Chewie gave Luke a look of warning. He couldn't tell him in the restaurant, both because Luke still didn't understand Chewie very well and it would draw attention to them, that often casinos were full of good looking women who's only goal was to lure men to their rooms and rob them. The next time Luke looked back, Chewie grabbed his hand firmly and shook his head. Luke, with an annoyed look on his face, looked down at his food and continued eating.

Eventually the girl came up to the table and tapped him on the shoulder, “Don't I know you from somewhere, handsome?”

“Ah, no, I don't think so, I would remember you,” Luke answered.

“Would you like to know me from somewhere?” she cooed and pulled Luke's face up by his chin.

Chewie made a grunt. Luke wiped his mouth, hoping he didn't have anything stuck to that stupid mustache and smiled. “Though you are very beautiful, I'm not sure we have any time to get to know each other. Me and my friend here, we aren't in town for very long,” Luke replied.

She moved in closely, and put her arms around Luke's neck and practically sat in his lap, she brushed her lips up to his, then kissed him. He put his arms around her and right there in the restaurant, they were getting really intense when an angry Wookiee roared.

Luke unlocked the embrace, and the lady slipped him her card and left. Luke took a drink of water, and Chewie sat there with his arms crossed looking at Luke who in return, gave him a sheepish grin.

Chewie really wanted to check the ship, so they went to the berth where it was docked and true to his word, Lando did have some people working on it. Chewie had to stop himself from going out there, and it did relieve his worries some that it was slightly different than the Millennium Falcon was used to appearing, with the painted x-wing affixed to the top as if it were part of the upper hull, and a few weird paint strips. He hoped Han wasn't going to kill him when he saw it, but he knew he'd understand. He just was anxious to get out of there. He knew exactly how to get back to the Rebel Alliance, he had been given some contacts to get word to them from the job he and Luke did. He really hoped that Han was alright, he only knew that he and Leia were able to make it off Hoth, so he assumed that the Alliance might even have some info on that as well. It was too dangerous to try and contact them here, so he didn't. Chewie just hoped they could get it well enough to get at least to the fleet with the repaired shields and a repaired hyperdrive at this point.

Dagobah

Leia's training with Yoda had gone well, and she felt she was able to control her abilities though it was of her personal mind that using them unnecessarily was perhaps misuse of the Force. It was something she felt when she was practicing tossing boulders. She had gotten used to the ghost of Obi-Wan and his murmurings to someone else she couldn't see, yet another Jedi Master, and Yoda became somewhat more warmer towards her. She felt that Han was coming back soon, and she discussed it with both of them that she fully intended to leave Dagobah shortly after he arrived. She needed to return to her work with the Rebel Alliance, and perhaps, it would put her in a position to use her abilities to even dispose of Emperor Palpatine, who she learned was Darth Sidious, and also Darth Vader, who she held in great personal contempt.

Leia sat by the swamp on a dry part of the ground and went into deep meditation. She reached out as she always started by feeling the things around her, then through the vastness of space to search for Luke and what was like a magnet to her as far as the Force was concerned. Instead she had a vision. She saw a city in the clouds, darkness and Chewie and Luke both in great pain. She fought it in her mind, but then she came out of it, Not sure what it all meant, she went to Master Yoda.

“Master, the vision I had, it disturbs me. Luke and Chewie were in trouble, and there was great darkness. What does it mean?” She said confused and pained.

Yoda closed his eyes. He was that way for a few moments and then he came out of it, “The future you see, but the future always in motion it is.”

Ghost Obi-Wan appeared scratching his chin, “I fear the boy is in great danger.”

“I must go help them!” Leia cried out standing up frustrated about being unable to fly away.

“No, dangerous it is. More we have not told you. Sit.” Yoda demanded.

“Yoda, are you sure? Do you think it will endanger her or Luke with this knowledge?” Obi-Wan warned.

“What knowledge?” Leia demanded to know.

Yoda closed his eyes and thought, “Handle she can, for change her opinion it would not.”

“What? What should I know!” Leia demanded.

Obi-Wan's ghostly form sat on the log and looked at Leia, “What I'm about to tell you, may be a bit upsetting. It's about your biological father. Now, while I know you did not wish to know much about your biological parents, this information is important. It will be both a warning to you, and to give you the information you may need to protect Luke if it should come to that. We all believe that you can handle this. I'm sorry to lay this burden on your shoulders.”

“I get that, it's upsetting, and he was powerful and all that. You stop talking in circles. Just get to the point!” Leia said starting to get angry. Why couldn't Obi-Wan just give straight answers, or Yoda for that matter?

“Anakin Skywalker was my apprentice. He came to us at an advanced age. Young Jedi were often found as infants and raised in the temple. He was nine years old and found as a slave on Tatooine,” Obi-Wan explained.

“So Luke really was raised by people who knew his, well our biological contributor. Alright, continue please,” Leia demanded.

“Patience, young Leia, patience,” Yoda warned.

Leia gave him one of her dirty looks.

“He was found to be more powerful than any other pupil we knew, but he was reckless. I loved him, he was my friend and like a brother. Oh the adventures we had. He was a great friend, but then he turned. I wasn't the only friend he had see, the chancellor, Sheev Palpatine, had also taken him as a friend, and became quite close to him. We thought that Palpatine was a good man in those days,” Obi-Wan added.

Leia was starting to get worried, and was really hoping for a shorter version of this story. Surely there was a point to this? Palpatine is evil. She knew that.

“Anakin also loved the Senator from Naboo and former queen Padmé Amidala. I suspected their relationship, Jedi were not allowed to have attachments, families, and I must admit that even myself, my attachment to someone else was her undoing because of me. I had ignored what I considered friendship between them, and his friendship to Palpatine as well. Certainly I knew him better than anyone? He and Padmé had secretly married, and were married for a few years before I really knew. In fact, it was only shortly before you were born that I even knew how far it had gotten between them. It was around the times when things started to go bad. The Jedi were being hunted, we learned the Emperor was a Sith Lord. By the time we learned it was too late. Few of us survived. I was with your mother and had taken her to your adopted father, Bail Organa, who had given Yoda refuge and soon after you and your brother were born and shortly after she died,” Obi-Wan explained.

“Detail of most importance left out, hmmmph,” Yoda fussed at Obi-Wan.

“It's quite difficult for me, Yoda,” Obi-Wan explained.

“You're certainly telling me a lot of details anyway!” Leia smirked.

“Simple I will tell her. Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker he is.” Yoda said.

Leia sat there stunned, and she couldn't speak.

“We knew Luke had put what he thought was his father on some kind of pedestal. This knowledge would be harder for him. You however, I didn't think you would hold such sentimentality,” Obi-Wan explained.

“That man tortured me! And you are telling me that I carry his DNA!” Leia cried out. “He does not deserve to live!”

“Your anger controlled it must be. Yes, destroyed he must be. Only one as strong as he is able,” Yoda spoke calmly.

Leia calmed down and took deep breaths, “Oh, I want to destroy him alright. You got that part right.”

“Your anger, Leia, don't let it consume you. Like him you could become. It happened so fast, I was blind to see it. Perhaps my love for him clouded my own judgment,” Obi-Wan explained.

“I understand. I hope you'll understand that I plan on leaving as soon as Han returns. I have my duties with the Rebel Alliance,” Leia spoke calmly, yet stern.

“Understand I do. Luke must still come. Important it is. Tell him do not what we have told you. Cloud his judgment it may,” Yoda explained.

Leia nodded.

“I just hope Luke is alright,” Leia bit her lip.

Bespin-Cloud City.

Lando paced his office with a bit of nervousness. He had been contacted by the Admiral of Darth Vader's own flagship announcing their plans of visiting his planet with the expressed details of not allowing the Millennium Falcon to leave the city. Officially, on record, the Millennium Falcon was technically in the city, but there was no denying that it was the hybrid ship sitting in one of it's berths that his men were currently trying to repair. He only hoped he could get Chewbacca and this Tambo guy out of his hair before any Imperials showed up. He needed to do something about Boba Fett and fast. He called his security.

“I have a suspicious individual who's been roaming around the city. I wondered if you could have him detained. I'll give you a visual, and you are to lock him in the detention center for evaluation? Understand?” Lando ordered Cloud City security.

His security team was loyal to him, and he hoped it bought him some time. If he could keep Fett out of the way, and get Chewbacca and that Tambo out of here, there would be no proof the Millennium Falcon was even here! It was a couple of hours later that Boba Fett was found and detained, and he was relieved of any communication devices, blasters, and even his jet pack. He let him keep his armor, even had I checked out before he was detained.

When Lando went to check on Boba Fett, he told him, “Nothing personal, it's just that some of my clients and citizens have complained. I'm sure we can get to the bottom of this and you'll be out anytime now. It's not up to me!”

“Calrissian! You don't know with whom you are dealing with here! I have powerful connections!” Boba Fett yelled.

“Relax, we'll get this all worked out. Look, I know you're on the up and up, but we have a process here. This will get cleared up before you know it,” Lando flashed a grin and swooshed his cape as he left the room.

Lando said to his man, “Keep him here. Make him happy, but just don't let him leave. Give him something good to eat, make him comfortable, but whatever you do, don't let him out or talk to anybody.”

Dagobah

Leia had to get away from Yoda and the ghost of Obi-Wan and started walking down the path around the swamp of Dagobah. She came to a cave and stepped in. As she walked, she felt something strange, powerful, and different to the rest of the atmosphere of the planet. She heard the noise of heavy breathing which reminded her of Darth Vader when he had held her captive some years before. It made her run towards it, she fell and above her stood Darth Vader looking down on her. She locked eyes with him, or at least on his mask at what resembled eyes, and he stood still and reached out his hand. She crawled back away from him, and then pushed him away without touching him. He fell, and she stood up looking at him. He had transformed into a little boy, with clothes similar to those that Luke wore when she first met him. She ran out of the cave and then dusted herself off. She walked calmly towards Yoda's hut, when she saw lights coming from above.

Leia's heart jumped, and as blinding as the lights were, she knew it was the shuttle that Han had left in just a few days before. This whole Jedi Master experience could be behind her. As the ship came down, she backed away. Yoda stood by her. “With me you shall come, only for a moment,” Yoda pleaded.

She followed Yoda, and he sat down on the log, and invited her to sit down with him. “The cave, you went into the cave?”

“Yes,” Leia said calmly.

“Frightened you were not?” Yoda asked.

“No, it was an illusion nothing more. I pushed it away,” Leia answered.

“Watch you I will. Remember what you learned,” Yoda said taking her hand. “Go you must. Always with you I will be.”

“Um, thanks,” Leia smirked.

When the ship touched down and the ramp opened, both Leia and Yoda were standing nearby. Leia walked up to Han and held him, and then followed him up the ramp. After Leia returned to the ship, Han came back down. “Um, Yoda? Got anymore of that root leaf?”

Yoda laughed, “Follow with me. Left something in my home Leia did.”

There were a few articles of clothing of Leia's and Yoda filled up a large gourd with some root leaf for Han. He passed it over to him and then said, “Stubborn that one is. Great care you must take.”

“She can handle herself fine, don't worry,” Han answered scratching

“No, misunderstand you do. Take care you do of yourself you must! Fear for you I do,” Yoda said slamming down his cane.

“Aw, I'll be alright,” Han laughed.

“Luke, he must come,” Yoda answered. “Soon.”

Han walked back to the ship and up the ramp. Leia sat in the cockpit, looking out the window and biting her thumb a bit.

“I need to talk to you. Let's get out of here first,” she said coldly.

“Ah OK, I got your things from Yoda,” Han answered getting the ship ready to take off.

“Thanks. You must have really liked that root leaf?” Leia laughed.

“It was good, something different. I figured he took my caf, I could take his root leaf. Rieekan got me some more. Dodonna said to send you his love,” Han laughed.

“General Dodonna said that to you?” Leia laughed.

“Yeah, I did a side trip shuttling him somewhere before I came back to get you,” Han replied with a laugh. “I gave him the rest of Wes's whiskey.”

“Really?” Leia said with surprise.

“Yeah, old guy was stressed out with all that Rebel Alliance stuff. Thought he could use it. Anyway, I thought I'd take you on back to the fleet,” Han replied.

“No, I need to find Luke. Though I'm not exactly sure where he is. There was a place I saw. Oh, you're going to think this is crazy,” Leia answered still biting her thumb. “He's on some planet where the cities are in the clouds. Chewie's with him. I think they might be in trouble.”

“How do you know that?” Han said with surprise.

“I saw it, when I was meditating. I knew you'd think it was crazy. Oh what was that planet, the one with the gas and the cities that float?” Leia said trying to remember.

“Bespin?” Han said startled.

“You know a place like that?” Leia asked.

“Oh yeah, I know a guy with an operation there, gas mine. We could check it out if you want, but then we have to go back to the Rebel Fleet. There's something big going down, and I know they'd like to have you back,” Han answered.

“We can at least see if Luke is there. Maybe your “baby” is there, too? I'm sure Chewie would have it,” Leia laughed.

“Lando would know, he's the guy I know. We go way back. I guess we're headed for Bespin then,” Han said putting in the coordinates.

They got into hyperspace, got out of the cockpit and Han rearranged the cots in the cabin, “I had to straighten up here for guests, you know General Dodonna. If he had to use the fresher then freak out with the blankets everywhere,” Han laughed.

“How'd it go with Mon?” Leia asked.

“Well, she was glad you were alright, wondered if Yoda could come help her. Saw Draven, he thought I kidnapped you. Rieekan thought I knocked you up.”

Leia put her hand over her mouth, “He didn't say that?”

“He implied it. I set him straight. I said we were careful,” Han grinned.

“What!” Leia said very angry.

“Well, he brought it up,” Han said pouting innocently.

“Everyone in High Command probably thinks we are on some wild crazy sex adventure!” Leia yelled, “and you let them believe it?”

“Well, aren't we?” Han laughed, “I only told Mon about the Yoda thing. She knew who he was. Rieekan told me Luke and Chewie even did some job for the Alliance undercover at one point. Hey, they found two other people on Hoth besides us. We weren't alone! Mon Mothma said she would tell High Command you were doing something like raising funds or something like that.

“That's a relief. Where were the other people on Hoth?” Leia asked.

“Medical I think,” Han answered. “Other side of the base. No way we would have known they were there. Rieekan went back with a team, and get this. One of them was Wes, and he went looking for his datapad. I told Rieekan we had it. I still have it. Wes made it out of Hoth, you can give it back to him when you see him. How did the whole Jedi Yoda thing go?” Han asked.

“I learned how to do some stuff, there's something I need to talk with you about. I can't tell anyone, but I have to talk to someone. It's very secret and personal. I really don't want to think about it. Oh, maybe I shouldn't say anything, it might be dangerous to tell you,” Leia said pacing the ship.

“What? Tell me if you need to. It must be bad.”`Han said taking out some more blankets and laying them across the cots. “The Luke's your brother thing, that had to be kind of good, it wasn't that though was it?”

“And no, and don't tell Luke that! He can't know. And they pretty much confirmed that he is my brother. It's protecting him or me, and now I understand why.” Leia answered.

“Your biological dad was some hotshot pilot hero in the Clone Wars,” Han answered. “I heard Luke talk about him. What could be so bad?”

“Well, he's alive. Or different. It's Vader,” Leia said walking away.

Han followed her with concern, “Never expected that, but he's not you.”

“I still want him dead.” Leia answered. “I don't care who or what he is, that's a monster.”

Han just grabbed her and held her.

“Don't tell Luke, or anyone, ever.” Leia replied.

Bespin-Cloud City

Lando was sitting in his office dealing with some shipping mistake that had been caught by one of his Ugnaught employees and it was giving him a headache. He passed it on to someone in the office, as was often his manner of course. He'd sign the checks, but let those other guys handle the heavy stuff was often his way. While he was taking a quick glance as the way operations were going, he received an urgent call on his comm.

“Who? Oh, I imagine you should put him right through then, I'll deal with this personally,” Lando said as he moved to his holocommunicator.

“This is Lando Calrissian, what can I do for you?” Lando flashed a smile.

At the other end was a high ranking Imperial Officer. “Sir, I've been asked to inform you that an Imperial shuttle will be arriving soon. We require your utmost cooperation. You will be informed shortly before it's arrival and we expect you to give us full reign of your facilities if need be.”

“Is this an inspection? I assure you that we are just a small operation. I run a legitimate business, I assure you,” Lando said with an insistent tone.

“The reason is no concern of yours. We expect you to be fully accommodating,” the man ordered. “You will hear again from us soon. Good day.”

He knew it had to be Vader or someone from his star destroyer, from that previous communication that he assumed was provoked by Boba Fett. He was going to have to get rid of Chewbacca and that Tambo kid soon. At least Boba Fett was locked up. He just hoped he wasn't going to lose everything he built here to the Empire. They were known for coming into a facility and taking it for themselves. His gas mine was small potatoes. Certainly not even worth their notice? And why would they want that ship so much? Even if it had been involved in rebel activities, it couldn't be worth it enough to require so much manpower to capture it.

Lando got out of his office, called for Lobot to follow and then headed for the hotel room where Chewbacca and Tambo were staying.

Meanwhile in the atmosphere of Bespin, a small shuttle was requesting clearance to land.

“Name's Draygo, ship is the Ice Nugget,” Han Solo called in for permission to land.

“And your business in Cloud City, sir?” the dispatcher asked.

“Just visiting a friend,” Han answered.

“One moment please, we'll find you a berth,” the dispatcher called out.

As they were flying through the skies of Bespin, Han tried looking out at Cloud city to see if he could spot the Millennium Falcon. It was hard though, they were still high up. Han did feel a little skepticism that there was a chance that Chewie, Luke and the Falcon were even here, just from Leia's 'vision'. She must have felt strong enough about it though not to return directly to the rebellion, and he was starting to understand that maybe there was something to this Force stuff, after what he'd seen with hanging with this lot for the past three years. They finally found them a berth, and as they zoomed around the city, the thought he saw the Millennium Falcon, but whatever that was, it looked a bit different and he had to be seeing things. First thing he was going to do though, was to look up Lando.

“Luke's here,” Leia said as they got off the ship with a disguise.

“You sure?” Han answered, who also had a more subtle disguise.

“Yes, I know he is,” Leia answered looking around.

“I hope Chewie is, too. Maybe Lando will know? I'm sure Chewie went to find him if he's here anyway, I'll find his office and we can see if he'll meet with us.

They got into the city, and found a map and a location for 'administrative offices'. They made their way there until they got to a lobby where a Twi'lek secretary said, “Please wait, Baron Calrissian isn't in his office right now, but I allow you to wait in here and we can set up a meeting. There is a waiting list.”

“Look, I know Lando, alright, give us somewhere we can wait, and he'll see me right away, trust me. Tell him it's Draygo,” Han said.

Leia looked at him and mouthed it at him and he whispered in her ear, “He'll know.”

“Alright, sir. We can set you up in the lounge if you like, but there's no guarantee he'll see you,” the woman said politely.

“Thank you,” Leia answered, taking a seat and pulling Han towards her.

They were soon taken to a lounge, where it was promised that Calrissian would be told of who was here to see him.

At Luke and Chewie's room, Lando and Lobot pounded on the door and were met by Threepio. Threepio said, “I'm afraid that Mas..” Artoo beeped loudly, “Oh yes, Tambo and Chewbacca have stepped out for lunch. They should arrive back shortly.”

“Oh this is just great. Listen, give them a message to go directly to me, I'll give you the details, but I need to speak with them immediately when they return. And they are to stay in their room!” Lando said and gave Lobot the details to give to Threepio.

Lando raced back to his offices. Things certainly couldn't get worse. The Empire was coming to check out his facilities, he had a fugitive ship parked on one of his berths, and who knew who that Tambo was? He obviously was wearing some kind of weird wig so he had to be someone. And Chewbacca was a wanted Wookiee, this he knew from the Imperial lists.

He got back to his office and the secretary informed him, “Sir, they don't have an appointment, but there's someone waiting for you in the lounge. I can get rid of them if you want, but he said you would see him.”

“Well, who is it?” Lando asked cautiously hoping the Empire wasn't already here.

“A man by the name of Draygo, he said you'd see him,” she answered.

Han Solo was here. This day really could get a whole lot worse.

Chapter Text

Chewbacca was livid. He had gotten up to get another plate at the buffet, returned, and Luke was gone. At first, he just figured Luke had gone to the fresher, but after sometime, there was no sign of him. He knew he had to have taken that card and went to look for that girl. Chewie finished his food then paid the bill, but there was no use in even trying to ask anyone if they had seen Luke leave because Chewie's soft howls had gone ignored. No one around seemed to understand Shyriiwook. Chewie frantically searched the corridors of the enclosed city for his friend. While he was quite angry, he still felt responsible for Luke. Because a frantic Wookiee can be misunderstood anywhere, and Lando was busy with other things, security found themselves detaining Chewbacca, who had calmed down trying to explain the situation without being understood. Chewie felt defeated, but he only hoped Luke was OK and that Lando would find out he had been detained and could sort this out.

Elsewhere in the city, the Devaronian vixen who they had spotted in the restaurant earlier making an eye for Luke looked at the small handheld device in her hand as the light was blinking. She had placed a small chip inside her card, and smiled when she saw it coming closer and closer to her. Ellian was really a bounty hunter who would take any job she could get, and could always remember a face, and this was a face she couldn't forget. She noticed his face right away in the restaurant and knew she had a great find, or at least something that could get her a few credits. She sent an off world communication to a talent agent she knew on Nar Shaddaa who managed a lot of the talent in the Outer Rim, including Max Rebo, who had noticed the amazing talents of Dak Janson at Jabba's Palace the last time he played there. They had gotten a holo while he was there and when Ellian, the Devaronian had noticed the resemblance, she knew she had to get in touch with Gwavon who gave good credits for such finds. He had been on the look out for this guy since he heard of his amazing performances at Jabba's and wanted to try to recruit him for other gigs and make him a star. When she got in touch with Gwavon though, she got a different story.

“He's bad news. Got him on Imperial wanted lists now as Tambo Sasmander. Might get something if you turn him into a local garrison. I wouldn't touch him with a ten foot pole myself. They might come after me next if I knew who he was,” Gwavon answered in the wavering blue mist of the holo.

“Doesn't say what he did?” Ellian asked cautiously. “I mean, the guy is on his way here now! What if they think I'm his accomplice?”

“He's wanted for questioning, report to Vader himself is what it says. All I know.” Gwavon answered.

Ellian thought for a moment. What to do here? Was there even a garrison here in Cloud City? She could still take him to one. Maybe she could just stall him when he gets here. She almost hoped he would change his mind. She didn't really want to get in this deep. Not with Imperial entanglements. There was no guarantee they would even give her a reward, the Empire did what the Empire wanted. She looked out of the window of her room. Cloud City's sky was beautiful, and the ships moving in the distance were beautiful. She could see an Imperial Shuttle coming though. Hmmm, maybe there was a garrison here after all or something. Did she want to risk trying to get credits another way? That was if the kid even shows up.

Down the corridor Luke walked to the location on the card. What was one more adventure? He could take care of himself? Who knows what this Dagobah was like? In his Rogue Squadron days, every day alive was a day to celebrate. She was cute, he couldn't deny that, and he always had a fondness for Devaronian women. Chewie would be mad he took off, but he'd understand. Just one more, Luke thought, one more before we leave Cloud City for good. He flicked the button on the door, a pause, and then there she was.

“Oh, hey handsome, never thought you'd take me up on my offer to come up. Come right on in,” She smiled. She still wasn't sure what she was going to do with him.

The Lounge in the Administrative Offices of Baron Lando Calrissian

“How long do they expect us to wait here? They could at least offer us something to eat! It's been two hours!” Leia complained, “at least there's a water cooler here.”

“Relax, I'm sure he'll show up soon. He knows me, we go way back, he won't leave us here unless it's something important. Wow, if you knew Lando like I did, and then learned he had a set up like this, you'd never believe it. The Lando I knew was all about running cons and gambling.” Han whispered to Leia.

“You sure know the greatest people,” Leia frowned.

“I know you, sweetheart,” he looked back and smiled.

Leia give him a dirty look, “Well, right now I wish I didn't know you.”

“Really?” Han exclaimed with sarcastic tone and kissed her forehead, “I'm hurt. Just wait, we'll be out of here soon, I promise you. I just hope he knows what happened to Chewie and Luke.”

“Yeah, me, too.” Leia leaned her head on Han's shoulder and he caressed it with his other hand.

At some point not long after, the door opened and there was Lando, bounding in the room up to Han. Han stood up in alarm, not knowing if he was going to have to defend himself or not. Lando didn't look happy.

“You sure do have a lot of guts to show up here!” Lando said with anger.

Leia stood up and backed away.

“Look if this is about...” Han started.

“Come here you!” Lando opened his arms and hugged his friend and Han hugged back. They were suddenly all smiles. Not even noticing Leia who had moved closer to the window.

Lando then whispers, “You're looking for the ship aren't you?”

“And Chewie, and our friend Luke,” Han whispered back.

Leia moves up and introduces herself. “I'm …”

Han interrupts, “She's mine, don't worry about her. Now, what can you tell me...”

“Excuse me?” Leia says getting into Han's face.

Han takes her aside and whispers, “Look, it's probably better he doesn't know who you are see, and he kind of does this thing...”

“I can be more careful than that, but I'm not someone's 'thing', now if you'll excuse me,” Leia says walking back over to Lando who doesn't know what to make of the whispering argument Han and his woman or whatever are having.

“I'm Leia,” She says introducing herself.

Han puts his hand on his head.

“Hello Leia,” Lando takes her hand and kisses it.

“Look Han, I'm kind of busy right now, but let me set you up in some quarters. Now, are the two of you sharing, or would the lady like some place a little more private,” he said putting on the charm.

“She's with me and we'll share. That will be nice, Thanks. We need to get out of here soon though,” then Han whispered. “About the other thing.”

“I'll be around to see you soon. My man will take care of it for you. Lobot? Show my friends Draygo and his lady companion to some guest quarters. Have some food sent as well. Whatever you need, just say the word, and I'll be glad to take care of it. It's really good to see you. You might want to stay in your room though for now, there's a security issue,” Lando says as he leaves quickly and whispers to himself, “Who's Luke?”

Han and Leia follow Lobot as Lando takes off with great speed.

Lobot shows them a nice suite, two rooms and a living area with a fresher. When they are left alone, Han looks around for listening and video devices. After he does his thing, he goes up to Leia and whispers, “Did you have to give him your real name?”

“I thought he was your friend,” she gritted.

“He is, but, he's um, Lando.” Han answered. “What's the thing with the 'security issue'.”

“I've got a bad feeling about this. I know Luke is here. I don't trust Lando though, there's something about him,” Leia said pacing and upset.

“Oh there certainly is, and I don't really trust him either,” Han admitted. “He's my friend and all, but he'd throw you out to the rancors to save his own hide.”

“Well how was I to know!” Leia shouted went to one of the rooms and slammed the door. Then she squealed,“There's a tub!”

Walking around Cloud City on his way to the berth where the Imperial welcoming party was stationed,
Lando communicated a request to Lobot who had already left Leia and Han in their suite, “Have Boba Fett stunned or drugged or something, then get someone to put him on his ship, fly it out into space, and throw him out the airlock. Have it done as soon as you can. We need him gone. You know who to get who will do it. They can get the escape pod and get a pick up and brought back after it's done. Just let them think his ship flew off. It will just burn up somewhere or get hijacked or something after it leaves. I don't care. I can't afford to have him around here anymore! He always was trouble.”

Lobot made some beeps and got right on to it. Lando was sweating. There was little time, he had to brief his men before that shuttle got to the dispatcher. They had let him know they were leaving the star destroyer, but it was right outside of Bespin space. Time was running out. He didn't know what he was going to do, but whatever it was, he was going to make saving himself the biggest priority.

One of the security personnel came up to Lando to get his attention. “Sir, we've just detained a Wookiee that was making a disturbance in the corridors earlier today. We've been waiting for a translator...”

“A Wookiee? I know some Shyriiwook, let me talk to him,” Lando insisted.

“Right this way,” the guard directed him.

As he was walking to the door, he thought to himself, 'This better not be Chewbacca'. When the door opens and he sees Chewbacca there in binders, he puts his arms up in the air in retreat. “I don't believe this. Chewbacca, what did you get yourself into.”

Chewbacca tells him that Tambo got lost from him and he was only looking for him and was upset, but that people couldn't understand him so he got frustrated and then he was detained.

“Chewbacca, I'll undo your binders, but man, you are going to have to stay here for now. Trust me, it's for your safety. I'll find Tambo. I just hope he's not out there running around the city somewhere. I really wish you guys were gone by now, but can't do anything about that now. I've got some Imperial visitors coming. It's just best to keep a low profile. I know you're wanted by the Empire, Chewbacca. Just sit tight here, OK.” Lando answers taking off his binders, he wasn't about to tell him that Han was here, he'd probably tear the place apart trying to find him.

Chewie howls softly.

In Chewie and Luke's abandoned room, the cleaning service had started to come because check out was supposed to have been an hour before and they hadn't officially let them know. The cleaning droids arrived, and Artoo and Threepio while making conversation with them, Threepio found them very rude and offensive so they proceeded to leave and look for Chewbacca and Luke.

“There seems to be no sign of them anywhere!” Threepio fretted.

Artoo beeped.

“We could try and go back to the ship, I suppose they may have gone there. I know Master Luke would never abandon us.” Threepio said not sure where to go.

Artoo beeped for him to follow, and Threepio started to chase after him.

Outside a shuttle lands. Officials from Cloud City wait anxiously as it slowly descends down to it's berth. Running from inside, Lando quickly pauses before opening the door to catch his breath, then brushes off his clothing and waits to go out to greet the shuttle. After he hears the engines shut down, he opens the door, while his security staff wait to welcome what or whoever comes out of the shuttle. The ramp opens and six stormtroopers come out, and they move to the side at attention. Two imperial officers of some rank come out next. Lando isn't sure, never really paid attention to that kind of stuff, then he hears a sound. The sound of raspy mechanical breathing, and the large presence of Darth Vader appears.

Lando steps up to the Emperor's right hand man and extends a hand, “Hello, I'm Lando Calrissian. Welcome to Cloud City, Lord Vader.”

Vader brushes away and says, “There is no time for pleasantries, Baron Calrissian. I only seek information and I expect to find it here. There will be no deceptions! Understand?”

Lando gulped, “I understand, now, tell me what I can do for you?”

“Has a ship which is known as the Millennium Falcon arrived here?” Darth Vader asked.

“Can't say I've seen that ship recently, Lord Vader. I know it well, but I haven't seen it in years. What's your interest in it, if you'll allow me to ask?” Lando asked meekly.

“It is none of your concern. I have been contacted by a man known as Boba Fett. He said he was here in Cloud City, and I wish to speak with him. Can you get him for me?” Darth Vader commanded.

“Lord Vader, Boba Fett was here, but I'm afraid he's left. I don't know where he is,” Lando answered. “My dispatcher will confirm his ship left not long ago.”

“Yes, deliver that to one of my men. If you'll allow me,” Darth Vader started towards the opening of the landing pod. “We'd like to inspect your city.”

“Follow me,” Lando smiled and whisked ahead.

In Ellian's room, Luke made himself comfortable sitting on the edge of her bed, while Ellian gave his head a rub. She could tell it was a wig, but it was a good one. Whoever this Dak Janson was, he was wearing it in the picture, so maybe it was a cultural thing, she didn't know. She wouldn't have known if she hadn't touched his head, so it was a good one, “Would you like a drink, handsome?” She asked caressing under his chin.

“Sure, that would be nice,” Luke smiled watching her as she loosened her top.

Ellian went to get two glasses and went to the ice bucket to take out a bottle and she poured a glass for both of them. What Luke didn't see or didn't sense was that Ellian put something else in Luke's glass. Ellian picked up the glasses and put them closer on the table nearby, then grabbed Luke's face and kissed him.

“Your mustache, it tickles,” she laughed.

Luke laughed, “You're so beautiful.”

“You're cute,” Ellian said handing him his drink.

They clinked glasses and Luke downed his. She reached for his lips to kiss him some more, until he passed out on the bed.

“That should hold him for a couple of hours,” she said to herself. Now to find those Imperials.

'He's here, I can feel him'. Darth Vader thought to himself as he took the tour. “Calrissian, do you have a detention facility here?”

“We do, would you like to inspect it, now?” Lando gulped.

“No, I'll have a crew exam it and report back to me,” Darth Vader answered.

They toured his operations further and got to area where the gas was contained for shipment.

“A carbon freezing facility? Interesting,” Darth Vader said observing the area with great curiousity.

“Yes, we use it it for shipping purposes,” Lando explained.

Darth Vader thought to himself, if someone as powerful as he thought he son must be were captured, it would be hard to contain him. It would also be hard to hide him from the Emperor, but if he were encased in carbonite, yes, that could work. He could take him to Mustafar and hide him there. It would be perfect.

“I'll make a special note of it,” Vader answered.

They walked the facility a bit more before Vader had had enough and asked to return to his shuttle. “My officers and my stormtroopers will stay here, you will make sure they are taken care of,” he pointed at Lando. “I'll take that manifest now.”

An assistant of Lando's produced the manifest showing when Boba Fett's ship left. Vader crushed it in his fists. He told him not to leave. Well, Fett would pay whenever he crossed Darth Vader's path again. Meanwhile somewhere out in space, Boba Fett's stunned body had been ejected while his ship flew unmanned in the vastness of space.

In Han and Leia's suite, Leia came out of the fresher from her bath with a huge smile on her face.

“That was wonderful!” she said and plopped down on the lounger.

Han sat next to her and kissed her and started to massage her neck. “Feeling a bit more relaxed?” He asked smelling her hair as he rubbed her shoulders.

“A bit, but something is still bothering me. This isn't right, it's not right at all. I know your friend said we should stay here, but maybe we should go check a few things out. Something really feels off,” Leia said twisting her head back and forth.

“Maybe in a little while,” Han purred in her ear and kissed her neck.

Leia smiled for a moment then said, “No, we have to get out of here. Something's happened to Luke.”

Han walked up frustrated and a little bit angry. He walked out to a viewport of the city and as Han looked out of the window, he could see it. That really strange hybrid freighter that he just knew was his baby in disguise. It didn't really look like her, but he could tell it was her alright. Chewie must have done something to make it stand out less. Han called Leia over motioning his hand and pointed it out. Leia stared for a few moments, then let out a gasp.

“That's your ship isn't it? What did they do to it?” Leia asked puzzled.

“I don't know, I'm going to find out,” Han said eagerly, putting his holster rig back on and getting ready to head out.

“I don't know about this,” Leia bit her lip. “Take this comm with you, and be careful. Something is going on here and I don't like it.”

Han grabbed her in his arms and kissed her, “I'll be alright. Make sure you have yours, too.”

She looked hard at him a moment and he stared at her. As he walked to the door she called out, “I love you.”

“I know,” he said as he left.

Ellian found two stormtroopers mulling about near a security area and approached them cautiously. She smiled, “You fellows wouldn't happened to be looking for this man would you?”

Ellian brought up a holo.

“We're not sure, we can call it in,” the stormtrooper answered. “Do you know his name, or do you just have a holo?”

“It's either Dak Janson, or Tambo Sasmander, not really sure to be honest,” she grinned.

After a call and a silence, “Where is he?”

“Is there a reward?” She smiled.

“That depends ma'am, if he's where you tell us he is, there will be,” the stormtrooper answered.

“Follow me, gentlemen,” Ellian answered.

“CN-987 call for back up,” the trooper called into his comm.

Han tried to walk through the corridors of Cloud City without being noticed. It seemed to be a shift change, or dinner or something, so there were crowds moving readily throughout. 'Just look like any good citizen walking through the city,' he thought to himself. As long as he didn't see anything of a security problem or Lando, he figured he would be alright. Hell, he might even find Chewie if he was lucky. He sort of figured out the general area where that ship was parked, and he hid around the corner. There was someone standing by the door. He heard a stormtrooper's voice off in the distance. He knew he was close if only he could get closer. He hid in a dark corner and he could see what was the shadow of a person standing by the door.

“What do you mean, Master Luke isn't here?” Threepio said hitting his friend's dome.

Artoo beeped.

“Well, I suppose you may do that if you wish,” Threepio answered.

Artoo plugged into the panel to open it. He heard a blaster shot, and ran through the door opening.

“Hey you shouldn't be there!” a stormtrooper's voice yelled from far away.

A very crazy man started running. A blaster from the stormtrooper started shooting hitting Threepio and knocking him out. Artoo moved towards the ship, with Han Solo quickly picking up Threepio by the torso and racing towards the ship, with a blaster in one arm and dragging a damaged protocol droid in the other. He raced up the ramp, turned on the engines and blasted out into space.

Chapter Text

“Sir, suspect ship has left it's berth without authorization,” the stormtrooper called into his unit.

A call back returned, “Copy, will call the Executor.”

As soon as Han had gotten the ship off the ground, he sent a comm to Leia, “I'm taking her off planet, imps will probably be on my tail soon!”

“You left!” Leia said with annoyed tone.

“I'm kind of busy here! I've got Threepio and Artoo, don't ask,” Han answered. Leia could hear fire from the canons.

“Be careful. I'll look for Chewie and Luke!” Leia answered very worried.

“I'll get a clean ship. I have to get this ship out of here. You wouldn't believe what they did to it,” Han answered. “Headed for hyperspace.”

Although she was angry Han took off, she knew that it was probably the best thing to do under the circumstances. If the Imperials were looking for the ship and chasing Han through the city, he would be better off just getting it off planet somewhere safe. It didn't seem that anyone here was looking for her or the ship they arrived in at all. She felt stuck though. She knew Luke was here, she just knew it, but where was he? And what happened to Lando? She'd make sure she'd ask for him, but if stormtroopers were scoping the place, it probably was a good idea to stay where she was, even in disguise.

The Executor- just outside Bespin's atmosphere.

“Sir, the suspicious ship has left it's berth!” the lieutenant informed Admiral Piett.

Piett did not want to be the one to tell Darth Vader as he specifically requested that particular ship stay on the planet.

“Send tie-fighters, but do not destroy it. Try to force the ship to return or damage it's shields,” Piett ordered.

Piett went to go inform Darth Vader, who was communicating with the garrison on Cloud City.

“My Lord, I must apologize for disturbing you, but this is a bit of an emergency. It appears that the Twinsunrise is trying to leave Cloud City, sir.” Piett informed Lord Vader. “I've sent tie-fighters to try to get the ship to return or to damage the shield, sir.”

“I wonder who took the ship? I have just learned we've taken the pilot in custody, and the Wookiee is already being detained. Stall and board the ship if possible. That is all Admiral,” Vader said dismissing him.

“Tambo Sasmander, possible alias Dak Janson? Very interesting.” Vader said to himself, then he ordered, “Prepare my shuttle!”

Lando walked towards Han and Leia's suite and pressed the button. He found Leia alone looking out the window and then eyed the room for Han. Leia turned around, huffed, then sat down.

“I suppose you are here because Han's ship is missing?” Leia smirked crossing her arms.

Lando smiled and shook his head, “It's missing? I swear this is the first I've heard of it. I came here looking for Han.”

“Well, he isn't here. I thought you might know why?” Leia spit out. “I know you know what happened. I'm sure of it, he's gone. He took the ship, and probably saved you a few headaches in the process.”

Lando smiled and sat down next to her, “You don't like me very much do you.” He took her hand.

“I don't know you, Lando. And I certainly don't trust you,” Leia answered coldly pulling her hand away.

Lando looked into her face, “That's a shame, because I'm a very likable gentleman.”

Lando stood up. “Yes, there is trouble. Darth Vader, he's here. He's going to wonder where that ship went. I'm not sure I'm relieved or troubled that Han took off with it. Why did he leave you here though? I could guess, knowing Han,” Lando laughed.

“Guess what?” Leia snipped.

“He's run off on you. You didn't think he'd really stick around did you? That's just not his style. You should stay here. Cloud City has a lot to offer, I could show you...” Lando started.

“You've got to be kidding me. Who do you think I am!” Leia stood up and turned her back to him and walked towards the window. “Look, do you know where our friends are? Chewie and Luke?”

“Look, Leia, or whatever your name is, I don't know this Luke. Chewbacca, he's safe. He came with a guy called Tambo or something like that. Dark hair and a mustache. I don't know any Luke,” Lando insisted.

“Oh, Luke's here. I know. Where's Chewie? What did you do with Chewie!” Leia insisted.

“Oh, you're a fiesty one aren't you,” Lando laid on the smooth and took her hand and kissed it. Leia pulled it away and slapped his face.

“I don't know who or what you think I am, but you have some nerve,” Leia chastised him.

“Well, maybe your a decent sort, I didn't know. I just figured that..” Lando started to apologize.

“That I'm with Han so that I must be some kind of cantina girl? Is that what you thought?” Leia said giving him a dirty look.

“Well, if you have money, I imagine that might be it, too,” Lando grinned.

“You haven't seen him for years! How would you know! I'll have you know that I've known him for three years and he's saved my life more than once. I don't want to argue about this! Where's Chewie! And this 'Tambo' you keep talking about. I want to see him, too.” Leia shouted.

Lando put his head down. “Look, it's out of my hands, but I think the Imperials are questioning them.”

“WHAT!” Leia shouted and plopped down again.

“They were looking for that ship, told me I had to cooperate or they were going to make it harder for me. I really had no choice,” Lando said putting his head down.

“Lando, do you realize who I am? Tell me the truth?” Leia asked smirking and wondering if Lando really knew who he was dealing with, or that she was Princess Leia Organa.

Lando stopped to think and looked at her, “Your face kind of looks familiar did we know each other maybe on Lothal or something?”

“You really don't know do you? And do you know what you've done to Chewie?” Leia asked him.

Lando remembered something from a few years back. He saw the Millennium Falcon on the holonet. It had something to do with the rebellion. Surely, Han didn't stay and work for them, that surely had to be a fluke.

Lando put his hand over his mouth and paced. “Han's still with the rebellion?” he whispered.

“You knew that?” Leia asked.

“No, but I saw something when that, what was it called, Death Star blew up. That was his ship involved right?” Lando asked.

“Yes, it was.” Leia said with her arms crossed tapping her feet. “I'm sorry we may have made it inconvenient for you to come here. You might want to see the Empire's most wanted some time. Chewie's on there, as am I!”

“Darth Vader's here,” Lando warned.

“Of course he is!” Leia said pacing. “I've dealt with him before, and let me explain it to you. Few who have done so have survived to tell anyone about it.”

Lando gulped. “Why did you have to bring this to me of all people. I'm finally in a place where I'm a responsible businessman.”

“You think you're going to keep it? How long before the Empire comes after you? Well, they are here now and it's in part our fault, but you know they would be here eventually!” Leia warned.

“So what, are you and Han on some mission or something? Because, it just looked to me like he was swinging by looking for Chewie with whatever girl he brought with him,” Lando asked.

Leia laughed. “It's not a mission, but that's none of your business. I need to get back. If you'll excuse me, I need to clean myself up a bit. You said Vader's here?”

“He is. I'm sorry,” Lando said hanging his head.

“Then I want him to know who he's dealing with,” Leia said leaving the room.

She went in the fresher and took off the wig and cleaned up the disguise. She put on something more practical for battle, got her blaster ready in case she needed it, then came back out surprised to see Lando still there.

Lando's jaw dropped and nervously he spoke “Hey, hey, I didn't know. I never put it together. You're that Alderaanian Princess.”

“I am,” Leia answered.

“Look, ma'am, your highness, I really think you should stay here. I mean, Darth Vader doesn't need to know you are here, and they didn't ask about you. Just sit tight. I'll make sure you get somewhere safe after they leave. Let them have Chewie and that Tambo kid,” Lando said putting his hands out and backing away out the door. “I never saw you.”

“Get out Lando.” Leia ordered.

Luke woke up very groggily laying on the floor of a dark room. His head hurt and he rubbed his eyes. 'Where am I' he thought to himself. He got up and looked around the sparse room, but there was nothing but a button to push to allow a slab to come out to sit or lay on. He pressed the button and laid down. He tried to reach out to the Force, but his sore head was a distraction and he was having a hard time meditating. Soon, two stormtroopers entered the room, grabbed his arms and forced him down a hall to another room where he was tied to a chair. A few moments later, Darth Vader appeared. Darth Vader walked around Luke and studied him. He was unsure if this Dak Janson knew Skywalker, but there was always that chance. He was sure the Wookiee did.

“Dak Janson? I've heard of your exploits at Jabba's palace. You were with the Wookiee were you not?” Darth Vader asked him with his heavy breathing echoing throughout the room.

“I won't answer any of your questions!” Luke struggled grunting.

“How did you get this?” Darth Vader answered holding the lightsaber.

“Wouldn't you like to know!” Luke spit out the words.

“Yes, I would, it's very interesting that you would have it. I wondered where you were able to obtain it?” Vader asked.

“I will tell you nothing,” Luke answered and then closed his eyes and shut Darth Vader out.

Darth Vader paced the floor, realizing that this 'Dak Janson' wasn't going to be very cooperative, and he walked out of the room. He directed one of the lieutenants in his command. “Is the Wookiee in the cell with the sound torture?”

“Yes Lord Vader,” the lieutenant answered.

“Start the torture, and wait for my signal,” Lord Vader commanded.

“Yes, Lord Vader,” the lieutenant answered.

Darth Vader returned to the room. He stood there just watching the person who was going by the name of Dak Janson or Tambo Sasmander. Luke just struggled occasionally, and then tried desperately to block his thoughts. He had gotten better at shielding and he didn't want Darth Vader to know he was Luke Skywalker yet, not until he could figure out some way to get free. It killed him to see Darth Vader looking at his lightsaber with great fascination, seeming to take in every detail.

“Who gave this to you!” Darth Vader called out.

Luke stayed quiet.

“You will tell me who gave this to you!”Vader insisted.

Luke directed his thoughts to something else, sandstorms on Tatoonine, the wampa on Hoth, anything. It wasn't long before Luke could feel it. Pain, Pain was coming from someone and it was if they were calling out to him. He realized what it was.

“What are you doing with Chewie!” Luke finally spoke.

“The Wookiee will live. How did you know he was crying in pain?” Darth Vader asked bluntly.

“I just do. Leave him alone!” Luke cried out. He could still feel it. “Stop! Leave him alone!”

“You are Skywalker are you not?” Darth Vader asked.

“Yes! Just leave Chewie alone!” Luke called out in defeat.

Darth Vader left the room and told the lieutenant to stop the torture on the Wookiee and to bring the serum. He returned to the room. He looked the boy up and down, pulled off his wig and then his mustache.

“You thought you could fool me?” Darth Vader hissed through his mask.

Luke just gave him an angry look, sweat was pouring down his forehead. Darth Vader put his fist on Luke's head calmly. It was almost comforting. Luke didn't understand it. This was the man who killed his father. He felt so much hate for him. It made him even more mad that he was doing something that could almost be comforting all of a sudden. That tone changed when the medical droid came in.

“Inject the serum,” Darth Vader ordered.

“No!” Luke called out, not knowing what to expect. It knocked him cold immediately.

“Take him to the carbon freeze chamber!” Darth Vader ordered.

In Chewie's cell, he felt relief as the high pitched noises stopped. They were so painful. He didn't understand it at all. He thought Lando was going to get him out of here. Lando had even been sending him food and drinks. Without warning, Chewie was being tortured. He sat alone in his cell after, with no explanation, when he heard blaster fire and some loud noises. His door opened and standing there was a sight he never expected to see. It was Leia smiling at him. She gave him a hug and whispered. “Chewie, come with me.”

She threw him a large blaster, she didn't have a bowcaster, but she was able to take this one from a stormtrooper and ran to where she felt Luke. Chewie was following along, and they found a guard in front of a door and dispatched him quickly. Chewie blasted open the door and Leia ran in with Chewie following. They were on some kind of scaffolding and Leia could see Darth Vader standing with an officer and two stormtroopers near a steamy vent. A loud noise came through the vent and the Ugnaughts were raising the object. It was a large rectangle with the shape of a man, and it wasn't just any man, it was Luke.

“No!! Luke!!” Leia cried, and Chewie started shooting his blaster.

“Chewie, find Lando, I have a ship! Go! Trust me!” Leia ordered. Chewie was reluctant, but he ran in the other direction.

Darth Vader looked up, “Princess, we meet again.”

Darth Vader lifted his hand as if to start to pull her towards him, but she threw him down with the Force. Darth Vader laid there stunned. “How?” He called out.

He tried to pull her again, and she jumped down off the scaffolding and down to the front of Vader and pushed him again. Then she lifted the frozen block with Luke in it and carried it out of the way using the Force. Vader got up again, and got out his lightsaber. Leia tried tugging it from his hand, but that didn't seem to work. She closed her eyes a moment, pushed him again to give her time, then looked up. The ceiling! It always worked with blasters. She started pulling down duct work from the ceiling down on Vader. He tried throwing it back towards her and she blocked it and threw it back. As Vader walked closer, she moved and pushed him further. Leia pulled things in the room down on Vader and he blocked them grunting and also amazed. He called out, “Stop!”

“No!” Leia said. “I'm taking Luke with me!”

“It was you! Wasn't it!” Vader called out. “In the Force. I could hear you! Who were you talking to!”

She pushed him again and said nothing. Then threw more objects at him as he blocked them and tried throwing them back. It was all a matter of offense and defense, and Vader couldn't believe what was happening.

“How is this possible!” he called out!

Leia lifted Luke closer to the door as Vader tried to stop her, but he couldn't. Her will was too great. She threw more things at him as he blocked it then she jumped up as if to protect the block.
Vader was close to the vent in the floor where Leia had seen the block emerge and she tried to push him into it. He fought it and pushed her back, but she kept pushing. Eventually, Vader fell into it, giving Leia an opening to push Luke out and try and get him back to her ship. Leia was running through the halls, a blaster in one hand and pushing Luke with the other. She kept feeling for Vader, but imagined he hadn't jumped out of the hole yet, or hadn't caught up to her. But then she felt it.

“Join me!” she heard Vader's voice in her head, it disturbed her, she raised her mental shields, but it was hard trying to take care of the block of Luke, running with the blaster, and blocking out Vader all at the same time. She would just ignore him and hope her deeper shields protected her secrets.

She could feel him started to move towards her. The stormtroopers left in the city went down easy and there were less and less of them. To her surprise, Lando was at the door of the berth waiting.

“Chewbacca's on board, let me help you,” Lando pleaded.

“Out of my way,” Leia said pushing the block and looking behind her.

“Leia! I'll cover you!” Lando said as she ran past.

Chewie helped Leia get Luke on board, and Chewie motioned for Lando to come. Chewie roared to Leia and Leia groaned, but then she called out, “Lando we need you, get in here!”

Lando came running shooting out at Darth Vader which was futile, but he at least got on the ship. As Chewie was trying to get the ship off the ground, he noticed that it was powered up and trying to take off, but was not moving. Leia thougth for a moment, then looked out to see Vader trying to pull the ship in. She reached out and pushed him back, making the dark lord fall to the ground. They were able to speed off before Vader had the chance to call back to his star destroyer for back up.

Once they got into space, Chewie roared, “Where to?”

“Where do you think Han would get a clean ship?” Leia asked.

Chewie put in the coordinates.

“Do you think we'll be able to catch him?” Leia asked.

Chewie roared.

“Two days? Let's hope we land next to the Falcon before he reaches that ship.” Leia answered. Then she changed her tone to one of anger, “Lando. I know Luke is alive. How do we get him out of that thing?”

“I could do the controls. If it's done right. Do you have any medical fluids on this ship?” Lando asked.

Leia went back to the small cabin, she knew there was some basic stuff, but she didn't want to risk harming Luke.

“There's not much here, Lando. I'm sure there is on the Falcon, if we can make it there. What are you doing here?” Leia asked with a sigh.

“It won't hurt him to stay in there until we get him there. As for Cloud City, I can't stay there. Not now, after what's happened. I feel responsible for everything. I want to help you,” Lando said trying to sound apologetic.

“You want to help us? Really? Chewie? Should I believe him?” Leia stood there with her arms crossed with a smirk on her face and her hip bent.

Chewie roared.

“Chewie's not happy with you Lando, but right now he's worried about Luke. You know about this process he's in, so as long as you pull your weight, you can stay for now,” Leia answered. “Right now, all I care about is getting Luke out of that thing there, and finding Han.”

Chewie roared and laughed.

“He said the cabin smells different,” Lando said. “I don't smell anything.”

“You've never been on this ship... Oh, Chewie you keep quiet about that,” Leia snapped. She then walked up to Chewie and whispered in his ear, “Han and I found Wes's datapad on Hoth. You betted on me, Chewie? You?”

Chewie roared with shame.

Chapter Text

Darth Vader knew that most of his support staff on Cloud City had been eliminated by the time he returned to his shuttle. It was still there, and he made his way on board with frustration and disbelief.

As he returned to the Executor. He tried to come to terms with what had happened. He finally had Skywalker in his grasp and he lost him. It was the way he lost him that he couldn't comprehend. He could sense the boy was powerful, maybe as powerful as he was. He obviously had little training, but he seemed to know enough to block him out and not be influenced by him. He would have thought that Obi-Wan would have trained the boy in the ways of the Jedi, as he knew he had a connection to him and knew it was Obi-Wan who probably hid him and brought him out of hiding. Skywalker had the lightsaber he lost on Mustafar so many years ago. Well Skywalker didn't have it now. Obi-Wan must have taken it after he mutilated him and left him for dead and given it to his son. It made no sense that he has little knowledge of the Force.

Then there was that Alderaanian princess. He had dealt with her before, but not like this. Where did she get that power? He found her hard to interrogate on the Death Star, and his encounters with her were almost laughable. She had been determined to destroy him in humorous attempts whenever their paths crossed as if it were remotely possible. This time though, her goal was to protect and retrieve Skywalker. This using the Force to battle him was something new. And he tried to hit her, but she dodged every attempt and gave it back to him. At one of her hits, Vader was nearly paralyzed by the Force, as if it wanted her to win against him. He was sure that she was now the one who he sensed in the Force on those occasions where he felt her. How was this even possible? Why wasn't she ever found before? She lived on a Core World where certainly it was mandatory for all children to submit to tests. He knew Palpatine had done this. Yet, there was something about her, and he remembered that it was he who had delayed her execution more than once on the Death Star when Tarkin wanted her terminated. Tarkin always had it out for the fiesty idealistic princess. Vader remembered Tarkin telling how she had always been trouble and recounted an encounter he had with her a few years before. She had only been nineteen when she was detained on the Death Star. How much trouble could a child be to someone such a Tarkin? Why had he found her fascinating enough then to want her to live a bit longer?

Darth Vader walked on the bridge of the Executor and Admiral Piett swelled with fear. He knew that Vader was in a bad mood, that the whole encounter on Bespin has been a failure and that he was afraid that he would take all the blame. Vader though seemed disgusted with himself and didn't seem to be taking how the entire matter got out of their control on Piett at all, which gave him some relief. Vader merely ordered him to change course. Vader would just take on the next task on his list of making sure some planet trying to maintain control for themselves in the authority of the Empire so they remembered who really was in charge. He walked out of the bridge to his private quarters and pulled out the old lightsaber he found on Skywalker. A disturbing memory came back to Vader and it was of Obi-Wan chastising him for losing it.

“This weapon is your life,” was what Obi-Wan would say on the countless times he would lose it. That bastard had it for all these years and gave it to his son. He imagined that the boy wasn't even capable of making his own.

 

Uninhabited Jungle planet

They landed next to the Falcon which still had Luke's x-wing attached, with obvious attempts to take it off the ship. It seemed that way anyway from the window. Leia tried the comm, hoping Han still had his, but the attempts were futile. When they opened the ramp of the smaller ship, Chewie came bounding out and fired a blast from his bowcaster in the air. At least they knew this was where Han ended up after his escape from Cloud City. The Falcon being proof of that. Chewie opened the ramp, the codes had been changed, but Chewie knew a few of them that Han would rotate every so often and eventually he was able to open it up. He went inside with Leia following. Artoo was in the lounge still making attempts to repair Threepio.

“I can't believe he actually put Threepio on the ship willingly,” Leia said looking around.

Chewie roared.

Outside it was starting to rain, and Lando was making his way over to the other ship, leaving the encased Luke inside the smaller ship.

“I take it Han's not here,” Lando noticed looking around. “Just what did he do to my ship?”

Chewie roared loudly and angrily and Lando backed away.

Leia started getting static on her comm. She couldn't make out a voice, it was muffled.

“It's probably the rain, he must still be here,” Leia told Chewie.

They looked out into the jungle and the rain was now pouring down hard. If Chewie had to guess, Han was either half way to the cave where the other ship was kept or somewhere closer on route. Leia wished that Threepio wasn't damaged. He was obviously in no shape to be able to tell when Han left the Falcon, and when he did make a sound, it was only nonsense.

“Blaster shots, must have damaged him. They must have been near the ship when Han took off,” Leia conjectured looking at the carbon scoring on Threepio. Artoo beeped.

“Your droid said he left a few hours ago,” Lando replied.

“You understand binary?” Leia asked. “I never got to the point where I could understand most of it.”

“Yes, I do. See, I'm not so useless after all am I?” Lando replied knowing she and Chewie were still annoyed he was even here.

“Don't be so sure of yourself. I need someone here to stay with the ships and Luke. Can you do that? Chewie and I are going after Han,” Leia ordered.

Lando sucked through his teeth and smiled and in a flirty tone and said, “You sure are commanding there, princess. Sure, I'd be glad to help out.”

Chewie did something to the cockpit in the Falcon and pointed to Lando.

“Look, I'm not going to steal it, I swear. I'll stay right here and look out for things. Not like I have anywhere to go right now, anyway. Not after what you all did,” Lando answered.

“After what we did!” Leia shook her head and had to walk away from Lando. “Come on Chewie, get the rain gear, we're going out there. I just hope we can catch Han, or he saw your blast Chewie. Lando, if you see a ship take off, try and hail it if you can.”

“Will do,” Lando said. “Is there anything to eat here?”

Chewie threw him a protein pouch.

“Um, thanks, I think,” Lando exclaimed looking a bit underwhelmed.

“Keep an eye on Luke. It would be better for you to just go over there anyway. There's some other food on that ship as well. Something you might find more palatable,” Leia ordered him. “I'm not sure I like you hanging around on this one.”

“I might be able to help your droid?” Lando offered.

Leia gritted her teeth, “Keep away from them!”

Artoo beeped.

Further in the jungle, Han was grateful for the rain. He had been to this planet before several times and was sure it was relatively safe. He'd said that before about places and been wrong, but he was still here to tell the tale wasn't he? It was a place he had traded ships a few times. The first time was many years before when he and Chewie had been on the run from a group of pirates that he had swindled a job from and were trying to steal his cargo for themselves. He knew they would be waiting at the destination, and it was only a small valuable item, the key though had been it's security. His ship stuck out like a sore thumb and he got the idea to switch it with a ship that had knew had been hidden in the jungle, it's owner having died before she was ever able to return to it. She owed Han some money for a job and he figured, he could tell himself in his mind it would be payment. It was hard to get to though, but the hiding place was too great to pass up. And it was especially hard to get to in the time during the jungle's rainy season, when the jungle plants had gotten harder. At least the rain kept the bugs away. Those bugs! They were huge, and caused so much pain. There was one time he and Chewie used the ship when they could park right up to it for a job he did for the Rebel Alliance. Because it had been the dead season, the vines had withered and faded and he was able to return before the jungle started to come back up again. This wasn't that time of year though, and you had to work for it. It had to be this season, when he needed the ship fast. How could he have left them! Especially when things were starting to go so well with Leia. He only hoped they were alright. Then he heard the comm. It was only static. Damn rain and moisture made it so hard for these comms to work properly like this. The loud blast in the sky? He only hoped it was friendly. The comm static though. He had to know, maybe it was them, and if not, who was there that might mess with his ship?

He thought about putting up a tent and waiting, but then worked his way back to the ship. It was getting muddier and harder to push through. He kept at it and the wind was picking up. He had a great sense of direction, but it was a bit disorienting. At least he was closer to where the Falcon had landed and not that cave. A large branch fell down and knocked him in the back of the head. At first, it was just pain, but then he got dizzy and started to have trouble seeing clearly. Then he passed out in the mud.

Chewie and Leia made their way through the jungle following the part that had already had marks from being cut or broken. The jungle grew fast, but they were sure they were on the right path. Chewie knew the way well, so at least it was the right direction. Leia tried the ping on the comm again, but it was no use. Chewie walked ahead, Leia starting to have trouble getting her footing in the mud, and then she heard Chewie howl. He soon moved back towards her with a muddy limp Han flung over his back.

With the rain and Chewie moving faster now going back towards the ships, Leia couldn't tell what happened, but she could tell he was alive at least. She found herself pulling her boots hard out of the mud as the rain kept coming down saturating the ground. It was such a mess. Even Chewie's legs were caked with it, his fur had gotten matted. When they got back to the ship ramp, they removed Han's outer clothing and boots and tried to get as much of the mud off of him, with the wet clothes just soaked through. The rain drained some of the mud off. Chewie did his best to rinse off in the rain on the ramp, but it was unavoidable they would make a mess. Leia striped her outer rainwear off and they got Han inside and laid him on the floor, At first examination, Leia could see the bump at the back of his head, and she tried to hold him up and get him to come to. Chewie got the medical scanner and it didn't appear that he had any brain damage. Just a hard hit on the head and a concussion. Chewie gave him a shot which helped him to regain a bit of consciousness, but he seemed very out of it. They stripped his clothes and put him in the cabin on the bed. Leia got herself a bit dryer and put on one of Han's dry shirts and some pants that she had left on the ship from a previous mission, as Chewie held his friend up to keep him awake. Han rubbed his head and still wasn't speaking yet, at least not anything coherent.

“I'll sit up with him, Chewie, check on Lando and Luke for me will you? You can use the sonics over there, too. I'll call you, I promise, if anything changes,” Leia told him.

Chewie howled.

Lando almost didn't recognize the wet messy Wookiee coming up on the ship.

Chewie howled.

“Glad you found him Chewbacca, so, he's hurt? Is that what you said?” Lando asked as he kicked back on one of the cockpit chairs on the small shuttle.

Chewie howled.

“Oh, that is bad. I'm sure he'll be OK. Luke's vitals still look good. We can probably let him out if you have equipment on the Falcon,” Lando suggested.

Chewie howled again.

“I didn't catch that, but I don't think the two of us can get him off the ship like this. I'm not sure how Leia did it to be honest,” Lando answered trying to soothe Chewie's nerves. “Some kind of cart mechanism I imagine. We can wait a bit, get Han up and about, Luke is alright where he is.”

Chewie headed over the cots to the fresher to clean up. The sonics helped dry and get the mud and dirt out of his fur and he felt a little better. He went to the galley looking for food, since Leia told him they had some here, and found some of the root leaf and a bottle of wine. Lando lit up when he saw that, but Chewie growled and Lando backed away. Chewie found some dried nerf and some tubers and fixed that up and even offered some to Lando. He couldn't help but stare at Luke frozen in the block. He felt a lot of guilt for that. He just hoped he could be revived. At least Vader didn't have him. When it stopped raining, he'd go back to the Falcon, check on Han, and help get Threepio back together.

In the Falcon, Han started to become more conscious again, but his vision was blurry and he wasn't sure where he was. The sounds he heard were like echos and he couldn't make out the voice talking to him, only that it was someone holding his head and rubbing.

He spoke out, “I can't see clearly, and I can barely hear. I don't know where I am!”

Whoever was stroking him started to sound angry and frustrated when he did that so he called out, “Leia is that you?”

He heard a loud sound that almost sounded like yes, but he wasn't sure and the voice was yelling at him, “Yeah, you have to be Leia alright.”

Leia got him some water. She didn't mean to yell at him, but this was just great. Luke is frozen in carbonite, and Han gets a hard blow to the head. She wasn't mad at him, but she was sure it sounded like it and his answer seemed somewhat humorous, or would be if he wasn't in such a sorry state. She held him up to help him drink and then laid him down to get more water. He seemed sleepy, but she was afraid for him to sleep, so when she came back with the water and he was closing his eyes, she yelled, “Wake up, don't go to sleep. You have a concussion!”

“Would you stop yelling at me? I still can't hear you, but yelling doesn't help. It's all just muffled sounds.” Han answered.

Leia propped him up with pillows and patted him and stepped out for a moment and comm'd Chewie, “Chewie, he's awake, but he's having some trouble. Can you come over here and deal with him for a bit? I don't want him left alone.”

She heard a roar from Chewie and went back to Han until Chewie arrived.

“He can't see very well and he can't hear very well, he said it was muffled sounds,” Leia explained.

Chewie roared.

“Chewie?” Han called out sitting up a bit. Chewie grabbed him and held him tight.

“I missed you, pal,” He said buried in his arms.

“Sit with him and make sure he doesn't fall asleep,” Leia said leaving for the other ship. She needed to deal with Luke now.

She looked in the medical kit on the Falcon, and there was the fluid kit and a few other things they were going to need. She knew they might need more medical attention once they returned to the Rebel Fleet, but it would do for now. They would need to get Luke's x-wing off the top so they could attach the hatch to the ship when they got to the fleet. Chewie could help with that, and if it was just a matter of flying it off, she could do that as well.

It was still raining, and she ran to the other ship before she got to wet.

“Chewbacca said something about finding Han, but he's hurt,” Lando asked with concern.

“Yes, he's starting to wake up. Can you help me get Luke out of this thing, or should this wait until we get to a medical facility?” Leia asked.

“Well, he hasn't been in there long, and if you have fluids to give him in his veins, he should do OK. He survived the process. We had a guy fall in once and he didn't make it, but it's something that is known to happen and the people do fine,” Lando mentioned.

“That doesn't help me. I know he's alive. I just want to make sure he is going to be OK. Alright, what do we do?” Leia asked.

Lando hit a few buttons on the side of the block and the sound and smell of melting carbonite filled the ship and slowly disappeared, Luke was starting to move a little as he was becoming free from it, and then he dropped out, with Lando catching him. Luke struggled a bit, disoriented and confused.

“It's Leia, Luke? Can you hear me?” Leia asked.

“Yes, where am I?” Luke asked.

“Not on Cloud City. I brought you somewhere else, you're with me and you're safe on a ship. We're docked on a planet right now. It's raining, and we are going to carry you over to the Falcon and get you some fluids. Can you stand?” Leia asked.

Luke started to stand up and wobble a bit. “I can. It's a little blurry though, and I'm having trouble walking straight.”

“We'll help you get to the Falcon. I'm going to cover you with a blanket to keep the rain off,” Leia said pointing to the cabin and motioning to Lando to get one.

They walked with Luke through the rain under the blanket, and Lando helped Luke to the bunk by the holochess table. Leia went to get the fluid hookup and Luke said, “I'll be fine, just let me sit here for a while.”

“You'll be a lot better if you let yourself rest, Luke. Trust me,” Lando answered.

Leia came out and hooked the syringe to Luke and insisted, “Stay here, lay down and rest. I'll do a scan in a bit.”

“I'm already starting to feel better,” Luke said, but as he said it, he started to retch a bit. Lando grabbed a pot and Luke started to vomit.

“Luke, that all has to come out of you. You'll be alright,” he took the pot and turned to Leia and she pointed to the ramp.

Lando just poured Luke's spit outside and then brought it back up to Luke, “Here, just keep this here.”

“That's Chewie's favorite stew pot,” Leia stood chastising Lando.

“Look, I'm just trying to help here,” Lando pleaded.

Leia put her palm towards Lando's face, turned around and went into the cabin.

“Can he see or hear yet, Chewie?” Leia asked with worry.

“Who's that?” Han asked moving his head around.

Chewie did a mournful howl.

“I'll be alright, pal,” Han said patting his friend.

If he didn't hear it, at least he knew the sentiment. Leia scanned him again, and checked the swelling.

“It's going down again, I'm going to get a pack to see if that will help. I tried the syringe, and it brought him out, but he's still got me worried,” Leia said turning to Chewie.

“That you, Leia?” Han asked.

Leia planted one on his lips, Chewie laughed and howled something.

“Yep, at least I hope it is, sweetheart,” Han answered.

“Chewie! I guess some of Rogue Squadron owes you some credits then,” Leia said grabbing Chewie's face.

Chewie laughed.

“I'm glad you can laugh in a time like this,” Leia answered with an annoyed tone.

Chewie howled.

“I hope so, too,” Leia said leaning on his fur. “And yes, it's a bit different since you last saw us, just don't tell Luke yet.”

Leia went out to check on Luke. “I'm feeling a bit better, Leia. It's great to see you! How did you find me?”

“I just did. We'll talk about that later. Glad you're alright. I was so worried about you,” Leia answered.

“Lando said you had to escape and that I was frozen in a block. I don't remember. Last thing I remember was Darth Vader asking me questions. He took my lightsaber,” Luke said sadly.

“He probably did,” Leia said with a clipped voice.

“Are you alright, Leia?” Luke asked and tried to get up.

“I'm fine. Han's hurt his head. He's in the cabin and Chewie's with him,” Leia said and rubbed his head.

“I missed you, Leia,” Luke said tenderly.

“I missed you, too Luke,” Leia answered and gave him a peck on the forehead. “Look after him, Lando. I'm going to make some caf. Want some?”

“Yes, thank you. That would be kind of you,” Lando said softly.

A few moments later she brought some to Lando, and then told Luke, “You stay there, and don't get up, you hear me? You need to rest. Try to get some sleep if you can.”

“I will, Leia. Thanks,” Luke answered.

Leia went back in with Han and Chewie looked very tired. “Why don't you go get some sleep, Chewie, I'll take this shift. Luke's doing better, now.”

Chewie rubbed Han's head, and patted him with a howl.

Leia took Han's hand and held it. “Where are we?” Han asked.

“The Falcon.”

“The Falcon?” Han answered.

“You can hear that?” Leia asked.

“Something hear that, what that sounded like. Hey, I think my hearing is getting better. Yell at me, sweetheart, maybe I'll hear it better,” Han said.

“I SHOULD YELL AT YOU FOR GETTING KNOCKED IN THE HEAD!” Leia yelled.

“No, that didn't help. Sounded muffled,” Han said sadly.

Leia just rubbed his shoulders and put her head on his chest and he rubbed her head. She was getting sleepy, but she was afraid she'd fall asleep and Han would too, and with a concussion that wouldn't be good. She shot up, and even though it was her that needed it, she said in his face, “You need to stay awake!”

“Awake, heard that" Han answered. “Just keep talking sweetheart, maybe if you can find that datapad, read some more of that book.”

She tapped him on the shoulder and remembered it was on the other ship. As she left the ramp, she could hear Threepio's voice. Artoo was making progress, and she was sure that Chewie or Luke could get him together if Artoo couldn't. She almost forgot Threepio was suffering, too. But then when wasn't he suffering? That thought made her laugh. The rain had stopped, but those bugs came out again, and she ran and got the datapad on the other ship and brought it back to the Falcon. Han was starting to drift off, and she shook him awake and started reading.

After about a half hour, Han said, “What was that? I missed something. Why is Flambal locked in an air vent?”

“You could hear all that?” Leia asked.

“I'm starting to. Say something else,” Han said.

“You need a shower,” Leia laughed.

“Help me out then. I still can't see so well,” Han said starting to get up. “Why don't I have any clothes on me?”

Chewie and I took them off you. You were covered in mud and everything else was wet,” Leia laughed happy he could hear her.

“I don't remember,” Han answered.

She helped him to the shower and back to the bed and got him some dry clothes out. “Since I'm already not wearing any...” He started to grab for Leia feeling around her clothes.

She locked the door and helped him out with the clothes and she hopped up in the bed with him and kissed him. They held each other and clung to each others bodies.

“What if they hear?” Leia whispered.

“WHAT?” Han yelled.

“Never mind,” Leia said realizing that Han probably couldn't hear whispering yet, but at least his hearing was getting better.

While they made love, Leia had to cover Han's mouth to try to tell him not to be so loud while not saying it, and he said, “Chewie doesn't care!”

He didn't know Chewie wasn't the only one on the ship. What the hell she thought, they weren't going to stop now. After they finished, she held him tight and got up to clean up a bit. When she came back, he had fallen asleep. She nudged him awake.

“What did you do that for?” He said groggily.

“You have a concussion. Let me scan you again,” she said tenderly.

“How come you have so many bruises all over you?” Han asked looking her up and down.

“You can see?” She smiled.

“I can see a lot better. I guess you cured me,” he laughed.

“Maybe letting you fall asleep did,” she said smiling.

“Come here,” he ordered.

She sat down next to him and kissed him, then got the scanner and he seemed to be reading better numbers.

“Hold off on the sleeping for a bit, but the scanner readings are a lot better,” she smiled.

“My head hurts though,” Han complained.

“I bet it does. I'll get you something for it, be right back.” she said and gave him a peck on the forehead.

She put her clothes on and went to the medical supply closet to find some pain medication. Luke was up and about now and even was sitting at the table with some caf. He looked a bit upset.

“What's wrong Luke? Still not feeling better? You look better,” Leia said caressing his head and feeling his forehead.

“It's not that,” he said sipping his cup.

“Well what is it?” Leia asked.

Luke got up and pulled her into the cockpit. He looked around and then he whispered, “When did you and Han start screwing?”

“Oh Luke, you heard that?” Leia whispered a bit embarrassed.

“No, I could feel it. Well not it, but that was what was going on,” Luke answered.

Leia covered her mouth, “I don't know what to say, Luke. It's really not your business though, and I feel like you're spying on me.”

“He knew I cared about you. How could he?” Luke pouted.

“Oh Luke,” she started to hug him.

Luke shrugged away from her, “No, he might be upset, me hugging his girlfriend, or whatever he thinks of you now.”

“Luke, there's a lot I need to talk with you about, but you are still our friend. I love you, Luke. Just not like that,” Leia said trying to comfort him. “There's something else, Luke. You need to go to Dagobah when you can.”

“What does that have to do with any of this?” Luke said still sulking.

Leia bit her lip. Maybe it wasn't a good time to bring that up.

Chapter Text

Leia went to the cabin to get Wes's datapad. She didn't know how to deal with Luke's revelation on being upset about her changed relationship with Han and she couldn't outright tell him the true relationship between Luke and herself either. Not that it would have made a difference in the long run, but she almost wondered if Luke knew of it, would it give him relief or just more misery. Luke had been her closest friend since the destruction of the Death Star, and she was very fond of him, and loved him dearly, but in reality is was different. Plus the fact, according to Wes's famous datapad, he was on some unending quest to bed every eligible female in the Rebel Alliance and maybe even a few of the men, she wasn't really sure. It was also disturbing that he was aware of what she had been doing. Maybe it was a matter of their connection as twins or his own Force abilities? It was invasive and offensive, and she wondered if blocking him somehow would help. She was now going to think that Luke was aware of every intimacy and it was creepy.

Luke was still sulking in the cockpit when she returned with the datapad.

“Do you know what this is?” she said with an angry tone.

“A datapad?” Luke said looking at it as if she thought he was stupid.

Leia brought up Wes's diary and the page on Luke and his conquests. “This is Wes Janson's datapad. I don't know how much of this you are actually aware of as far as content, but you may find it fascinating. While Han and I were trapped on Hoth for days, we came across this and this kept us entertained as you can imagine. Maybe it's intrusive, I'm sure it was, but were you aware of some of the gambling and notes that Wes kept tabs on as far as the coming and goings of Echo Base especially in regards to my own activities? I'm really looking forward to personally returning it to Wes when I return to the Rebel Fleet. Oh I know it was all about morale, forgetting about the dangers of war, an escape. I realize that, but most of it was bets on me personally. There's something though that I would like to bring to your attention, and you might even be aware of it. I don't know.”

Luke hung his head. “Wes's datapad? Leia, I'm aware of it. All the Rogues were.”

“I thought you might, just from the entertaining nature of his diary. The books were helpful as well, but the diary, wow, the things that were found there! Look at this particular page, it might be of interest to you, or at least of interest to share with me, or not, I don't know. Were you out to bang Mon Mothma as well?” Leia said smirking handing the datapad to Luke.

Luke looked and handed it back.

“Luke, I don't care if it's true. Did you know about this list? Did you even make this list? Don't answer that. Because guess what? It's none of my business. You choose what you want to do with your body, and I choose what to do with mine. And I'm sorry you're upset. Han is your friend and he loves you, too. I don't think he would ever tell you that, but I know you know that. Hell, how many times has he saved your life and looked out for you. And your sulking because of this?” Leia spoke angrily, but tried to whisper to keep the argument private.

“I knew about the list. It was a bit of fun is all,” Luke answered putting his hands on his head.

“Yes, I understand that. I never thought I would find myself upset like this with you, Luke. Not with you! With the exception of doing something reckless, I've rarely had reason to. Do you know what it did to me knowing you might be hurt or in danger?” Leia said rubbing his head. “We haven't even had a chance to talk. I don't even know what you and Chewie have been up to since Hoth.”

“It just hurts, I guess. Maybe it's a bit selfish. You know how we've always been so close,” Luke said as he stood up and turned around for a moment looking out at the rain through the window. “I feel like we've always connected in some way.”

“Me too, Luke. Always,” Leia took his hand. “You're very special to me. Don't forget that, but now you know about the other thing, don't think that things will change with us.”

“It will take some getting used to. You both always fight all the time, and he's always saying he's going to leave. I just never saw it, or never wanted to,” Luke answered.

“We still fight.” Leia laughed, “but he never left, even when he was supposed to.”

“But he knew I cared about you. That hurts. You picked him over me, I feel something about that. I don't know...” Luke sulked some more.

Leia gulped, no she couldn't tell him, but she had to say something. “We could never have that kind of relationship, Luke. I'm sorry. We just can't. I want you to know that I love you, and I value your friendship greatly.”

“I'm sure I'll get over it. Maybe, I don't want to lose you. Or Han either, or Chewie. You all are like my family, and some of the Rogues, though I'm not even sure who is still alive. We paid Jabba Han's debt, Chewie and I,” Luke informed her. “That's what we did, we went to Tatooine, and I used a false name and had to fight and entertain him a bit. He was going to give me a job!”

“Well that explains a few things then!” Leia answered. “By the way, Jabba's dead.”

“Really?” Luke's eyes got wide. “How?”

“I blew him up. We went there after we escaped Hoth. Maybe we took a detour or two before getting there, that's another story. When we got to the palace. Palace, what a laugh, that place was awful. Jabba was trying to get Han to work for him again, he asked us about you, but we didn't know it was you!” Leia laughed. “I disguised myself as a bounty hunter bringing Han in, but he said that the bounty was paid, and wanted to give Han another job. I just put detonators under his dais, and paid the debts for any other smugglers or poor souls in or who would be in his debt and did Tatooine a favor I'm sure. I hope that no one else was hurt, but I assumed he would always have some future slaves or victims. It would never end. Even if his debt would be paid, Han would never be free of him. The galaxy is better without him. We knew you and Chewie were alive. Han has been back to the Fleet once. He said Wes is alive, Rieekan told him.” She held up the datapad. “I was dealing with another matter, elsewhere.”

“How did you find us?” Luke asked.

Leia wasn't prepared for this one. She couldn't tell him that she had been training with Yoda. She had to think of something. “Lando is a friend of Han, we went there to see Lando,” Leia answered with the truth, they did go there to see Lando because they thought Chewie and Luke may be there.

Luke just shook his head. “Chewie thought he could help us with the Falcon, it was having some problems and he knew the ship. You mentioned Dagobah, how did you know I was to go there?”

Well she couldn't tell him that Yoda had contacted her in her dreams, “Han said you kept telling him that, when you were on Hoth. I don't know, it's just a feeling. You should go there.”

“It's funny, but I do feel that I should go there. I've been avoiding it, I don't know why, but I have,” Luke answered taking Leia's answer at face value.

“I had never heard of it before. How will you find it?” Leia asked.

“I just know, it's strange,” Luke answered.

“Maybe not so strange,” Leia took his hand. “You seem to be feeling better, do you think we can try and get this x-wing back off this ship? There's no way we can dock the Falcon at the fleet with your ship covering the hatch.”

“It shouldn't be too much trouble to unlatch. I'm sorry I gave you a hard time, Leia,” Luke apologized.

“I'm sorry if I hurt you. It's going to be interesting when I get back to the fleet, and I mean my own adjustment to the whole situation. I'm afraid I'll go back to a few … old habits. Right now though, I need to get something for Han. Then I think I'm going to get some sleep. Artoo might need some help with Threepio if you're up for it,” Leia suggested as she left.

Luke went over to where Artoo was working on Threepio. He stroked his dome, and Threepio was chastising Artoo for putting the wire in the wrong spot. It looked right to Luke. Threepio did have some of his pieces in the wrong places though, and that blaster he took damaged some of his circuits, but Artoo seemed to have been able to fuse it back together.

“I think we may need a new one here though, Threepio,” Luke said looking at a wire. “It's still a good fix, it just probably feels strange to you.”

“It does, Master Luke. What did I miss? Suddenly, I was on Cloud City, then I find myself pieces again. My suffering just never ends,” Threepio lamented.

“You'll be alright, Threepio. I'm sure they'll need your help when they return to the Rebel Fleet,” Luke said twisting Threepio's leg into a proper position.

“Won't you be joining us, Master Luke?” Threepio asked.

“Eventually, I just have something I really need to do,” Luke replied as he tighted up some bolts.

“That feels much better,” Threepio chirped. “You have such a nice touch, Master Luke, unlike someone who I will not name.”

Artoo beeped.

“Of course, I mean you!” Threepio hit the top of his dome.

Lando came over to Luke after returning from the other ship, “I came over to see how you all were doing. You seem to be up and about, Luke, or Tambo.” Lando laughed.

“Luke's really my name, I guess you figured that out already,” Luke answered.

“Wanted by the Empire like the rest of this bunch, I imagine,” Lando smiled and laughed. “How did I get mixed into all of this.” He shook his head.

“Maybe you're supposed to be here. I don't know, Lando. It feels that way with me sometimes. Are you joining the Alliance?” Luke asked.

“I don't know if I have much choice now,” Lando answered and sat down.

“You always have a choice, Lando. It's true though, the Empire would have gotten you eventually,” Luke answered getting out some oil to lube some of Threepio's joints.

“Maybe, I guess this time the cards weren't on my side,” Lando answered. “Well, I've tussled with them before, maybe it would be worth looking into, if they'd take me. I don't think Leia is too happy with me right now.”

“Don't worry about that. She'll come around. She gets all sorts to join the Rebellion, it's kind of what she does. Doesn't matter if she likes you or not,” Luke laughed, then he said softly, “or enough.”

Star Destroyer The Executor

Darth Vader arrives from his shuttle returning from a personal interrogation on Vardos. It turned out to be a moot point, because as soon as the officer knew that Darth Vader himself was coming to question his mistake, he took it upon himself to put a blaster to his head just before Lord Vader's arrival. It was such a waste of time, but at least Darth Vader was able to enforce law and order within the facility once he got there so that there would be no question of making such a mistake in the future. He briefed Admiral Piett on the next assignment, and retreated to his meditation chamber.

It had been a long day the retreat was much needed. He relaxed once free of the confines of the suit, with the life support system within the chamber giving him much needed relief. He had been trying to make contact again with what he now was sure was the troublesome princess, but thus far, direct contact had been futile. How was it that he was able to feel her before? Because of what had to be her strong shields, it never even occurred to him to have any clue of her potential. Not only that, the fact that he had her in custody and within reach before without knowing that potential frustrated him. Then he lost his son. He had him! He was ready to be taken to Mustafar and she stole him away from him! The anger was making it hard for him to become calm, but he glorified in the power of it anyway. He must make her understand. That incident on Cloud City, how could he have never foreseen that? How was it that the Emperor didn't know? How did she know she could do that? Was the Emperor himself moving against him using her or his son already? He thought he would sense that. His connection to the Emperor had gotten looser with his own disenchantment. The Emperor had told him before he foresaw that one day Vader would defeat his master, but the Emperor also had others trained to replace Vader himself before. That of course could be a ruse, or a way to get Vader himself in check, but was the princess one of those he had out there in the wings for Vader's replacement? Somehow he didn't think so, but it was so unclear. That frustrated Vader even more.

When he found the calmness, he floated in the Force. He took it from a different angle than he had before to see if it would help his quest. Of course, either Skywalker or the Alderaanian princess had to be in a similar state for it to work, and what were the odds that such reckless youths would meditate with the dedication he had? He reached out further, and felt something old and familiar. He reached further into it cautiously, as it took him to a place he often avoided and sometimes found him exhausted, but exhilarated with power.

This time it took him to place where he felt light, he wanted to run, but he couldn't. He remembered his mother, how kind and loving she had been to him, he thought at first it was her that was visiting him, but then he realized it wasn't. He had been deceived by such images before. Then someone spoke to him. A voice he hadn't heard in a long time. “Feel don't think, use your instincts.”

Where was that coming from. His curiosity got to him and he went deeper. It became more painful, but warm as well. “Anakin, there is so much more than this, trust me,” he called.

Vader almost started to move away from the presence when he heard that name, but something pulled him to it. He couldn't pull away, and it came from something deep within himself. Vader suddenly felt everything in the entire galaxy all at once, and he was part of it. It wasn't the galaxy itself, but the Force, the living Force. Was he dead? He didn't think so. He felt a peace and power and tranquility he hadn't ever felt before. And again he felt like that boy who was being loved and comforted by his mother. The voice spoke again. “You know the answer. I cannot tell you. I was always here with you, I never left.”

Vader shot out of there as quick as he could. He had to quickly get his life support system back on after his meditation as his urgency affected some of the mechanisms, and it felt like the mechanism to do so wasn't fast enough. He lost his control for just a moment, he could admit that. He knew he could will himself to live, though it took so much strength, for short periods of time without the suit, but he was so shaken, he wasn't sure he could concentrate enough. He knew this wasn't an illusion. He had been contacted by someone and it wasn't Yoda, or Skywalker or that Alderaanian princess. It had been Qui-Gon Jinn.

Chapter Text

Star Destroyer The Executor.

How was that possible? It had been said, ardently believed that when one died, one became one with the Force, not keep their own personality. It wasn't possible for someone who had been dead for more than thirty years to be able to contact him in such a way. It had to be a figment of his imagination, or a trick! Vader sensed that it actually was the Jedi Master who had found him so many years ago as a boy and helped him gain his freedom, if that's what you could call becoming a slave to one thing and then to another. How could he sense him? No matter what Obi-Wan had told him, that it was his choice to remain a Jedi, he never felt it was his choice. Young Anakin had often wondered how things would have been different for him if Qui-Gon had lived and taught him, instead of Obi-Wan Kenobi. That had to be it, his own subliminal images coming to the surface.

As soon as he came out of his meditation chamber, Vader was notified that there would be four hours before they reached their next destination. Vader heard the latest briefings, barely paying attention as he walked to the bridge. He turned to watch all the Imperial staff working for their Emperor via Vader and his super star destroyer, but as he was watching, his mind went elsewhere. He wasn't able to focus. What had his Empire accomplished? Yes, there was order in the galaxy, but was it the order he had envisioned so many years before? Then he wondered why right now he suddenly cared about such a thing. What was happening to his mind?

"Admiral Piett," Vader called.

"Yes, Lord Vader," Piett obediently came to heel the moment he spoke to him.

How could he do this without raising attention? "Could you bring up all the files of all the senators who held office at the time of the dissolution of the Imperial senate. I would like to go over some of the information privately." Lord Vader commanded.

"Yes, Lord Vader," Piett answered.

He could go over the files in his chambers, and take only those of interest, and a few that had not. There might be something of interest found there. The files of those suspected to be members of the rebellion would be of the utmost interest.

Uninhabited Jungle Planet

Luke worked with Lando on disengaging the x-wing off the Falcon, while Chewie worked from the inside. He had to do a few things to the engine of the x-wing, as they had used parts to help the Falcon limp through space during the escape from Hoth, then, he removed a few of the changes that they used to disguise both the x-wing and the freighter. It took most of the day. Han was still recovering from his injury, but he still had bouts of disorientation. The scan indicated something in his ears and a bit of bruising on his brain. Luke was doing very well recovering from the carbon freeze. He hadn't been in stasis for long and the effects seemed to have cleared from his body, as well as any of the sedatives were used to get him there. Leia wanted him to return to the fleet before he left for his own training with Yoda, but Luke was afraid he would be drawn into Rogue drama, or get sent on a mission or some other distraction. The time was to put away the distractions and get back to his Jedi quest.

Chewie had been in the cockpit, working the functions from inside the Falcon, while Lando worked the hatch, and Luke worked inside the x-wing before they had gotten it off and ready to fly. Luke took a few spins around in the ship, soaring out into the atmosphere and back before landing next to the Falcon and the shuttle that Han and Leia had used to escape Hoth. It had felt good to be at it's helm and he took full advantage of it, enjoying the rest of the planet from above. After he landed, he felt a few things not right with the engines, but after working so long, Luke was ready for a break. He went into the Falcon where Han was sitting at the chair in engineering. Luke has been avoiding Han, and it was beginning to show. He could feel Han staring at him as Luke went to clean up, get a drink from the galley as well as have something to eat. Luke sat at the holochess table and Han was still watching him.

After a bit of Luke not acknowledging Han's presence, Han spoke up, "Luke, how'd you make out with the x-wing?"

Luke paused and stared, then said with a bit of bluntness, "It needs more work, but it's getting there."

"Well, if you need some help..." Han started.

"No. I'm good. I mean, your head. You should rest until you get that looked at," Luke said snapping another bite of his ration bar.

"I'll be alright. I've had worse blows than that. Something's not right though, and it's not my head. You alright?" Han asked looking at his friend. "I know you had your own thing you had to recover from yourself, that whole stuck in a block thing. I can't even imagine what that had to have been like."

Luke just sat quietly eating his ration bar.

"Well, I'll just get back and check the systems again then. Didn't mean to bother you," Han said turning around and going back to what he was doing.

Luke got up and went to the galley and slammed a door. Han did a bit of a whistling sound and said, "Watch it there kid, that cabinet sticks and you might cut yourself."

Luke just stood there staring at the cabinet.

"You OK? I mean, really? Luke, is the ship that bad?" Han asked out of concern.

"No, it's not the ship. I'll be out of your hair in a couple of cycles," Luke snipped.

"You aren't bothering me, kid. I know this head thing has me a bit cranky sometimes, but honestly, I've missed ya, and seems you and Chewie helped me out a bit with the whole Jabba thing, even if we still blew him up." Han laughed.

"I'll be alright," Luke said slamming down in the seat by the table, moving his fingers along the squares.

"Do your whole meditation thing or Force thing or whatever it is. I haven't seen you wound up like this in a long time. You have me worried about you," Han said leaning back in his chair.

"Where's Leia?" Luke asked looking down at the table.

"She's over at that other ship getting stuff out of it. She's getting it all cleared up so she can send someone she trusts to pick it up from the Fleet when we get back there. We offered it to Lando, but he wants to join up!" Han laughed, "I can't believe it. If you need something off it though, to get that thing flying, I'm sure it can be repaired or we can just leave it here and say it's damaged. I'm sure something like the motivator is compatible. Seems like the Alliance is busy enough to worry about some little bitty shuttle anyway."

"Yeah, Lando told me he wanted to help," Luke answered quietly.

"You can't know how crazy that sounds to me, Lando wanting to help. I want to know what you guys did to my ship! I'm looking for things to do, and it's working too well. I feel like breaking something just to fix it," Han laughed hoping to get Luke to smile.

Luke didn't.

"Look, Luke don't go to Yoda looking all grumpy. He'll see right through you." Han said looking at Luke kicking at nothing.

"Wait a minute. What do you mean? How much did I tell you before on Hoth," Luke asked realizing something.

Han put his hand on his face realizing he said something he shouldn't have. Then he shook his head. It was hard to think, his head still wasn't right, "Yoda, isn't that who you said?"

"Yes, but," Luke looked at him strangely and then sensed something else. "What about Yoda?"

"Whoever he is," Han answered trying to put on a poker face.

"Yeah," Luke looked at him suspiciously.

"So, now you talk to me? What? You afraid I'll give you a head injury? Seriously, what's your problem Luke?" Han tried to change the subject.

"You are. I'm just upset," Luke answered and started to stand up.

"Because I hurt my head? I'll be alright," Han answered.

They heard someone coming up the ramp from outside and they came into the ship. "He's in a mood because of what you and I have been up to and he knows, isn't it Luke? He could sense us when we were rolling around in the cabin." Leia answered, "Really Luke? It still bothers you? It's what grown people do sometimes. Luke, you've done it apparently to most of Echo base according to Wes's datapad! Oh, and Luke, there's some extra clothes and such you might need when you go to Dagobah that were on that ship. I suggest you go in a better mood."

"You know somehow?" Luke asked, "I thought so when Han said something, but you, Leia?"

"Know about what?" Leia whispered with anger.

"Yoda and Dagobah?" Luke said with a whisper in a huff.

"Are you spying on me yet again? Han! What did you say!" Leia shouted.

"Nothing really?" Han said putting his hands in his head.

"What's this about Luke?" Leia demanded.

"Han just, he seemed to know something about who and where I was going. It didn't seem like it was from something in passing. I don't know. Maybe I'm all wired up from everything," Luke said sitting down with his arms over his chest.

"Look kid, you said a lot when you were delirious in the snow on Hoth. I might have said something to Leia," Han answered, trying to cover up his tracks.

"Luke, I had a dream. Somehow it came to me that you should go, that's all. It was weird. Han might have mentioned something, but I feel it's important for you to go. You spent all these years saying it was something you wanted, to be a Jedi. This could be an important step for you. I know you must be scared, but it can't hurt to check it out," Leia soothed Luke by rubbing his shoulder.

"So the both of you can get me out of your way?" Luke answered angrily.

"No, that's not it. Kriff it, kid. I didn't realize it would bother you so much," Han answered as he leaned back in his seat trying not cause anymore problems for Luke.

"I didn't either," Luke answered. "I'll be alright."

"We don't want to get rid of you, Luke," Leia said putting her arm around him. "You know that, we've talked about this. Han! What did you say to him!"

"I didn't say anything to him! He was here acting like I had some disease or killed his pet tooka or something," Han snapped. "I was just talking about helping him with his ship or whatever."

"I hate to send you off like this, Luke. You know I still care about you, and I'd hate for you to leave hating me," Leia answered. "We have some time though, your ship needs some work, and we won't leave until it's done. I don't want to wait too long though, I really need to get back to the Rebel Alliance, I've been away so long."

"And then what? He'll probably leave!" Luke answered pointing to Han.

"You're leaving," Leia answered. "That's my concern not yours."

"I'm still right here! I'm going back to the cabin," Han answered grumpily.

"We aren't finished yet!" Leia yelled at Han.

"Yeah, yeah," Han said waving his hand as he walked with his back turned to the two of them.

"Han, maybe I'll need help later with the x-wing. Or at least, it would be good to see you before I go," Luke answered quietly.

"Alright, kid. See you later," Han said as he left.

"Leia, you had a dream? About Yoda?" Luke asked after Han left.

Leia tried to think of something that wouldn't give too much away before he got there. She knew once that when he did eventually get there it was possible he would realize she too had been there, but she couldn't do that before he actually met Yoda. She even debated telling Luke the truth, but she wondered if that would do more damage. She couldn't help but think of the deceptions that Obi-Wan had already told Luke, and it really didn't set well with her, but as a soldier, she knew the importance of keeping things confidential. She felt it so unfair to Luke. Leia sat next to him with her arm around him. "Yes, Han thought it was suggestive from things I heard from him, but it was as if they were concerned for you, when I mentioned it, Han confirmed those things you said, about Yoda, Ben and Dagobah."

"It must be really important for me to go there. I'm sorry again for being so moody. I do care about you both, it's just, I don't know. And then you kissed me before the battle of Hoth, I thought that meant something," Luke answered trying to make sense of it all.

"If you remember, it was in response to whatever Han was doing. We've been doing that a while. I imagine you've just been so concerned with your own matters to notice. You're safe, happened to be male and were just there. I took advantage of that. If you weren't there, I imagine it would have been Chewie," Leia laughed. "That might have been better in the long run for a lot of reasons." Leia kissed Luke's forehead.

Luke couldn't help but laugh.

"Han and I had been fighting prior to that, and I might have mentioned kissing a Wookiee over him. When he told me he was leaving, I was very angry he was going after he had already said he would stay. He was practically off Hoth at that point, but like I said, he never really left," Leia answered. "And in the end was the only one there for me when I was too stubborn to leave."

"I heard some of the guys in the hanger talking about you fighting, but that wasn't anything new. They mostly complained how you both were always blocking the corridors when they are trying to get through," Luke noted.

"Yes, the room we stayed in on Hoth had two guys who didn't make it outside. We buried them in the ice. When I get back to the Fleet, I'll write their families. I have a letter for Riza from one of them. You remember Riza? I wonder if she even made it. I made use of some of her coveralls while we were camping out in there," Leia noted. "We saw a few beige and orange flecks on the ground out of the hanger." Leia hung her head sadly.

"Yes, I do remember Riza. I imagine this seems all petty when we think about what we've been going over here, Leia," Luke answered.

Leia laughed, "I knew you'd remember Riza as she was on your list! At least I would hope you would remember her, if it were true. I still wonder how I'll adjust being back at fleet. Will I be able to adjust from this adventure of escaping being a way from the fleet, or will I sink back into my old routines? Between you and me, I don't know what or how I will manage," Leia answered without spelling out what she meant.

"You'll be alright, Leia. You'll fall right back into being a commander like you always do," Luke answered.

"No, not what I mean, I mean dealing with that and the thing with Han. It's going to be an adjustment. If he even sticks around," Leia laughed.

"I think he will," Luke answered. "Even if I said otherwise."

"There's that Luke Skywalker optimism, and if not, I'll deal with that as well," Leia answered.

The next day after some rest, Luke and Han went to work on the x-wing, while Chewie undid some of his outer modifications to the Falcon. Leia thought he should keep them, as they made it look different and was no worse than what it had already looked like, but in the end, they restored it to it's former glory, or well, hunk of junk. It turned out that they needed the motivator from the shuttle and a few other parts, as well as a piece to fuse to the outside for extra measure, so they would just abandon the shuttle here as a loss for now. Leia took a few of the cots and blankets out to have extra on the Falcon. Later, Chewie went hunting leaving Lando, Luke, Han and Leia back at the ships to take care of a few last things. Chewie intended to bag something for a bit of a feast before they said goodbye to Luke for the time being and they themselves rejoined the Rebel Fleet. Leia got out one of the bottles of wine for the feast, and there had been some whiskey on board the Falcon as well to take back. She intended to give one to Wes after she embarrassed him by subtly returning his datapad. The Rogues might enjoy a break from the semi-illegal 'Jet Juice'.

Chewie was able to get one of the large birds for their feast, and they saved a few pieces to take back with them not knowing how much meat they would find back at the fleet. The meal was good, and Han even added a little of the root leaf he had left and wondered if Luke would remember it when he got to Dagobah. It was hidden with some tubers. Leia opened the wine after the meal and they finished with a game of cards. Lando cheating everyone out of all the nuts and bolts they used as credits.

The next morning, Luke was to leave for Dagobah, and the rest would go find the Fleet. It was bittersweet as they knew it might be a while before they saw Luke again. And as he was prepping his engines to depart, everyone came out to see him. Chewie gave him a huge Wookiee hug.

Chewie roared.

"I'll miss you, Chewie. I'll see you again, don't worry," Luke answered.

"You take care of yourself, Luke," Han said patting him on the back and Luke smiled and turned and hugged Han.

"Don't get stuck on anymore ice balls!" Luke laughed.

Leia walked up to him and hugged him hard and gave him a peck on the cheek. "Take care, Luke, and come back."

"I will," Luke answered and then he started to get Artoo ready to put up on the x-wing.

"You'll take care, Artoo. Stay out of trouble," Threepio called out.

Artoo beeped.

Luke gave Artoo the order and he headed for space. The four of them and Threepio waved as they departed as Luke left to undertake his Jedi training from Yoda.

The rest piled in the Falcon and got the systems ready for their own take off. Leia insisted that Han wasn't ready to man the cockpit until he got checked out by the medical team, so Lando and Chewie acted as pilot and co-pilot.

"I'm fine really!" Han sulked, "Look, I can even fly my own ship."

"You are still showing signs of bruising, and you nearly passed out helping, Luke. Give it some time. We have Lando here, just let him and Chewie handle it," Leia retorted. "We might have more time for other things?" She smiled.

"Ohh?" Han grinned.

"Like finishing that book and see what happens to Flambal?" Leia answered then smacked him.

Dagobah

"It seems our lost Jedi is soon to arrive," Obi-Wan's ghost stated smugly.

Yoda looked to the skies, "Yes, Obi-Wan. But ready for training will he be?"

"He'll learn," Obi-Wan answered.

"Hmmmph, in time, see we shall," Yoda answered.

/

The Millennium Falcon- Approaching the Rebel Fleet

It had been a long time it seemed to Leia, though she had gone on a few missions and assignments that had taken just as long, or even longer. The past few weeks, however, so much had happened and she couldn't help but feel a bit nervous. She wasn't sure she wanted to publicly acknowledge her feelings for Han with all of the Rebel Alliance for one, explaining the absence of Luke, the fact that she hadn't returned right away when Han himself had already been back and said he knew where she was, though Mon was aware of where she had been. It just was a lot at once. She didn't even know why she cared so much what others thought of her. Most of the time she didn't. Maybe it was a matter of her station in the past on base, or in the hierarchy of the Alliance, she wasn't certain. Or maybe it was that she was afraid it would take away her focus, or make her focus on things she really wished she didn't. Like losing more people she cared about or what she has already lost.

When they approached, they identified the vessel for the first time in a long time by it's proper name, with Princess Leia's official codes. She immediately requested a medical frigate, which raised a few alarms, and Chewie docked the hatch and attached. When they disembarked, there were more than a few waiting for them, as when the ship approached, Mon, Admiral Ackbar and Rieekan had all made way for the ship to welcome Princess Leia home. She immediately demanded medical attention for Han before anything, then had to introduce Lando and vouch for bringing him. Admiral Ackbar insisted he be detained before they processed him further as a precaution, which caused a little nervousness with Lando, until he was assured that the facilities would merely be a comfortable room.

"Princess, I can't tell you how good it is to see you," Rieekan said and shook her hand and gave her a hug.

"General, I'm glad to be back," Leia answered.

Chewie howled, with Rieekan taking his hand.

Mon graciously floated towards the group, took Leia's hand with both of hers and stroked it, "We'll talk privately soon, for now, we'll allow you to take quarters on the ship. I've arranged a room for you here for now."

"Thank you, Mon," Leia smiled.

"It's a relief to have you back in our fold, Princess, you had given us quite a scare," Admiral Ackbar spoke in his shaky gravely voice. "You couldn't have returned at a better time, and we'll have more time to go over a few things soon. I would like to make some things known to you at a more immediate time. Would it be too soon to call you to join me in two hours time?"

"Certainly, Admiral, that will be fine," Leia nodded.

"Barely here, and already setting up meetings", Leia whispered to Chewie and Rieekan.

"I'm sorry Princess, but we want to keep you up to date. I'm sure you'll understand," Rieekan answered. "Try to relax though, for now. Those quarters are temporary, so don't be alarmed."

"Why would I be alarmed, General?" Leia asked a bit worried.

"They might be a bit small. I'll talk to you later, Princess," Rieekan smiled and left as if he were in a hurry.

Chewie went back on the Falcon and Threepio followed Leia and the young lieutenant to her quarters. She didn't have very much with her, just a few articles of clothing, and Wes's datapad. She was determined they would finish that book before they gave it back.

The room was very tiny. Threepio basically had to sit down in the one chair and the thin cot took up most of the room. After unpacking, she went to find where they took Han. When she got there, she found that the medical droid had sedated him because he was being uncooperative and they needed to do some extensive tests. She sat there for a little while, staring out the window into space at some of the other ships when General Rieekan arrived.

"Princess, I thought I'd find you here. If you would, could you follow me? We'd like to go over a few things with you, a shuttle is waiting," Rieekan asked.

"Certainly," she rose and followed him.

They ended up a briefing room on Home One with other members of High Command standing around waiting for her. One or two she had never even met before, but many of the others she hadn't seen in some time, like General Draven and General Dodonna and greeted them each warmly. Mon Mothma entered then flashed up a holo.

"A lot has happened since you've been gone, and we thought we'd bring up some of the most important," Admiral Ackbar started and then some fighting on a planet was brought up, "We've had a few successes in taking a few planets from the Empire through the efforts of our ground forces, but the most troubling involves some information we are still in the process of gathering."

A map was pulled up, "We believe they may be building another battle station here in this system, similar to the one that we destroyed some years ago," General Dodonna said with some nervousness.

Leia gasped. How could the have done so much in such a short amount of time. "Surely it took years to build the first one?" she noted.

"Yes, but we believe that they may have somehow rushed the process," Mon Mothma added.

"We will be meeting again in another cycle, I'm sorry to have brought this up so soon after you landed, but we found it important that you be told right away," Admiral Ackbar stressed.

Leia nodded. How was she going to get any rest now?

Chapter Text

Luke was drawn to the place like it had a tractor beam and he couldn't fight against it's pull. He lost all control of the systems and his ship fell into the swamp. It certainly wasn't anything he expected. He thought it would be like the temples he had visited before, but it was nothing like that at all and yet he felt something. And life was all around him, everywhere, it just wasn't sentient life. He tried the engines, to move it to a more solid ground, but it wasn't about to budge. His ship was floating on the mud and Artoo was a bit alarmed, but they were both able to get on a more harder surface. Luke made camp nearby with what supplies he had, and looked around. Artoo beeped.

Luke's clothes were a mess, but he was able to change, and wash some of the things that gotten muddy in a nearby spring and hung them out. There was no sign of this Yoda person or anyone else. He put down a bedroll and had a few rations for a meal, and laid back and stared at the sky above him. It was cloudy, but he could make out a star or two when he could. Luke drifted off to sleep, relaxed and calm, while Artoo took watch.

He woke up well rested, and thought about how he was going to be able to leave this place with his ship stuck in the mud and started to worry. There was still no sign of Yoda at all, or anyone, so he called out for Obi-Wan. “Ben?” he called. “Ben!” His voice echoed through the planet. He started packing up, with Artoo following, not knowing what direction to go. When he found some vines, he did some swinging across some of the more muddier areas, and searched some more. Then he heard a laugh.

“Who's there?” Luke said with a startled and almost scared voice.

The laugh occurred again. Luke looked around, and saw nothing. Then he closed his eyes and tried to concentrate. When he felt the direction of where the laugh was coming from, he turned and followed, It seemed to move around swiftly, or the echo as if it did, so he just stopped and waited. Luke started to get frustrated with the whole situation. There was no Jedi Master, his ship was stuck in the mud, and he was losing patience. He sat and sulked and started kicking sticks and rocks angry that he had even come to this place. Was it even Dagobah? Was he really supposed to be here? He felt something, but he didn't understand it. Luke screamed with frustation. It was then that he saw the little strange alien creature of a species he had never seen before. It stood looking at him and pointed.

“You!” the alien said shaking his cane.

Luke jumped.

“Why are you here?” he asked.

“I'm looking for someone? I think?” Luke said with confusion.

“Think? Found someone you have? And know not why you are here?” the alien said moving in the other direction.

“No, I haven't found anyone. Is there anyone even living here?” Luke asked.

“Live here I do, my home this is,” the alien responded.

“Then you might know him. I'm looking for Yoda,” Luke answered looking strangely at the creature.

“Yoda, very powerful. Find him we will. Follow me you will?” Yoda asked.

“Might as well, I haven't seen anyone here,” Luke answered.

Yoda thought to himself, and this was the one that Obi-Wan wanted to be trained over the girl? He shook his head. He had his work cut out for him. Yoda walked to his home and invited Luke in. Artoo had to stay outside as he couldn't fit, and there was only room for Luke to crawl and sit down, though there was plenty of room to stretch out if he needed to, just not by standing.

“Come, sit, good food, we eat, no?” Yoda offered.

“Well, I have some rations, but I'd really like to find Yoda,” Luke answered with a very inpatient tone.

“Later time for that will be, now we eat, good food, no?” Yoda said, offering Luke a bowl of root leaf.

Luke took it to be polite, and it tasted good, familiar like he had tasted it not that long ago, but he couldn't remember where. Luke was getting frustrated though, and Yoda sensed it. He kept testing him some more.

“Sleep you must, rest,” Yoda said getting out a pallet for Luke to sleep on, the same one that Leia had used while she had stayed there.

“No, thank you for dinner, but I must continue my search. You've been really kind, really, but I must keep looking,” Luke responded starting to gather the things he had with him.

“You rest. Time for search later,” Yoda insisted.

Luke felt like he wanted to bang his head on the side of the wall. Why wasn't this little green man getting it. He was needed elsewhere.

Yoda patted the pallet with the blankets and insisted again, “Sleep”

Luke laid down just out of frustration, angry and agitated. Yoda was shaking his head. “Patience, we will find him, but you must rest.”

Luke felt something in the blankets, something like a hug and he felt a familiar presence, but he couldn't place it. Suddenly he felt bathed in warmth as if he were floating in space, in isolation and only hearing heartbeats. He was no longer in Yoda's hut, but somewhere else, and it was like floating in warm fluid. He curled up in a ball and fell asleep. In his dream, it felt as if he were in the same state as when he fell asleep, and he reached out and grabbed a hand of someone who was pushed up against him. It reminded him of floating in the bacta tank. It was calm and soothing. Then he sensed danger and violence. He grabbed the hand and it held on comforting him, and it got tighter and tighter around him and he got very afraid. But the other presence calmed him, and he felt light, abundant light everywhere, in the vastness of the darkness. He woke up to the green alien man staring at him.

“Sleep well, did you not?” Yoda asked Luke as he hobbled over to the pot.

“I think so, it was strange,” Luke answered, “but I think it's time I really should get going. See I've been looking for someone.”

“Patience, you must have. Anxious you are. Reckless, so very reckless. Hmmmmph,” Yoda answered acting as if he was ignoring Luke's pleas. “Train him I cannot.”

Luke stared at the little green man who had been so hospitable, but not forthcoming of information. His jaw dropped, and he realized that this was Yoda all along.

“He will learn,” Obi-Wan said.

“Ben?” Luke called out.

“No, Watched him I have, wanting what he has not, never in the here and now,” Yoda said with hopelessness.

“I will learn! I've learned to much! I didn't know you were Yoda!” Luke cried out in frustration, and feeling he failed Yoda's test.

“I'm sure he will if you give him time,” Obi-Wan's ghost pleaded.

Yoda grunted, turned and pointed to Luke, “Here you stay, no way to leave no?”

“I suppose not, unless I find someway to get my x-wing out of that swamp,” Luke sulked.

“Here you stay, garden you will work, sleep here you may,” Yoda said sighing.

Luke sighed, “You are starting to sound like my Uncle Owen. I don't have much of a choice, I suppose.”

“Good. Dig roots you will,” Yoda turned beckoning Luke to follow.

He took Luke to a patch of garden down the path of Yoda's dwelling. It appeared to be the source of Yoda's root leaf and other vegetables and it seemed rather extensive. “Here, dig you will, fill bucket and wash.”

“Surely, Yoda, so much of his potential will be wasted if he's not trained!” Obi-Wan pleaded again.

“Potential already wasted. Too old is he. For me, work he will do,” Yoda insisted.

And that's how Luke found himself a farm boy yet again.

Home One-Rebel Fleet

Leia waited outside of Mon Mothma's office for the private meeting Mon requested, and as was typical, Mon made her wait. Leia wasn't given much work to do yet, as she had just returned and was primarily just updating herself on the latest information and checking in on Han while he was on the medical frigate, so she had nothing to do while she sat there. She took the time to meditate while waiting. It was quiet enough, and she knew she would wait a while, so she closed her eyes and concentrated on the beings around her feeling the Force and reaching out into it. She found herself drifting to an image of peace and tranquility, yet she felt the presence of someone who was very afraid. She reached out to them and held their hand, and the sense of calm seemed to transfer, but then there was a sense of panic and violence. She breathed deep to find the calmness again. She was jolted awake by the young lieutenant ready to escort her to Mon's private office space.

Mon was sitting in a large comfortable chair, and motioned for Leia to take another chair close to her, while she dismissed the lieutenant. After a few moments, the leader of the Rebel Alliance spoke, “Princess Leia, again, it's such a relief that you've returned to us. On a personal level I was very worried, yet, I should have known you'd find some way to survive.”

“Thank you, Mon,” Leia answered.

“This is not a debriefing, and this is a confidential conversation. An unofficial one.” Mon interjected. “Am I to understand you spent much of that time since your leaving Hoth with Master Yoda then?”

“Well, some of it,” Leia answered.

“So he is alive?” Mon answered almost with disbelief.

“Yes, he is,” Leia answered wondering where Mon's line of questioning was going. “Luke has gone to him, that's for only you to know. Yoda himself told me to send word to you, so I'll trust your confidence on this matter.”

Mon closed her eyes, and then opened them again, “You could not convince him to come out of hiding and join us?”

“No, and to be honest, I never tried,” Leia answered bluntly. “I don't believe he would have.”

“I was led to believe that was why you had been led there. Captain Solo implied that may have been your reason for being there at all. Did your father know he was there? Did you go there because you knew before Bail had died?” Mon asked.

“No! I never heard of him before...” Leia answered and thought a moment. “Father never mentioned him. He only mentioned General Kenobi. Mon, please, tell me where you are going with this?”

“We have a Jedi Master alive, and he isn't willing to help us? How ever did you find him?” Mon asked.

“He came to me, that's all I can say, and I spent some time with him. He wanted me to convince Luke to go to him,” Leia answered nervously.

Mon thought a moment and looked at Leia. “We are in a very desperate situation right now, a Jedi Master would have been a great asset.”

“I know that, Mon. He will be, through Luke. I'm sure,” Leia answered grabbing her hand.

“Leia, what does Luke know?” Mon asked bluntly.

“About being a Jedi? From what I know he learned very little from General Kenobi, the journals, finding a few holocrons, and Jedi sites,” Leia explained.

“No, not that, about his father?” Mon questioned sternly.

Leia started to stiffen up. She was silent for a moment, then she said, “I don't believe he knows very much at all. A few older pilots and generals have mentioned him from the Clone Wars. General Kenobi told him a little, but he really didn't know Kenobi that well I don't think. I'm not sure everything he's been told has been the truth to be honest.”

“I remember him. I remember Yoda as well. There was a time when there were hundreds of Jedi in my youth. We've had a few who had been hidden help us before. I'm sorry if this line of questioning is starting to bother you,” Mon said sensing Leia's being uncomfortable about the situation.

“Yoda was interesting, he talked strange and it was interesting to visit with him, but I'm not sure how I can help you by relaying my visit with you, Mon,” Leia replied coldly.

“I assure you that I have not shared any of that information with anyone else. It is curious that Yoda would trust me enough to relay that information to me, yet not come and aid us in any way. I imagine it had to do with your own well being. Of course, Captain Solo is aware as well,” Mon said with a smile.

“Yes, he brought me there. I trust him,” Leia answered.

“There's another matter you must be made aware,” Mon turned and brought up a holo image of Leia issued by the Empire.

“Your bounty has been raised. Twice since the battle of Hoth. Have you had any encounters at all with the Empire since your escape?” Mon asked as she stood up.

“Mon, I will give you a full debriefing later of my escape from Hoth and most of the rest, but please realize that I have been through quite a lot since having been stranded on Hoth. Not everything has been involved with things that have impact on the Rebel Alliance,” Leia stressed.

“Do you require any counseling? I don't mind if you took a vacation or a break or took care of some personal matter, but as a manner of security, Leia you must understand. After Hoth, your bounty went up significantly, but in a short amount of time later, it had gone up even further. Astronomically, in fact. I wish only to understand why,” Mon stated sternly.

Leia pursed her lips, “No, I do not require any counseling!”

“Were you taken by the Empire again? I need to know,” Mon asked with a louder tone.

“Mon, what I am about to say is just between the two of us. It is not a matter for the rest of High Command, but since you know about Yoda, I trust you to keep this to yourself. I'm fine. Luke and Chewie were both held briefly by Darth Vader on Bespin,” Leia answered.

“Held by the Empire? Briefly? And they survived and escaped? How?” Mon asked with great interest.

“So this will be a debriefing after all,” Leia sighed.

Mon whispered softly, “An unofficial one, I'll decide which parts are a matter of security and of use to intelligence, but you must understand...”

“Oh, I understand. I'll try and make it short. After Han returned from the Rebel Fleet, we left for Bespin. We knew that Luke and Chewie were there, the how, you really don't need to know. Lando Calrissian, who you now have under protective custody, was an old friend of Han's or at least someone he knew well. Chewie had been having trouble with Han's ship, and had gone there for help from Lando, who knew the ship well and thought he may be of some assistance. I imagine Darth Vader somehow knew the ship was there, associated it with one of us, and had Luke and Chewie in custody on Cloud City. Lando had been the administrator of Cloud City and with his help, I was able to rescue them both in the shuttle that Han and I had used to escape Hoth. Han had already taken the Millennium Falcon off Bespin by that point and we rendezvoused in another location which was where Han had been injured.” Leia answered.

“I see,” Mon said standing and turning around to think. “I still have some questions.”

“Of course you do,” Leia sighed.

“I take it Darth Vader was well aware that you were there, and you were the one to have taken Commander Skywalker and Chewbacca from Cloud City,” Mon Mothma asked still turned around looking away from Leia.

“Oh, yes, he was aware,” Leia answered.

“And yet, you were not apprehended. Were Commander Skywalker or Chewbacca questioned?” Mon asked.

“They were tortured, Mon. I don't believe that was Darth Vader's intention to take information from them,” Leia answered.

“I see,” Mon checked a few things on a monitor and then Mon turned around and looked at Leia. She stared her in the eyes and studied her expression carefully. “I've known you most of your life, Leia, and I think a great deal of you. When I ask this, please know that I was a great friend of your father, and this is strictly between the two of us.”

Leia nodded.

“General Draven reported to me that an operative located on a nearby moon in the Anoat system reported that citizens of Cloud City had fled there after an Imperial incident. Darth Vader had been reported being there, and it was thought that he was angered and had taken out the stormtroopers himself. Was it Darth Vader who took out the stormtroopers?” Mon asked staring down at Leia.

“It was not,” Leia answered with a cold stare.

“Was it Commander Skywalker?” Mon questioned.

“It was not,” Leia answered.

“I see,” Mon answered. “So you saw the whole thing?”

“I did,” Leia answered coldly.

“And where was Commander Skywalker during this whole incident?” Mon turning and leaning towards the desk.

“He was frozen in a block of carbonite,” Leia answered. “Darth Vader had apparently encased him for transport to somewhere else.”

“You were trained by Yoda?” Mon asked in disbelief.

“I was,” Leia answered.

“So you just pushed Darth Vader away and carried Commander Skywalker away then?” Mon almost with fear in her eyes.

“Pretty much,” Leia answered.

Mon sat down and put her head into her hands and shook her head, “Oh Leia.”

“I'm not a Jedi, Mon.” Leia answered.

Mon got up and hugged her and didn't say anything else.

“I'm sorry I didn't kill him. I would have, but it was more important to save Luke,” Leia answered.

Mon just shook her head.

////

Star Destroyer The Executor

Darth Vader went through the information given. He browsed a few Senators that were really of no interest to him to divert suspicion in case any notice was taken of his browsing such information. One having been currently in prison on Coruscant, another two had been executed with others as traitors to the Emperor, and then there was Leia Organa. Political career having begun at an early age, only nineteen years old at the time of the dissolution of the senate and her capture on the Tantive IV. Adopted at birth by Queen Breha and Bail Organa. What was interesting though was the absence of her medical records. Most of those in the senate had them, or at least some of them attached to the information on them, but Princess Leia did not. No blood information, record of Imperial testing, nothing. It may have just been a matter of royal privilege, but others of the noble houses had used facilities on Coruscant and elsewhere at other times. They did have her in custody on the Death Star, but the Death Star was destroyed, and possibly anything that had been on it, including anything they may have taken from Princess Leia during her incarceration. Very interesting. Her adoption records, what existed of them in the Imperial archives that is, held no clue as to who she was or where she came from. Officially, her adoption was filed a few months after the start of the Empire, and her biological parents were listed as war refugees, without saying the home planet of origin. Darth Vader pounded his fist. He closed the information and went to the bridge to find Admiral Piett.

When he got there he asked, “Admiral, I would like the names of every Alderaanian born personnel currently stationed on the ship.”

“Yes, Lord Vader.” the Admiral Piett answered nervously.

“Has there been any word from our bounty hunters searching for the Millennium Falcon?” Vader asked knowing that the answer would be no.

“No sir, I can try and get in touch with any updates if you like, sir,” the Admiral said stiffly.

“That won't be necessary. Dismissed, Admiral.”

“Thank you, Lord Vader.”

It was drawing at straws, but it was something. The question of the Force wielding Princess, the lost Jedi son, and the figment of his imagination dead Jedi Master would not get under Darth Vader's scarred skin if he could help it.

Dagobah

Outside Yoda's hut, sat two ghostly figures on a nearby log.

“I must say I'm disappointed. Just what exactly is Yoda doing?” Obi-Wan shook his head sitting next to his dearly departed Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn.

“I'm not sure,” Qui-Gon answered. “Remember, not all things are as they appear.”

“Yoda had Luke digging and cleaning tubers all afternoon, barely speaking to him,” Obi-Wan had to laugh. “We used to argue about which one we should train. Yoda was always more adamant about training the girl over the boy, but I've watched Luke grow. I know what he can do.”

“Could do,” Qui-Gon corrected then laughed. “Perhaps he is teaching him. Yoda was always very wise. We butted heads more than once, but I believe he knows what he is doing. It's very literal if you think about it.”

“Literal? How so?” Obi-Wan laughed.

“He's taking Luke back to his roots,” Qui-Gon snickered.

“Oh, Qui-Gon, that's bad even for me,” Obi-Wan shook his head.

“Even in death, you may need to learn patience as well, my friend,” Qui-Gon answered. “I have a feeling Luke will be a great Jedi.” Qui-Gon paused, “I've visited him again.”

“Oh Qui-Gon,” Obi-Wan groaned. “Hopeless.”

“Maybe, or not. We shall see,” Qui-Gon said floating away.

Inside Yoda's hut, Luke laid on the floor sore and aching. Chores again. He felt as if he'd gone back to Tatooine, only this time there was no escape to Tosche Station or the chance to take the skyhopper out. There was only Yoda and chores. Would it be like this until he could find a way off of Dagobah? Maybe he could convince Yoda to train him after he got to know him better, and warmed up to him more?

As he was laying there next to the warm fire, Yoda walked up to him and poked him with a stick. “Think too much you do.”

How did he know?

Rebel Fleet-Medical frigate.

Leia departed her shuttle after her visit to Mon and a few of the other duties she attended to, such as discussing with General Cracken a possible mission she may undertake in the near future. She didn't want to do anything of that nature until she knew Han was alright, but she wasn't ready to tell Cracken that. It wouldn't be for a few days though, that is if she undertook the mission in question. She had visited Lando in his room. It was nice and they were kind to him and he seemed happy. They just wanted to make sure that Lando wasn't a risk to security and he seemed to understand that. He understood as well that anything he saw on Cloud City involving Leia and the rest were for Leia to tell and not Lando. While she had a bad first impression of the man, she was starting to warm to him as he seemed to have a few valuable skills and knew when to keep his mouth shut. She still didn't completely trust him though. Rieekan was riding the shuttle over to the frigate with her, as he needed to shuttle to another ship and had been doing business on Home One as well. He thought he would visit a bit with Leia before he went onto his duties on his home ship. It would give them a chance to talk a bit as well. It seemed strange to move from ship to ship, but it was now the way of life for the Alliance.

On the ride over, the general spoke, “Princess, they are arranging a personal ship for you to use with a full crew.”

“I'm not sure I really want or need that,” she spoke with alarm.

“I'm afraid that the high bounty on your head has gotten many in High Command thinking that not only are you in danger, but a risk to the fleet. We've only just gotten you back, and they want to send you away?” Rieekan spoke with concern.

Leia put her hand on her face and shook her head.

“Mon was against the idea, Madine and Ackbar were really pushing for it. Draven thought you should go underground,” Rieekan explained.

“They left me out of a conversation where I was involved. That seems a bit unfair to not include me!” Leia shouted.

“That's why I brought it up. I do worry for you, Princess. I've gotten to know you well. Honestly, I feel you are the closest thing to family to me. I know we don't speak of private meetings, but since it included you...” Rieekan spoke.

Leia put her hand up angrily, “Say no more, General Rieekan. Thank you for letting me know. What did you say?”

“I kept quiet and listened,” Rieekan replied.

Leia nodded her head, “Did you keep quiet during my absence?”

“Princess?” Rieekan answered.

Leia smiled, “I still have Wes's datapad. You wagered on my behaviors, general.”

“Oh Princess, don't take that seriously. It's good to have some comradery with the men,” the general answered a bit nervously.

“But at my expense?” Leia smirked.

“Princess, I have nothing but the utmost respect for you,” the general answered.

“Really?” Leia leaned in and whispered, “Did that include thinking that I hadn't returned to the fleet because you thought I was 'knocked up'”?

“Princess!” General Rieekan shouted then whispered, “I never said that.”

“That's what Han said,” Leia whispered back.

“I only implied that, ah. I'm at a loss for words. Um,” the general squirmed.

Leia smirked then smiled, “You didn't wonder that out loud publicly I hope.”

“No, never, just to Captain Solo. I mean. Did he tell you what he said? Not that it's any of my business mind you,” the general said trying to regain his composure.

“What did he say?” Leia asked.

“He said something along the lines that you'd been careful,” the general then put his hand on his face in embarrassment.

Leia's mouth dropped opened. “I'm not of course, but in general what am I going to do? With him.”

“Princess, in all seriousness. It's not like I couldn't have guessed. I've suspected for a long time,” General Rieekan responded looking away from her.

“You knew before I did I imagine. General Rieekan, I really don't know what I'm going to do. Here, now,” Leia answered looking in the other direction.

“What do you mean?” General Rieekan answered. “You are allowed to be involved with someone.”

“That's not it. It's one thing to be away from duty and responsibility and guilt and be in a relationship, but it's another to be here where it's just hard,” Leia answered.

“You are too young to have so much put on your shoulders, but you'll handle it. And I too have lost everything if you remember. Just live it one minute at a time, it's all we can do,” the general grabbed her shoulder.

“You had a lot of credits on this didn't you?” Leia smirked.

He laughed a little.“Yeah, I guess I did. A lot of those guys aren't here to pay up though,” then the general turned and looked away.

“Wes Janson did though, and when I finish this book we've been reading, I can't wait to give him back his datapad,” Leia smiled.

“I'd like to be there when you do it, if I may. He's stationed on my ship. Promise me you'll let me know?” the general smiled.

“I will,” she grabbed the general's hand.

“Just transfer the books and bring it over tomorrow. We'll have dinner,” Rieekan suggested

“That sounds nice, maybe I will do just that,” Leia answered.

“I can't wait to see his face,” Rieekan answered with a smile.

“Do you remember Riza from maintenance?” Leia asked.

“Yes, why?” Rieekan said gruffly.

“I used her coveralls when we were stuck on Hoth. They were in a locker, and they were almost my size. I didn't really know her well. I just wondered if she made it out,” Leia asked somberly.

Rieekan was quiet. “Princess, I've gone over all the names of everyone who was unaccounted for more than I should have from Echo Base”

“I would have, too.” Princess Leia answered him quietly, “We also found a note in the pocket of the man we couldn't identify and it had been from her. It was how we knew who he was. I suppose she was one that didn't make it then I take it?”

“Oh no, she works in the hanger on the medical frigate. I'll see if she's working when we land,” Rieekan stated cheerfully. “I just was thinking that I knew who lived and who didn't and who was missing. There's not many people I can share that with. That I keep going over it in my mind. Just mentioning if someone made it, coming from you, it made me want to open up about that.”

“I still have the note, I'll give it to her then. I'm not sure what he meant to her, but maybe it meant a little something to him in last days of his life,” Leia sighed reflectively.

“Yeah, she got around, but she'll remember him. I don't think you should give her the note though. I think you and she have a lot in common,” Rieekan said somberly.

“Really? You have to be kidding?” Leia said with a tight laugh.

“She's lost a lot, too. Only she forgets by trying to feel something for anyone, and you, if you'll pardon me for saying it, try not to,” Rieekan said bluntly.

“I suppose that's true,” Leia answered.

“We're about to dock, strap in.” Rieekan advised.

They got off the ship in the hanger, and Rieekan greeted many of those working the hanger with Leia nodding. He whispered something to one of the guys and he motioned for him to follow. Rieekan called out, “Princess, follow me.”

They walked to the other side of the hanger where there was a mechanic's bay and several parts laying about. A few moments later, Riza came out with a grin on her face, “You wanted to see me about something, general?”

“Actually, Riza, it was me,” Leia put out her hand for a shake, and Riza wiped her hand on her clothes before taking it.

“What can I do for ya, Princess?” Riza asked with a bubbly disposition. “It's good to have you back with us by the way.”

“Thank you, and you may not believe this, but in a way I have you to thank,” Leia smiled. “There weren't many on Echo Base that were around my size, and I found myself stuck for a few days in the pilot's and maintenance storage areas. Your uniforms kept me warm and gave me a change of clothes. Believe me, I needed them,” Leia told her warmly.

“Well, that was really convenient. I'm glad they were of use to you. You never know when something little can make a big difference to someone. Look, I know I really actually didn't do anything for you, but I appreciate you coming to tell me that. It's rough out here, and we all have to help each other, you know,” Riza answered scratching her head.

“Yes, I do know,” Leia said patting her arm.

“We lost a lot of people out there,” Riza said sadly.

“We sure did,” Rieekan answered.

Leia thought a moment, and even though Rieekan said not to give it to her, Leia decided to bring up the note anyway, “Riza? One more thing. We found something on Hoth. It was in Trevel's jacket. A note you wrote him.”

Riza started tearing up.“Trevel? Do you still have it?”

“I do,” Leia answered.

“He was a good guy. I'd like to have it if you don't mind,” Riza said somberly.

Leia started tearing up herself, “It's in my quarters. I'll make sure you get it.”

“Thanks. Well, I better get back to work,” Riza said putting her hands in her pockets.

“Take care, Riza,” Leia said and walked up to her and gave her a hug.

Riza didn't know what to do, but then hugged back.

Rieekan patted Riza's shoulder and Riza called out to the officer in charge, “I think I'll take my break now.”

After they walked out of the hanger together, Leia sniffled and whispered to Rieekan, “You can't know how hard it was for me to wear her clothes. I tore her name tags off.”

Rieekan hugged her as they walked to check on Han.

They could hear Chewie and Han arguing from down the hall.

Chewie roared.

“Aww, come on,” Han pleaded.

Chewie roared.

Rieekan and Leia entered the room and Chewie stood up and gave a quiet roar of greeting.

“We could hear you down the hall!” Leia shouted.

“Now, they can hear you, too!” Han replied, “Hey, general.”

“Solo, you feeling better?” the general asked.

“I'm fine, but they won't release me yet. Want to keep me under observation for a few more hours. Tried to refuse, but Chewie here thinks I should take them up on the offer,” Han answered with frustration.

“Chewie's right, a head injury is nothing to mess with. I need to head back to my ship, but since I was shuttling with the Princess, I thought I walk up with her and say hello,” Rieekan said gruffly.

“Well, thanks, general. I should be out of here soon,” Han answered starting to get up with Chewie pushing him back down.

“Don't get up, Solo. I'm not staying, you take care of yourself,” Rieekan said as he left.

“What's wrong with you? Something in the air on that shuttle or something?” Han asked looking at Leia.

Leia looked in the reflection in the metal near the equipment in the room. “No, we went to see Riza. Apparently she's down working in the hanger on this ship now.”

Han thought for a moment, pointed to her face and laughed. “You're kidding? Well I hope none of the Rogues saw you or you'd lose your Ice Princess reputation.”

Chewie roared at Han.

“Thank you, Chewie,” Leia answered.

“Hey, let's finish that book. Chewie's starting to get into it, we have to find out if Flambal goes home or dies or something.” Han said pointing at the datapad.

“I'm going to take those books off before I give it back to Janson. Rieekan invited me over there to his ship tomorrow for dinner and he's stationed there as well. I told Rieekan about it, and he wants to see his face when I give it back to him. I'll bring the whiskey, too.” Leia informed him.

“Well, I'm coming, too,” Han insisted.

Chewie roared.

“I don't know,” Leia said making a face.

“What? I can't come?” Han answered tilting his head.

“Just behave yourself,” Leia answered.

Chewie roared.

“Probably just rations or protein pouches, Chewie,” Leia answered.

Chewie roared again.

“Yes, I'm sure he'd love some meat, if you have some left. Just keep it quiet, I have a feeling no one around here has had much of anything resembling food for a while,” Leia laughed.

Dagobah

Luke lugged the buckets of water from the spring over his bare shoulders and dumped them in the well by Yoda's hut. Yoda watched as if he wasn't pleased with Luke's progress in doing chores.

“More we need, filled it must be!” Yoda demanded.

“I've already made three trips,” Luke huffed nearly out of breath.

“Finish job you must!” Yoda said slamming down his stick.

Luke looked at the buckets and carried them back to the spring muttering under his breath. When he got to the spring, he looked into the water for a while and just watched. There was a reflection from behind him of something he couldn't make out. When he turned around, he saw nothing, but when he looked back at the spring it was there again. It was a man with his hair pulled back and hair on his chin. He was watching Luke and he smiled. Then he spoke, but Luke couldn't hear him. Then Obi-Wan appeared next to him in the reflection, he turned around and saw Obi-Wan's ghostly appearance.

“I see you've met my old Master Qui-Gon,” Obi-Wan stated, “He's standing right here with me.”

“Ben? I can't see him? In the water I could,” Luke answered.

“Why, I can't answer that,” Obi-Wan said rubbing his chin.

“It looks like Yoda doesn't want to teach me. He's worse than my Uncle Owen!” Luke answered plopping on the ground.

“I believe Yoda is teaching him, Obi-Wan,” Qui-Gon answered without Luke being able to hear.

“I'm not sure about that,” Obi-Wan answered with Luke thinking he was answering his question and not Qui-Gon's.

“I guess I'm stuck here,” Luke answered feeling defeated.

“He doesn't know he isn't stuck here, I hope he learns he will be able to leave anytime he wants,” Qui-Gon says to Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan nodded to Qui-Gon and seemed to finally understand, or thought he understood, “Only as long as you believe that you are stuck, Luke.”

Luke shook his head and filled the buckets again, taking them back to Yoda's hut as Yoda laughed watching him as he walked back up to his hut.

Chapter Text

Star Destroyer The Executor

The Emperor had been growing impatient with the inability to find Skywalker. He had called Vader out on it a few times, and though he was never briefed on the incident at Cloud City, Vader was sure that the Emperor was more than aware of his failure there. He had hoped that the Emperor didn't realize the Princess's potential as a Force wielder, or that anything of that nature had gotten out.

Darth Vader hated going through information and data, but the questions were still plaguing him and reaching out into the Force wasn't giving him the answers he was looking for at all as it seemed to be clouded or blocked as far as reaching out to the princess, or to Skywalker. Now that he had him once in his grasp, he thought it might be easier to be able to make a connection via the Force, and at first he thought it did, but then it was if the boy vanished.

He decided to look to find answers in the past. Darth Vader went back to look at some records that still existed from the end of the Clone Wars, when the Emperor had issued Order 66, and while he did his part to enable that order himself. He hated doing this, but he had to find the declaration the Emperor made marking the beginnings of his new Empire. There were multiple scans available, and he had access to them all. Searching through the scans, he looked this time at the senate and it's repulsorpods. He knew he would find her there, but he had other reasons for looking at the scans. Who were there in powerful positions, where did their loyalties lie? Without trying to, he found her first, her last time acting as senator. Was this the last holo of her that existed? He couldn't help but stare at her in the repulsorpod as the Emperor declared the new Empire. He took no notice of who was standing with her, but once he did, something clicked.

He pulled up the early Imperial files on Senator Bail Organa at the time of the formation of the new government. Darth Vader knew that Senator Mothma and Senator Organa both were instrumental in rebelling against the Empire and the formation of this Rebel Alliance. He had been close to Padmé and it was reported that he had just returned to Coruscant for this very meeting in the files. He knew that both Yoda and Obi-Wan had been off planet during Order 66, but had somehow returned. Could this be how they returned to Coruscant? Obi-Wan had been on Utapau and Yoda on Kashyyyk, and then they are back are in Coruscant? After execution of the order! Surely they would have been found returning? Unless they returned with the senator. Or at least just Obi-Wan had. He knew Padmé had been on planet at the time, and that Obi-Wan was with her when they came to Mustafar. Then later, the coincidence that Obi-Wan shows up out of hiding after the destruction of Alderaan to the very place that it's princess is being held prisoner? With Luke Skywalker no less. He felt he was right. Was Bail Organa hiding them and how many other Force sensitive children were out there were in hiding as well? One in plain sight as his adopted daughter. Why didn't he ever put that together before? Does the Rebel Alliance have an army of Force sensitives? They wouldn't be as powerful enough to be able to push him away though, would they? Were there clones of his own cells? Certainly they would have been discovered if that had been the case. There were records of the princess growing up on Alderaan, so she couldn't have been made the way the clones had been.

He looked at the list of personnel who had been born on Alderaan and requested the presence of one in particular who may have known the royal family there. They came from a family of wealthy merchants who had left the planet prior to her joining the Imperial academy, and was old enough to have been of some age when the family left there to remember. There was no question of the lieutenant's loyalty to the Empire. When the lieutenant arrived, he could sense her nervousness. It really was of no concern of his as those called to his presence were often nervous.

“Lieutenant, I merely wish to ask a few questions. The discussion in this room is to remain in this room, is that clear?” Vader insisted pointing a fearsome hand in her direction.

“Yes, My Lord,” she answered stiffly.

“You are originally from Alderaan, are you not?” Vader asked.

She paused a moment, wondering if she would have to lie, prove her loyalty, or what the correct answer would be.

“Well?” Vader asked impatiently.

“Yes, but I'm loyal to the Imperial Navy and it's Emperor,” she proclaimed.

“I'm well aware of that, you have no fear that I am questioning your loyalty, lieutenant. I have questions about Alderaan that need answers. You left when you were sixteen just six years ago. Is that correct?” Vader said looking at her chart.

“Yes sir,” she answered, slightly more relaxed.

“Did you ever encounter the royal family?” Vader asked.

“Yes, on occasion. My family brought supplies often to the palace. The queen was often present,” the lieutenant gulped.

“What about the princess? Was it said that there was anything odd about her?” Darth Vader said coming in closer and a bit more menacing.

“She was a child, sir. She seemed to be opinionated and outspoken for being so young. There was talk that her taking combat lessons a bit unorthodox for the typical Alderaanian, and at such an early age. That made me a bit jealous of her. I had always wished for a military career, sir,” the lieutenant shared. “The queen herself often came to schools to visit. She occasionally brought the young princess with her, but I believe she may have been tutored at home. Oh, and I remember that she ran away. She returned, but I believe it was reported that she hid in the forests for a week. It was quite a big deal, all over the local holonet. It was even suspected she may have been kidnapped, and there were rumors of ransom and murder. It was later reported that she merely ran away of her own accord and returned days later.”

“Very interesting,” Darth Vader nodded, then he turned to think and turned back.

The lieutenant then noted, “A know your enemy better then, I take it? We will hunt her down, sir.” To put emphasis that she was not loyal to the former planet and it's royal family in any way.

“You may go lieutenant, that is all.” Darth Vader ordered.

“Thank you, Lord Vader,” the lieutenant took a deep breath and departed.

While it was fresh on his mind, he pulled up one of the last speeches that the Princess gave in the senate. He watched her carefully and paused it a few times. At one point, a tilt of her head was frozen on the screen. He left it there and took it in. He turned it off, put away all the data and reported to the bridge, “Admiral, I'll be in meditation and I do not wish to be disturbed.”

Dagobah

“Move these large rocks you will. Clear path. Easier it will be for walking no?” Yoda ordered popping his cane down and laughing.

“But they are so heavy!” Luke cried pushing them with his arms.

“Heavy they are not,” Yoda insisted.

Yoda watched as Luke struggled with the rocks. They were big and they were too heavy to move with his hands easily, but Yoda wasn't about to tell Luke to try using the Force to move them. He was hoping he would figure that out. He knew from the past few years of watching Luke, he could move objects with his mind. It was from desperation or entertainment, but they were never very big objects. Here was Luke though using his physical body to do this labor without even considering moving them any other way. Yoda just sighed and shook his head. Obi-Wan's and Qui-Gon's ghostly presences appeared, Yoda looked at them, and Qui-Gon said to Obi-Wan, “Say nothing. Luke will hear it. I think he needs to figure this out on his own.”

Obi-Wan just stood there watching. This poor boy. Yoda was really giving him a physical workout. He seemed to be gaining some physical strength from it, so there was that. His mind though. He wasn't concentrating, and often his mind went elsewhere. Yoda nodded without Obi-Wan saying anything.

“It's no use,” Luke cried out.

“Fail you have,” Yoda chastised Luke. “Concentrate.”

Luke stopped to take a break. He closed his eyes for a moment then he relaxed. He felt physical pain and was very tired. He tried to think that pain away. It then hit him, try and move them without touching them. He looked at the large rocks, and pushed with his mind. They were moving slowly. It was still hard to do, but they were moving. Just a little. Yoda nodded his head.

“It's still too hard!” Luke cried and sighed. “They are so big!”

“Size matters not,” Yoda insisted.

“I can't do it. I'll try again tomorrow,” Luke said in defeat.

“Do or do not, there is no try,” Yoda said moving down the path to his hut. “Come, time to eat.”

Luke followed eagerly hoping for some rest.

In Yoda's hut, after they had their dinner, Luke pulled out his pallet and rolled it out to stretch out. Yoda moved around the hut cleaning up, not really paying attention to Luke, even though he was taking up most of the room. Luke got out his bag of things and pulled out a small container he had been keeping since a mission on Rodian. It was a broken lightsaber, that had belonged to a Jedi and he had taken it apart to see how it was put together. Yoda sensed what he was doing and said nothing.

“Yoda, do you think I'll be able to make one of my own someday?” Luke asked staring at the parts.

“Hmmmph. Think you can is the question. Is it not? Not for me to think,” Yoda answered flitting around and finishing up his work.

Luke studied the dead pieces. He knew that he could learn, but had no way to understand where to start.

“Call to you they will. You will know,” Yoda answered.

Luke just shook his head and stretched out again staring at the ceiling. He drifted off into a meditation feeling the blankets around him as a hug again. Something then hit him.

“Leia's been here!” Luke shouted. “Why didn't you tell me? Why didn't she?”

“Know you do?” Yoda answered. “And to what makes you think here she has been?”

“The blankets, I feel her somehow in the blankets. It's strange,” Luke answered. “It's not the smell. I can't explain it,” Luke answered sitting up. “I know she's been here. Something about this place maybe.”

“Been here she has. Stayed here she did,” Yoda answered drawing on the floor with his cane.

“Did she do chores like me?” Luke almost laughed.

“No chores, visit few days she did,” Yoda answered.

Luke nodded, “You really wanted me to come then? So you brought her here to convince me?”

Yoda didn't say anything and just went to his own bed to sleep.

Luke laid back down and tried to get some sleep. It somehow made him feel better about being stuck here that Leia had already been here as well. Perhaps they would come and find him knowing where he was if he was gone too long? Wishful thinking? Something told him that he would need to find his own way off without their help.

“Restless you are, sleep!” Yoda ordered from his side of the hut.

Luke tried to clear his mind and rest.

Rebel Fleet

Leia spent most of the day in meetings with various members of High Command catching up with the information that had been gathered while she had been away, as well as a meeting with most of the present members on the current status of the intelligence on the Empire's new project. Han has been released from the medical ward the previous day with the instructions to come back for the next two cycles for follow ups, and he would be staying on the Falcon that was still attached to the medical frigate. The first night, Leia had gone with them and had dinner, with leaving to go to her quarters, then returning later trying not to be noticed, returning again to her room in the early morning hours. It bothered Han who thought she was either ashamed to be seen with him, or just wanted to hide the fact that they were more than just friends by this point.

Later on the Falcon, Chewie cooked the leftover meat from the bird he had hunted on the jungle planet and wrapped it up ready for the shuttle. He steamed up all the dried vegetables in the galley as well. They decided to bring a small feast of real food they had on the ship as a treat. Rieekan was even planning to invite the Rogue survivors from Hoth who had been closer to Luke, but had frequented their circle often and make it a small party. Of course, Leia was bringing the datapad, which she planned on sharing at the end of the meal. They had a little of the wine they had picked up on Sterdic IV, and the gift of the whiskey which they thought Rieekan would pretend not to know about. Rieekan thought it might be more fun to disclose that information of the found datapad in his private quarters rather than out in the hanger in front of everyone.

When they arrived, they were escorted by Commander Wedge Antilles, Wes Janson, Hobbie Klivian and Kesin Ommis. Mison and Celchu were currently on a mission and would miss out on the gathering. They really didn't want to think about the other guys who didn't make it, but were grateful for those who did. Chewie brought a lot of food, and they passed some of the crates that were carrying the dishes to the men as they left the shuttle. The crates hid what was in them, so that when others in the hanger that knew them came over to greet them, they might not realize what was in there. Leia could smell it though, and it made her feel guilty to be having this private party when so many of these men and women were just eating protein pouches and rations. Of course, when anyone went on a mission and was able to bring things back they would. Now that the fleet was primarily hiding on the edge of the unknown regions, they weren't really close to anywhere to get anything that good or different often. Leia also wondered about Chewie basically clearing out the galley of most of the regular food. Did this mean he and Han were leaving again? Wouldn't Han have mentioned it? Would he just take off without telling her? Even now, she felt she couldn't ask him right out about that and it was bothering her.

Many of the faces on the ship were new to her, but they occasionally ran into a familiar face here and there. Rieekan's quarters consisted of a sitting room with a nook to use as a bedroom and a small office. More than seven humans and a wookie would have been too much, but it was large enough for the group to sit around, eat and talk. Rieekan had put a sheet of durasteel on some crates as a table, and they took all the items out of the boxes. Their eyes grew wide when they saw the bottle of wine.

“That wine isn't that good, but I thought it would still be nice to have with dinner,” Leia pointed out.

Hobbie had brought some trays from the mess hall to use as dinnerware, and everyone helped themselves.

“There's so much food! Thanks for inviting me!” Wes said laughing.

“Chewie always makes a lot, because he eats a lot,” Han laughed.

Ommis elbowed Wedge and then Wedge spoke looking at Chewie, “OK, you have to tell us what happened after we saw you escaping those Imperials.”

Chewie roared.

“I don't even know this whole story, he said Luke took the motivator out of his x-wing and got the hyperdrive working,” Han translated.

“That was some feat. What did you guys do next?” Hobbie asked with his mouth full.

Chewie roared.

“Luke knew a guy on Tatooine who did a temporary fix on it,” Han translated.

Chewie roared.

“Oh, I'm not going to tell them that!” Han laughed.

Chewie roared again.

“You're kidding me? Really?” Han said shaking his head and looking at the other guys. “You don't want to know. Really Chewie?”

Chewie did a soft growl.

“Luke apparently gave Chewie a bit of a hard time,” Leia answered a bit red faced. “You can ask Luke all about it when you see him.”

“That must have been some trip!” Wedge quipped as he got up to get another helping of some of the food.

“I'm not sure I want to know,” Rieekan laughed. “This is really good, Chewbacca. Thank you for cooking us all dinner tonight.”

Chewie roared and shook his head.

Han started leaning into Leia and she moved away a little bit. He gave her a look, and she looked sternly at him in kind. Han backed away a bit put off.

“Maybe this wine isn't so good, but I can't remember the last time I had any at all,” Ommis noted lifting his cup up. “To the Rebel Fleet!”

The sound of here, here and Wookiee roars filled the room.

“So, where's Luke now? You said he was coming back right?” Hobbie asked.

“He's doing that Jedi search stuff, I don't know,” Han answered.

Hobbie just shook his head in acknowledgment.

“We were able to find the Falcon and we regrouped. Luke then went on a personal mission. He'll be back,” Leia added.

“We sure do miss him,” Wes said grimly. “I was very relieved to see that you were able to leave Hoth. We saw your note.”

“That's right, Rieekan said you had gone back, and Hobbie as well?” Leia said grinning.

“I hope you enjoyed my whiskey,” Wes said sadly. “I saw the empty bottle. I thought I had that stashed away good, too. Sorry, general.”

Everyone laughed including Rieekan.

“I thought I saw a few tears in your eyes when you found that empty bottle there, Wes,” Hobbie added.

“Oh, then that was yours! We found two bottles! It was useful, Wes, you may have even saved our lives,” Leia said keeping a calm demeanor and taking Wes's hand.

“Really? My whiskey?” Wes said wide eyed.

“Han got a nasty cut on his leg, and I used some to clean it out. And it helped keep us warm,” Leia said moving her hand away. Then she patted his arm. She pulled out the bottle they had gotten for Wes and then put it on the table in front of him.

“That's a little unorthodox, Princess,” Rieekan said sternly.

“I know, General,” Leia winked and smirked.

Wes got up and hugged her. “Uh, I'm sorry, uh Princess. I didn't mean.” He sat down a bit embarrassed.

“It's alright. Really. I have something else here for you! I'm sure Commander Antilles, Klivian and Ommis will find it fascinating as well,” Leia proclaimed as she stood up. Rieekan and Han were grinning, and Chewie was laughing.

“What is it?” Wes said looking back and forth at everyone.

Leia pulled out Wes's datapad. “Your diary is very fascinating, Janson. I have to say we were very entertained. Should I read some of the best parts?”

Wes sat there with his jaw dropped open. Everyone laughed. General Rieekan was leaning back and laughing so hard he was grabbing his stomach and then started crying.

“I can tell you that today I didn't mention the state of the flight suits once, however, I did yell at Captain Solo more than twice today if you are taking tabs. I did have dinner with Wedge, but not Luke,” Leia proclaimed to the group with a wide grin. “And Chewie! You had credits on there, too, so don't think you are so innocent either. The hearts next to your name Janson was a nice touch.”

Everyone was still laughing, but Wes Janson who wasn't sure what to say. The other Rogues patted him on the back and he smiled awkwardly, as Leia handed him the datapad with a smug look.

“I hope you don't mind, but I copied a few of the books on there,” Leia said taking the last sip of her wine. “Thank you, Wes.”

Wes just nodded his head holding the datapad still smiling awkwardly. Leia gave him two quick slaps on the back and sat back down.

The group was still roaring with laughter. Rieekan said, “I don't think I've had this good a time in a while.”

“It's nice to still have you around, Solo, I thought you were leaving us? Didn't some crime lord Hutt want you dead or something?” Wedge said to Han.

Han leaned back, “Yeah, about that. I don't have to worry about that anymore, he's dead.”

“So, you staying with us?” Wedge asked.

“Maybe,” Han answered. “Depends on a few things.”

“What happened to the Hutt?” Hobbie asked wide eyed.

Leia looked at Hobbie and gave him a stone faced stare, “Maybe he got blown up, who knows?”

Everyone else started laughing. Leia maintained the stone faced stare.

After some time and some more chit chat, they all chipped in and cleaned up the mess. There was nothing left, and the trays were licked clean. And they put Rieekan's quarters back in order and removed the boxes and crates used to hide the food. Wes hid his whiskey in his jacket.

Wedge patted him on the back, “We know you have it!”

“Have what?” Wes laughed,

They all left laughing except for Leia who had spent most of the later part of the party in a somber mood. Even though she really enjoyed the scene with the whiskey and the datapad. When they got back to the shuttle, Leia let it out. “Are you both leaving! The cleared out galley! The 'maybe I'm staying'!”

Chewie roared.

“I couldn't say anything in front of those guys, Leia. And what was it with that pulling away stuff,” Han shouted.

“We were in front of men who I outrank!” Leia pointed out

“One of which you gave a bottle of whiskey! How is that becoming of a superior officer. Seriously, it was casual and you had to make it like a meeting. Even Rieekan was letting his hair down,” Han said angrily.

“I also didn't want any credits exchanged. In case they had bets on the party.” Leia snickered. “So are you leaving?” Leia asked more quietly.

“Yeah, but you're coming, too. I can't talk about it right now. Ask Cracken.” Han said folding his arms tightly on his chest.

Chewie roared.

“I'm sorry, Chewie. You made a great dinner, and it was fun,” Leia answering burying herself into his fur.

“Sure you can hug him,” Han snipped.

“We'll talk about it later. I'll not go to the room tonight,” Leia smirked.

“Probably curl up with Chewie,” Han sighed

Chewie laughed and roared.

“Sounds like a date, Chewie,” Leia smiled and hugged him.

Dagobah

“More digging needed. Must plant more. Dig new bed you will?” Yoda said poking at Luke who was still sleeping on the floor.

Luke sat up rubbing his eyes. He didn't even get a chance to have something to eat or change and Yoda was already demanding more chores for him. Luke got up, went out to take care of some personal needs, and then walked to Yoda's garden.

“Dig with what?” Luke asked.

Yoda pointed up, a shovel was hanging high from the tree.

“How did it get up there?” Luke asked shaking his head.

“Will of it's own it must have,” Yoda stated and moved away towards the hut looking up.

Luke started to climb the tree. It was slippery and he would move down occasionally at spots. As he got closer, he tried to pull the shovel closer, but he ended up slipping and sliding all the way down the trunk of the tree losing his concentration. He jumped onto the ground and then looked up again. He remembered Jabba's palace and how he jumped up and and grabbed ropes. So he tried to do that, but he was just short in his leap, though he went pretty high trying to scoop his hands to reach for the shovel. Then he closed his eyes, he concentrated on the vines holding the shovel. He felt them move in his mind and they released the shovel forcing him to jump back to avoid having it fall on him. Yoda moved towards Luke and nodded.

“Enough digging for today,” Yoda ordered. “Walk we shall. Short and feeble my legs are. Carry me you will.”

Luke went into the hut and dumped the contents of his bag and slung it on his shoulders. He crouched down and helped Yoda to find a comfortable seat. Yoda nodded his head, thinking it a good plan, and then pointed the way. They walked through the paths of the swampy land through bushes and vines that had grown up since the last time they had been used. Luke cleared the way as he walked.

“Where are we going?” Luke asked wondering where they were heading.

“Soon you will see,” Yoda answered and pointed ahead.

There was a hill surrounded by swampy mud and Yoda pointed at it.

“There, we must go there.” Yoda insisted.

Luke studied the terrain and wondered how he would get through the mud without sinking through it, and he looked around and moved some logs, trying to do it with his mind so that they would be able to cross. Luke started walking on the logs, and they did sink a little, but then he jumped to the surface of the hill, which was like a small island in the mud. Yoda pulled back some of the sod, and Luke heard something calling to him.

“What is it?” Luke asked.

“Look, see you will,” Yoda answered and pulled back some more of the sod.

The hole was big enough for Luke to jump into, and the hole's bottom was just a bit taller than Luke was, his whole body fitting in the hole which was big enough for him to stretch his arms, but not much bigger than that. He heard the noise again, pulled out his pocket lamp and looked. The light shined reflected off of shiny crystals growing on the sides of the hole. One of them was making noise. Luke shined the light on to it and touched it, and it lit up. He pulled it out and held it in his hand. It was beautiful and he felt it belonged to him somehow. Luke climbed up out of the hole where Yoda was waiting.

“Found it you have?” Yoda asked looking up at Luke holding the dirty crystal.

“Is this what you wanted me to find? It's like the one in the broken lightsaber,” Luke said marveling at it.

“Yes, keep it you will. Hmmmmph.” Yoda said motioning to Luke to crouch down again, so he could climb in the sack.

Luke squatted down still looking at the crystal, he felt so much energy from it. He marveled at it and then put it in his pocket.

“Back we go now,” Yoda demanded without saying anything else.

“Why did it make a noise?” Luke asked.

Yoda said nothing.

“It was calling to you, Luke. It wanted you to find it,” Obi-Wan appeared and told him.

“Trouble you are, Obi-Wan,” Yoda grunted.

“I thought Luke should know,” Obi-Wan answered.

“Know he does,” Yoda answered pointing for Luke to head back home.

Ghost Qui-Gon then spoke to ghost Obi-Wan, “There's a lot more that Luke should know that you didn't tell him and should have, Obi-Wan. Let Yoda teach the boy.”

“I worry about him,” Obi-Wan answered.

“I would have thought by now you would have learned to let that go,” Qui-Gon answered.

Chapter Text

Rebel Fleet-Home One

It was a couple of days of questions and answers from Lando Calrissian before they would allow him access to the facilities of Home One. It was Admiral Ackbar who was adamant that Lando stay in his quarters with a guard. He seemed harmless enough, wasn't an Imperial, and Princess Leia brought him into the organization herself, so they weren't that worried about him. Admiral Ackbar wasn't one to take any chances, and he was taking this issue very seriously. They used the same process when vetting new members from Imperial officials who joined the Rebel Alliance, and it was a matter of security and Lando did understand that. However, even though initially he has his reservations about him, it was Admiral Ackbar who found himself visiting Lando often. The first time, it was just to get a sense of the man, find out some of his history, which seemed a bit colorful and the stories he would tell. They were all so fascinating. Ackbar had first asked Han Solo about him while he was recovering in medical, and Solo was forthcoming with his background as a swindler, but also brought up his maneuver at the Battle of Taanab and that seemed very impressive. And Calrissian had spent the past couple of years running a business and supervising a city, which give him some interesting experience. Lando knew a lot about ships and a whole variety of subjects, and in his down time Ackbar found his company entertaining all the while Lando was in the process of security clearance. Though when he mentioned him to General Syndulla, she rolled her eyes and shook her head.

“Oh yes, I've met him before. More than once,” Hera Syndulla groaned, “I can't believe he wants to actually join the rebellion. He must have some scheme involved. Are you sure bringing this guy on the ship was a good idea?”

“Princess Leia herself recruited him and brought him here to us. I for one believe he will be useful for our cause,” Admiral Ackbar gruffly spoke in admiration.

“I see he's charmed you. Oh he's a charmer alright,” Hera said with a bit of a distaste.

“Indeed, quite the personality. I thought I would get him to help me in some of my administrative work before having him working in the field,” Admiral Ackbar croaked.

“Just might want to double check if you put him on any supply work or anything involving funds. I wouldn't trust him there. Then again, he might be able to get us things for free, if he is truly working for us,” Hera laughed.

“Since you know him, perhaps you would like to come and have a chat with him. It might help us get started with him. You being a well respected member of the fleet,” Admiral Ackbar suggested.

“Is that an order, Admiral?” Hera folded her arms as she spoke.

“Just a suggestion, I'm sure he doesn't know many here on the ship, and I thought since you had worked with him before it could be a good thing. He might appreciate having people he knows around, and give the others on board a sense of security,” Admiral Ackbar gruffly spit out.

Hera wiped her eye and replied, “Ah, no thanks. I think he may still owe me money, and I won't get into the swindle that involved trading me into slavery.”

“Trading you into slavery?” Admiral Ackbar exclaimed in disbelief.

“It was all part of his con. I of course, was not aware of this ahead of time, but it seemed to work. He has a way of having things go his way. I think he will have no trouble though with meeting new people.” Hera sighed.

“You may be right there, Syndulla. I for one quite enjoy his company,” Admiral Ackbar said with what looked almost like a smile or at least one for a Mon Calamari. “Though a con like that has me a little concerned. We've had spies do some crazy things, however, to get a job done.”

“I can't believe he's here, and Princess Leia brought him? I wonder what he did to get that to happen. Who knows, he could be a great asset if he's working for us. I'd just watch my back,” Hera said as she was leaving.

Admiral Ackbar made his way to Lando's room, he dismissed the security detail and entered. “Calrissian, I've decided to have you help me with some administrative things on the ship, just to get you started. We'll see how you make out with that, then we'll find you a place where you will best suited. How does that sound to you?” Admiral Ackbar informed him with glee, “We'll also drop the security detail. You'll be able to have your meals in the mess hall, and will have access to more public areas as well as the areas you'll be working. I appreciate your patience and I'd like to personally welcome you to the Rebel Alliance.”

“Why, Thank you, Admiral. I was getting a bit tired of just staring at these walls, though I appreciate the kindness you've all given me already,” Lando replied as he got up to stand.

“If you'll follow me, Mon Mothma would like to meet with you personally. I've told her all about our chats and she's invited you for caf,” Admiral Ackbar stated opening the door bidding Lando to follow. “I've just talked to General Syndulla. She said she knew you from a few years prior. Had quite a few stories to share.”

“Hera Syndulla?” Lando answered with a startled tone, “So she's here on the ship?”

“Why yes, she was just here this morning,” The Admiral answered.

Lando gulped, “Well, people tend to exaggerate a bit.”

Admiral Ackbar gave a brief chortle.

They waited a few minutes before Mon Mothma sent them in.

“Why Admiral, you didn't tell me what a lovely lady your leader is,” Lando said taking her hand and kissing it.

Mon Mothma was both startled and flattered. “Mr. Calrissian if you'll please have a seat.”

“You may call me, Lando. Certainly, Mon? May I call you Mon?” Lando asked.

“The correct term would be 'Ma'am', Calrissian,” Admiral Ackbar corrected.

“Well, I'm honored ma'am that you've taken the time to invite me to sit with you. The Alliance is quite lucky to have such a fine and lovely lady as yourself as it's leader,” Lando spoke smoothly.

“We believe with your experience, you may be a valuable source for the Alliance. Your background is a bit, unorthodox, but then we've benefited from those with all different sorts of past experiences. So, I'm led to understand you've recently been administrator of a city as well as a gas mine? Family business perhaps?” Mon asked sipping her tea.

“I've taken that responsibility very seriously. I've recently lost my position thanks to the Empire as I'm sure you know by now. My, you have such beautiful eyes. Has anyone told you that?” Lando paused and leaned back a bit and continued, “If you really want to know, I won the whole operation in a card game. You could say, it was my lucky day.”

Mon gave Admiral Ackbar a stunned look, while Ackbar seemed more chipper and enamored of Calrissian's accomplishments.

“I'm sure you'll be a wonderful asset here. Admiral Ackbar has assured me that he will observe your progress while under his supervision, and we can move on from there,” Mon spoke in a stoic tone and stood up to take his hand.

Lando took hers again and kissed it instead of shaking. “I look forward to seeing you again, ma'am. You've got a fantastic organization here. I'm very impressed. Until we meet again.”

Mon smiled awkwardly, “Thank you, Calrissian. Good luck.”

“What did I tell you, Mon. Quite the charming fellow,” Ackbar noted gruffly as Lando walked out.

Mon really didn't know what to say after that.

Star Destroyer The Executor

“Anakin,” Qui-Gon's ghost called out.

Darth Vader tried to ignore the interruption to his meditation. He pushed it away and it was still pulling towards him. He felt lights flickering around him, and the presence of Qui-Gon Jinn again. When he could push it no further, he knew he was going to have to address it.

“How is this possible?” He asked the apparition. “This can't be, it must be something in my subconscious, a trick perhaps?”

“It is no trick, there is still much to learn. And answers you will not get from your Sith Lord master. I know you still exist in here, Anakin,” Qui-Gon spoke.

“Where are you?” Vader asked, feeling as if he were a young boy again, sitting cross legged and floating in a cloud.

“In the Living Force. Anakin...” Qui-Gon explained and was cut off.

“That name means nothing. It is no longer who I am. You must go!” Darth Vader called out the feeling of being a boy disappeared.

“The boy I found is still here, and I feel him. I will come to you again. Reach out and you will feel it, and get the answers you are looking for,” Qui-Gon said as he disappeared.

Darth Vader came out of his meditation and was re-suited. He was angry. How dare such an image interrupt his meditation. What kind of trick was this! Was this Palpatine's doing! He clutched his mechanical fist tight. A cleaning droid nearby shattered to bits as it was only trying to do it's duty of clearing some nearby dust.

Admiral Piett heard the noise and stepped into the room. “Lord Vader, we will be approaching Riosa shortly.”

“Prepare my shuttle,” Vader commanded.

“Yes, Lord Vader,” Piett said as he left the room.

Vader stopped and paused reaching out into the Force to tell him if the voice he heard was real. It felt real and it disturbed him. He would transfer those feelings into pain and torment and use it to his advantage to gain more power. It was the only way.

The Rebel Fleet-The Millennium Falcon

For breakfast, Chewie brought out some dried flat bread that Luke had insisted on stocking up on while they visited Tattooine, and it was one of the few things still left in the galley that wasn't rations. He also had a crock of the berries they found on the jungle planet, and thought that would make a good breakfast. There was also some dried blue milk they mixed with water.

“This is something Luke was nostalgic about?” Leia marveled at the bread that was hard to eat. She smeared some of the berries on it to try to give it more flavor.

Chewie roared then did the same.

“Maybe he dipped it in the milk?” Han wondered, “It beats ration bars though and we might as well finish it. Maybe we should have given it to him to take with him.”

“Then we wouldn't have it now,” Leia answered. “So where are we going?”

“I dunno, just Cracken said something about a mission and asteroids,” Han answered. “Said he'd give you the details if you were up for it.”

“I'll go speak with him,” Leia said. “I'll comm him when I get on Home One.”

“I gotta fix something in the fresher. You two go ahead and finish up. Let me know what Cracken says, if it's not 'classified'.” Han laughed.

Chewie roared and got up to clean up a bit.

Leia finished her bread and fruit. It actually did taste good with the berries spread on it and it softened it up a bit. It did make a bit of a mess, but at least it was palatable. She imagined that Luke probably dipped this bread in the milk, or it was just that the desert was so dry that even the bread was as well. She wiped her mouth and headed up a bit nervously to the hanger where the ship was attached from the hatch. She didn't know why it bothered her so much, but she really didn't want to be seen leaving the Falcon when it was obvious that she had spent the entire night there. The noise from the hatch wouldn't draw attention she thought to herself. It hadn't been uncommon for Chewie to go back and forth from the ship off and on throughout the day. She stepped out, trying not to be seen and when she started walking, she heard whispers everywhere. Whispering around her usually didn't bother her and she usually just let it roll off her back, but why did this bother her so much? So, she spent the night. People do that, right? They were still whispering. One of the young women who worked there came up to her.

“Uh Princess?” She said quietly.

The whispering continued, and some laughing, then some pointing. Leia couldn't take it anymore.

“What? So how many credits got exchanged this time? Yes I'm in an intimate relationship with Captain Solo. So I spent the night! What business is it of yours!” Leia shouted out loudly.

Everyone got quiet.

“Uh, Princess? You have berry stains all over your lips. You might want to try and clean that up before you get on the shuttle. And by the way, we all know about the other thing,” she answered meekly.

“I thought you were back on Echo Base,” one of the deck officers said.

“That time we took the star destroyer? I knew it was going on then,” one of the shuttle pilots offered.

Leia just put her hand on her face and just shook her head.“Thank you, I'll clean it off.”

“There's a fresher right over there that the mechanic's use,” the young woman offered.

“They do fight like they're married,” one of the mechanics said quietly.

“Is there any whatever that is staining your face left? If you don't mind me asking. It's been a while since I had anything but protein paste and ration bars,” the young woman asked.

“I'll see if Chewie will give you some,” she said feeling exacerbated as she went into the fresher and closed the door.

With a cleaned up face, and a shuttle ride to Home One, Leia arrived and met General Cracken in the conference room.

“Princess, have a seat,” Cracken asked motioned to the chair to his right. He started a holo image that flashed above the table. “I have a proposal for you, and I believe you are the one to be able to pull this off. We have an operative on Telos IV who has been able to secure us medical supplies, including some much needed bacta. Since going through the nearby asteroid field seems to be the best way to avoid Imperial entanglements, a supply ship outside the planet will transfer the supplies to a nearby asteroid. It's a large asteroid, large enough to be inhabited. There will be a collection of intel in another location after. I should tell you that most of High Command is against your going on this trip. I believe that it's remote enough that Imperial activity has been rarely seen in that part of the system, and I knew you might prefer it to the other option that High Command is suggesting.”

“Which is?” Leia asked.

“You would be in command of your own ship, and basically you would be in constant motion as a method to hide you and avoid detection to the Rebel Fleet. Some feel you've become a liability. I'm sorry to say,” General Cracken informed her.

“A liability? How is that different than Mon Mothma? Surely she is a known wanted individual?” Leia argued.

“Mon Mothma isn't wanted personally by Darth Vader alive. Princess, you do know the danger of that? Until we can organize our move on the Empire, the best course of action will be to keep you away from the Rebel Fleet. I thought putting you on missions would be the best way to utilize your talents. Mon agreed with me,” Cracken informed her.

“Again, they've been having conferences about me without me or my input there!” Leia shouted,“Even Han knew something about it.”

“I only asked Captain Solo if he was willing to fly through the asteroid belt and land on the asteroid in question,” Cracken explained. “Also that the mission would involve you. He only asked if he could use his own ship. While it's well known, I think in this case, we can make an exception. There will still be a great danger of detection involved.”

Leia nodded.

“When do we leave?” Leia asked.

“You will leave in two cycles. You will be required to make a direct stop to Almania after the landing and pick up on the asteroid. It will be near a village in a field rather than a spaceport, where you will meet a contact who hopefully will have a data chip containing vital information for the Alliance. After the medical supply pickup and leaving the asteroid, you will be given a signal to send to let them know you will be arriving when you approach the Almania system. The instructions will be in the itinerary,” Cracken spoke then handed her a datapad with all the instructions. “I've already talked to Captain Solo about crew. Chewbacca may accompany you. If you wish, your protocol droid will also be returned from service in Draven's office.”

Leia nodded.

“Don't think it will be an easy trip. It's still very dangerous sending you out.” Cracken warned.

“I'd rather do something useful than sit around on some giant ship, General,” Leia insisted.

“I knew you'd say that, May the Force be with you,” Cracken said standing up.

Leia got up before leaving and said, “Thank you.”

Dagobah

Luke spent half a day tilling out more ground to make the garden bigger. He didn't know if Yoda was using him for manual labor, or if this was actually part of his training. Once he got into the work though, it gave him a sense of purpose and while digging, he reflected on some things. He thought about asking Yoda about his father. He really didn't know very much about him, just basic things that he was a good pilot and strong in the Force. Ben said he had been a good friend. What was he like as a person though? He wondered if Yoda would even tell him. He wasn't very forthcoming in conversation except for when it suited him, and sometimes he was vague on questions about the Force. Often, they made Luke think harder though. Luke found so many answers just on his own and he was starting to realize his instincts were his best teacher. Luke had spent some of his time fighting for the Rebel Alliance finding out what he could about the Jedi, and now here he was with probably the last living Jedi, and he was just doing a lot of digging. The search for the crystal though. He thought he made progress, but nothing else was said. He put it in the small bag with the other objects from the broken lightsaber, and remembered when he took that apart to study how it functioned and worked. Yoda said he would know, whatever that meant. Ben's journals had some notes as well. He would just have to trust the Force and his own instincts as he always tried to do.

He started to remember the Battle of Hoth. That loss did something to him. His gunner shot down right next to him, and he probably lost a lot of his buddies from Echo Base, too. Maybe he learned something while he was traveling with Chewie. It did get a bit wild and crazy, but he figured out he could leap as far as he could in Jabba's palace. That confrontation with Vader though? What had he planned to do with him? As he was digging and thinking, Yoda made his way over to him. Yoda tapped him with his cane.

“Come. Walk with me you will.” Yoda instructed.

Luke put the shovel down, wiped his hands off on his pants, and followed the Jedi Master. Yoda led him to a clearing and sat down on a log. Luke sat on the ground next to him. Yoda stopped and looked to the sky and closed his eyes. He put out his arms.

“Questions you have?” Yoda asked.

“Yes, a lot of questions,” Luke said sighing.

Yoda nodded. Then Obi-Wan appeared.

“I want to know more about my father. I know he was a great pilot, and strong in the Force. And a great friend to Ben. But what was he really like? How am I like him?” Luke asked and sighed.

“And this important to you is? For what will this teach you?” Yoda asked.

“I can understand you wanting to know more about your father, Luke. It's only natural. It's a strange thing for us as Jedi. The Jedi were our families,” Obi-Wan tried to explain.

“The Jedi were your families?” Luke asked.

Obi-Wan explained further, “Most of us were raised from a very young age, still infants by the Jedi, or we might show signs as toddlers, and then led to the Jedi. We knew Master Yoda more than we knew our parents. Your father was different. He was nine when he came to us. He knew his mother as well and had left attached to her. My Master Qui-Gon found him. We had never come across anyone stronger in the Force than that young boy.”

“Too old for training. My words were,” Yoda said closing his eyes.

“But what was he like?” Luke asked further.

“Like you, reckless. Impulsive. Calmer you are than he,” Yoda explained.

“If he was so strong, why was it that Darth Vader was able to kill him?” Luke asked.

“No more time for questions. Walk more we will,” Yoda said getting up and pointing in a different direction.

“You should tell him more, Obi-Wan,” Qui-Gon said. “His father still lives. I've visited him again.”

Obi-Wan just waved his hand at Qui-Gon.

“I hope you know what you are doing,” Qui-Gon argued.

“I could say the same for you,” Obi-Wan retorted.

“Ben? About what?” Luke asked.

“Oh, I was just making a remark to Yoda. He understands,” Obi-Wan told Luke.

“Hmmmmph, understand I do,” Yoda answered.

Yoda sat down and took a deep breath.

“Time for a rest? If you want me to carry you, I will,” Luke offered.

Yoda jumped up on Luke's back and pointed ahead.

“Faster, build your strength you should,” Yoda demanded.

“But I've been digging all morning!” Luke insisted.

“No matter! Run, run!” Yoda insisted.

Luke ran until he came to a ledge.

“Swing across! Swing you must!” Yoda demanded.

“Yoda, where are we going?” Luke looked confused and tired.

“Swing!” Yoda called out.

Luke took the vines and swung across to another tree and then another, Yoda still clinging to his back.

“Run!” Yoda demanded.

Luke found a new found energy and ran harder.

As he was running, Yoda called out, “Flip! Flip you will!”

Luke did a flip, then another and ran some more and flipped again.

“Hey, this is fun!” Luke exclaimed.

“Fun it is not. Jedi's strength flows through the Force. Darkside sparks from anger, fear, aggression! Easily they flow, destroy you they might! Easy path it is! Run, run!” Yoda suddenly spilling out with adrenaline reflecting Luke's own found energy.

Luke was really gaining speed, feeling the energy within.

“Once you chose the dark path, forever will it be your destiny! Consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan's apprentice!” Yoda warned.

Luke stopped to listen. He asked, “Is the darkside stronger?”

“No, quicker, more seductive.” Yoda said seriously.

“How will I know the good side from the bad?” Luke asked.

“When you are calm at peace. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge, never for attack,” Yoda explained.

“Why?” Luke asked.

“There is no why? Nothing more will I teach you today. Always questions. Hmmmph,” Yoda exclaimed.

Yoda jumped down and sat down.

“Should we move on?” Luke asked huffing from the work out.

“No, the place this is,” Yoda told him.

Luke saw a lot of thick branches and a cave. He walked closer, “It feels so cold here.”

“Darkside you feel. That place, a domain of the darkside it is. In it you must go,” Yoda spoke softly.

“What's in there?” Luke asked shaking his head.

“Only what you take with you,” Yoda answered poking at the dirt.

Luke walked into the dark cave pushing out some of the vines. It felt colder and colder. He felt very afraid. He heard laughing, but he shook it from his mind. Concentrate he thought to himself. Then he saw a small boy. It wasn't a boy he recognized, but he was dressed very much like the children on Tatooine. The boy ran away then disappeared. He walked further and further into the cave. He heard the word 'no' called out as if it were someone in pain or agony. Then he saw it. The tall menacing Darth Vader standing and pointing to him. Luke started to turn to run, but he couldn't and then he turned and stood his ground. He had no weapons, nothing to fight him with, so he grabbed a stick. Vader walked closer and closer to him, Luke walked back holding the stick as if the stick would protect him somehow. Vader then stopped and looked at Luke up and down. He said nothing. He put his hands on his helmet and took it off. What he saw next frightened him. It was his own face, his own head in Darth Vader's armor. He was looking at himself as Darth Vader. He turned and ran, but he was suspended into air and couldn't move. He felt himself being pulled back as if it were a tractor beam. Then he fell down to the ground. He looked up, and Vader was gone. When he turned around again, standing there was Leia dressed in black and laughing at him. Her eyes were not the warm brown he knew, but they were yellow and she lifted Luke up by the Force and threw him across the cave. He caught his balance again and looked back at her. She had turned around with her back to him. He walked up to her to ask her why, touching her shoulder, and she turned around back towards him. Only she wasn't Leia at all, again she was Luke as if he were looking again at himself, dressed in black robes, standing there with yellow eyes and a cackling laugh. The other Luke was coming towards him closer, and putting his hands up towards his neck. He backed away and the image disappeared.

He ran out of the cave and back to where Yoda was sitting. Yoda was looking at the ground picking at the dirt below him with his cane. Luke stood there panting and sweating, and looked at Yoda as if he had a question, but no words came to his mouth. Yoda stared at him and let out a, “Hmmmmph,” and continued scratching in the dirt.

Chapter Text

Asteroid Field-Telos System

"Ahhhhhhhh" Shouted Threepio strapped into his seat in the cockpit.

Han grinned as Chewbacca roared.

"Relax, this is nothing. It isn't even that hard to maneuver," Han insisted.

Leia held on tight, covering her face occasionally.

The asteroids were large and far enough apart, but they seemed to be moving, though slowly. As they moved through the field, they came close to the cockpit window, but they dodged them easy enough. There were a few ships that were even bigger that were moving through as well. They seemed to know where and how to get through the rocky route and had done so many times before.

"There! That's it," Han said pointing to the large one in the distance.

As they approached, a dispatcher called out to them, and they gave the false codes and identification that Cracken had specified to use. They landed inside a large structure that was underneath a structure that appeared to be a very large stretched out building. The dock they landed in would have to call in their supplies. It would take a couple of hours so they considered going exploring in the small village that made up the building. Leia put on a hood and disguised herself a bit, and Han tried to do the same with a coat and a hat. Chewie really wanted to sleep and asked them to bring him back something good to eat. Threepio would be put in charge of watching the ship. Once they got out of the dock, it was bustling with eateries, shops of all kinds, a small casino, an illicit place that promised sexual favors from twelve different species and four different genders, and glitterstim dealers which lined the courtyard. There were also food venders and fruit stands and foods of all types for sale as well as services such as grooming, horn polishing and hair styling.

"They probably have a princess jail here," Leia whispered in Han's ear.

"This is nothing. More of a spacer's stop. Galaxy is full of 'em. Drop off, pick up, fuel up, etc." Han whispered back.

They picked up something hot to eat from a vender, and walked to the end of the corridor where the lifts moved up to rooms you could rent, or places that spacer's could stop for massages or bathing. Then they walked back the other line of shops where they found a place that sold various snacks and foods and stocked up. They had various treats from systems all over the galaxy, and it was a bit overwhelming, but Leia looked at her allotted credits and got as much as she food and drinks as she could. They took it all back to the ship along with a large chunk of wrapped up nerf for Chewie so they could be there when the shipment was delivered.

It was still a bit of a wait for the delivery, but it was brought over on time by an Abednedo man who just brought the cart over, handed over the manifest and walked away. Leia checked it over, and they looked inside to make sure it was what it was supposed to be. Han scanned it a few times, to make sure it wasn't a trap, or had trackers. They called Chewie out, who was still inside eating his nerf and a bit annoyed by the interruption, to help put the cargo into the cargo hold.

"That's not a lot of bacta, but I'm sure it will be put to use. A lot of other materials we need though. I don't know how they are managing," Leia said as she overlooked the contents of the cargo.

Chewie roared.

"Try rolling it then! You don't have to pick it all up. We can borrow the cart!" Han yelled at him, trying to get everything on board.

When it was on board, they got back into the ship and left the asteroid. After getting back into the asteroid belt, they were hailed.

"You in the freighter! That's our cargo?" the ship called out.

Han called back, "Like hell it is!"

"It will be! Surrender or die!" the pilot threatened.

"Chewie raise the rear shields," Han ordered.

The ship started to shake as the other ship started to fire, Han sent some return fire from the cockpit.

"I'm going to the lower gun well," Leia called out running out of the cockpit.

"Just strap in, it's gonna be bumpy," Han yelled out.

He moved the ship sideways, and Leia held onto the side trying to climb down to the gun. She was able to get herself into the seat and called on the comm, "I see them!"

"I think I can lose them. Keep and eye on it," Han called back dodging asteroids.

The other ship fired again and something did hit them. Leia started fire towards it, grazing a hit on the other ship's starboard side, bouncing it, and making it fire back again.

In the cockpit, Threepio was frantically screaming.

"Keep quiet, goldenrod," Han yelled.

Chewie roared.

Han grazed an asteroid then backed around another one and then another one as the other ship chased them, it getting hit by the asteroids in the process. Leia took another hit on the ship, and while it didn't destroy the ship, it disabled it enough that it seemed to be dead in space.

"Come on back up, sweetheart, we lost it. We should be good now," Han called into the comm to Leia.

"Oh thank goodness," Threepio said with relief. "If only we could get into hyperspace. Why do you put me in these situations anyway?"

Leia ran back up and got back into the cockpit, out of breath.

"We should be out of here soon, then we can hit hyperspace," Han said still moving through the asteroids.

The ship rocked and Threepio was still nervous, so Leia shut him down. Chewie roared with relief.

"Who was that?" Leia asked. "Did they even know who we are?"

"Someone who just tries to steal whatever comes at them. I imagine it's some organization that runs out of that whole operation. How do you think they get most of that stuff in that place?" Han explained.

"We bought stolen goods?" Leia questioned.

"Who knows. Some of it might be legit. We aren't legit, the whole Rebel Alliance isn't legit. What does it matter?" Han laughed. "Ok, we should be good now, strap in."

They went into hyperspace headed for Almania.

/

Rebel Fleet – Home One

Mon Mothma went over the intel that had come in from Nakadia. Even though it seemed to be an insignificant place, the Imperial intelligence access they were able to gather there was a boost to the Alliance and the fact that they had success there gave Mon Mothma the hope she desperately needed in these troubling times. The threat of yet another Death Star. It put a chill through her bones. These smaller victories, however, boosted her confidence. She could handle the responsibility on her shoulders, she was sure of it. There never seemed to be a break from that though, and she felt like everyone treated her as an enigma whenever she interacted with anyone who wasn't in High Command. Even there in High Command, though many she had known for years and felt were her friends, she was still who she was. Their leader.

She needed to go over something with Admiral Ackbar and met him on the bridge of the ship where he did most of his work. There with him was the charming Lando Calrissian who he had recently put to work aiding him in some of his technical and management work. It was a way to keep an eye on the suspicious new recruit, but also a way to put some of the man's known skills to work. This way they could do both having a close eye on him. Who knows, he might end up being quite valuable. She had expected less with a few others and had gotten more before, hadn't she?

When she arrived, Admiral Ackbar was looking over the shoulder of Calrissian as he was going over some suggestions of reorganization of some of the details of the workings of the fleet in order to make them more efficient. As Mon Mothma entered the room, Calrissian's head went up and he stood at attention and shook his head and smiled with that grin of his.

"Admiral, Calrissian," Mon acknowledged them with a gentle stern manner.

"Ma'am, you look absolutely stunning today. Please, have a seat, join us," Calrissian graciously stated pointing to one of the seats near their work station.

"Mon, you would not believe some of the ideas Calrissian has suggested. Shuttle runs on a schedule instead of on demand to minimize fuel use, shift changes to manage time and supply organization. When he puts the numbers together, they really do look good as far as using the Alliance's resources to it's best advantage," Ackbar informed her gruffly.

"Let me have a look here," Mon went over some of the data, "Well, we'll still need some on demand shuttles. We do have emergencies."

"Yes, but if you notice, most of the shuttle use could be reduced to time, and you could even put less pilots on duty using them in more effective ways, such as assignments and supply runs," Calrissian pointed out. "This whole cycle here, every shuttle use could have been timed and held more staff on board, thus giving waste and man power to the operation," Calrissian said staring into her eyes.

Mon felt a bit of a flutter. There was something so charming about Calrissian, and she was sure he was that way with everyone. It had been a while though since even the most charming of the Rebel Fleet would even act as if she were a real person, rather than Mon Mothma, leader of the Rebel Alliance. Calrissian seemed to actually be flirting with her, and she sure did enjoy it. Oh, she was sure it was his personality, after all, Ackbar absolutely had become enamored by the man, but something inside of her made her feel something she felt had been long lost. She found him quite attractive, and he couldn't be too much younger than her, maybe something like 8 years if that? He definitely was a grown man and it had been for quite some time. She was surprised at herself for drifting from the focus of the discussion, the efficiency of running an Alliance fleet, to the flatter and charms of this delightful and handsome man. She was a bit discombobulated.

"Ah, yes, it does seem to be some interesting suggestions. We could certainly try implementing some of this on a few of the ships. See how the system works out, then if it is successful, we could make it policy," Mon said looking at the figures and trying to keep a clear head.

"I'm glad you like it," Calrissian said, his eyes twinkling. "I'd like to go over a few other things with you as well ma'am, some things I know about supply networks. I might even have a few contacts I can get you in touch with. They have no love of the Empire I assure you."

"Perhaps later over caf?" Mon found herself saying. Over caf? Not in the conference room or with General Dodonna or here in Ackbar's workstation at the bridge? What had gotten into her!

"I'd love that," Calrissian said, taking her hand and kissing it.

Mon melted. Ackbar, though thinking Calrissian's behavior a bit unorthodox, assumed it was just the way with some human cultures, and ignored the gesture.

Later, Mon in her private sitting room fretted over the seating arrangements and if it would be too forward to have the meeting at the small sitting table or on the lounger. She really wanted to have the set up at the lounger. It was comfortable, and in her mind, she thought it would be easier to look over the holos there, but honestly the closeness of the gorgeous and charming Lando Calrissian was too tempting not to have him sitting right next to her in the comfortable lounger. Her assistant went over a few details with her in the sitting room. She felt a bit sad that there was only caf and ration bars. Oh, Mon, get yourself together, this is just a meeting about supply contacts. It wasn't that uncommon for her to have meetings in her sitting room. Jan Dodonna often came there for the privacy or the late night last minute unexpected emergency. Draven would often find something important to go over while she happened to be in her private chambers. This was something different and she knew it, but she had to pretend it wasn't.

Her assistant let Calrrisian in and Mon stood stiffly, yet warmly inviting him to sit, already with the galactic map holo shining above the table. Calrissian took her hand.

"It's such a pleasure to be able to spend some time with you, and you didn't have to go to so much trouble," He said taking her hand and kissing it.

"Calrissian, it is not common for members of the Alliance to take my hand in such a way, in public that is. I hope you'll understand. As leader of this noble cause, there is a certain decorum in place," Mon Mothma pointed out, gently but sternly.

"Ma'am, I do not wish to be forward, however, you are a woman, and I've always admired beautiful women and have given them the greatest respect," Calrissian smiled his eyes twinkling. "But I do understand. You are in charge here and there's a great responsibility and expectation to that. I imagine it has to be a burden to you as well."

"Indeed, Calrissian, sometimes it certainly is. I've taken it quite seriously though. I do hope that any of the soldiers, pilots, workers, and the rest of my people can feel comfortable coming to me with anything in spite of that. Why just the other day, I caught a young pilot off guard a bit drunk from the homemade 'jet juice' after a loss. I don't believe he knew who I was until it was too late, and I'm sure it he is now mortified to realize it was me. However, I knew he was merely having his own moment where he needed to collect some of his more darker thoughts and escape from the rigors of war. I myself am rarely allowed that privilege," Mon explained.

"Well, I do hope you and I can become friends. Believe me, I know what it's like to have the responsibility of others on your shoulders and the burdens of that," Lando soothed.

"Ah yes, your city in the clouds and your mining concern. I hope once we are successful, and I need to believe we will be in our defeating the Emperor, that you may one day have that operation back in your control again," Mon Mothma spoke firmly.

"Well, that's one of the reasons I've decided to help you all here with the Rebel Alliance, ma'am," Lando stated. "Now, let me show you what I have in mind."

Mon drifted a bit. Oh, I can think of a few things you can have on your mind. She caught herself. Must not let that show. My though isn't he attractive. Certainly there have been more attractive men come under her command, those young pilots who are merely eye candy, nothing more. It's a fleeting amusement. This man? Oh, he would know what to do for a woman like myself.

"What!" Mon spoke out loud.

"Now, I know he's not a legitimate businessman, ma'am, but how many of those you do business with are?" Lando repeated. She had completely ignored most of what he had been saying.

"Yes, of course, and you are correct. Calrissian, I could put you in touch with Draven. He could get a man to contact whomever you believe may be able to organize deals as such that you describe," Mon said trying to cover the fact she allowed her mind to drift.

She stared into his eyes. Oh, she could tell he was a scoundrel and probably left many hearts broken in his lifetime. That was of no concern for her. It could even be an asset. He would expect nothing else from her. She was sure of it. He wasn't an official member of the Alliance, not yet. It wouldn't be unorthodox for her to be more forward. She saw him pointing at a system on the map, she really wasn't paying attention at all, just staring into his eyes. As he looked towards her, she moved her face up to his and he then grabbed her head and she kissed him moving him down to the lounger.

Lando came up for air, "I thought we'd never get around to this, but I knew you'd come around." His smile was wide and he shook his head as he grinned.

"This is just between us you know, and we must still maintain a professional relationship," Mon explained.

"Oh, I understand completely. A powerful woman like you has needs like everyone else, and believe me, I think I'm the man who can give you what you need," Lando said looking up to her as smoothly and seductively as he could. He grabbed her close and wrapped his arms around her and she kissed him deeply.

She then sat up, collected herself, spoke into her comm to her assistant. "Please make sure I'm not disturbed for the next hour or so. Thank you."

She put the comm on the table, turned off the annoying holo map of the galaxy, and started to undo the shirt of Lando Calrissian.

"Oh, Your Excellence," Lando growled as he swooped in and kissed her moving her back down onto the lounger.

"Let me pull this dress off!" Mon panted heavily.

"Anything the lady wants, the lady gets," Lando said seductively helping her with her garment. "You are absolutely stunning."

"And you are so devilishly handsome!" Mon said going in for another deep kiss and tearing off the rest of his clothes.

"You're right, I am," he grinned as he placed a hand on her right breast and pulled her closer to him.

Telos IV- Spaceport Cantina

The place was cramped, but in the quiet corner sat two bounty hunters and an interested party who had been seeking them out. He had information and knew they would be happy to pay for it. The Dug stretched out his hand to Bossk for a credit. Bossk placed the credit in his hand, and the Dug spoke. Dengar put his blaster down into it's holster.

"So, here we were, and we see it. I know it has to be the same ship," the Dug offered. "I know they've been looking for that YT-1300 freighter for a while, and we tried to board it. Crippled our ship bad though. Captain was fuming. Would have called the Imps right there, but he didn't want the attention. Even with the credits they were offering. Thought we'd get the occupants in the hold and take them right to them, but it didn't work out that way."

"And you saw this out there at that spacer's station? The one in the 'field?" Denger asked.

The Dug put out his hand again, hoping for more credits, "They stopped to pick something up. One of the hanger guys tipped us off. Recognized the ship."

"Why didn't you try in the hanger then?" Dengar spit then continued, "Did they say where they were going?"

The Dug put out his palm again, Bossk swat it. The Dug spoke, "We saw them leave the 'field. I'm sure they headed for hyperspace. We lost them, but not without me shooting them with one of these." He pulls something out of his pocket. "We hit them, just rocked them a bit, but they have a tracker on the hull now. For a few more credits, I'll give you the tracer."

Bossk growled and put a few in his hand. "You better not be lying, because I'll find you, and I'll kill you."

"I swear. I don't want any part of this, but I knew you were looking for it. I know better than to try to get bounties from the Empire myself. I'm a simple Dug, I just want to work, live, and make my way in the galaxy. I leave the risk to those like you," The Dug answered meekly.

"How did you get this device then?" Dengar grunted.

"Some secrets, I'll keep to myself," the Dug answered.

Bossk and Dengar made their way out of the cantina and to their ship. This time, they actually had something solid, and if not, not only was that Dug dead, but they would be as well. When they returned to their ship, they waited for a ping. They slept in the ship waiting for the signal, then after some time, the notification came off on the tracker.

"Heading for the Almania system. Contact the Admiral and hope that kriffing Dug wasn't lying," Bossk growled.

/

Dagobah

Luke was actually sore. The day of digging, the workout to the cave, and the emotional stress got to him. A full night of sleep on the floor of Yoda's hut didn't do much to help. He woke up stiff and in physical pain. Yoda had prodded him awake like he did almost everyday, as if he were lazy and his servant rather than his student. Yoda silently placed the bowl of root leaf on the ledge for Luke to eat and sat down and ate his own.

Luke was having a hard time getting up and pleaded, "No digging today, please."

"Hmmmmph," Yoda replied taking a bite of his breakfast.

Yoda put on a kettle, and then made some caf. It had been the first time he had made caf for Luke since he had been there. He had made a cup after Leia and Han had left, and then when Luke arrived, he hid it away. To Yoda, it was a rare treat. Something he hadn't had in a long time, but today he could tell it might give Luke a boost. He wouldn't do so verbally though. The boy needed to work this out on his own. Still, this one kindness, he would enjoy. He could tell he had pain, and it did bother him. He wanted to see what Luke did with his pain, if it angered or frustrated him, or if he could work beyond it. Yoda poured the cup of caf and handed it to Luke, who took it eagerly.

"Caf? How did you get caf?" Luke asked knowing that there was no caf to be had on Dagobah and if Yoda had a supplier who frequently visited off world.

"Hmmmph," is all he answered.

"Leia?" Luke asked, remembering that she had come.

Yoda nodded, "Tricked Captain Solo I did," then Yoda laughed.

Luke laughed a little. It warmed Yoda to know that Luke was not angry enough that he couldn't be in good humor even though he was stiff and sore.

"Exercises we do today," Yoda demanded.

Luke nodded trying to keep up his spirits. He just hoped they weren't too strenuous.

Yoda started him on stretching and relaxing. "Calm you must be."

Then it moved to balancing on his hands then on one finger. Then Yoda did something crazy. While Luke was balancing, Yoda started to climb up Luke as if he were a tree.

"Focus, you must focus," Yoda insisted, while Luke wobbled wondering exactly what Yoda had in mind.

Yoda them himself balanced on Luke's foot, as Luke balanced on one hand. "Stack the rocks you will, focus you shall."

Luke lost his balance momentarily as he was starting to move the rocks. Yoda screamed, "Focus! Focus!"

Luke stacked the rocks, then as an added bonus, lifted up Artoo who started screeching. When Luke was calm and confident he smiled and Yoda himself felt calm atop Luke's foot as he continued to balance. One thing that Luke did notice was that his pain and soreness had totally disappeared. He started to lower Artoo when he heard a loud noise. Artoo tumbled, Yoda cried out and Luke fell down to the ground in the dirt.

"Hmmmmph," Yoda said picking himself up and dusting himself off.

Obi-Wan then appeared, "You ask too much of the boy."

"Too much? Too little!" Yoda chastised his ghostly friend.

"Patience Obi-Wan, Yoda knows what he's doing," Qui-Gon warned.

Luke looked out to see that his x-wing had fallen deeper in the mud. "Now, I'm never going to get that out of here!"

"Never you say?" Yoda said with a grunt.

"Tell him he can lift it out," Qui-Gon pleaded.

"On his own he must," Yoda said putting his cane down.

"That other Jedi Master is here as well then I take it?" Luke said looking at Obi-Wan's ghost.

"Master Qui-Gon is here, yes. He is pleading your case for you. Luke, you may be able to take the x-wing out on your own," Obi-Wan told him.

"Trouble you are Obi-Wan," Yoda grunted.

Luke looked out at his crooked x-wing. He closed his eyes and concentrated. Reaching out with his hands he could feel it lifting out of the mud, but he felt it was too heavy, so he stopped.

"It's just too big," he said sighing and plopping down. At least the x-wing had come up a bit more out than it had before.

"Too big it is not," Yoda said. "Hopeless you are, hopeless." Then Yoda made his way back to his hut, with Artoo following. Luke sat there with his head in his hands.

"What am I doing wrong, Ben? How can I make him see?" Luke said frustrated he was letting the Jedi master down.

"It is not Yoda you need to make see, Luke. Trust your own abilities," Obi-Wan answered him.

Luke nodded his head and then went to the spring to clean up.

/

Hyperspace Outside the Almania system.

Chewie roared and banged.

"Alright, alright, we're coming!" Han yelled from inside the cabin.

He nudged Leia awake. She groggily opened one eye. It hadn't seemed like they had gotten much sleep this turn. Chewie monitored the systems to allow them a sleep cycle, but they just had to finish the story of Flambal, with Leia reading outloud in the cockpit. Then when they finally got to the cabin, they just had to fool around before getting in some sleep. She was tired and now she was paying for it. They soon would be coming out of hyperspace and it was time to get back to work.

"Put on some caf will you?" She pleaded to Han who was getting dressed.

Chewie roared.

"Sounds like Chewie already put it on. We better get ready. We're almost there," Han answered with a yawn.

Leia got herself in the fresher then dressed, and she felt that they had come out of hyperspace. She made her way to the holochess table to strap in and hopefully get some caf into her before they got on the planet. It was then the alarms started to go off. Then the systems shut down. She ran to the cockpit Everything was shut down, including Threepio who must have given Chewie a hard time sometime on his watch.

"Sweetheart, it's a star destroyer. They've locked on to us," Han gulped. "Somehow they knew we were here. I never even had a chance."

Chewie roared.

"This is The Executor. We are sending a shuttle, prepare to be boarded." the hail announced.

With stunned faces, the three of them just looked at each other.

"We'll get through this," Leia said reaching a hand to Chewie and to Han. "We've got this."

Chewie gave a worried roar.

Chapter Text

Almania System – The Executor

“Lord Vader, we've locked onto to target,” Admiral Piett

“Thank you, Admiral. Prepare my shuttle. I will board the Millennium Falcon alone,” Vader demanded.

“But, sir,” Admiral Piett questioned the order.

“Code 54, Admiral. We discussed this possibility. I leave you in charge of the ship. I will call for your assistance when I require it,” Lord Vader demanded.

“Yes, Lord Vader,” the Admiral obeyed.

Code 54. It was something that confused Admiral Piett, and he honestly believed that it would never be implemented. Darth Vader had gone over the use of this code number with the Admiral, and only in him, with absolute confidence. The Admiral himself wondered if it was an act of treason against the Empire, but it was not for him to question Lord Vader. After all, his orders were to obey Lord Vader and Lord Vader alone. Whatever Darth Vader demands, it is Admiral Piett's job to obey those demands. It nagged him that this particular order included keeping secrets from the Emperor himself. Darth Vader often had assignments and excursions that did not include using the Executor, but this was much different. The Admiral would always have an idea of where Vader was, even if no one else knew. Code 54 meant that when Vader gave the word, the Executor was to abandon Vader and to head to the space above Mustafar until further notice. No questions asked, no word to the Emperor, no knowledge of Vader's whereabouts. Vader's home was on Mustafar, and it was to be said that he was in “quarantine”. There were times when Vader himself would take refuge there, so for a short amount of time, there would be no questions about his disappearance. However, if this time period went beyond a certain point where Coruscant became suspicious? Piett did not know what he would do.

The Admiral followed Darth Vader to the shuttle. There would be no stormtroopers accompanying him, and Vader would pilot the shuttle himself. Piett stood at attention.

“Piett, you have done your duty well,” Darth Vader stated as he lowered the ramp using the Force.

“Thank you, Lord Vader. It has been an honor, sir,” Piett answered in a clipped tone.

“You will hear from me again. Remove the tractor beam after I've boarded the Millennium Falcon,” Darth Vader stated pointing at the Admiral.

“Yes, Lord Vader,” Piett said at attention.

Darth Vader boarded the shuttle and took off to where the Millennium Falcon had been anchored by the Executor's tractor beam. Vader flew the shuttle to the top of the ship's hatch and then steadied the ship. He put it on automatic pilot with the ramp down, it being opened wide to the vastness of space. Darth Vader stood on the ramp, he reached his arm out into the Force, and then took a sweeping leap onto the top of the Millennium Falcon. Hanging on to the outside of the ship, he could hear the woosh as the shuttle returned to the hanger of the Executor. Again using the Force, he opened the hatch of the Millennium Falcon and entered the ship alone as the Executor flew away into hyperspace.

The Cockpit of the Millennium Falcon.

“Why aren't they sending us into the star destroyer?” Han said getting up and looking out of the cockpit. “We're just stuck here, not even moving.”

“He's coming here,” Leia answered calm and relaxed.

Chewie roared.

“Just hang on there pal. You stay here, I'm going to the hatch,” Han said getting his blaster out of it's holster.

“Not without me you aren't!” Leia said running after him.

They both stood at the bottom of the ladder, expecting stormtroopers.

Chewie roared.

“That makes no sense. The shuttle flew away,” Han looked at Leia puzzled.

“He's out there,” Leia said looking at the entryway.

They hear the hatch open. Han draws his blaster. They hear the breathing first. Instead of descending down the ladder, Darth Vader leaps down and is crouching in front of them. Han shoots with his blaster, and Darth Vader deflects it and the blast hits one of the walls leaving a mark. He lifts Han up in the air with Han grabbing his own throat.

“Princess, I would suggest you don't try anything. He will come to no harm, but only if you cooperate,” Darth Vader commands.

Leia stands there frozen and still, and not believing what she was seeing. Chewie runs in from the cockpit, and Darth Vader lifts him up as well.

Chewie roars a garbled howl.

“Don't hurt them, please,” Leia pleads knowing that if she fights back, Chewie and Han will be harmed. “What do you want?”

“I want to talk with you,” Vader answers.

Leia looks at Han who looks frightened with his face red, and Chewie moaning.

“PUT THEM DOWN!” She orders.

Han and Chewie fall crumbled to the floor. Chewie gets back up and roars at Vader, and Leia runs to Han to check him.

“Chewie! Leave him alone, go back into the cockpit. Please!” Leia pleads.

Han brushes himself off, barely able to talk he leans on Leia for support. Vader just stands there and watches the two of them. Leia shows no fear. Han is petrified.

“Leave us!” Vader says looking at Han.

“Go with Chewie, I'll be alright,” Leia pleads and helps him to the cockpit.

Leia comes back out to the lounge. Darth Vader is just standing there like a statue staring at her. Leia stands there defiantly and stares back at Vader, stiff and with no emotion.

“Alright, so your ship is gone and you are here alone. What do you want with us?” Leia says to break the silence and then folds her arms across her chest.

“Princess, it will be good for you to remember that you have everything to lose if you try to fight me using the Force,” Vader reminded her.

Leia nodded her head.

“Good. Sit down,” Vader demanded.

“I'd prefer to stand if you don't mind,” Leia said staring at him.

“As you wish,” Vader responded. “Where did you come from?”

“Alderaan, you might remember. You were with me when Tarkin blew it up,” Leia said with a bit of snark.

“You know what I mean! Who are you? You were adopted were you not? Are you a clone?” Darth Vader asked pointing at her.

“Yes, I was adopted. Why do you care where I came from?” Leia said standing her ground.

“Does the Rebel Alliance have an army of Force Sensitives? Where did your powers come from? How was it that you were able to push me away and take Skywalker?” Darth Vader insisted.

“Not that it's any of your business, but no, the Jedi army is long gone! Thanks to you and your precious Emperor!” Leia snapped. “I would think you of all people would know that!”

“It was you, wasn't it? The one in my meditation! Was it not!” Darth Vader commanded.

The systems were still down on the Millennium Falcon, and Han and Chewie were getting worried as life support would go out shortly if they didn't do something. Han gently moved back towards the lounge area.

“I'm sorry to interrupt,” Han said with a gulp and his back up against the wall. “If the systems don't come back up, we're going to lose life support in a few minutes.”

Darth Vader put his hand in the air and everything clicked back on.

“Go back to the cockpit, Captain Solo!” Vader ordered.

Han slowly moved back quietly to the cockpit, then sat leaning back in his seat, and he and Chewie just looked at each other without saying anything. Both wondering if they were already dead.

“Again, Princess, it was you?” Vader asked more quietly.

“I believe so,” Leia answered with a hint of sass.

“You believe so? You are not sure?” Vader asked turning around briefly as if in thought.

“I sensed it was you,” Leia said quietly.

“How is that possible?” Vader asked himself then turned around. “Where is Skywalker?”

“I don't know!” Leia answered frustrated. “What is it you want! If you wanted us dead, you would have killed us already. You're ship is gone! You want something from me! WHAT DO YOU WANT!”

“I need your help, Princess,” Darth Vader answered sternly.

“What makes you think I'd help you? You tortured me. You held me prisoner, killed nearly everyone that had been on my ship, some of which I knew my entire life, did nothing as you forced me to watch my home planet be destroyed where my parents and nearly everyone and everything I knew and loved was located. And you just tried to kill my friends. That isn't even all of it! You want my help. That's really rich,” Leia stood facing him waving her own finger under his chin.

“The Emperor needs to be destroyed!” Darth Vader cut right to the chase.

Leia folded her arms over her chest and looked at him, “You have my attention. Now, we agree on something. Though as you know, I want you dead as well.”

Darth Vader stood there breathing with that raspy breathing device of his, and it was making her angry. Must remain calm, Leia said to herself. She focused on the holochess table. It was like a game of Dejarik that was over with no winner. Darth Vader could try to destroy them all and take the ship, but he needed her and she had the ability to disable him or push him out of the way. It was a stalemate.

“Are you a Jedi?” Darth Vader asked.

“No,” Leia answered.

“But you've been trained by one,” Darth Vader said looking at her knowing the answer.

“Not really,” Leia answered, it being basically the truth. She wasn't lying. Yoda only taught her a few things, but she wouldn't call it training.

Darth Vader couldn't tell if she was lying or telling the truth. He was unable to read her at all. She was obviously very powerful in the Force, not as skilled as he was, but powerful just the same.

“It would be better if I had both you and Skywalker,” Vader answered.

“So you could take over the whole Empire yourself! That's a laugh,” Leia huffed.

“I have no political aspirations, Princess,” Darth Vader answered angrily.

“I find that hard to believe. Why destroy the Emperor then? Because he's a Sith and your master?” Leia said almost laughing.

“You know!” Darth Vader said angrily. “Did Organa know?”

“I don't know,” Leia answered. “That's the truth, I promise you. Who is the little boy? Who is the angel?”

Darth Vader froze. “What little boy!”

“When you were in MY mediation there was a little boy. I've seen him before. In visions, pleading for help,” Leia answered smirking.

“I don't know what you are talking about!” Darth Vader said angrily and clenched his fist.

“Then who's the angel?” Leia asked feeling as if she touched a nerve.

Darth Vader stood there, “What angel! Who did you see!”

“I didn't see anyone. The boy mentioned her,” Leia said staring coldly.

Darth Vader moved to the cockpit. He looked at Han and Chewie, “Go, leave me!”

Chewie roared a question and Han just ran to Leia in the other room.

“What happened?” Han asked grabbing hold of Leia who was still standing firm.

“I think I struck a nerve,” Leia whispered.

“I didn't think he had any feelings,” Han whispered back.

Leia whispered back, “Pretend you don't know anything.”

“I don't know anything,” Han answered.

Chewie chirped a quiet growl.

Dagobah

It was another morning of digging in Yoda's garden. It was looking nicer, and there was less work and Luke was actually starting to feel better about the work which amazed him. He had a sense of accomplishment from how well the garden was faring and that he somehow was responsible for the health and well being of the very food that had been nourishing him. As Luke was pondering this, Yoda looked at Luke and actually smiled. Yoda collected some of the tubers and the leaves and walked to his hut to take them in and prepare them for storage.

Luke walked to the swamp where his x-wing was still stuck and Artoo followed. It was the first time he ever felt not frustrated by the sight of it. He felt at peace. It was then, without even thinking, he reached out to the Force and he put his arm out and there it was, the x-wing was rising, coming out of the mud as if it were just one of the tubers he bent over and picked up off the ground, or a feather blowing in the breeze. Artoo beeped heartily. Luke then gently put it down on more solid ground. It was covered in mud, and who knew if it even worked? Luke wasn't sure he cared at the moment, and was just relieved he had lifted it out. He went up into the cockpit and found the things that he had laying around inside. Random parts, this and that, even some ration bars he hadn't taken out yet. The tubers and root leaf certainly were better than those? Something inside him made him pick up a few of the items and put them in his pocket. He climbed out of the x-wing then sat outside the hut. Obi-Wan then appeared.

“You're looking well, this morning young Luke,” ghost Obi-Wan commented almost laughing pleased at the progress he had made under Yoda's tutelage.

Luke smiled and laughed. “I don't think I could ever be better.”

“Don't get too confident, Luke,” Obi-Wan warned.

Luke laughed again, “You know, that kind of reminds me of Han. He would say things like that, in a different way, but then do the opposite. I wonder how he is. So, do you think I'm ready to leave?”

“Ready to leave you say? No, ready you are not!” Yoda came out overhearing the conversation. “Freed your ship I see, hmmm?”

“Yes, I never knew it could be so easy,” Luke answered jingling at the items in his pocket.

“Easy you say, hmmmph. Not so easy was it, no?” Yoda said turning away.

“I guess not. It did take a while to get to that point. When should I return?” Luke asked pulling out some of the parts he had and putting them on the ground.

“Not ready, hmmmph,” Yoda answered.

“Oh Yoda, I know I have more to learn. Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere. I'm not even sure I can get the ship working again.” Luke groaned, then smiled. “It feels good though that I got it out at least,” he said and then went back into the hut and ran out with his bag and laid it out next to where Artoo was sitting.

Artoo beeped.

“Working on something are you?” Yoda asked.

“It's just these parts. I took them from my ship after I got it out. Thought I could do something with them. I don't know,” Luke said not quite sure really what he was doing.

“Hmmmph.”

Luke closed his eyes and some of the parts came up into the air. They moved around in front of him.

“Yes, yes,” Yoda said nodding.

Luke opened his eyes and they fell to the ground.

“Hmmmph.”

He kept them open and looked at the parts again, he pulled out the crystal he found and put that in with the other parts. There was a disc that had even been in the broken lightsaber, and some pieces of metal he had from scraps when repairing his x-wing, or other things he worked on when he was at Echo Base when he wanted something to do to tinker and pass the time. He watched them and reached out, and they came up in front of him again. Yoda nodded and watched. Luke, without touching anything, concentrated and then worked out an order in his mind which put some of the parts together. He put them down as they were, then grabbed something else out of his bag, it has been part of conduit he had taken wires from to fix Threepio some time ago, and had held on to in the event he needed something of that shape for a repair patch on his x-wing.

He put the parts together with the tube shaped item, then in his hand he got out a small tool and worked on it some more. It was almost as if it were an extension of his own self now, the item in his hand was part of him and it felt alive. He was being moved with the right adjustments and then he clicked it on. A bolt of green came out of the end as bold and noble as the lightsaber that had belonged to his father, only this was Luke's lightsaber. It wasn't passed on, it felt part of him as much as any other part of him was.

Yoda beamed marveling at Luke's accomplishment. “You've done much today,” he said, about as much of a compliment as Yoda was willing to give him.

Luke smiled and laughed. He did feel sure of himself, he couldn't help it. He thought he could afford to be cocky, at least right now. Luke went to bed that night feeling pretty good about himself and he felt as if he were well on the way of being the great and noble Jedi he felt one day he could be. Maybe even as great as his father had been. He drifted off into sleep, but sometime in the night he woke up screaming.

Yoda jumped down from his bed and walked over to Luke who was sitting up. In the dim light from the fire, Yoda could see the sweat pouring from Luke's face. Obi-Wan appeared as well as Qui-Gon, though Luke could not see him.

“What's troubling you, Luke?” Obi-Wan asked.

“I had a strange dream. It felt cold, and dark, Leia, Han and Chewie were there. I felt pain,” Luke said trying to describe the images and feelings.

Yoda closed his eyes, “Cloudy this is, worry you should not.”

“But they are my friends,” Luke said shaking his head.

“But are you sure they are in trouble?” Obi-Wan asked.

“No. Oh, I don't know!” Luke answered frantically.

“He need not worry, Obi-Wan, tell him.” Qui-Gon spoke softly.

“We don't know that,” Obi-Wan answered shaking his head.

“Hmmmph, meditate on this I will. Worry you should not,” Yoda answered grunting and returning to his bed.

Luke went and got a towel and dried his face, “Ben, do you think they are in trouble?”

“Go back to sleep, Luke. Meditate on it in the morning,” Obi-Wan answered gently.

Luke just shook his head and laid there looking at the ceiling. The dancing lights from the fire soothed him, but he couldn't help but wonder how or what his friends were doing without him there. He wished that he could know for sure.

Almania system- Millennium Falcon

As Darth Vader was taking a moment to grab his focus in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, they were hailed.

“Light freighter, identify,” the hail called.

Darth Vader sat in the chair and took control and entered hyperspace. He stood back up and turned back out of the cockpit, ignoring the protocol droid slumped and strapped into it's seat.

“Where are we going?” Leia asked demanding to know after all three had been jolted by the sudden jump.

“How? That's...not..it's..” Han couldn't find the words and had his hands on his face bobbing back and forth in disbelief and fear.

Chewie roared and started to get hostile.

“Chewie, it's ok,” Leia said calmly patting the Wookiee trying to keep him calm.

“Captain Solo and the Wookiee may return to the cockpit,” he pointed at the both of them. “Leave us!”

Chewie roared some more aggressively and Han looked at Leia who gave him a reassuring nod.

“It's alright, Chewie. Just go,” Leia said gently and they both looked at her meekly and frightened.

“As we were?” Leia smirked putting one hand on her hip and giving him a smirk. “So, where are we headed?”

“It is not of your concern right now, but if you must know, I've set a course for an empty part of space. I do not know what your business was on Almania,however, it is of no concern to me,” Darth Vader informed her.

“So, we just drift in space and chat? Is what what you have in mind?” Leia asked, knowing that she actually had some power in the situation, and also wondering if pushing Darth Vader into the airlock was an option.

“I am not here to make jokes, Princess,” Vader said pointing his finger at her.

“Well, just why are you here then? You and me, we kill the Emperor, is that your plan?” Leia laughed. “Why didn't you kill him when you had the chance?”

“It is not wise to taunt me, Princess. What do you mean?” Darth Vader asked curious about her answer.

Leia stood there silently.

“I asked you what you meant by that statement!” Darth Vader said angrily.

Leia just paced with her hands behind her back and a grin on her face. “Oh, I don't know. Hmmm, so where is the Emperor now? How about we go there now and you and I just take care of that. So how does one go about it? What powers does this so called 'Sith Lord' Emperor have over you? I've heard you were the most powerful person the Jedi ever found. Why can't you do it yourself? The Jedi did find you did they not? You did used to be a Jedi?”

“Who told you that! Who are you?” Darth Vader clenched his fist and a nearby light broke.

“Han's gonna be upset about that,” Leia said still pacing and holding her hands behind her back.

Darth Vader watched her, she had absolutely no fear of him. Was she even human? He had encountered her a few times before, and he seemed to remember her trembling on the Death Star. She was so cool and calm. She had to have Jedi training, it just wasn't possible. But her behavior was so not like the Jedi. A Jedi would never behave in the way she was doing. Well most would not, he could think of at least one who might.

“Anakin Skywalker,” Leia said looking straight at him stiff and still as a board.

Darth Vader was stunned. It was possible that she had known Obi-Wan. Was it her father who knew? Yoda?

Leia kept pacing back and forth with a smile on her face relaxed and calm and her hands behind her back. She had no idea what she was doing, but it was enjoyable to taunt him. What was the worst he could do? He needed her, or he would kill her. She didn't fear death. She did fear for Han and Chewie, but she was enjoying this. It may have been laying out all her cards, so to speak, but she still held some back, and she still kept her Sabaac face in the process.

“Yes, I know, of course. As far as I know, no one else in the Rebel Alliance does, not even Luke,” Leia snickered still pacing. “That is why you are looking for him, isn't it?”

“Yes,” Vader replied.

“Of course it is,” Leia answered. “Leave him alone.”

“You dare to order me!” Darth Vader stood closer and more angry.

Leia still pacing with her hands behind her back. Then something hit her. She flickered the lights on the Falcon, just a little to show Vader she could do it, too.

“Princess, coming out of hyperspace right now would not be wise,” Darth Vader warned.

“You think I don't know that? But if I could destroy Darth Vader in the process?” Leia said pacing with her hands behind her back.

“And also your precious friends?” Darth Vader said, trying to find her weakness.

Leia pushed him to the floor of the Falcon. “Leave my friends out of this.”

Vader picked her up with the Force. She was still smiling and she croaked out, “You need me.”

He dropped her. Of course he did.

Han called out from the cockpit meekly, “Um, we're coming out of hyperspace soon, maybe you want to strap in. Just a suggestion?”

Darth Vader made his way to the cockpit and took the seat that Leia usually sat in. He strapped in, though it was mainly to keep an eye on the ship. He would have no trouble in maintaining his balance if it got rocky. He stared at the other seat. A golden protocol droid that had been shut down. He turned it on with the Force.

“I am C-3PO human cyborg relations. I am fluent in over six million forms of communications,” Threepio said to Darth Vader.

“WHERE DID YOU GET HIM!” Darth Vader yelled.

Han paused then meekly with a hint of forced laughter, “Um, I know, annoying right?”

Leia came into the cockpit bouncing a bit from the ship moving out of hyperspace.

“I see you met Threepio,” Leia almost chuckled.

“WHERE DID YOU GET HIM!”

“You remember that ship that you destroyed after taking me prisoner? Well, he's one of the only survivors. He's been in my father's service my entire life, or until, you know,” Leia answered with a cocky sinister grin.

Chapter Text

Millennium Falcon

A bit shaken with the droid, as much as Darth Vader was able to be shaken up that is, Vader left the cockpit and went back into the lounge. Leia sat back into the seat behind Han and touched his shoulder. Chewie let out a very quiet growl.

“What did he want? I could try something, get out of here, try and take him somewhere we have power over him. What do I do here?” Han asked in a moment of panic.

“There is no where that you have power over him. You need to realize that. He needs me alive. That's the only power we have right now. He knows I won't do anything rash as he will cause either of you harm if I do,” Leia whispered back. “Right now, let's play it smart. I'm not sure what he wants, but it seems to be some kind of coup.”

“What can you do to him?” Han asked shaking his head.

“Remember when I moved that giant conduit in the hanger? It seems that I'm able to push Darth Vader around, too,” Leia whispered.

Chewie howled.

“What's the deal with Threepio?” Han whispered.

“I turned him down again. Something about Threepio set him off. Maybe I should go check on him?” Leia said whispering.

“Check on him? I think it's alright, he's got those weird Force powers right?” Han asked. “Turn goldenrod back on, maybe it will break him. Who knows. I have no idea where we are supposed to go from here? Do we just hang in space? I'm afraid to go anywhere with His Lordness there calling the shots.”

“I sense something a little different. I don't know. I think he sincerely wants my help, and that is he telling the truth. I can't get beyond everything he's done, but he could still prove useful to our mutual benefits. I just don't know how? I'll just have to be diplomatic about this. I may have to go somewhere with him, if I can do that, and get the two of you away, I will.” Leia said grabbing on to Han's arm.

“You want us to leave you!” Han asked in alarm.

“You need to get these things to the Rebel Alliance, and I'll need someone there,” Leia assured him. “I will get in contact with you some way. Just don't tell them it's with him. Tell Mon and the rest that I've gone into hiding. It will probably be a relief for them for now. After that?” Then without trying to reveal anything subconsciously or where the Sith Lord could hear or understand, she only hoped Han would. “Root leaf.”

Han nodded, as if he knew what she meant.

Leia turned on Threepio. “What happened? Where are we?” the droid asked.

“Come with me Threepio,” Leia beckoned.

She walked calmly to the lounge with Threepio creaking behind her. Darth Vader who realized she was coming back towards him, had stood up after leaning on the holochess table.

“So you know Threepio? I take this was from your other life then?” Leia said trying to appeal to the person she wondered was still hiding in the monster that was the Sith Lord before her.

“Yes, I built him from spare parts of other protocol droids,” Darth Vader answered.

“What that is simply impossible! You certainly were not my maker! Would I not have remembered that somewhere in my programming? I may have had a wipe at some point during maintenance. Oh the suffering I have had to endure!” Threepio creaked out and groaned.

“That is the same droid. It does seem he has had a modification or two. Threepio! What is the first thing you remember!” Darth Vader demanded.

“Don't answer that, Threepio,” Princess Leia ordered. “He has had a mind wipe. You need not worry that he will spill your secrets. So, I take it you had the hobby of building droids while plotting to enslave the entire galaxy? And Threepio was one of them?”

“Princess, I don't need to answer that! I don't know how it was that he has found himself with you, but I merely had a moment of clarity about the droid,” Darth Vader stated, regaining his composure.

Threepio creaked back into the cockpit.

“So where do we go now? Just drift in space? Did you have a destination in mind? I'm not taking you to the Rebel Alliance if you believe that's going to happen,” Princess Leia stood folding her arms around her chest with a smirk.

“Princess, I know you believe you have some power over me, but do not forget that I do not have any need of your friends. I trust that you will comply with my requests,” Darth Vader demanded.

“Comply with your requests? You have only requested my help? You haven't gone into any details and I don't have any idea where you believe we are to accomplish this. I need information? Tell me what you want from me exactly, and perhaps we can come to some agreement to mutually benefit each other!” Leia shouted.

“What was your business on Almania?” Darth Vader asked.

“It was Alliance business if you must know. We obtained some information on that new battle station we know you are building!” Leia shouted.

“I know of this battle station and have been commanded to oversee it's construction.” Darth Vader stated firmly.

Of course he knew about it! That breathing that awful breathing. It took some of Leia's focus to keep from allowing it to get to her. She was able to maintain calm, and hoped that Vader could sense no fear from her. The only thing bothering her was the fact that it was Han's ship and he and Chewie were on board.

“So it must be infuriating that I was retrieving information to aid the Alliance to take it down then!” Leia argued. “Well, you put a stop to that, but I imagine another agent will retrieve that information, so you stopped nothing, Lord Vader.”

“I have no concern personally in any regards to the battle station, Princess. I am only doing the Emperor's bidding. If you must know, I've never supported the use of these battle stations, save for their ability to maintain order to the Empire.” Darth Vader stated bluntly.

“Maintain order? More like maintain fear! Cities of innocent people? Whole planets? Plants and animals that are now extinct? How is that maintaining order?” Leia argued.

“Is your Alliance any better? Many of those working on that battle station you destroyed were merely loyal Imperial citizens! Your terrorist activities? Is the Alliance truly any better than the Empire in harboring destruction?” Darth Vader insisted.

“The Empire's enslavement of sentient beings? How can you support that? How?” Leia said moving up closer to him and waving her finger under his chin.

“I am doing the Emperor's bidding,” Darth Vader answered.

“So that is what you tell yourself? So you don't feel to be the monster that you are? You have the reputation of being a killing machine,” Leia answered turning away from him and walking away.

“Which is why I need your help to destroy him! Come with me, together we can bring a plan together to destroy the Emperor, and bring a new era to the Empire!” Darth Vader pleaded with great insistance.

“What's in it for me? Besides destroying the Emperor, and possibly you as well,” Leia laughed.

“I may still need your help after the Emperor is destroyed, if I survive,” Darth Vader answered.

“You want my help? How about you help me? Give me what you know on the new Death Star, and let my friends go? Then I'll go with you. Would that work for you? No questions asked, only that you give me intelligence and let my friends go, and in this ship!” Leia shouted.

Darth Vader thought about this. Her friends were a way to keep her in check, but once he had her with him, he still had some power over her. She was powerful, yet, not trained in the ways of the Force like he had been. Giving the Alliance anything was a great risk, but the more he thought about it, the more he liked the idea. He never liked the idea of a planet killer. He found it wasteful and unnecessary and it was one of the reasons he felt the Emperor had to be eliminated. There was also the threat of his being replaced. What plans did the Emperor have with his son? He also knew when the Emperor himself was do to visit the battle station. He himself was supposed to arrive ahead of time to make the arrangements. This could work. She could even be an apprentice to Vader. While he had wanted his son, this young woman would do for now, and might even be a catalyst in the insurance that his son would eventually come to him. She was associated with Skywalker, as was the crew of the Millennium Falcon. He knew Leia was taking a greater risk than he was, yet he knew the risk. If the Emperor were to know of his plan, he would try to destroy him.

“I'll give you some information on the battle station, send Captain Solo and the Wookiee away, and you'll agree to join me, is this correct?” Darth Vader said staring at the Princess.

“That is correct. Captain Solo will take the information to the Rebel Alliance. There will be no attempts to trace him, and they will both leave unharmed. Then I will agree,” Leia said coldly.

“The droid will come with you,” Vader insisted.

Leia's face shot in alarm, “No! He knows to much, that won't be possible!”

“The droid will come with you. I will have no need of him. You may leave him in your care,” Lord Vader compromised.

“Fine, if you don't allow your goons anywhere near him. Believe me I will know. He stays with me,” Leia conceded.

“Captain Solo may leave us in a remote location. I will call for pick up,” Darth Vader demanded.

“Done,” Leia answered nodding her head.

Dagobah

Luke never really went back to sleep, and in the wee early hours when there was some daylight, he went to work on cleaning and fixing up his x-wing. Artoo followed, and Luke lifted the little astromech into the ship so he could check the systems and help with the repairs. It felt good to work the engines and was a therapy all of it's own, helping him forget the distressing dream he had from the night before. He wasn't feeling the darkness or the danger, only putting his mind on what he was doing and where he was doing it. The ship turned out to not really be in that bad of shape. It needed to be flushed a little and a patch here and there, but other than that, he felt it well enough to fly. He had no intentions of flying out just yet, but the possibility and the feeling of it gave him a sense of security.

Yoda came out to the banks to watch, worried about his restless night and if Luke would finish his training before he was ready. Yoda's meditation was cloudy, but he felt a darkness in Luke's future, and a sense of uncertainty that distressed him. Obi-Wan appeared and his ghostly presence stood next to Yoda and watched as Luke worked on his ship.

“It doesn't mean he's leaving,” Obi-Wan tried to soothe the Jedi master.

Yoda sighed, “Leave he will. Fool's errand. Ready he will not be.”

Qui-Gon appeared, “You put too much stake in the boy. So much is on his shoulders. Trust in the Force. Trust in Luke, too. He will feel what is right and when.”

“You've been contacting him again haven't you?” Obi-Wan noted quietly, knowing that Luke could not hear.

Qui-Gon paused, “No, but I've been watching. An interesting development has occurred. I'm wondering how it will play out.”

Yoda closed his eyes, “Yes, seen it I have. Much fear I do.”

“Have patience, my friend,” Qui-Gon soothed.

“Yes, what if turned by the darkside she is? No?” Yoda murmured.

“It is Luke's fate I fear,” Obi-Wan stated.

“Hmmmmph,” Yoda said with a grunt.

Luke started the engines with Artoo in the back, and everything sounded good. “What does it say on your end, Artoo?”

Artoo beeped.

Luke jumped down and walked to Yoda with a big smile, “Ready you are to leave?”

“Oh no, but it feels good to know that I could. I can't explain it, really,” Luke answered. “And it felt good working on her. Got my mind off whatever that was last night in my sleep.”

“Hmmmph,” Yoda answered.

Luke stretched out a bit and rubbed his eyes. “I wouldn't mind a nap though. I hope you don't mind my not tending to the garden right now. I promise I will after I get some rest. I'd like to clean up first.”

Yoda watched as Luke went to the spring to get a drink then wash up a bit. Yoda went out to the garden to put up a few of the weeds himself, trying to lay the guilt onto Luke, but Luke just ran past him with a smile. At least he was able to get that image out of his head, but Yoda was troubled. Something was off and he didn't think Luke would stay much longer. He thought of sabotaging the ship, but knew that would be wrong. Obi-Wan sensed Yoda's worry.

“We must let Luke work this out on his own,” Obi-Wan said softly.

“Yes, yes. I'm troubled not for Luke. Fear for Leia I do,” Yoda spoke quietly.

“So, what Luke spoke of may be true?” Obi-Wan asked.

Yoda closed his eyes, “No, for I fear that comes from another. Trap it may be.”

Qui-Gon intercepted, “We need not worry for Leia, for I feel she is doing what you could not.”

“Oh, Qui-Gon, he doesn't?” Obi-Wan looked down shaking his head.

Yoda shut his eyes and grew quiet. After some time he opened them again, “Fear for her I do.”

In the hut, Luke shut his eyes and relaxed into meditation before retiring to sleep. He reached out into the Force to help him center himself after the relaxation of working on the ship. He needed to be reassured that his friends were alright, and since he felt some connection to Leia, he wondered if he might be able to reach her. Instead he had images enter his mind. His friends being imprisoned in the Emperor's palace and in terror. Chewie was being tortured, Han was screaming and Leia calling out for his help. He came out of meditation, knowing it wasn't an actual connection to Leia at all, but he couldn't get them out of his mind. He fixed a bowl of root leaf and sat trying to calm down. The images weren't clear at all and he was unsure of them. How was he to be sure though? Would Yoda dismiss him again. He felt so sleepy that he laid down and rested, as he drifted into sleep he tried to reach out to Leia again. She felt strong and calm and it gave him some relief. What were those images though and what did they mean?

Uninhabited moon, Elrood system – Millennium Falcon.

The moon was an abandoned mining planet devoid of all it's resources.

Darth Vader points at Chewbacca. “The Wookiee will come with me. After you depart the ship, I will allow him to return.” Looking towards Chewie he says, “You will control yourself. It is only my assurance that the Princess will leave with me.”

Darth Vader actually permitted Leia the time to give Han the codes and the information she had gotten from Vader to deliver to the Alliance, and in private. It confused her, but she imagine it was his small way of letting her know that she could trust him to some extent, or some kind of code of honor. It honestly made no sense, but she just hoped he wouldn't hurt Chewie, or that Chewie wouldn't do anything stupid. He seemed to understand, and she insisted that the ship could not leave without him.

“Are you sure about this. I hate leaving you with that...him,” Han said grabbing her arm.

“I'm sure, and I'll be back. I promise. He gave his word, and I trust this information is valid,” Leia said handing over the datapad with the books they had been reading together. She put the information in a file there that only Han could access.

“Where is he taking you? I don't like not knowing,” Han said in frustration.

“I don't know. Most likely his personal fortress. Make sure you take a stop over somewhere and check for scanners. Then stop and do it again. We can't be too careful,” Leia warned.

“Don't worry, I will. I don't even trust this datapad now. Him with all his,” he moved his fingers around. “You know.”

“I do know. I'll be alright. Him I can handle. I know I can and he needs me. I've been been playing a mental version of Sabaac with him, and I've held my most valuable cards. I'll play them if I have to,” Leia said leaning into his chest. “It's important you take this to Mon and High Command.”

“What if it's a trap?” Han asked holding her close to him.

“The Emperor is planning a trap, he told me. This is other information. It shows where it is. It's not even half way built, but priority has been placed on it being operational,” Leia said trying to explain it all.

“After that, root leaf. You know. He will know. He has stated that I will be permitted to leave at some point, though if that really happens, I don't know. That's where I'll be, or at least I'll be able to get word there,” Leia gulped.

Han shook his head.

They held each other quietly for a few moments then he moved down to kiss her. “I love you,” he barely choked out squeezing her tightly.

“I know you do,” she answered.

They walked together down the ramp and Chewie bounded back up, tussling Leia on the head. Threepio followed down.

“I do hope I may be able to get an oil bath wherever it is that we are going,” Threepio said softly. “This place seems dreadful.”

“We won't be staying here, Threepio,” Leia answered.

“Oh thank goodness,” Threepio exclaimed.

“Princess, I don't believe that Threepio will find our destination any more appealing. However, I will make sure that you receive an oil bath on the ship before we arrive.”

“Is that an attempt at a joke?” Leia stood staring at the Sith Lord.

“No.” Darth Vader said simply. “I am only concerned for the droid's welfare.”

Leia snickered. Han looked confused.

“Leave us, Captain Solo,” Darth Vader demanded.

With Leia still holding his hand tightly, Han moved towards the ramp looking back and then moved back down and picked Leia up and kissed her again.

“Now, Captain Solo. Before I alter the conditions,” Darth Vader insisted.

Han walked backwards up the ramp as Leia looked into his eyes, and as he closed the ramp she gasped a moment. The ship flew away with Leia, Threepio and Darth Vader standing along on the dark moon.

Leia had brought just a small number of things with her. A couple of changes of clothes and some toiletries. It was quiet for a few moments. Then she spoke, “Thank you for letting them go.”

“I kept my word, Princess, and I'll expect you to keep yours. Is that clear!” Darth Vader stated.

Leia shook her head.

After the Falcon hit hyperspace, Vader hailed Admiral Piett. They would wait for the Executor to arrive in orbit and a shuttle would come to take them aboard. Leia was to be covered as if she were a personal prisoner, and she had gotten a cloth bag from the Falcon to use for that purpose. Darth Vader was concerned that the Princess would be recognized, and while on the Executor, she was to be treated as an unidentified prisoner. As the Executor came into orbit, she placed the bag on her head and said, “I'll be quiet, but I can't control Threepio. He has a tendency to not shut up.”

Darth Vader opened something in the back of the droid using the Force, and Threepio found himself incapable of speaking. He let out a silent, “Oh no.”

Coruscant.

Sergeant Kreel was reveling in being called before the Emperor. He was sure he remembered him from that time he had met him not so long ago, and thought that perhaps he had made quite the impression on him. Maybe he would even get a special award. Scar Squadron had a great victory in obliterating a small rebel outpost in the Horax system and he was sure he was going to get special recognition for it. When he was called before the Emperor, he was a bit nervous, but did his best to keep it together.

“Let us see here, you are Agent 5241?” the Emperor said after one of the Emperor's guards whispered in his ear.

“Yes, sir. I mean I am, sir. It's a great honor to serve you,” Kreel answered kneeling before his Emperor.

“Am I to understand that you have served Lord Vader for some time and that you have skills in using a lightsaber?” the Emperor asked putting his fingers together as he spoke.

Kreel cleared his throat, “I'd like to think I do.”

“Yes, Yes. And you are the Sergeant in charge of Scar Squadron. These details do not concern me. I have need of you. First of all, do you have my loyalty?” the Emperor demanded.

Still kneeling, Kreel spoke, “Sir, my loyalty is to the Empire and the Emperor for which is serves.”

“Good, good. I'm expecting someone to come here to me. I'll need you to be ready. You will stay here with me until he arrives. I understand as well that you have met before? A young so called Jedi by the name of Skywalker,” the Emperor informed him.

“Oh yes, sir. I am well aware of him,” Kreel answered with a hint of anger.

“I wish to make him my apprentice. I will have need of you to help with his training. Please prepare yourself. young Skywalker will be in need of a sparing partner,” the Emperor said menacingly.

“Do you believe that wise, sir? I've found him to be quite difficult,” Kreel answered.

“Oh, I'm sure he will come around. Do not fail me,” the Emperor said putting his fingers together and revealing a very wide grin.

Chapter Text

The Executor

The shuttle arrived to pick up Darth Vader, his prisoner and the droid shortly after the departure of the Millennium Falcon via Vader's beacon. He had requested minimal security, only a pilot for the shuttle, and only Piett to meet the shuttle. Darth Vader disembarked the shuttle with the hooded and bound princess, and the droid.

“Admiral Piett. I require your obsolute discretion on this matter. This prisoner will be provided with secluded quarters and a guard. The prisoner is not to harmed in any way. I leave it in your hands. The chamber will only be entered by me! Do you understand!” Darth Vader said pointing to the admiral for emphasis.

“Yes, Lord Vader. What of the droid?” Piett inquired.

“The droid may remain with the prisoner. You will return to Mustafar,” Darth Vader stated.

Piett sent a command for open quarters and a guard, and he escorted Leia by the arm to her room. The trip would not be long, and Vader suggested she keep the hood on during the entire time aboard ship. When Piett placed her in her room, she could not tell if it was a prison cell or just regular quarters, she was only seated in a simple chair, and she was left along with Threepio, who still was unable to speak. It wasn't long though before Darth Vader arrived to check on the accommodations and arrange for Threepio's oil bath.

“I did say I would make sure the droid received an oil bath, and I'm pleased that you have remained cooperative during your confinement. We should arrive in one hour. I will return with the droid before we depart the ship,” Darth Vader informed him.

“I would prefer he stay where I am. He may have classified information...” Leia pleaded.

Darth Vader paused, “Princess, it will only be an oil bath. You have my word.”

Leia nodded.

“Good. It would be good for you to remember that even though I no longer can hold your friends against you, you are now in my custody. I can alter our deal. It will be much better for you if you cooperate,” Darth Vader warned.

Darth Vader left with Threepio with Leia feeling all alone. She closed her eyes and reached out into the Force. She was afraid to attempt attachment to Luke or Yoda, so she just tried to feel the beings on the ship. She could feel laughter, and joy, and sadness, and those who were just tired. The ship was so large, that there were many on it, much like Home One or many of the ships in the Rebel Fleet. She could feel the Admiral, who she remembered had walked with her to the room where she was now sitting. She felt from him a sense of uncertainty, fear and responsibility. It was much like that as if he were Mon Mothma. The darkness she felt she knew was Vader, but it seemed warmer than before. Was he feeling sentimental about Threepio for some reason? Did something Leia do change him in some way? And she felt that he meant to honor their agreement. How could this be the same person who tortured her on the Death Star? Oh, he still seemed menacing and terrible, but yet he seemed less so. She still thought she made some kind of horrible deal with evil, and it was hard to get beyond that. She knew though that she would either get away, or kill him trying to. She felt that he seemed to honestly want to destroy the Emperor, and if that could be accomplished, the galaxy would be better for it, even if it meant sacrificing her own life.

Threepio was brought back to the room, and only Vader joined him.

“He was not harmed in anyway. I will restore his voice upon our destination,” Darth Vader informed her before she heard him leave.

She could hear Threepio creaking a little, and trying to talk. It was just clicks and almost echos of what he would be saying, but with the bag on her head, she couldn't see well, just the shadow of him moving about the room. She could hear the Admiral talking to the guard outside the door, and the guard being dismissed. The door opened again, and she could hear footsteps.

“I am to escort you to Lord Vader's shuttle with the droid. I expect you to stay quiet,” the Admiral insisted.

Leia nodded her head, and they walked in the same direction from which they came. She was helped onto the shuttle by the admiral and strapped in, as was Threepio. A few moments later, Darth Vader boarded.

“You may remove your hood. I will be piloting the ship myself. I trust that you will remember our agreement,” Darth Vader said before strapping into his seat.

She found herself seated in the cockpit with Vader and Threepio. As they approached the planet, she saw darkness, lava, and fire. Leia wondered if Darth Vader was so powerful and important, why would he build his fortress in such a horrible place? Surely he could have had any other place in the galaxy as his home?

Rebel Fleet – Home One

The Millennium Falcon landed directly into the hanger of Home One per the instructions of Corona Squadron who had escorted them in as they reached the nearby space. Han had no need to use Leia's codes, and they had no reason to believe she wasn't on board, so there was no fanfare or welcome committee. Han did hail for General Cracken though upon arrival after which, the deck officer took him directly to him while they unloaded the cargo.

When he went into Cracken's office, an assistant was there doing some work as well as another crew member going over some details.

“How did the mission go, Solo?” Cracken asked as he was dealing with the other issues.

Han cleared his throat and then spoke, “General, I need to speak with you privately.”

“You wish to speak with me privately?” Cracken suddenly had a grave look on his face.

“Elvi, Blodma, leave us,” General Cracken ordered.

After they left, and waited a few moments, General Cracken spoke, “What happened? Where is the Princess?”

“She's gone into hiding. I need to give you details about the mission. It went different than planned,” Solo explained.

“Different? How? Did you get the medical supplies? The data from Almania?” Cracken demanded.

“Ah, the medical supplies, they are unloading them now. Didn't make it to Almania,” He patted his vest then pulled something square out of it, “I have this. We found an Imperial source who gave us this information. She sent me to bring it to you.”

Cracken could tell that Han Solo didn't seem himself, and it worried him. The Princess went into hiding? And they got other information?

“Let me see what's on it first. It might not be worth anything,” Cracken declared.

“Oh trust me, it's worth something,” Han insisted with a bit of a snide attitude.

“Solo, you aren't even an official member of the Alliance, and you know what is on this data?” Cracken questioned him.

“I took it off of something else and put it on that! Of course I do. Now General Cracken? How long have I been working for all of you? You should know by now, I'm kind of on your side,” Han assured him.

“Maybe, let's see it,” Cracken said taking the data and putting it the projector. “Oh this can't be real! And it's where!”

“Trust me, it's real. The source was pretty well connected,” Han answered.

“But you can't tell me who it is,” Cracken answered.

“Nope, sure can't,” Han answered tugging at the neck of his shirt.

Cracken called into his comm. “Set me up with Mon Mothma now! I don't care what she is doing! I'll be waiting in the conference room. Get Dodonna, Ackbar, Madine and Draven in there as well, and Rieekan if he is around.”

“I take it that the information was worth it?” Han asked quietly.

“Oh, this is good, but good isn't really the word for it. How did you get this?” Cracken asked in awe of the data before him.

Han just stood there and couldn't think of anything to say. “I'll be on the Falcon, if you need anything.”

“No, come with me. We might need you,” Cracken requested.

Elsewhere on the ship in Mon's private quarters.

“Lando, that was absolutely amazing. Wherever did you learn how to do that?” Mon smiled flushed and wrapped in her sheet.

“I've had great teachers, and lots and lots of practice. I'm glad you enjoyed it. You have a few interesting moves yourself,” Lando said caressing her naked thighs and giving her a gentle pat on the ass.

“I suppose I should see who that is? That buzz usually means something relatively important,” Mon said biting the bottom of her lip as she got up and allowed the sheet to fall to the floor.

“If it's not the alarms, it can't be that important right? I suppose I should get back to the bridge. Did I tell you that I often let other people handle my small stuff on Cloud City, and I just fixed the mistakes. Here, I seem to be doing a lot of the small stuff with no mistakes,” Lando stated getting his clothes back on.

“Well, I'm certainly glad to have you here, Calrissian.” She looked down at the message. “Oh, it does look like I'm needed in the conference room again,” Mon fretted and then put her hand under Lando's chin to lift it as she kissed him.

“It happens. Next time you need a little break, just call me?” Lando smiled.

Mon replied, “Oh I most certainly will, Calrissian.”

In the conference room, Mon arrived late, with everyone else looking at the holos appearing before them and Han Solo explaining some of the data that wasn't included.

“Captain Solo is here?” Mon asked fixing a strap on her gown hoping no one would notice.

“Mon, Captain Solo has brought to us some information of the greatest importance,” Admiral Ackbar spoke gruffly. “He says it comes from a confidential Imperial source who has high clearance.”

“Yet, he can't tell us this source? And where is Princess Leia?” Mon asked in a condescending tone.

“Ma'am, she's in hiding like you said you wanted! No, I can't tell you who she got this from! It's legit, just trust me! I'm really tired of having to explain the how and why. This is important, and you can't just be glad I brought it to you. I really don't understand you people!” Han said frustrated pacing and waving his hands.

“I'm sorry Captain Solo, you can debrief me later. What exactly am I looking at?” Mon asked looking at the half completed Death Star, which she was aware of and the map of the surrounding area.

“It shows the location and some of the blue prints of what is yet to be completed and what is already completed. It has a great weakness in the fact that it's still a work in progress,” Cracken points out.

“We would never think to look there, because there really isn't much there,” Madine said looking at the map.

“And there's a trajectory of the inspections including those conducted by the Emperor, Darth Vader and others,” Ackbar pointed out.

“Astonishing. I can't believe we have this!” Mon Mothma stood in wonder.

Han stood there with a less than thrilled look on his face. While those of High Command were congratulating themselves on their find, he couldn't do anything but worry how Leia was doing in the hands of that horrible monster who just happened to be her biological father. The situation was also still dire, and High Command would soon realize that after the initial shock of getting such a win in the intel department. The excitement would soon wear off after they realized what exactly was displayed before them.

“I'd like to get back to my ship, if you don't mind,” Han finally said as the big wigs all stood there now pretty much ignoring him. “You're welcome for the data.”

“Certainly, Solo,” Cracken patted him on the back. “Thanks for bringing this to us. I'm sure there is something you need to take care of and we won't keep you any longer.”

“Right, so, I'll just be on my ship.” He backed out of the room and headed back towards the Falcon.

In one of the corridors, he ran into Lando. “Han! Wait! So glad to have ran into you!”

Han forced a smile and shook and patted his friend, “Lando, how are you adjusting to life here? I see they let you run around loose now? Are you sure that's a great idea?” Han almost laughed.

“I'm doing quite well, actually. Ackbar has me helping him and it seems I have quite the knack for it. Made quite a few friends. It's not Cloud City, but it's not bad here,” Lando shared smiling.

“Well, I'm glad. Say, why don't you come join me at the Falcon? Chewie's there, and we have a few things on board that aren't rations,” Han asked.

“Sounds great, I'd love to,” Lando said putting his arm around his friend and walked with him back to the hanger.

//

Dagobah

While Luke was digging tubers, he sensed something. He stood straight and tried to listen. Yoda, noticing that Luke had paused his work, lifted his own head trying to find what had distracted him. Luke took off running, Artoo followed, then Yoda hobbled along in the same direction. Luke kept stopping and listening. He closed his eyes and paused a moment then moved direction, Artoo following diligently. He came up to a tree covered in vines, Yoda still slowly following. A small lizard was tangled, silently screaming for help. Luke worked on untangling the vines to free the lizard, but it was tougher than it looked so he pulled out a knife he had on him and cut the vines away. Yoda stopped and looked up at Luke trying to free the helpless creature. The light was beaming from him, his intention of freeing the poor creature warmed his heart. Luke took the lizard in his hand and held it out to show Yoda, and the lizard seemed almost grateful. He took out a small bit of ration bar he has in his pocket and put it in his hand where the lizard sat, and the lizard ate it. Luke pet his head and it even sounded like a purr. Luke gently put the lizard down on the ground, and watched it as it ran away.

“I could feel it's screaming. I couldn't just get it out of my mind,” Luke said looking at Yoda standing below him.

“Yes, yes.” Yoda shook his head.

“I've had another vision. It was Leia trapped by the Emperor and tortured,” Luke explained. “I can't let it go.”

Yoda closed his eyes. “Hmmmph. Cloudy it is. Let it go you should.”

“But she's my friend! I can't let her die!” Luke cried out.

“You don't know that, Luke,” Obi-Wan insisted, manifesting suddenly.

Luke plopped onto the ground and rubbed Artoo's dome. “What if the Emperor has her? What if she's in trouble! I have to know!”

“More training you need, ready to face Emperor you are not. Ready to face Vader you are not!” Yoda spoke out loudly pounding his gimer stick.

“I need to know!” Luke cried out.

“Obi-Wan, tell him,” Qui-Gon said as his ghostly presence moved next to Obi-Wan's.

“It would be too much of a burden,” Obi-Wan replied to his Master.

“Too much of a burden? Do you know how many times Leia, Han or Chewie have come to my aid? What if they are in trouble? I can't get it out of my head. I need to go. I'm sorry, Yoda, Ben. I know I'm letting you down, but I'll be back,” Luke said pacing on the path.

“That comment was not a reply to you, Luke,” Obi-Wan answered.

“Your master then, Ben? I understand. I hope you understand that I need to make sure they are alright,” Luke said leaning his head on a tree.

“Tell him!” Qui-Gon pleaded.

Yoda spoke, “Luke, leave you may, but endanger of falling to the darkside you will be. As Obi-Wan's apprentice was.”

 

“Vader,” Luke nodded.

“Vader does have Leia, Obi-Wan. I don't sense her being in danger,” Qui-Gon informed Obi-Wan.

“Talk of this later we will,” Obi-Wan answered very annoyed at Qui-Gon.

“Ben, I have to go. Just let me go, I'll return and finish my training. I promise,” Luke answered.

“Troubled you are, but ready you are not. Hmmmph. You must not go,” Yoda insisted.

“I need to ease my mind. I won't be much use to you unless I know,” Luke answered.

Luke ran with Artoo to Yoda's hut where he started to gather his things. He turned on his new lightsaber and waved it around a bit, then cut a branch just to test it. He put it in the bag and started cleaning up.

“Luke! Luke! Wait! Think some more you should. A bit more you should stay and feel then if you should go!” Yoda pleaded.

“I feel this is right,” Luke answered.

Yoda shook his head as Luke packed his things. Soon he would ready his ship and soon he would leave. He would not finish his training. This disappointed Yoda greatly, however, he was not surprised in the least.

Mustafar

When they had arrived by shuttle to Mustafar, Vader insisted that Leia return the hood to her head, as he was not the only one who lived here at his fortress. While he had little concern for the loyalty of those who served him, he could not be so sure as to their loyalty to him over the Emperor, nor their feelings on the Princess from Alderaan if they had recognized her. Leia reluctantly placed the hood back on her head as they departed the shuttle, Threepio trailing behind her. They were greeted by a dark figure she could barely make out who met them at the shuttle and sounded as if he were older and frail, but she couldn't be sure. He took her arm and guided her though. As they went into the facility, she could sense the darkness and the heat from the lava, but as they moved deeper into the building, they came to a door which opened and Vader directed her through.

“You may remove your hood,” Vader commanded.

The room was bright and actually nice. It appeared to be some kind of well laid out apartment with a kitchen and a sitting room, and doors to other rooms connected. The old man was frail and in a hood, and he could see her, but said nothing, and smiled gently at her.

“You were not the guest I had intended to house in this place, however, I do hope that you find the facilities to your liking. Only Vaneé will know your face. He will provide for you anything that you need. You only need to ask. A mask will be made for you, but until that time, you will only be allowed to stay in your rooms. Is that clear! It is for your safety as well as the success of the plan,” Vader demanded.

“I understand. I'm actually quite surprised. It was not what I expected at all,” Leia noted.

“You are displeased!” Vader said clutching his fist.

“No, I expected a dank cell, but this will do, thank you,” Leia answered trying to make the best of the situation.

“Very well. Vaneé will measure you for a mask and your clothing, and we will continue from there,” Darth Vader stated leaving the room, his long cape floating behind him.

“It's nice to have something bright in this place,” Vaneé stated simply as he went to work with a device in his hand measuring her.

“Is this room the only bright place in the whole fortress?” Leia snapped.

“No, you mistake me. We have lighted rooms here and there here at the palace. And others here as well. I speak of you my dear. You are very bright with the light,” Vaneé quipped gently.

Leia stood there not knowing his meaning.

“I do not know what the master has planned for you, but he hasn't treated any of his other guests as he has done for you, if that gives you some comfort. For he must have some special use for you. We need to call you something. For when you meet the others. Perhaps you would wish to choose your own name?” Vaneé asked.

Meet the others? Who was here and what exactly did Vader have planned for her?

“Zia, you may call me Zia,” Leia answered.

Vaneé nodded, “Zia it will be. I must get to my duty to the master, but you need only to send a message if you are in any need. I will return in a few hours. The rooms are yours to do as you please, but you must stay here.”

Leia nodded.

She looked around the rooms. There wasn't any communication devices of any kind, save for the button to hail, Vaneé, but there were books and music to play. Threepio seemed pleased with the room, but he was unaware of any possible danger that there could be here, and she was glad for his company. She opened the cabinets of the kitchen and there were various healthy foods available. Either Vader wanted her to be happy, or he was planning to poison her. She opened another cabinet and she gasped. It was three bottles of Toniray, a wine that had come only from her home world. She didn't know if she should be pleased or angry. Temptation got her so she opened a bottle. Memories came flooding back as she kicked back and relaxed with the glass of wine. She thought of smell of those dinner parties her parents would throw at the palace, and of the beautiful landscapes and of everything that had been lost. Then she thought of what she still had, and how it had been taken away from her, Han as he left her with Vader, and Chewie and Luke wherever he was, and General Rieekan, and Mon and the rest of High Command. If she ever left here again, she was taking those other two bottles with her. She fell asleep there on the couch with the empty bottle sitting on the table. She woke when the door opened again and Vaneé arrived with her clothes and the mask.

The mask was beautiful, gold cloth with black around it. And there was a hood for her to wear around her head. The uniforms were practical. Nothing like Imperial uniforms, but they too were black and not unlike those exercise costumes she wore when she had self defense training when she was younger. They were made for ease of movement. She excused herself and went to dress in the bedroom and when she came out, Vader was waiting.

“Vaneé has informed me that you will go by the name Zia. Zia, follow me,” Darth Vader ordered.

Leia walked the dark halls of the fortress following Vader silently. When they reached a door, it was opened to reveal a large room with three people in black training. She knew right away what and who they were.

“Inquisitors!” Leia spoke out loud.

“And you will train with them.” Vader floated an object towards her and she took it. She recognized it right away. It had once been Luke's lightsaber. “You will use this,” He commanded as he left and said nothing else, leaving her with the three Inquistors.

“We train this little thing?” The tall menacing man in gray snapped.

She stared at him and looked around the room. She saw a large stick leaning against the wall and she moved it up with the Force and hit him across the head with it.

“This little thing, as you say, is nothing to be trifled with. I expect you to remember that,” she stood defiantly staring up at him. The other two, one a male and the other female just gritted their teeth.

“Right, so Lord Vader has instructed us to teach you how to use a lightsaber,” the female, who was also in black as she was, stated. “I just hope you don't hurt youself.”

“Or that I hurt you,” Leia snapped.

They laughed. “This one has a sharp tongue. Let's see if you survive.”

Leia lit the lightsaber and the smaller of the two men lit his. He started coming after her and she blocked every attempt at swiping her.

“Eight, remember, we aren't supposed to injure her,” the female said rolling her eyes.

“I wasn't told not to injure you,” Leia spoke starting a few offensive moves.

“You've held one of these before?” the tall one said watching.

“Only out of necessity,” Leia stated. “But really how hard can it be,” she said as she disarmed the shorter man with the flick of the wrist knocking his blade out of his hands.

She turned hers off and stood there, looking at the three of them. They took a good look at her. The one she disarmed picked his lightsaber back up and turned it back on and started to run towards her. She reached out, stopped him and threw him to the floor.

“Really now? Is this the best that Lord Vader could do?” Leia said a bit disappointed.

“Right. We'll just show you some better control,”the female they referred to as Nine stated.

Eight and Nine showed Leia a few moves and techniques and a few things not to do. The tall one stood next to Leia while they watched, but when he thought she'd least expect it, he went to grab for her. Leia's instincts clicked in and she was able to defend herself the old fashioned way and physically knocked him to the ground.

“It's a good thing we've been ordered not to injure you,” he said as he started to stand up.

“It's a good thing I didn't want to kill you,” she answered.

Vaneé arrived to take her back to her room, but instead, decided to make a side trip. He led her to another corridor to a lighted room with a bacta tank. Inside was what appeared to be something human, but not quite all there. She realized what exactly it was she was looking at. She gasped. He looked so vulnerable and helpless in this state.

“I sent the guards away. I wanted you to see,” Vaneé stated.

“Why?” she asked.

“He's quite magnificent? Don't you think?” Vaneé said almost with wonder.

“I'm not sure magnificent is the word,” she said with a bit of sass.

She couldn't help staring at it. This was Vader without the suit. He didn't seem so hard to take down. Was Vaneé inviting her to do the job herself, or did he just trust her with this? She didn't know. Something in her felt a deep sense of sorrow and she didn't know why. He pressed a comm, she assumed to reinstate the guards to the room, and walked her back to her rooms. After he entered the room with her, he nodded and spoke, “I trust you will keep what you have seen in Lord Vader's chamber to yourself. He requested you be brought there. Why, I do not know, but it seemed right for some reason. There is one more thing. Open your mouth.”

“Open my mouth?” Leia asked confused.

“Yes, and bite down. It's only a test,” Vaneé said soothingly.

Leia complied. Vaneé placed a hard strip there, and after she opened again, he took it out. She thought at least it wasn't a needle or an injection of some kind.

“Thank you. That is all. Have a good night, child,” Vaneé said softly as he left the room.

Leia didn't know what 'test' was being performed, but she wondered if it had something to do with those tests the Emperor did on Force sensitive children. She thought that was a blood test though. There was no blood taken. She tried to reach for answers, but none came to her.

Dagobah

Luke was in his flight suit, with Artoo being hoisted into the back of his x-wing. Yoda and Obi-Wan were close.

“I wish you would reconsider, Luke. This is madness!” Obi-Wan pleaded.

“Tempted by the darkside you will be!” Yoda warned.

“I have to go! They are my friends, and I won't be able to focus on my training if I don't know!” Luke cried out getting the x-wing ready.

“You are making a huge mistake!” Obi-Wan warned, “We won't be able to help you if you encounter Vader.”

“Listen to Obi-Wan you will. Do not underestimate the power of the Emperor!” Yoda pleaded.

Luke was frantic. He held his hands on his head and was shaking it. “I need to do this. Trust me,” Luke cried out.

“Hmmmph, no use it is,” Yoda grunted.

“Tell him, Obi-Wan!” Qui-Gon insisted.

“Go if you must, but if consumed by the darkside forever will you be,” Yoda said as if it were a threat.

“I'll return, I promise. Artoo, power up the converters,” Luke called out.

“That boy is our only hope,” Obi-Wan said shaking his head.

“There is another,” Yoda tried to soothe him.

“But he has her,” Obi-Wan said in frustration.

“Or she has him,” Qui-Gon stated.

“So optimistic, Qui-Gon, for darkside I fear for that one as well,” Yoda argued.

“She is seeing his vulnerabilities and learning on her own,” Qui-Gon shared.

“But from Inquisitors! They kill the Jedi!” Obi-Wan shouted.

“Anakin is still there, I know it,” Qui-Gon answered.

“Hmmmph,” Yoda grunted.

“That's what Padmé thought on her death bed. I just don't believe it will ever be possible,” Obi-Wan sighed.

//

Coruscant

The Emperor laughed. “He is coming!”

The guards remained silent. Sergeant Krell stood and nodded. “I will be ready, Your Excellency.”

“See that you are! Everything is falling into place. Just as I foresaw it,” the Emperor grinned widely.

//

Luke's x-wing hyperspace

Luke tried sleeping on his way to Coruscant. His visions were leading him there. Artoo let out a beep to give him some comfort. Luke reached out into the Force, but all he could feel was pain and darkness. It worried him. Just what was ahead? Let it go? Not if Leia was in trouble! Artoo wondered why he didn't just contact the Rebel Alliance. Luke didn't even know how to contact them at this point. They really could be anywhere. Something was pulling him to Coruscant that was all he knew. He just couldn't resist the pull.

Chapter Text

Uninhabited Jungle Planet

It was raining, but at least the bugs weren't coming down on him. Luke wished that they hadn't taken that shuttle apart so badly. He could try to fix it to make it spaceworthy, but he knew the other ship would be ready to go and had landed on Coruscant before without any problems. He could make a manifest with similar techs and even end up in the same spaceport without suspicion. He cut the path with his lightsaber so he and Artoo could get through, and made camp. When he woke up, the rain had stopped, the vines grew in some where he had already cut and the bugs were back. He took a cloth out of his backpack and fashioned it in such a way to keep them off his face and head as he cut through the rest of the way to the ship. He got inside and collapsed, Artoo rolling in next to him. Luke was starting to have doubts.

“Did I do the right thing? Now, I'm not even sure she's really there?” Luke said to the droid.

Artoo beeped.

Luke just had a feeling, a sense of dread, and he couldn't figure it out. Maybe he should not have left his training with Yoda. Those images, those horrible images. His friends had become his family since leaving Tatooine, and he needed to know they were alright. He thought he should check the ship before taking off, and he would have one more sleep before going into space. He sat and meditated trying first to communicate to Yoda, but then to reach out to see if he could find Leia. It was all so cloudy and unsure. Oh, why was he having so many conflicted thoughts! He was grateful for a more comfortable bed and not having to sleep under threat of rain or huge insects at least here on the ship. The pull to go to Coruscant was heavy, but doubt was also sinking in heavily. The more he doubted though, things would happen to make it more imperative that he go. He had the same dream again, that the Emperor was holding Leia hostage. That Han and Chewie were being tortured, but he also felt pain. His own pain. He woke up screaming, and Artoo started beeping. He rubbed Artoo's dome and went back to sleep. He was sure when he got to Coruscant, that he would know if Leia was actually there or not when he got there by trying to feel for her presence. It was strange that he could always know if she was near and that connection they had. Like when he could feel that she had been on Dagobah just from the blankets he laid on, that she had been there as well. Why was it that she chose Han over him though? He knew she felt that same connection as well, and Luke knew that had to mean that they had a shared destiny. Luke even knew Leia loved him, it just wasn't the way he thought it was or wanted it to be. Why couldn't he let that part go? Did it really matter? If she wasn't there on Coruscant, then he would try to contact the Alliance in some other way. There was that connection he and Chewie made in the city, perhaps they would know how to contact the Rebel Fleet? He needed to know one way or another, he just had to or he could not rest.

//

Mustafar

“You're technique is improving. You just need to focus your anger more in the direction of the blade.” Nine said pacing back and forth.

The pacing was very annoying, but Leia kept her cool. Her anger? She did her best not to feel anything in this place. Not anger, not fear, not pain, or anything. And she certainly didn't want to comply with whatever this person in front of her suggested. She really didn't want to learn the lightsaber in the first place, but Vader had insisted. He never explained why. She turned the blade on again and spared with the other woman. She wondered who she had been and if she had been taken as a child and raised for this, in the way the Jedi had. Or if she was someone like her who had lost everything. She had no sympathy though for her. She could feel that she wanted to kill her, saw her as some kind of threat, but Vader had insisted that Leia, known now by the inquisitors as Zia, was not to be harmed, only trained. The lights flickered and the blades clashed. Soon, Vader himself came in and both stopped sparing, with Nine standing at attention.

“You will come with me,” Vader said looking at Leia.

“I don't believe we were quite finished here,” Leia said defiantly.

Nine swirled her arms to stretch them. “He says we're finished, we're finished.”

Darth Vader turned, and Leia rolled her eyes and followed him down the corridor. She hadn't been treated poorly here, these exercises with the lightsaber weren't horrible, and if she had to admit it, she actually enjoyed that aspect of it. When they arrived at another door, Vader opened it and it was another large room similar to the one where they had just left. Vader went into the room and shut the door with Leia following.

“The Emperor will most likely use a technique using Force lightning from his fingers. The best way for you to combat it is by deflecting it with the lightsaber.” Vader spoke.

“Force lightning?” Leia moved her eyes back and forth in disbelief.

“We have no way of testing it here, however, you may test and train by deflecting the light radiating from the sticks,” Vader stated moving towards one that had been set up. He turned it on and static light beamed from it. He moved directly into the beam, stopping and moving it with his hand. Then igniting his lightsaber, deflected it into different directions. He then moved away from the beam and back towards where Leia was standing.

“Now!” Vader demanded.

Leia walked up to the beam, ignited her lightsaber and caught the beam deflecting it and moving it in different directions. She concentrated and took great control of where to deflect it back and ended up deflecting it back to it's source, shutting the whole beam down and destroying the stick.

Vader said nothing and nodded his head, his arms laying across his chest. “Impressive. You learn quickly. Follow me.”

Vader led her back to her quarters and opened the door. “Are you coming in? Or are we finished?” Leia asked looking back at him with a smirk.

Vader stood there a moment and observed her. “No, you may rest. I must leave Mustafar for a short time, but Vaneé will tend to any need you may have.”

Leia nodded then Darth Vader left. Vaneé was not unkind to her, but being on Mustafar was starting to get to her and she was afraid to admit it to herself that it made her a bit lonely. It was strange for her to feel that way. She was used to being alone, she as a rule had few friends as it was, and Threepio was decent company for being a droid. She was used to droid companions and even if Threepio tended to get a bit wound up, fussy and annoying at times, his personality made him seem as if he had real feelings and she was happy he was here with her. She wondered though if Vader had done something to him to make him spy on her, but she hadn't sensed that. And Vader created him? She found that hard to believe. She was curious about the how and why, but she wasn't sure she was curious enough to ask him more about that. She felt the less she knew about Vader, the better.

It was bad enough she was made to see his vulnerabilities in the tank that made him seem more human. It seemed he was trying to hold some power over her by showing her that he actually was a human being, but why she did not know. If he thought she would grow sympathetic towards him, or grow warmer to him, he didn't know her at all. She would never forget how he tortured her, and the atrocities he had done in the name of the Emperor and the Empire. She also still had no qualms about ridding the galaxy of Darth Vader after they successfully rid it of the Emperor. Even if it meant sacrificing her own life.

Leia hoped that Darth Vader also had no idea who she truly was, and she had hoped she had buried that information very deep that he would not discover it. The way Vader acted here in general was a bit odd to her, but she pegged it to his need of her and her own powers. As for her own feelings being here, those weeks she spent with Han had opened something up in her that made it so she was capable of feeling something again and now she had to again shut it down, but this time, she knew he was out there somewhere. It wasn't like when she lost someone before, where she knew they were dead and lost to her forever. It made her long to see him again, and perhaps even think twice about sacrificing herself for the cause and actually live. And she worried about the Rebel Alliance and her other friends. She hoped she truly would see them again, and she knew Vader had a distinct interest in finding Luke. Oh Luke, please be alright. She couldn't think about anything involving Luke for fear of revealing something, but she got the impression that Vader had a hard time reading her anyway. Perhaps whatever shields or power she had kept him out of her head. She hadn't revealed anything long ago when she was held captive by him no matter how much he tried, but then she did not even know the truth of her parentage. And now he was leaving her here. While it was a bit of a relief she would get a break from his menacing presence, it didn't please her. Vader going away just meant that whatever plan he had against the Emperor was just a delay in her leaving this place. She just hoped it wasn't going to be for much longer. She wasn't surprised though that she had no fear of confronting the Emperor, and when she thought about that, she felt a charge of power within her like no other.

The Rebel Fleet-Home One

Lando was given his first assignment off of Home One for the first time by Admiral Ackbar as a trial run and a reward for his excellent work in aiding the Mon Calimari with his burdens of running the fleet. It was overseeing a supply cargo shipment involving a small fleet of ships, and on his own ship he would have a small crew under his command. He would also be responsible for the manifest as well and making the deal. It was an overwhelming and a great responsibility, but Ackbar was confident that Calrissian could handle it. Lando had even officially joined the Rebel Alliance, and he was given the rank of general, which made a few in the lower ranks a bit envious. Lando had just gotten here to the Rebel Alliance and had not moved up the ranks like so many of them had done, and without prior military experience. Ackbar used his life experiences as a model which included running the city of Cloud City as well as his previous more colorful life which included a very tricky pirate battle. They thought it was favoritism, as there was talk of his being quite friendly with Mon Mothma as well, but they really didn't know how intimate it really was.

Before Lando was to embark on this assignment, he waltzed his way down to the hanger to visit his pal, Han, for support and a chance to unwind a bit before taking on this new responsibility.

“Well look at you, General Calrissian! Who would have thought,” Han said as Lando made his way up the ramp.

“And this new suit, I even got a cape to match,” Lando smiled and gave his friend a gentle pat.

“I admit I'm surprised is all,” Han said inviting Lando into the Falcon.

Chewie had been cooking up something special to celebrate Lando's commission. Lando took a seat at the holochess table and Han sat at the engineering chair.

“Smells good, Chewbacca. Han? Why is it that you still only have the rank of captain? I would think that some of the missions you've taken would have raised you up in the ranks. You are even a hero of the Battle of Yavin?” Lando asked with a smug grin as if his general rank was something to rub into the ego of his friend.

“I'm captain only of this ship. You didn't know that? I've never joined the Alliance. Chewie and I are free and clear. We don't take orders from anyone,” Han leaned back grinning putting his hands behind his head.

“Seriously? I really thought you were an official member. I can't imagine they pay you that much, and the risks? Why take those risks if you aren't getting rich off of it. That's not the Han Solo I knew back when,” Lando laughed.

“I dunno. It was a place to hide from Jabba. Now I'm on all these Imperial lists. It's not such a bad deal. I'm heading out again, me and Chewie. We might be back, who knows. I have that freedom see,” Han laughed. “Now you don't”

“Oh, as soon as I can, you know I'm going to get back that sweet deal I had on Bespin. Right now though, this, as you say, isn't such a bad deal. I can resign at any time. I just know if you joined...” Lando started.

Han leaned in and pointed at Lando and laughed,“Now, don't you start. Look, I know I'm valued here, and I put up with a lot from these High Command types. I don't need to take this from you, too.”

Chewie roared.

“Right, Chewie,” Han answered. “I've got something I've gotta take care of anyway. I'll be back. Probably see you whenever you come back from whatever it is they got you doing.”

“I hope so, Han. I would hate to see you've gone. Now that we've just reconnected. I know we've had our ups and downs, but I've always liked you even if you stole my ship,” Lando laughed.

“Now, don't you start with that!” Han laughed back.

“So where you headed?” Lando asked.

“I can't say.” Han answered.

“Classified? Alliance business?” Lando answered.

“Classified yeah, to you and everyone else, but not Alliance business. Not really,” Han answered leaning back and looking serious.

Lando nodded his head, “Has to do with Leia I imagine. It frustrates Mon that she doesn't know where she is.”

“Oh, so it's Mon now?” Han asked with knowing grin.

“Only behind closed doors, um, you haven't heard anything have you?” Lando asked tugging his collar.

“So I guessed right! No, just they think that you've been buttering her up with some of your ideas of fleet 'restructuring', but I know you Lando, and I've noticed that Mon Mothma has had a bit more spring in her step. She's been a little less, hmm, how should I put this, less stiff?” Han laughed. “Most of the kids around here think that Mon Mothma is an enigma not capable of such a thing. But she's a warm blooded woman like any other.”

Lando shook his head, “She certainly is. That's not how I got to be general so fast though. It was all Ackbar, and if I were to say so myself, a lot of it was me. I'm pretty proud of the work I've done here with the fleet. Can't seem to charm Draven, though. That man seems to have it out for me.”

“Draven doesn't trust anyone. That's just his style, and I don't blame him. Cracken, now that's one that you might win over if you're lucky. He hated me in the beginning. He probably just finds me tolerable now, but I believe he trusts me. Dodonna, you might never know where you stand with him. Don't worry about it though, in the end, he just wants it done right. Of the rank and file, I would say Rieekan is alright. What I mean is I get on with him very well. He's not got the brass most of the others have though. Not like Ackbar, what I mean is Ackbar is one of the most influential in that group. Not surprised you got on with Ackbar, but Mon Mothma?” Han laughed.

Lando looked seriously at Han, “It's just a physical thing, that's all. She treats me like anyone else outside her quarters. I know it and she knows it. I'm just afraid to flirt with some of the other fine women around the ship now, but she hasn't seemed to be clingy or anything like that. It's just the burden of being...”

“The leader's boy toy?” Han laughed.

Chewie roared with laughter.

“Now, you keep your mouth shut too, Chewbacca,” Lando chastised his Wookiee pal. “I think Ackbar is in the dark, but I'm sure she likes the arrangement. No attachments and all of that.”

“I don't think anyone knows, Lando. If they did they would be out here wagging tongues and taking wagers. Her assistant might, but he would never spill any of her secrets. Of course, I'd never tell.” Han smiled leaning back in his chair.

“It's not like you aren't something similar yourself with the Rebel Alliance's royal symbol mascot,” Lando laughed.

Han got all tense. He stood up and then he got right into Lando's face angrily grabbing the collar of his shirt, “You don't bring her up, you got it?”

“Alright, alright. Sorry,” Lando said as Han let go brushing himself off and straightening his collar. Han sat back down in his chair and swiveled around.

Chewie roared.

“I think I understand,” Lando said straightening up his back.

Chewie put the food on the table, angrily in front of Lando.

“Look, Chewbacca, Han, I didn't mean any disrespect. I only just got here,” Lando pleaded, as he took some of the food onto his plate. “Chewbacca, this sure does smell good. I appreciate you both inviting me.” Lando was trying to change the subject.

“Yeah,” Han said with a muted tone moving up to the table.

Lando was starting to realize some of the what kept Han Solo here of all places. He couldn't believe it, but there it was.

Coruscant

Luke arrived at the spaceport easily without any problems using the same codes. Before departing the jungle planet, he collected some of the fruits he found from the vines to use as a means of cargo, though they were pretty much worth very little as far as trade went. He left Artoo on the ship and then went looking for a buyer for appearances sake rather than anything else. Surprisingly he actually had no trouble finding a buyer for them at the spaceport. He had less of a disguise than the first time he arrived, but there were still a few things on the ship to use such as a hooded robe which he wore as he moved through the city. He didn't feel the presence of Leia after all, so he made his way down to the same area where he and Chewbacca had previously made the connection in regards to that last job they had done when they had been here before. Much to his surprise, there was no one there at all, and the whole building had become a shop of a different sort in what seemed to be a short amount of time. He began to wonder if he just had gotten lost. He made his way to a lift to return to the spaceport again. When he got back up to the level of the spaceport, someone was waiting for him.

“Luke Skywalker, you will come with me,” Sergeant Kreel ordered, motioning for the other troopers to surround him.

Luke drew his lightsaber and started swinging at the stormtroopers. He took a few of them down before one was able to get a shot in on stun, causing Luke to fall to the ground.

“Stupid boy,” Kreel said looking down at him.

When Luke woke up he found himself in a fancy room with only Sergeant Kreel present, and a blaster aimed at Luke.

“Seems we meet in the most interesting of places,” Kreel said kicking Luke to stand up.

Luke brushed himself off and reached for his lightsaber. It was gone.

“Oh, don't worry about it, I have it. I've been ordered to return it to you, too. If you can believe that. You are now a guest of his excellency the Emperor, so I suggest you don't try any funny business. So we are right back to where we first met. I'm to spar with you and your lightsaber as soon as I give it back to you,” Kreel growled.

“You! That gamemaster?” Luke said holding his head as he was coming to from being stunned.

“Oh, you remember me? Scar Squadron as well if you can recall. Don't mess with me boy! I've been told not to harm you, the Emperor needs you,” Kreel said removing his stormtrooper helmet.

“What for? Public execution?” Luke asked naively.

“I just know he wants you alive and he wants you to know how to use a lightsaber,” Kreel sneered.

“Well, I'd like to think I'm capable of using one,” Luke sneered, “Though I'd never be loyal to him.”

“We shall see,” Kreel said lighting his lightsaber. “You will find yours behind you.”

Luke called it to his hand using the Force. “Nice trick,” Kreel noted. “Smart you didn't turn around.”

Luke lit his and started offensive moves towards Kreel. “You'll find I've got quite a few tricks up my sleeve,” Luke said calmly and with a hint of malice.

“We shall see,” Kreel defensively catching Luke's blows. “You've improved since last I saw you.”

Luke said nothing. They battled one another for a while until at one point Kreel pressed a button which caused shocks to Luke's body.

“We're finished here for now. You have an implant. If you try any of your Jedi tricks against me, I need only to press this button and shocks will go through your body. Same system they use for slaves, if you've seen it used before. It shouldn't hurt much, but it can get more painful, trust me. You will stay in your room until I bring you to the Emperor when he calls for you,” Kreel informed him.

Luke was briefly helpless on the floor from the shocks. He tried to fight them with the Force, but it was difficult. When Kreel left, he tried to feel Leia's presence, but it wasn't here, not on Coruscant. He then realized he had made a horrible mistake.

//

Mustafar

The Executor had returned from it's mandatory visit to Kessel where Lord Vader was required to do a mandatory changing positions of a few officers who had neglected more than a few of their duties and had taken advantage of their positions. The last was a bit unpleasant, as when he pleaded his case, he thought he would actually find mercy instead of a humiliating death in front of his fellow officers. Including the one who would take his place. Darth Vader climbed aboard his shuttle and made his way back to his fortress. Upon landing, Vaneé was waiting at the door quietly walking inward with his master.

“I trust there is nothing of note to report,” Vader questioned. “My guest hasn't caused any problems I hope.”

“No, my master. She has been training well, and there have been no injuries to report,” Vaneé answered quietly following his master.

“I'm almost surprised she hasn't cut one her sparing partners in half,” Vader noted. Vaneé almost wondered if that was some strange attempt at a joke, but said nothing.

“I did run that test you wanted with the strip. I can get you the results when you are ready,” Vaneé spoke still following his master.

“You will bring that to me,” Vader demanded as he walked to the princess's room. Vaneé headed in the other direction.

Vader opened the door to Leia's quarters finding her standing there with her hand on her hip. “Don't you ever knock?” Leia scolded him.

“You were aware I was arriving. There was no need, and you should remember that you are my guest,” Vader said pointing at her.

“Oh I remember alright. It's hard to forget,” Leia answered moving towards the lounger and taking a seat. “So what brings you here?”

“I wanted you to know that I have returned. I understand your lessons have gone well. I am pleased,” Darth Vader announced.

“I really don't care,” Leia smirked.

“You have held your end of the bargain and I have held mine. You should remember that,” Darth Vader insisted.

“I'm still here aren't I? And I thought we were doing away with the Emperor? So when can I expect that to happen?” Leia asked staring the Sith lord.

Darth Vader stood there observing her again. She really did not fear him and spoke in a manner that would normally get any Imperial officer killed for insubordination. Her lack of fear of him fascinated him. It was that one way she looked at him though, it brought out something...a trick of some sort.

Leia noticed Vader's silence and she studied it. For some reason the image of the little boy came to her head. Was that boy she saw Vader? She shook her head and tried to concentrate on something else, his mechanical breathing that drove her crazy and reminded her of the time he tortured her for information.

“May I ask you something?” Leia spoke surprised at herself.

Vader came at attention surprised by the request. “You may proceed,” he answered.

“You built Threepio? When, how?” Leia's face scrunched up as if she was disgusted by the notion.

Darth Vader paused. Not what he expected, but of all times to bring that up, just when he was thinking of something... “My previous incarnation did as a boy. For a companion of to his mother,” Darth Vader answered in the third person surprisingly with a calm recollection and a sense of warmth.

Leia was baffled by what she sensed from him and the whole possibility of it, and that it seemed to be the truth. He couldn't have been that old when he had done it. From what she knew he was a child when he left his mother, not very little, but still a young child. And he built a droid from parts, one as advanced and remarkable as Threepio. “The six million languages as well?”

“Yes,” Darth Vader answered, “Enough of this!”

Threepio creaked out of the kitchen hearing his name mentioned, “Surely I do not remember. My earliest memories are being in the service of Captain Antilles.”

“I'll give you that. It is impressive,” Leia answered getting up. “Threepio, go fold clothes in the bedroom please.”

“We will leave for Coruscant soon. I hope you are prepared,” Lord Vader said changing his tone back to his typical demeanor.

Leia nodded. “So soon? Are you sure?”

“A development has caused a change in plans. I will discuss this with you more in-depth later. That is all,” he said as he turned around to leave.

Darth Vader moved towards his meditation chamber where Vaneé was waiting.

“My Lord,” Vaneé stood holding a datapad in his hands.

Darth Vader studied the information on the pad. “Are you sure?”

“In comparison to the other sample you gave me, it would suggest they are siblings,” Vaneé stated. “Since they are of different sexes, we can say with one hundred percent accuracy that they have the same mother. However, they match so closely that it would be an educated guess they possess the same father as well,” Vaneé spoke softly.

Vader clenched his fist.

“Sir, shall I prepare your chamber?” Vaneé asked looking up at Vader with a tilted head.

“Later!” Vader shouted, turning back towards Leia's rooms.

He knew that she knew who she was, yet she said nothing. That image of her when he has paused the holo when watching her deliver a speech to the senate, she reminded him of his mother. She was so much more like him that he realized, but she was also like her mother as well. She had the droid! He opened her door with the Force and there she stood, knowing he was on his way back. Of course that was why she was strong in the Force.

“I didn't expect you back so soon? As to what honor am I to be graced by your presence again?” Leia smirked.

“Come with me!” Darth Vader ordered and stormed out of the room.

Leia, a bit taken aback, followed him as he went towards the gym room where the three inquisitors were practicing. She wasn't even wearing her mask.

“But my face! I thought you didn't want them to know my identity!” She called out following. More curious than anything.

“It does not matter!” Darth Vader called out.

Darth Vader opened the door with the Force and ignited his lightsaber.

“Lord Vader? You wish to...” the tall gray one started to say as Darth Vader struck him down.

Eight and Nine lit their lightsabers defensively. “Lord Vader? We've done as you've asked. We've been loyal to you!” They pleaded. He pulled them both up by the neck and held them in the air.

“What are you doing!” Leia called out.

“It is not your concern,” Darth Vader answered.

“She's that Rebel princess!” Eight choked out as Vader lifted him higher in the air. He then sliced him to bits with his lightsaber.

Nine fell to the floor and got up and ran, lighting her lightsaber again as Vader came at her, defensively blocking his blade. He pushed her aside with the Force and the lightsaber flew out of her hands.

“STOP!” Leia cried out.

“She must be destroyed!” Darth Vader demanded as he began choking her while she was crumbled to the floor.

Once the three of them were dead, Darth Vader swooped past Leia and demanded, “You will follow me!”

Leia followed him back to her rooms and he shut the door. He moved his hand towards Threepio and put him in power down mode without touching him.

“What is the meaning of this! Was it really necessary to kill them?” Leia demanded standing there staring at Darth Vader who was just standing there looking up and down at her and only making that horrible noise with his breathing device.

'She still seems to have no fear of me. It only came off as anger and confusion,' Vader thought to himself observing her facial cues and stance. She didn't even seem angry.

“Are you twins?” Vader asked looking straight at her.

“What?” Leia stood defiantly staring back at him.

Darth Vader pointed at her with his mechanical fist, “You know exactly what I mean! Are you his twin?”

“Why should I answer that?” Leia said standing there motionless and fearless.

Darth Vader looked at her. Why hadn't he thought of that before? Everything made sense now, “He may be in trouble,” he said calmly.

“Luke?” Leia actually broke a moment with that revelation.

“You will get your things and the droid. Wear the mask. I will return in one hour,” Darth Vader demanded turning around leaving the room.

Leia collapsed to the floor. He knew and Luke was in trouble. Was that what the strip in her mouth was all about? She closed her eyes and tried to meditate to reach Luke, but couldn't sense him. She was afraid to contact Yoda, especially here. What if Darth Vader somehow found Yoda through her? Did he know he was alive? It was too dangerous. She powered up Threepio and just went to work packing her things.

//

Millennium Falcon outside of Dagobah

“Don't worry pal, I've done this before, just not in this ship. Yeah, this is the right place. Take it down easy,” Han soothed Chewie as they landed on the strange planet.

Chewie howled.

The landing was a bit bumpy, but they found the spot. The Falcon was a bit bigger than the shuttle, so it sagged a little, which worried Han, but they were able to straighten it out and they opened the ramp. No big surprise, Yoda was waiting nearby when they came out of the ship.

“Chewbacca, long time it has,” Yoda said putting his hand out to the Wookiee.

Chewie roared then picked up the small green alien and set him down again.

Han had a seriousness on his face, “Luke here?”

“Knew you would come I did. Luke. Left he did. Trap I am afraid he has fallen,” Yoda stressed.

“Trap?” Han asked.

“Come with you I will. To Coruscant,” Yoda insisted slamming his cane down.

“Not in this ship we can't. They will spot it right away. We just got here,” Han said a bit nervously.

“No time. Go now we must!” Yoda stressed. “Work something out we will, fast ship no?” Yoda asked moving towards the ramp.

“Fastest in the galaxy. Whoa there, Yoda. Seriously?” Han asked.

“No time!” Yoda said at the top of the ramp.

Han and Chewie ran up behind and closed the ramp.

Chewie picked Yoda up and then walked him to the cockpit and helped him to strap in.

“Fire up the engines, Chewie,” Han said as Chewie made his way to his seat.

“Long time since travel in space,” Yoda said as they lifted off.

“So, Yoda, you know where Leia is?” Han asked as they drifted into the atmosphere.

“With Vader she is, there she will be,” Yoda answered.

“Oh this is getting better and better,” Han gritted his teeth.

Han had come to Dagobah because Leia had told him to, that Yoda would know where she was, and he didn't disappoint. He sure wasn't expecting having to take his ship to Coruscant. If he knew that, he would have switched the ship. It seemed that Yoda was in a big hurry and that they really had no choice if he wanted to help his friends.

“Worry for your ship you are? Work out it will, worry for your friends. More important it will be,” Yoda said as Han was thinking to himself.

“Yoda, that's a really weird thing you do. Yes, I'm worried about my ship. You're right though,” Han answered as they hit hyperspace.

“Just sense it I do,” Yoda soothed.

Yoda unstrapped himself and hopped out of his seat. Chewie and Han followed, and Yoda climbed up on the seat at the holochess table.

“Caf you have? No?” Yoda smiled.

Chewie went to the galley to make caf.

“Figures you'd bring that up first thing,” Han said with frustration. “Tell me what's going on.”

“Cloudy it is, but trap for Luke the Emperor has set. With the Emperor, Luke is. Trap for Vader it is. Leia and Vader go to Luke to free,” Yoda answered him.

“Vader wants to free Luke?” Han answered.

Chewie howled. Then set the caf down for Yoda and Han and himself.

“Help I will,” Yoda answered.

“If we can even get there,” Han said worriedly.

“Get there we will, plan I have,” Yoda answered and looking towards Han and Chewie, “Rest you must, for difficult it will be.”

“If you want the cabin, you're welcome to it,” Han said to the frail alien.

“Hmmmph,” Yoda said as he finished his caf and laid down in his seat. “Worry for me you should not. Fly Luke and Leia out. All concerned you must be.”

“I've got a bad feeling about this,” Han said to Chewie.

Chewie roared.

//

Coruscant

“Get up!” Kreel kicked at Luke who was laying down on the floor. “Emperor wants to meet you.”

Luke slowly got up. He was a bit groggy from the shock that Kreel had given him, but he was learning to fight it. He followed Kreel to the throne room where Emperor Palapatine was sitting surrounded by red guards.

Kreel yelled out, “Kneel! Skywalker, kneel!” as Kreel himself kneeled.

Luke reluctantly kneeled and looked up at the wrinkly hooded man.

“So, my boy, we finally meet?” the Emperor spoke kindly. “Leave us,” he said to Kreel.

Kreel looked at the Emperor and moved up and left the room.

“What do you want from me?” Luke spit out. “Public execution? Torture?”

“Oh my dear boy, none of those things? I want us to be friends,” the Emperor smiled.

“Friends? Right,” Luke said with a muffled laugh.

“First chance you get, I want you to kill Sergeant Kreel. He hasn't been treating you properly like I wanted him to. He must be punished. These people, the power gets to their heads. He should know better than to go against my wishes. It seems he has some personal vendetta against you,” the Emperor declared.

“You have him holding me prisoner!” Luke cried out.

The Emperor put his fingers together and looked kindly down at Luke, “I thought he would be a good sparing partner for you, however, he has taken it as a chance for revenge,” the Emperor spit out. “You will need to be skilled with the lightsaber for the task I have for you.”

“I can use a lightsaber, but why should I help you?” Luke answered with anger.

The Emperor said kindly, “What are your feelings towards Darth Vader?”

“He killed my father! I watched him kill someone I cared about. What do you think I think about him!” Luke said with anger.

The Emperor smiled widely, “Good. Good. I want you to kill Darth Vader.”

Chapter Text

Mustafar-Shuttle

Leia had dressed the part in the black outfit and the mask with Vader piloting the shuttle to the Executor. She had little to carry and Threepio in tow. They had powered him down for the journey to keep him in the dark of the operation.

“Upon arrival on the Executor, you will be directed to your room by the Admiral. Only the Admiral will be aware of your presence and you will be known as Zia. Is that understood?” Vader commanded.

Leia spoke, “I understand.”

“You will be given your own codes. It may be possible there may be an emergency or you may have to return to the Executor alone. The prefix will direct them to Piett, so they will override any other order,” Vader commanded. “Piett is not aware of your true identity. I trust it will be in your best interest that you keep that to yourself. He will only think that you are one of the inquisitors, or security from Mustafar, or as some kind of assistance to me. Do I make myself clear.”

They turned into the hanger with the tractor beam and only Piett was standing as all staff had been directed elsewhere.

“Lord Vader, what are your next orders, sir,” Piett asked stiffly.

“Set a course to Coruscant,” Lord Vader demanded as he moved towards his quarters. “Follow me,” he directed towards Leia.

They entered Vader's private chambers, where Leia saw a large open sphere-like object, and several different consoles and a holoprojector. Vader pressed a button, and a slat came out of the wall. “You may rest here,” he directed.

“Well, it doesn't look very comfortable,” Leia smirked and took a seat.

Darth Vader stood looking at her, “There are far worse things than trying to find comfort. Stay there and out of sight. I shall contact the Emperor. Say nothing!”

“Leia just put her palm up flat and then started to lie back. This she had to watch. Darth Vader began to kneel then pressed a button. “My Master,” he spoke.

“My apprentice, I knew you'd come around eventually. I assume you are on your way to the palace. See that you don't take long.” The Emperor's large looming head in holo form put shivers through Leia's mind. She got the sense he had no idea she was in the room. “You will be pleased to know that I have Skywalker,” The Emperor spit out.

“I am pleased, my master. He will join us or die,” Vader answered.

“We shall see about that,” the Emperor said menacingly.

“Yes, my Master,” Vader replied dutifully.

“I will be expecting you shortly, my friend. That is all,” the Emperor said as he faded away.

Leia watched as Vader clicked off the holo and looked and walked away.

“Watch your hostility, princess,” Vader warned.

“Zia, here, don't forget that. My hostility? I'm just sitting here watching. Join or die? Really? Why is it that you are so concerned with me? Am I to join or die as well?” Leia laughed.

Vader caught himself. Why was he concerned? Did he not hope that this powerful individual would join with him in overpowering the Emperor and recruit Skywalker to his original intentions of order in the galaxy? Something inside of him did not want her to turn. Not the way he had. Though she seemed to be a beacon of light, she had somehow figured out how to use methods that the Jedi themselves frowned against, such as frustration, and passion. She was selfless to almost a fault, though she had her weakness and Vader knew them. Those friends on that ship for instance, and Skywalker seemed to be a sore spot for her. Compassion for complete strangers who were enslaved and the strange reaction she had to the killing of the inquisitors. She certainly did not care for them, and he would even guess she didn't even like them. He destroyed them because he could, or was it that they had become a threat to her existence. Why was he protecting her? She was his child, this he had become aware, but she had no feelings for him other than wanting him destroyed. He couldn't deny her the reasons why. She was so patient, and controlled, and unnerved by anything.

“I will be in my meditation chamber. I suggest you get some rest and do not touch anything! If you do, it will sound an alarm and those on the ship who you will wish were not aware of your presence will be alerted to it. Do you understand?” Darth Vader stared at her and pointed his finger in warning.

She sat there with a stony stare. “The Emperor has Luke.”

“He does. It does not please me,” Vader said turning his back towards her.

“So, the Emperor is drawing you towards him and using Luke as the bait?” Leia asked.

“It should not concern you,” Darth Vader turned again towards her.

“My priority will be to get Luke out of there. He's too important. I'll take care of the Emperor another time. You've already given us the information. I can get back to him, or you. Let me take care of Luke,” Leia suggested.

Vader put his fist up to his helmet and thought,“Hmmm. Not a bad plan. I will deal with the Emperor. You free Skywalker by any means necessary.”

“I take it I didn't get my intelligence from you then?” Leia laughed attempting to damage Vader's ego.

Vader paused. “We will not speak of this.”

“Sore subject. I take it.” Leia said leaning back on her slat.

“You have interest in learning about your mother?” Vader asked almost curious.

“My mother was the Queen of Alderaan, but if you remember, she isn't here anymore,” Leia said sitting back up and with a smirk.

“Your real mother was an angel,” Vader said softy turned around quietly.

“So that answers that then. The boy, the angel?” Leia said stiffly.

“ENOUGH!” Vader shouted. “I'll be in my meditation chamber. Meditate, sleep, just be prepared.”

Leia leaned back with her hands behind her head looking up at the ceiling with a quiet smile.

Vader descended into his chamber, the dome closed, the suit taken off of him, and the helmet as well. The breathing device here wasn't as calming as the one in his fortress on Mustafar, but the maintenance on his body still occurred at the same rate. It was never soothing. It was never meant to be. The pain would always be there, and the pain would always give him strength. His bond to the Emperor was becoming less binding than before and that both concerned him and gave him joy. As he drifted into meditation, he thought of the demonstration he had given earlier with the execution of the inquisitors who had been on Mustafar. It did not give him joy, or pain, but only power. It was necessary. He went deeper and deeper and then he heard the voice.

“Anakin,” it called.

“You!” he called back in anger.

Qui-Gon spoke softly, “Does it not occur to you why you've been so protective of Leia?”

“She is a useful tool, nothing more,” Vader answered. “Get out.”

“And the boy?” Qui-Gon asked.

“I hope to use him as well,” Darth Vader insisted.

“He doesn't know. The truth. He doesn't know who he is. Who his father really is,” Qui-Gon stated.

“Get out. Leave!” Vader commanded.

“Should I have left you in the desert so long ago?” Qui-Gon asked softly.

“GET OUT!” Vader shouted.

He came out of his meditation quickly and after the dome opened and Leia was sitting on the slat watching, “You're loud when you meditate,” she quipped then stood up.

“What did you hear?” Vader asked as soon as he left the chamber.

“You were yelling at someone to get out. Did you want me to leave? Because I will, gladly. Or was someone else in there with you?” Leia asked pacing back and forth.

“I was not speaking with you. Something entered my meditations,” Vader explained.

“Like you did mine?” Leia shook her head.

Leia thought to herself that this would be a long trip, but it suddenly became shorter than she expected.

Admiral Piett buzzed for entrance, “Lord Vader, you may want to see this.” He then approached the monitor in Vader's chambers.

“Interesting, most interesting. I sense a presence I haven't felt in a long time. Bring it on board,” Vader demanded. “Clear the hanger, and notify the bridge.”

//

Millennium Falcon

“Strap in,” Han ran in to tell Yoda who was napping at the holochess table.

They were coming out of hyperspace some distance from Coruscant. Han wanted to casually enter the space outside in the hopes of not being discovered. Yoda assured him not to worry, but since his ship had gotten well known and somewhat infamous, and it being a core world, they were taking quite a risk. There were a lot of ships in the space, so he thought he could just blend in. YT-1300 freighters were old, but there were still a few of them around, enough that it might not draw attention right away. He tried ducking behind larger, non-imperial ships waiting to join the line up and had his codes ready for when they got there. That's when they saw it, the star destroyer, and it saw them. He knew it. He was too far away from the planet to do anything about it and they were already in the tractor beam.

“I have a bad feeling about this,” Han said with a sigh.

Chewie roared.

Yoda let out a “Hmmph.”

“This doesn't worry you?” Han said looking at Yoda.

“Trust in the Force I will,” is all Yoda said.

“Easy for you to say,” Han huffed turning off all the engines and putting his arms across his chest.

Han looked up through the cockpit as they were drawing closer to the star destroyer. It was definitely bringing them on board.

“You might want to hide in the secret compartments,” Han said as pointed out of the cockpit.

“No need I will have,” Yoda said calmly.

Chewie roared.

Han wiped his brow. Yoda stood behind him, his eyes closed, and Chewie had his bowcaster ready. The ramp was lowered by no act that Han or Chewie had done. Han and Chewie were racing out of the cockpit with Han's blaster ready, Yoda slowly following them. At the base of the ramp was Darth Vader, Threepio, and no other Imperials or stormtroopers. A small human dressed in all in black with a hood over the head and a mask of gold around the eyes, ran up, unarmed tearing the mask off.

Han relaxed put his blaster down and caught her as Chewie came in for a group hug.

“What about him? Down there? Waiting?” Han asked quietly.

“He said he won't harm you as long as I comply with whatever he wants,” Leia answered.

She then noticed Yoda standing behind eyes closed. Leia whispered, “He shouldn't be here.”

“He insisted on coming,” Han answered. “So Luke's really here?”

“Yes, I think the Emperor is luring Vader here, but the priority is to get Luke out. Maybe you should stay here,” Leia answered

“On an Imperial Star Destroyer!” Han argued.

“Yes, Vader will take care of the Admiral. We may need you to get us out of here. We are going on Vader's shuttle. Just stay in the Falcon. Don't leave,” Leia pleaded.

“I don't like this. And you trust him now?” Han said pointing out at Vader.

“No, I don't, but he needs me and I need him right now. You can't leave anyway, you might as well stay in here with Chewie. And take Threepio on board, too.” Leia said biting her lip.

“Threepio? Oh this is getting better and better. Anyway, I'm glad you are alright, but this is crazy!” Han said pacing a bit and putting his hands on his head.

“I know, but we need to rescue Luke,” Leia answered.

“Take this comm. Who knows. If you need me, call,” Han said giving her the device.

“I will,” She spoke, then kissed him and hugged Chewie.

Master Yoda finally opened his eyes. Darth Vader was making his way up the ramp. They eyed one another and said nothing. Yoda took a defensive stance, and Vader held out his hand to block.

“In need of me you will be. Here to help Skywalker escape,” Yoda stated.

“I have no need of you, and no time with which to deal with you,” Vader answered.

“Battle the Emperor I have. Attention to me he will give. Distraction I may be,” Yoda pointed out.

“Unsuccessful you were with your attempts as well. Perhaps you should join us. Odds are you will not live,” Vader states bluntly.

Leia gasps.

“Matters it does not,” Yoda answers making his way down to Vader.

With the shuttle waiting, Vader, Yoda, and Leia climb aboard for Coruscant.

//

“Sergeant Kreel, how goes the training with young Skywalker?” the Emperor asked looking down at him from under his hood.

“It's going very well. I have to remind him a few times that he isn't the one in charge, but I believe he's getting the message,” Kreel grinned a sinister grin.

“More sparing. Sparing is what I've brought you here to do. Though it pleases me you are showing Skywalker his place, his skills will not develop without practice,” the Emperor pointed a crooked finger at the man in chastisement.

“Yes, Your Excellence,” Kreel said bowing as he left.

As he entered Skywalker's room, he saw the boy was laying still on the floor. He gave him a swift kick. “Get up!”

Luke slowly got up and Kreel undid the binders he had placed on Luke's hands, not knowing that Luke had them off the entire time Kreel wasn't in the room. When Luke had heard Kreel's footsteps, he replaced the binders and went to lay on the floor. Luke had been planning though, going through his mind. Trying to stay calm as Yoda taught him, but the constant torment he received from Kreel was making him angry. He tried hard to keep it from letting it get to him. He would survive this somehow he knew he would. If he could only get close to the Emperor. Close enough that the Emperor would start to trust him, and then he would strike. He had not forgotten his mission. Killing the Emperor would be a great win for the Rebel Alliance and score points in Leia's mind as well. He was sure of it.

Kreel lit his lightsaber. Luke called his lightsaber to his hand and lit it and then as if possessed by something in his mind, started coming for Kreel. Kreel was defensive with his moves. Luke was getting more and more aggressive with his, and then he leaned into Kreel, blades locked. He kept pushing until Kreel landed on the floor. Luke unlit his lightsaber and Kreel pushed the button, putting small shocks through Luke. Luke fought them then crouched down looking angrily at the man.

//

Landing on Vader's private spaceport caused less suspicion and made for a more discrete entrance for both Leia and Yoda, though they were almost certain that Palpatine would know Vader was here, and perhaps Yoda, even with the shielding. Leia he most likely would not detect, as he was only familiar with her as far as being a senator, and her shields were quite strong that even Vader had trouble sensing her. There were little staff in Vader's private quarters on Coruscant, and even those present, Yoda was able to handle using a Jedi mind trick. Leia sensed exactly where Luke would be located, and she pointed the way.

Darth Vader walking through Coruscant would not draw suspicion in fact, those that would see him would tend to go in the opposite direction or stiffen up with tension. They would not be drawn at all to the young woman in black. She could be anyone that Vader had with him as far as they were concerned, his presence taking up most of the notice. Yoda went in a different direction. He had other matters to attend to, which did not include Luke. He thought to finish his conversation he had with Palaptine so many years ago to offer a distraction. Yoda had no fear of what was to come, and he felt that the last twenty three years had built up to this moment.

Leia pointed to a door.

“Luke is in there,” Leia whispered. “I know it, I feel it.”

“Very well,” Vader answered. “You are to get him off Coruscant by any means necessary.”

Leia nodded.

Inside the room, Luke called his lightsaber to himself again, and Kreel was ready. Standing tall, Luke circled the man before striking out at him.

“Good, distraction helps while fighting,” Kreel acknowledged taking a defensive stance.

Luke continued to strike out at Kreel. Very aggressively. Luke knocked the control device to the chip in his head from Kreels belt and flung it across the room, crushing it.

“You should not have done that!” Kreel yelled and started getting more aggressive, upset at losing his leverage over Luke.

Luke's technique was getting more aggressive. The blades joined and they pushed and pulled each other in various directions. Both men were sweating. Luke was getting angry, and Kreel was coming at him more aggressively. Luke kept thinking to himself to remain calm, to remember the Force. Kreel was obviously not a Force user, merely skilled with the lightsaber. It was then it happened. Kreel had lost his power over Luke as Luke was ready to strike, so he struck Luke on the wrist, not only disarming him, but cutting off Luke's hand. It was at that moment that Darth Vader entered the room. Brandishing his red lightsaber he went after Kreel with great fury. Slicing his limbs as he watched, and fell to his knees, then decapitated him.

Luke was dumbstruck by what he saw. Darth Vader powered down his lightsaber and looked down at the boy. The large man in black then reached his hand out to Luke. “Come with me,”

“Never!” Luke yelled with passionate conviction, tucking his mutilated arm under his other arm.

“It is your destiny. Together we can defeat the Emperor,” Darth Vader tried to explain.

Luke's vision was getting blurry. He noticed a small human in black coming closer with gold eyes. He was trembling.

“Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father, Luke,” Darth Vader explained still reaching for the boy to come up off the floor. The small human moving closer to Luke.

“He told me enough! He told me you killed him!” Luke spit in anger.

The small human in black tried to pull Luke up, but he fought her, and he shook trying to keep his position on the floor.

“No, I am your father!” Darth Vader spoke.

“No! That's not true! It's impossible!” Luke cried out. The figure in black tried to hold him, but he fought her.

She whispered in his ear, “It's me, Leia. I have to get you out of here.”

As she helped him walk, Vader called Luke's lightsaber to him and handed it to Leia who nodded.

“You didn't have to blurt it out like that,” Leia whispered to Vader in anger.

“Get him aid as soon as possible! I'll deal with the Emperor. We will be in touch,” Vader called back turning with a swoop of cape and moving quickly out of the room.

Leia ignored him and walked Luke out of the room.

“Leia? Why are you here?” Luke asked confused and in a bit of shock.

“Luke, it's a long story. We need to get you out of here. I can take you to a shuttle,” Leia said softly.

“I didn't recognize you, and I can't see so well,” Luke said softly.

“I'll help you. Stay with me,” Leia soothed him.

“Artoo! He's on my ship!” Luke remembered.

“Where?” Leia asked, “We can get it.”

“Spaceport by the shipping lanes,” Luke answered.

Leia walked with Luke in that direction. She had to hide in dark corners a few times, and then used the mind trick when encountering stormtroopers who got a bit too curious about the injured young man. They finally got to the ship and Artoo beeped frantically.

“Rest here. I'll get you help soon,” Leia said settling him down on a seat and strapping him in.

Leia then pushed the comm for Han. “I have Luke. He needs help, get the medical equipment ready. He's in shock.”

“We'll take care of the kid. How are you?” Han answered back.

“I'm fine. Luke got that hidden ship from that jungle planet. I'll be coming in that. Get the Falcon ready, we are going to have to get him off and leave immediately. Vader gave me some codes, but it might only take them a few minutes to close the shields. We are going to have to move before they do that,” Leia called in getting the ship ready for take off.

//

Throne room

“Expecting me you have? No?” Yoda said coming out of a dark corner in the Emperor's direction.

“Ah, if it isn't Master Yoda. Have you had enough of life and are now ready to die?” The Emperor smiled.

“See we shall,” Yoda answered standing with his hands reaching out in front of him.

Chapter Text

Millennium Falcon

"Get him on board come on!" Han yelled.

Chewie roared carrying Luke to the cot and raced to the cockpit.

The Falcon raced out the hanger with the hope that the Admiral and crew wouldn't notice, but it wasn't long before a tie-fighter, probably coming from some other part of the ship, started for them.

"Chewie take over," Han said running for the gun well.

Leia was strapping Luke on the cot while he started to mumble incoherently, as he was going further into shock. Artoo was close by with reassuring beeps. The ship rocked as they fought off the tie-fighters while trying to get to the point where they could enter hyperspace.

"Come on Chewie," Han was yelling.

Threepio wasn't helping. "We're doomed!" he yelled twisted and turning trying to keep his balance while walking towards the center of the ship.

They breathed a sigh of relief when Chewie got them to hyperspace.

"Ben, Ben, why didn't you tell me," Luke kept ranting half conscious and nearly asleep.

Leia kissed his forehead and rubbed his arm while checking the fluids. She had wrapped his hand, which had been cauterized by the lightsaber, so at least he wasn't bleeding out.

"How's the kid?" Han said coming out of the gun well.

"He'll be alright. He lost his hand on Coruscant. It wasn't Vader, someone else was there. It went so fast," Leia said with deep concern. "We have to get him to the medical frigate.

"We need to stop somewhere and check for tracers and trackers. Don't forget we've been on an Imperial star destroyer. I didn't see anyone around, but I'm taking no chances. Hell, I'm scanning you as well," Han said with deep concern. "He didn't do anything to you did he?"

Leia pulled Han away from Luke towards the galley and whispered, "No. It was unnerving, but he was almost respectful. He knows who I am. He had his caretaker put something in my mouth and tested me that way. He blurted out to Luke who he was before I got him out of there. Vader actually gave me Luke's lightsaber to return to him."

"Probably what the kid was mumbling about. What a way to find out. His lightsaber? Like he cared? What about Yoda?" Han whispered.

"Yoda left us, and went directly to the Emperor. I'm afraid we may have lost him," Leia said sadly.

Han rubbed her arm and then said, "Those Jedi Masters though, they have those weird powers and stuff. He might do alright, or not really be gone like the old man."

"Yeah," Leia said sadly putting her head into his arm.

She moved back towards Luke, and he was sound asleep. The scan had his life signs doing well which was good. Looking down at him Leia was reminded of the young idealistic farm boy she met just a few years before and how much he had changed. Should she wait to tell him that he was her brother? Would it give him comfort now, or just be another shocking thing that has happened to him in such a short amount of time?

/

Coruscant

Vader shouted an order to a nearby officer pointing his mechanical fist in his face, "Commander, have this room cleaned up. Have all of the..biological parts...incinerated immediately. Leave no trace. Is that clear?"

"Yes, Lord Vader," the officer replied getting on a comm right away.

In the Emperor's throne room, the Emperor was still toying with the Jedi Master before him. Lightning came from his fingers as Yoda deflected it, hitting one of the Imperial Royal Guards. The other two came up to Yoda trying to defend their Emperor, but they were hit with the Force lightning deflected from Yoda's palms. The Emperor was grinning with sinister delight the whole time. Mas Amedda was standing watching from the corner, then he scattered far away afraid of being caught in the crossfire. Yoda moved closer and closer to the Emperor who took to tearing down fixtures from the walls towards Yoda only to have them deflect back to the Emperor. The cameras in the room blew out causing glass to swirl around the room. Various large objects were flying around the Throne room as both the Emperor and Yoda manipulated the Force into a storm throughout, swirling around them. Darth Vader entered this chaotic scene and the Emperor laughed some more.

"My apprentice has arrived, Master Yoda, soon you will meet the end you seem so eagerly seem to be seeking," the Emperor cackled.

Darth Vader put his hands up and spun the elements in the room including the Emperor and Yoda into a funnel. The Emperor had a look of surprise and laughed as he begun to fling more things around the room towards Yoda. Yoda deflected the objects, curtains, rods, statues, weapons used as decorations, various seating all while he too was flying about the room. Everything was flying around the room and nothing was actually hitting Yoda, the Emperor or Vader who was standing in the calm empty space in the center. Vader lit his lightsaber. Palapatine was shrieking with laughter and through the funnel of swirling objects, Vader swung his lightsaber, cutting everything in two as Yoda watched keeping the items in motion both away from himself and towards the Emperor who was doing the same. The items stopped funneling around, and swirled throughout in a chaotic fashion, with objects hitting the walls floors ceilings and bouncing and destroying nearly everything. Vader was calm and still walking, as if he were in a room with nothing in it, swinging and destroying each item in his path. He came to the Emperor who had stopped spinning and as Yoda deflected his Force lightning, Vader swung and split the Emperor in two. Everything in the room fell to the floor immediately. Yoda fell to his side, but got up weakly and dusted himself off and made his way quickly and quietly out of the room, looking back just a moment before heading out. Vader stood there between the two pieces of the Emperor on his throne, viewing his master, with half a smile on each side of his wrinkled face.

Vader turned around quickly and headed directly to his shuttle.

Yoda hid in the corners and passageways of the palace until he made his way to the spaceport. He began ducking and jumping in and out from behind ships, and shipping crates. He moved from ship to ship finding a large freighter and went inside to hide. He found a loose piece of durasteel and crawled into a small space, then pushed one of the crates using the Force in front of it. He didn't know where he was going, but it had to be far from here. He closed his eyes and reached into the Force to see if Luke and Leia had made it out. When he was comforted by their safety, he rested and waited. For himself, Yoda was not worried.

When everything quieted down, Mas Amedda returned to the throne room horrified by what he was seeing. He got on the comm to a guard who was outside the room to fetch Yupe Tashu and Moff Valco Pandion. Then he got on his knees and cried.

Moments later, Tashu and Pandion made their way through the debris to where Mas Amedda was standing over the remains of Palpatine.

"Oh, a sad day, a sad day indeed. How did this happen?" Tashu questioned Mas Amedda.

Mas Amedda lowered his head and wiped his face, "I couldn't believe it. That Jedi, Yoda returned. He killed our beloved Emperor."

"A Jedi alive? Yoda? Yes, I remember him. Do you know where Lord Vader is?" Tashu asked grasping Mas Amedda's arm.

"He came earlier. He may still be in the palace or returned to the Executor," Mas Amedda said still emotional.

"Come now, we must get ourselves together here. It's time to think rationally," Pandion stated authoritatively.

"Yes, hail Admiral Piett, he will know where Vader is and have him contact me," Tashu commanded.

Pandion stepped through the rubble and left the room.

"Are you able to make a statement right away on the holonet?" Tashu asked wiping a tear from his own eye.

"Yes, I think it should come from me," Amedda stated.

"Good, let's do it right away shall we?" Tashu said walking out with Amedda.

/

The Executor

Vader noticed the tie-fighters chasing the Falcon when he was approaching the ship, and had to admit he was a bit relieved to see it leave for hyperspace. He arrived in the hanger and then using the Force, scrambled some of the holocam recordings from the past hour. He departed the shuttle, where Piett was waiting for him.

"Lord Vader, a word in private please," Piett said with absolute seriousness.

"Come with me," Vader stated leading the way to his private quarters.

"I've received word from Moff Valco Pandion, the Emperor is dead, My Lord," Piett said with emotional trepidation.

"How? Why I was just there only this morning?" Darth Vader answered.

"Apparently, he was murdered by the Jedi, Yoda, sir," Piett answered.

Vader thought, so Yoda did get the blame. Well played. He knew when he sensed Mas Amedda having left the room he would witness some of the battle with Yoda.

"Yoda," Darth Vader clenched his fist and turned away. "Is there a plan?"

"Moff Pandion thinks you should return to the palace. Yupe Tashu would like to speak with you. Mas Amedda has made a statement. Soon it will be announced throughout the galaxy. With the growing rebel movements, your presence will give the Imperial citizens the assurances they will need at such a time, surely. There is one more thing, My Lord," Piett hesitated. "The Millennium Falcon has escaped. I knew you had wanted it captured, but they had somehow gotten away."

Darth Vader stood there and he had prepared for this. "Piett, do you remember allowing my assistant on board in that very vessel," he pointed at the small ship.

Admiral Piett nodded.

"She took that ship, you need not worry," Darth Vader said to ease his mind. "Piett. There is something must know. Do you have my utmost loyalty? With the Emperor gone, with whom does your loyalty lie?"

"With you, sir, and with the Imperial Navy," Piett answered.

"Good. Remember that. It may get rough, but your loyalty to me will be well rewarded," Vader spoke. "Prepare my shuttle. Keep the Executor well guarded."

"Yes, Lord Vader," Piett answered sternly leaving to make the arrangements.

/

Home One

"Draven, are you sure this is true? This isn't some propaganda ploy or a trick is it?" Mon Mothma spoke looking at the holo of Mas Amedda's announcement playing before her.

"No, my agents in the field have all seen the same announcement in different systems and have reported the same thing," Draven said seriously looking over her shoulder.

Mon Mothma smiled, "We still have a fight on our hands, but this is good news. And we need it. Still, we don't know who is in charge, not yet."

"And there is the matter of Darth Vader to consider," Draven pointed out.

"We'll gather all members of High Command as soon as possible, thank you, General Draven for bringing this to me. It does make things more tricky, but the Emperor is dead. And they said that Master Yoda killed him? Master Yoda came out of hiding and killed the Emperor. Amazing. I wonder how he managed that? Remarkable," Mon Mothma said with a touch of glee.

Even Draven was smiling, "We should keep this quiet, just for now, until we talk to the other members of High Command. There is one more thing. We've had a call from the Millennium Falcon. It plans to dock on the medical frigate, but no details have been given. Only that there is urgent need for medical attention and to have a team waiting. Alliance personnel."

"Oh dear, I hope it's not the Princess," Mon said with worry remembering that only Captain Solo knew where she was located.

"That was my thought as well, but it was her own voice that gave the codes," Draven noted.

"Well that's a good sign, at least as far as her well being goes. We will need her here now as our plan develops on the other matter. I'll order a meeting, then find out what is happening on the Redemption with the Princess when she arrives," Mon answered leaving the room to find her assistant.

Instead, her assistant found her. He spoke, "Ma'am, there's an important message from General Cracken, he wants to speak with you right away."

"Thank you, I'll contact him. I have a job for you, I want you to contact all members of High Command currently in the fleet to a meeting on Home One, arrange the time and get back to me," Mon ordered.

"Yes, ma'am," he said entering some information on his datapad.

"Cracken?" Mon called into her comm walking back to her private quarters.

"Mon, I have something very important to tell you. Are you on Home One?" Cracken's voice came in through the comm.

"Yes, I'm going to my private quarters now," Mon answered.

"I'll meet you there," Cracken said.

Mon tried to call him back, but he had turned it off. 'Oh he must be on his way,' she thought to herself.

She opened the door, and Lando Calrissian was already sitting in there, with an opened bottle of wine.

"Lando, this isn't a good time. Apparently, General Cracken is on his way," Mon smiled pecking him on the cheek as he took her hand.

Cracken knocked with the door partially opened, "Oh you know! Wine is already opened I see!"

"Know what?" Lando asked.

"Calrissian, Admiral Ackbar needs you on the bridge, we'll discuss those details later," Mon said in her serious official voice.

"Yes Ma'am. I think you'll like those numbers," Lando said with a wink leaving.

"Is this about the Emperor?" Mon asked Cracken still turned away from him.

"It is! You heard!" Cracken said with glee.

"Yes, and I'm organizing a meeting to inform all of High Command. I hope it hasn't gotten everywhere in the fleet just yet. We should do this sensibly. We still have a dire situation on our hands that many are not aware exists," Mon warned as she sat down.

"Oh, I agree. Who told you? I heard it from one of my groups in the field, it's all over the holonet," Cracken stated laughing and grinning.

"Draven," Mon answered. "He too got it from one in the spy network. Would you care to share a glass with me, Airen?"

"Oh, I never partake on duty, but this, this might be a cause for celebration," he smiled.

"Indeed, General," Mon said lifting up her glass to meet his with a clink.

"I know you meant to share this with Calrissian," Cracken said quietly.

"What? Really? How?" Mon asked innocently.

"You just told me, I'm an intel man remember. Don't worry, I don't think anyone has any idea at all. It's none of my business," he downed the glass and poured another.

"It's nothing really. I assure you," Mon answered.

"I understand. We all need to take the stress off by any means necessary. It is a war after all. Your secret is safe with me. Just be mindful of fraternization now that he's an official member," Cracken winked as he got up. "No need to get up, Ma'am. I'll see myself out. You get a little rest. It's going to be a busy day."

"Cracken, wait. Who do you think they will put in charge now? Will it any better? Will it be worse?" Mon asked without really wanting it answered. It was just nice to share the moment with a friend.

"Beats me. Probably won't change much at all, but we'll do something that will. That's what matters in the end. The head is cut off. It's just going to be easier to get there," Cracken said as he walked out.

Mon sat there and enjoyed the rest of her wine thinking for a bit and going over a few notes. She tried to remember who was still assisting the Emperor when she was still a senator and who she knew were still there now, and what powers they had. She stretched her legs out and then spoke into the comm to her assistant, "Get me a shuttle ready for the Redemption."

/

Millennium Falcon

Luke woke up noticing the familiarity of the Millennium Falcon and not remembering how he got there. He noticed the stump and bandages on his arm, and the tubes connected to him. With his left hand, he rubbed his head, then put it down on the cot just to sit himself up. Leia, noticing that he was moving, walked towards him and sat down. Artoo beeped.

"How did you find me?" Luke said still groggy from the sedative.

"We'll talk about that later, you rest. I'm glad to see you looking a little better," Leia smiled.

Luke looked at his stump.

"We're taking you to the medical frigate. They will fix it up for you. We've had soldiers lose limbs before. It will take some getting used to, but you will be almost back to new soon. Artoo, would you go into the cockpit with Threepio for a bit?" Leia said rubbing Luke's arm then she kissed his forehead.

Artoo beeped then moved towards the cockpit.

"Did Vader do this?" Luke asked.

"No, you don't remember?" Leia said looking puzzled.

"I remember him standing there telling me something. The gamemaster was there. At the Emperor's palace. Were you there? You looked different? Like in my vision. You had yellow eyes," Luke said looking at her and trying to find or feel something from her.

"Oh, I was there, but I was wearing a mask. That was just so that no one would know who I was. It had gold around eyes. You knew it was me though?" Leia asked rubbing his head and holding on to him.

"When you spoke. I couldn't feel you. Did you hear what Vader said? I can't believe it. Oh, maybe I was dreaming. I can't stop thinking about it," Luke spoke a bit anxious.

"Calm down, Luke. The gamemaster or whoever that was in the room with you, he cut your hand. Vader killed him," Leia said giving him some more clarity.

"So it wasn't Vader that cut off my hand? I thought he said something. I'm not sure," Luke said still leaning into Leia.

Leia held him closer to her, his head on her shoulder. "Quietly, Luke, tell me what you think Vader said to you."

"What if you think something bad about me, if it's true?" Luke spoke.

"Luke, I could never think anything bad of you. I just want to know what you remember, that's all. Whatever it is, tell me. OK?" Leia said looking at him very seriously.

"He told me he was my father," Luke said quietly.

"So you did hear that then?" Leia said bluntly.

"And you don't hate me? Do you think it's true?" Luke asked almost in tears.

"Yes, Luke, I know it's true. Chewie doesn't know, or at least I don't think he does, so let's keep this really quiet. We're alone right now. I don't think any less of you," Leia said with a bit of tension.

"You knew? Did you know?" Luke asked.

"Luke, Obi-Wan and Yoda didn't want you to know. They thought it was too much a burden on you. You had this noble purpose of becoming a Jedi Knight like your father. Only your father, Anakin Skywalker, he became ... that. That's taking a lot from you, that kind of information." Leia explained. "There's more though."

Luke started to cry, and Leia couldn't help it, but she started to cry as well. Then they held each other.

Luke sniffling. "Wait you said Chewie doesn't know? Han does? Is he avoiding me?"

"No, Luke, we are just coming in close to the frigate. That's it. It's OK. There's more. I should tell you. You shouldn't have anymore lies or stories to protect you," Leia said then grabbed a rag to wipe her face and some more bandages to help Luke with his.

Luke wiped his face. "What is it?"

"Luke, Obi-Wan took you to Tatooine after your mother died giving birth to twins who were then separated. For safety, if the Emperor knew, or Vader. You can imagine what might happen. Yoda was there and … someone else. Obi-Wan took you to your Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, who then raised you. The other person that was there was," Leia paused and thought a moment then blew her nose. "My father, Bail. I was adopted. You knew that."

Luke sat there a moment trying to make sense of it, but he was still a bit emotional. "Twins?"

"Luke, you are my twin brother," Leia said holding him tight.

"Really?" Luke almost laughed.

"Really," Leia smiled and hugged him.

"How long did you know?" Luke asked looking at her.

"When I saw Yoda, he told me. I was there after we escaped Hoth," Leia explained. "I always thought of you that way, Luke. You've been family since I first met you. That part wasn't so strange to learn. Yoda came to me in a dream, and he guided me there to Dagobah. I stayed a few days with Yoda. They were worried about you. I think Obi-Wan and Yoda had a contest between the two of us to be honest. They knew I wouldn't care if Vader was my real father or not, because I had no connection to what you knew about him, and I had already wanted him dead."

"But they kept it from me? Then he is the one who actually tells me the truth?" Luke sniffled.

"Yes. Though I think they had good intentions, I believe they thought we both were the only people capable of destroying the Emperor and Vader. We both being so strong in the Force," Leia answered. "Luke I have more to tell you, but it will wait, alright? I'm still having a hard time processing it. I was there though, and my job was to get you away from the Emperor. I will tell you, I promise."

Han came out from the cockpit, "We're going to need you to put in that call, sweetheart. Hey, look who's up!"

Luke smiled and raised his left hand.

Leia was wiping her face, "I just told him, we talked a bit."

"Hey Chewie, I'll be in here, can you handle it yourself?' Han yelled back.

Chewie let out a loud annoyed roar.

"I'll be there," said Leia patting Han's shoulder as she moved towards the cockpit.

"Hey Luke," Han said taking a seat on the bunk next to Luke. "some injury, huh?"

"Yeah," Luke said leaning his head back on the wall as they pulled into the frigate.

"Not just the hand either is it? You need anything. You let me know alright," Han said patting Luke's shoulder.

"I'm just trying to deal with everything, I guess. The lightsaber. I even lost the lightsaber I made myself. I know it's stupid to think of that now," Luke shook his head.

"Hang on," Han said getting up and holding on to the sides of the ship as it was starting to land.

He came back quickly with the lightsaber in his hand and placed it next to Luke.

"Where? How?" Luke asked taking it with his left hand.

"Leia. She said Vader grabbed it and handed to her as she was getting you out of there. Like he wanted you to have it back. Isn't that the craziest thing?" Han said with a awkward laugh.

Luke shook his head, but knowing that somehow made him feel a little uneasy, and yet, it also made him feel a bit better.

Chapter Text

Medical Frigate-Rebel Fleet

As the Millennium Falcon docked it's hatch to the hanger bay of the Redemption, a medical crew was waiting as was Mon Mothma who had just arrived on her shuttle. The first to arrive up the hatch was Chewbacca aiding Luke up with Leia following close behind. Threepio and Artoo came up the hatch next with Han lingering behind to do docking checks. The medical crew immediately strapped Luke to a hover gurney, with a medical droid and various personnel following to the emergency bay. Artoo and Threepio followed along, as did Chewbacca. Leia had previously changed into clothes that she had kept on the Falcon so she wouldn't arrive in that black outfit Darth Vader had made her wear, and she was very glad of it. She didn't expect to see Mon Mothma herself there in the hanger, and the shock that she would show up in black, let alone that the medical attention was for Luke, would have raised even more questions.

“I suppose you'll want to speak with me privately?” Leia stood folding her arms with a stony cold stare.

“Yes, however, I'm relieved to see that you seem healthy. What happened to Commander Skywalker? Is it serious?” Mon Mothma said with a bit of concern.

“He's lost a limb. His hand to be precise. I did what I could on the ship,” Leia explained.

“I know you've just arrived, but it's very important that I speak with you, now,” Mon insisted.

“This isn't about me is it?” Leia realized with great concern.

“No, it is not. Follow me, we'll be able to chat and then you can go tend to Commander Skywalker,” Mon said putting her arm around Leia.

Leia was a bit nervous as she sensed a seriousness in Mon that meant that something bit different had happened. She knew about the second Death Star, it couldn't be that, no this was something else. She dread the possibilities. It wasn't like Leia to dwell on worse case scenarios, but the Rebel Alliance was important to her, and she was sure whatever it was had to be dire. She couldn't remember hearing anything while she had been away, but the snippets of the holonet she'd been able to catch wouldn't have had anything but propaganda, and it had even been a while since she had been able to catch even that.

They got to a private room, Mon checked for any leaks in the place as to not cause panic or rumors. She then began, “Are you aware of situation with the Emperor?”

Leia gulped. She had just been to Coruscant, she didn't want Mon to know or who she was with. Nor did she want her to know that Luke had been the Emperor's prisoner, or “guest” as Luke had described it.

“As to what are you referring?” Worried she would know something of their disappearance. Leia answered.

“The word is spreading that the Emperor has died,” Mon explained.

Leia put her hand over her mouth. “Do they know how? Tell me what you know?”

“They are putting the blame on Master Yoda. I know you spent time with him not long ago, is there anything you can tell me?” Mon whispered.

Leia gasped. While she knew Yoda was a powerful Jedi, taking the Emperor himself was never mentioned, nor even considered a possibility. In fact, it was implied that he and Obi-Wan and that mysterious other Force ghost believed that only Vader, or perhaps she or Luke would only be powerful enough to take him on. Vader himself even requested her help. Did Yoda and Vader do this together? She started turning in circles a bit in the room.

“Did Yoda die?” she whispered to Mon.

“We don't know, it hasn't been said. There is still a notice for his capture,” Mon explained.

Leia nodded.

“We've been keeping as quiet as possible within the fleet, but a meeting it being arranged right now with the other members of High Command. You of course will be notified. Would you like me to get you quarters here on the Redemption?” Mon asked quietly.

“I was planning on just staying with the ship,” Leia informed her.

“Leia, that is not wise. I have another idea. I will get you quarters on Home One and the ship may stay in the hanger. As a security precaution. You are free to return to the Redemption at will, or keep quarters here as well if you like. In the meantime, I will get you a more permanent arrangement,” Mon insisted.

“I understand, I will probably just sit with Commander Skywalker while he is being treated here. So quarters may not be necessary,” Leia nodded, not in the mood to fight. Keeping the Falcon inside a hanger instead of outside the medical frigate was a more secure option.

“Take this comm so I may be able to keep in touch with you. It's good to have you back with the fleet. We can debrief on your absence soon,” Mon announced bluntly.

“Mon, my absence was not Alliance business,” Leia said sternly with an angry face.

“You are a member of High Command. You will need to tell me something about your disappearance. We will discuss this later, Princess,” Mon Mothma said as she left.

'Well, that's going to be some tale,' Leia laughed to herself wondering what she would end up telling Mon.

//

Coruscant

Darth Vader touched back down this time with an entourage of his own 501st stormtroopers in tow. Instead of his personal berth, he landed in a more official one, to make his presence more known. It was not surprising that he was immediately greeted by various officers and officials and at the end of the line, Mas Amedda stood sadly waiting.

“A very sad day, Lord Vader,” Mas Amedda pleaded. “I'm so glad you've arrived so quickly.”

“Indeed,” Lord Vader answered, leading his troops to the offices of the Emperor.

Greeting him were Yupe Tashu and Moff Valco Pandion at the end of the carpet. They both bowed to Darth Vader.

“Lord Vader, or shall I say, Your Excellency,” Yupe Tashu said with an unnerving voice. “Truly, you should stand in our dear departed Emperor's Palpatine's place while we get through this troubling time.”

Darth Vader didn't trust Tashu at all, but he knew that Tashu regarded him with awe and reverence so his proclamation would be adhered for the time being. Whatever Tashu was, he was a wealth of knowledge with how things were run throughout the Empire, as was Mas Amedda. Pandion was merely an ambitious fool. He would deal with him, but he may also be of some use. He knew though that Tashu was the one to watch. Whoever came to Tashu, would be whatever the Emperor had in place in the event of his death, so Vader kept a close watch on him. There would also be those who would want to pick the Emperor's bones. He had to think fast and he needed someone on his side. Vader trusted Piett, so he would have most of the fleet on his side at least, that would be something. He knew who he wanted there with him though, and right now that was completely impossible. Though Vader was a great enforcer, the political and diplomatic sides to leadership were never his forte. He would have to do with fear for the moment, and know that everything else would have to fall into place later. Tashu was the best that he had for the moment.

“Of course, the throne room is out, if you wish, we could turn it into a grand memorial to our beloved Emperor?” Tashu suggested with much grandeur.

“It will be of no use to me,” Vader commanded. “Do with that as you wish.”

“Thank you, Your Excellency,” Tashu grinned and nodded. “There is also the matter of the murderer, the Jedi Yoda? We've sent a search team in which to find him...”

“He has hidden from me for 24 years! What makes you think you could find him now!” Darth Vader said chastising his adviser.

“He murdered our beloved Emperor! He must die!” Tashu pleaded.

“I will find him! Do not concern yourself. Our attention should be order. Moff Pandion, have you heard from the other systems? What have you done to make sure that all of the other systems have fallen in line!” Darth Vader demaned.

“It seems that since so many have already pledged their allegiance to you, that they will continue to do so,” Pandion answered.

“Good, I will continue to see that they do,” Darth Vader said out loud then thought to himself. 'And make a few changes' he thought to himself.

“Gather together all of those in the Emperor's council, I wish to speak to each and every one of them,” Darth Vader commanded.

“As you wish,” Tashu replied and rushed off.

“Moff Pandion, you've moved up the ranks, but that doesn't mean you will stay there. I trust you will do as you are commanded?” Darth Vader said with a menacing voice.

“Yes, Lord Vader, ah, Your Excellency, sir.” he gulped.

“I'm sure you would hate to see your career come to a crushing blow,” Darth Vader clenched his fist and turned and left. “I'll be in my meditation chamber. My stormtroopers will remain here.”

Pandion sweated a bit then turned and went to do as Darth Vader commanded.

//

Medical Frigate-Luke's room.

Leia and Han sat nearby as Luke came out of surgery. He was still asleep, but the surgery was successful.

“His hand looks so real,” Han marveled as he got up to look at it.

Leia sighed getting up herself, “Yes, but it's not, and I'm sure it will be an adjustment and not just the hand. You should go, you need to get the ship on Home One as soon as possible. I will call you in a bit alright?”

Han grabbed her shoulders and kissed her forehead and said, “Chewie's probably anxious to hear how Luke is doing anyway. He was out for such a long time.”

Leia nodded. Threepio entered and Artoo beeped a hello.

“R2-D2 you were supposed to contact me as soon as they moved Master Luke!” Threepio said whacking his dome.

“Alright, I'm really out of here,” Han laughed leaving.

“Threepio, he's still recovering. We would have gotten you when he was up,” Leia spoke trying to soothe the nervous droid. “If you keep an eye on Luke and let me know when he wakes up, I think I'll get some sleep.”

“Princess, I would be delighted. I will stand and wait for Master Luke to wake up, then let you know immediately. Unlike some others I won't mention,” Threepio said chastising Artoo who beeped back.

Leia leaned the chair back and looked out the window into space at some of the other ships in the fleet. She closed her eyes, but she couldn't really settle down, so she started to breathe deeply and go into meditation. She reached out to see if she could find Yoda, but he must be shielded and still not ready to be found. She was sure he was still alive. He just had to be. So she tried to feel Luke, but it was cloudy and hazy. She imagined it was the drugs he was on, but then something else came to her.

“Princess.” It called.

She didn't quite recognize the voice, but it sounded like a young man.

“Hello?” she answered.

“I need your help, will you help me again?” He answered.

“Who is this?” Leia answered confused. “Who is this?”

There was some pause, then she heard the breathing and felt exactly who it was, and his voice changed back to the way she knew it.

“Princess. I have secured the Emperor's place. While destroying the Emperor has been achieved, by myself with the help of Yoda, they have put me in his place, They are not aware of my presence at the Emperor's demise,” Darth Vader stated.

“Why are you asking me? I helped you, the Emperor's dead. It doesn't change if you are the new Emperor!” Leia yelled at him in their bond in the Force.

“The Death Star still needs to be destroyed. We may still need to make use of it as a ploy. I feel the Emperor had a plan in place prior to his death against me and possibly others,” Darth Vader explained.

“What does this have to do with me?” Leia asked very annoyed.

“The Death Star may not be the worst thing that the Emperor has done, but if it's destroyed, then the plan will go into effect. We must act soon, but if the Rebel Alliance has a plan to attack the Death Star, I would like you to encourage them to wait,” Darth Vader explained.

“What? Why should I believe you? Isn't this what you wanted? Rule over the galaxy?” Leia answered.

“In part that is true. Search your feelings, Leia. I am dealing here in the palace with Yupe Tashu, Mas Amedda and Moff Pandion as my advisors. Take that information as my word of honor and use it how you wish,” Darth Vader said returning to the other younger man voice.

“Wait? You know I'm going to tell the High Command of the Rebel Alliance this? And that you are acting Emperor?” Leia answered.

“That is correct. It is your information to do with how you wish,” Darth Vader said back in his menacing Sith Lord voice.

“I don't know why, but I believe you,” Leia answered. “You did honor our last agreement. I don't understand are you two people? Am I speaking with two people.”

“What!” Darth Vader answered in the Sith Lord voice.

“Have I only been speaking with Darth Vader?” Leia answered.

Darth Vader was unsettled for a moment, “Princess, I believe it may be the fact that I wish to protect you,”

Leia laughed, “Like you did on the Death Star?”

“On the Death Star I did not know. I may be regressing into the voice or image of my former self because of your presence,” Darth Vader answered. “I have no desire for politics that is true, I have merely have been the Emperor's second, his apprentice, his enforcer. When I came to be what I am, it was because he was all I had left. He was like a father to me.”

“So, you wouldn't have tortured me on the Death Star? I find that hard to believe. Especially with Tarkin there. The Emperor was like your emotional father?” Leia laughed. “Why don't you just kill those who oppose you? Isn't that what you usually do?”

“Enough!” Darth Vader said in anger. “How is Skywalker?”

“He is alive,” Leia answered. “That is all I will speak of him. Haven't you done enough damage. You didn't have to blurt out that you were his father while he was in such a state. Did you even think what that could have done to him? He had this image of this great and power Jedi. A clone wars hero and notorious pilot. He worshiped that memory. You took it all away from him!”

“We will end this conversation now! I will try and contact you again. Our connection is now strong due to our time together on Mustafar.”

“Lucky me,” Leia said sarcastically.

“You sometimes remind me of my former self,” Darth Vader spoke.

“Alright, I didn't need that, you said you were going, now go! I'll use this information. I'll say it came from an informant,” Leia answered.

Darth Vader disappeared. Leia came out of the meditation unsettled. She imagined Vader did as well which gave her a little comfort. Something was different about him though, and it was a bit unsettling. She actually trusted him. She was one that was always willing to give someone second chances, or a chance to make something out of themselves, but never in her wildest dreams did she think she could offer the same to Darth Vader.

She drifted off to sleep.

“Princess,” Threepio tapped. “Princess, Master Luke is awake.”

Leia woke from her sleep still unsettled by the previous meditation. She looked over happy to see Luke sitting up.

“Hey, how are you feeling?” Leia said gently, getting up and taking a seat on the edge of his bed.

Luke hesitated then spoke, “Like a herd of bantha trampled me.”

The med droid came in and checked his vitals. “We will have you get up soon so we may make the required adjustments. Rest for now.” He said with a clipped mechanical voice as he scurried out to check on other patients.

“Threepio? Artoo? Could you both go down to the commissary to get me something to eat? And some water for Luke?” Leia requested hoping to get them out of the way.

“I would be most happy to, Princess. Come along, Artoo?” Threepio commanded his astromech pal.

“I'm still a little groggy here, but I sense something troubling you,” Luke stated calmly.

Leia looked around then whispered, “While I was sitting here with you, I was meditating and ended up talking to him.”

Luke jumped a bit and sat up more, “Him? Our...”

Leia wouldn't let him finish, she placed a finger on his lips and nodded. She whispered, “This is just between us. I will give you the full story later. He asked for my help. Oh by the way, he's acting Emperor.”

Luke shook his head and gave a silent, “What?”

“I need to tell High Command, this is classified. Some just for you. I have intel for them, from him. What if it's a trap? I know I sense he is telling the truth, but I don't know,” Leia said shaking her head.

“Trust your instincts,” Luke said softly.

“You sound like Yoda and Obi-Wan,” Leia laughed.

Luke started to try to move his right arm, then got frustrated with everything hooked up to it, then moved his left. He took Leia's hand and held it.

Threepio returned Artoo in tow, with a tray of refreshments. Leia got something to eat and insisted that Luke try drinking some water. Shortly after the medical droid came in.

“Commander Skywalker, if you could come sit over here, we can make the adjustments to your hand,” the droid said in a mechanical voice.

Leia helped him to the chair and he sat and put his hand down on the table. The droid did a few tests and alterations causing Luke a little pain, which was good, it made it so that he would have true feeling in his artificial hand. The droid then closed the synthskin on his hand.

Luke stood up and hugged Leia, they walked over to the window and looked out.

“At least my room has a great view!” Luke said smiling.

“It does.” Leia smiled.

“Is that the Falcon?” Luke asked watching a freighter pass by. “Where's Han going?”

“He's moving the ship to Home One, Mon didn't want it's obviousness showing outside the Redemption,” Leia said with a bit of a laugh. “Are you doing alright otherwise, Luke?”

“I will be,” He said as they held each other standing together. “It's still a lot to take in, but it helps that I can talk to you about it.”

Leia thought to herself and wondered how much of her time with Vader she should tell Luke, or if she should tell him at all?

//

Home One

Leia entered the conference room where already General Draven, Mon Mothma, General Madine and General Cracken were already talking quietly among themselves.

“It's so good to see you back, Princess,” Jan Dodonna said moving up to her and shaking her hand and giving her a pat.

As she went too take a seat, she felt a hand on her shoulder. She turned around to see General Rieekan who gave her a hug. He whispered, “Do you know what the meeting is about.”

“I have some idea. Come have a seat with me,” Leia said as they went to sit down.

Some of the other members of High Command filed in, as well as a few Generals who were not as high up in the ranks. Lando came in and waved then walked up to her seat to give her a hello, but then Han came in and sat down next to her on the other side.

“You aren't supposed to be here!” Leia whispered.

“I got invited,” Han whispered back.

“Who?” Leia whispered back.

“Cracken, why? You want me to leave?” Han answered back.

Lando took the chair next to Han and made some chit chat, before Leia whispered again to Han.

“You don't have clearance, but if you were invited, I'm glad you're here,” Leia whispered.

“I probably know more about this than most of the people here anyway, just don't worry about your rules and whatever,” Han answered back, leaning a bit back in his chair and rocking it.

Leia held the chair firm so it was stopped and gave him a look as it was making a noise.

“Something wrong, Princess?” Rieekan said noticing her demeanor.

“No, I'm fine, thank you, General,” Leia answered politely. “General Syndulla.” Leia spoke nodding a head to the woman at Rieekan's right.

“Princess, am I to understand that you are the one who brought General Calrissian here to the Alliance?“ Hera Syndulla spoke with a bit of humor.

“Please don't blame me for that. What has he done?” Leia said with concern.

“Oh, nothing. I knew him a few years ago, he's really been an asset. Knowing him before, I can't believe it! We even went on a mission together not long ago. We stole some weapons from an Imperial factory. That was quite a mission,” She smiled looking towards Lando.

“Indeed it was,” Lando smiled grinning ear to ear.

“He almost got me killed, but he's crafty, and thanks to my droid Chopper, we made it out just in time,” Hera answered.

“Thanks to your droid? Hey! That was me, I had it all under control,” Lando said straightening his collar.

Rieekan laughed.

“General Solo,” Hera said nodding toward Han.

Leia mouthed out looking at him and then whispered, “Why did she call you that?”

“I dunno,” Han said.

“You didn't tell her?” Rieekan asked.

“Tell me what?” Leia answered.

“Alright, I joined while you were dealing with Luke. That's why Cracken invited me here,” Han explained.

“Really? You?” Leia whispered.

“What's so strange about that? I thought you might like it, I dunno,” Han said innocently and with a bit of offense.

“And you didn't say something before hand?” Leia fumed.

Rieekan elbowed her. “Princess, leave it for later. I think they are starting soon, and there might be some wagering in the back.” He laughed.

Leia straightened herself up and watched as everyone sat down but Mon Mothma who stood at the front of the room.

“I've brought you all here to give you some important news. A few of you may have heard already, but I wanted to make sure we look at the situation seriously before we draw to any conclusions or false revelry. We have received word that Emperor Palpatine is dead,” Mon said seriously.

Gasps were heard throughout the room. Rieekan leaned over to Leia and asked, “Did you know this?”

Leia nodded yes.

“While this may seem on the surface to be good news, we must be cautious. We still have a few matters on the table that must be addressed. This is not necessarily a cause for celebration. We do not know all the facts, and there are still some very serious situations within the Empire we are fighting. Those situations are still of importance and are as very much of a threat as they had been before,” Mon continued. “We do not know who has been put forth in the Emperor's place, nor do we know what we are dealing with.”

Leia stood up.

“Princess Leia, we will allow for questions later, if you will allow me to finish...” Mon started.

“I may have information to add to what you have just stated. I know who has been put in the Emperor's place,” Leia continued interrupted.

Jan Dodonna spoke up, “I would like to hear this.”

“You may address the room,” Mon motioned for Leia to come up to the front of the room.

“I have a source with whom I've been in contact who has connections in the highest levels of government in Coruscant. That individual has given me some information,” Leia began.

“Do you trust this source? Could it be a trap?” Admiral Ackbar stood up and questioned her.

“I know he is telling the truth, if that is what you mean. They have placed Darth Vader as the acting Emperor, I am also aware of his current advisers,” Leia answered.

The room gasped.

“How did you come to this information?” Draven questioned with skepticism.

“I have my resources, General,” Leia answered.

“I would suggest you and I sit down and discuss this at a later time, Princess. However, thank you for informing me of this latest development,” Mon said. “Now, if you would please sit down, I will continue.”

Leia sat down, crossing her arms in front of her chest and feeling as if she were being punished in some way like a child. She knew that Mon perhaps would not want to share all of the information until she heard it, but she felt as if she were not being taken seriously. Especially from Draven.

“Yes, it would make perfect sense that they would place Darth Vader in that role. I do believe the Princess is correct with her information,” Mon said taking a cue from Leia's body language.

“I want to know where she is getting her information!” Draven said standing and clenching his fists at his side.

“I'm sure it would have come in from one of your operatives soon, general,” Leia answered staring at him with a glaring look.

“That's just it, you've not been here in a while, you show up and then give us this. And I know for a fact you didn't or pretended to not know the Emperor had even died when you showed up!” Draven shouted.

“General Draven, I'm sure that Princess Leia is only protecting her ability to keep her source. There is no need for questioning her loyalty,” Mon Mothma chastised him.

“I have a lot of connections that are both from my days as a senator and a member of the Alderaanian family, general,” Princess Leia retorted.

“Hey look, I've got ways to contact people on my ship, it's not a big deal really? Is it? Where she got this?” Han says in defense as Leia gives him a look telling him he should just keep his mouth shut.

“Let's drop how she got this, after all, it does sound like what would happen if we were to make an educated prediction,” Admiral Ackbar spoke up. “The question is where do we go with this information.”

“I need to inform a few of you that are not aware already that we have dire issues we have been investigating prior to the Emperor's death. Much of it is classified, however, it is of the utmost importance. We need to recruit more ships to our cause, and I have already talked to some of you about ways we will go about achieving this. We also do not want to direct attention to our efforts. Doing both will be quite the task,” Mon Mothma added as part of the briefing.

There was a lot of chatter in the room.

“General Dodonna, will explain the rest,” Mon Mothma said as she went to sit down.

Dodonna made his way to the front of the room and cleared his throat, “It has come to our conclusion that we should scatter the fleet for now, and regroup at a later date for security. We will communicate on the safe channels, but so many ships floating together in the flotilla, and some recent information we have uncovered, is a very dangerous risk. We also feel that that it will be more efficient in some of our recruiting efforts.”

There was more chattering, and some shaking of heads.

“Many of you have already been given your assignments. The rest of you will as well. Your crews may be reorganized as needed. Are there any questions?” Dodonna asked as Mon Mothma returned to the front of the room.

“What time frame are we talking here?” General Syndulla asked.

“It will not be immediate, but quite soon. You each will be briefed and given notice,” Mon Mothma answered.

“Will the squadrons then need to be split?” General Rieekan asked.

“There is a plan regarding that, and we will sit down with you very soon, General Rieekan to go over that very topic,” General Dodonna answered.

A brief pause and some chatter was heard throughout the room.

“With that, I say you are all dismissed,” Mon Mothma ordered.

Rieekan leaned over to Leia, “How's Skywalker? I haven't had a chance to visit him.”

“I'm heading over there after the meeting, if you'd like to join us,” Leia offered.

“I'd like that. Antilles told me he had gone, but he wasn't awake, yet,” Rieekan said with concern.

“Yes, I saw him, he stopped by. He's up now, tell Wedge if you would when you see him,” Leia answered.

“I'll see if he's free and have him meet us over there. You leaving right now?” Rieekan asked.

“If those two over there stop talking. I'll comm to get us a shuttle,” Leia answered bluntly listening to Han boast about joining to Lando.

“He came to me. He probably didn't have the chance to tell you,” Rieekan said sensing that Leia was a bit annoyed by Han's actions.

“I just wish he said something before,” Leia tensed.

“We'll talk about it in the shuttle,” Rieekan answered giving her a pat on the shoulder and going over to where Lando and Han were chatting.

//

Gatalenta

Yoda woke to the noise of creaking durasteel. He slyly moved out of his crawlspace and found a shadow to hide in as the ramp lowered with a crew of two boarding the ship. When he was sure no one was watching, he jumped out and flitted through the spaceport. While behind a crate, he was noticed by security so using the Force, he pushed some crates in the opposite direction causing a diversion as he slipped in to another hiding spot.

He found a small unoccupied Imperial shuttle sitting unguarded and ran for it, racing up the ramp. When he sensed no lifeforms inside, he went into the cockpit of the ship and sat there.

“Long time this I have done,” Yoda said out loud to no one.

He glanced at the controls and then closing his eyes with the Force, he clicked the engines on. The ship powered up, and he went off into space. He was hailed, but made no reply and was in hyperspace before anyone else noticed. He didn't want to go directly to Dagobah, so he took the coordinates of a moon he knew to be unoccupied, at least he remembered it had been, the atmosphere being dangerous for humans. Someone of his species though could survive there for a short time while he stopped and checked for trackers. With the ship in hyperspace, he went looking through the ships galley. There wasn't much, it just being a shuttle, probably from a star destroyer, or a large Imperial ship. The fact it had a hyperdrive enough told him that it was sometimes used for other excursions so there were a few provisions in there. Some protein paste, tea and caf. He smiled. He put on some water and made himself a cup, took the cup to the cockpit and relaxed in the glow of hyperspace. He meditated and reached out to Luke to sense his well being and let him be aware of his own.

//

Shuttle to the Redemption.

As soon as they made themselves comfortable and strapped in, Leia let it out, “How come I had to find out from Hera Syndulla that you joined the Rebel Alliance officially?”

“Hey, it just happened, asked Rieekan. You were busy and weren't around. I was talking to the general here, and then here we are,” Han answered.

“It's true, I saw him in the hanger. We were conversing, I took him to Cracken's office, and we made it official,” Rieekan said in Han's defense.

“I just wish you had said something before. That you were even planning on considering it,” Leia said putting her hands over her chest.

“I did, sort of, before, it got mentioned sometimes, I think. I really don't know why it upsets you,” Han answered. “I've been around here for over 3 years, maybe it's about time I had something to show for it.”

“Princess, you know how flexible the Alliance can be. I'm sure it will change very little. In fact, I believe it might show some commitment on Solo's part,” Rieekan pointed out.

“I just wish I knew. I feel it was done behind my back,” Leia answered with just a little annoyance. “Where are they sending you?”

Rieekan laughed.

“Why are you laughing, general?” Leia answered.

“I know where they are sending him, he's been ordered on the Remembrance convoy. There's room for the Falcon on board,” Rieekan added.

“Oh that's just great!” Leia snapped. “So they are sending you away.”

“Is this what this is about then?” Han gritted his teeth.

Rieekan was laughing.

“Why are you laughing, general? You placing bets again?”Leia tensed up.

“It's your ship, Princess. Mon thinks you'll be safer if they keep you away from Home One. And I know from personal experience that you'll be in the safest hands if he's around,” Rieekan pointed out.

“That's insulting, general. I was told by Cracken that we would be assigned to the same convoy, but really have you met Leia?” Han answered. “Who's going to protect me?”

“I don't need you to speak for me!” Leia shouted. “Chewie will probably be there.”

“More like protect you from yourself,” General Rieekan pointed out looking at Leia and rubbing her shoulder. “Looks like we're closing into the hanger. Should we wait for Antilles, or just head up.”

“We'll finish this later,” Leia said looking at Han.

Rieekan just shook his head.

When they got to Luke's room, Chewie, Wedge, Hobbie and Wes were already there and they could hear laughing.

“Hey guys, come on in!” Luke called out.

“It's great to see you in such a good mood,” Leia said as she Han and Rieekan crowded in.

Chewie roared from the back and waved.

“They were telling me all about what you did at the party with the datapad!” Luke said still laughing.

“I did show it to Luke. Did he tell you all that?” Leia laughed. “Janson, I hope you've moved on to something else.”

“We don't see you that much anymore, Princess, so don't worry. Though I'm not going to say we've completely stopped,” Wes said sheepishly.

“Well, just be careful,” Leia warned. “That did entertain us when we were trapped, and I've enjoyed the books. I'm glad you had those on there. I didn't know you were a reader.”

“It passes the time,” Wes offered.

“These guys will be stuck with me for a while I'm afraid,” Rieekan explained. “We'll be heading out when we get our order.”

“Scattering the fleet. I'll miss you guys. I'm glad you came by,” Luke spoke with a bit of sadness.

“Where you stationed, Skywalker?” Rieekan asked. “That is if it's not classified.”

“I'll be staying on here on this ship with it's convoy. I'll keep in touch,” Luke offered.

“It's not the hand is it?” Leia asked a bit worried.

“Oh no, they want to keep us moving around, we are targets apparently. I need to talk to you later about something, if you could stick around?” Luke asked looking seriously at her eyes.

“Of course,” Leia answered knowing exactly what topic may or may not come up. “I'm sorry we won't be assigned together.”

The rogues made a comment and some kissing sounds.

“Guys, it's not like that. Geez. You should know by now. Leia's my best friend. That's all,” Luke corrected.

Han got all twitchy, and the guys noticed.

“Aww we were just teasing. Anyway, we all figure that the Princess is already...” Wes started to say but was cut off by Leia.

“No, we aren't doing that. No more speculating on my comings and goings or my life or anything like that. And if you must know, yes, I'm with General Solo. Apparently the whole hanger downstairs knows about it, so I'm surprised if you don't. I won't have it discussed,” then she looks at Han. “You just keep quiet.”

Han puts his hands up in the air in defeat. Chewie laughs.

“Right now the wagering is on General Calrissian, and another young lady,” Wes explained.

“What? Leave people alone! Wager on something other than people's private business, though I can only imagine who or what Lando has been up to lately,” Leia shouted.

“Princess, you're getting a little loud,” Rieekan warned.

“Oh, sorry. Other patients may be sleeping or may not have heard about my personal habits yet. I wouldn't want to mess up the betting!” Leia said angrily, but in a quieter tone.

Han stood there scratching his head, and Rieekan looked a bit uncomfortable. The Rogues just stood there. Luke was laughing.

“What did I miss?” Luke could barely speak.

“Alright, what are the odds on Calrissian?” Leia asked quietly and mostly out of curiosity.

“General Syndulla and he did a mission together, so she's currently in the running,” Wes said meekly.

Han got twitchy as did Rieekan.

Leia laughed, “Certainly not! Trust me on that one.”

“It's just for fun Princess,” Wes said scratching his foot into the floor and trying to look cute.

Rieekan and Han were whispering something. Which got Wedge's attention. “We aren't in trouble are we, sir?”

“No, I can let this go, it's something else entirely.” Rieekan laughed.

Leia calmed down and quietly said, “Alright, I'll put some credits against anything between General Calrissian and General Syndulla.”

Wes jotted something down on a flimsy in his pocket. Han whispered in Leia's ear, “Smart move.”

“You know something we don't?” Hobbie asked.

Han just put his hands up in defeat, “No, nothing at all.”

Rieekan held a small chuckle.

“Well, gentleman, I believe you have some duties to perform. You may want to return to your posts,” Rieekan ordered.

“Yes, sir,” the Rogues said in unison.

“I'll meet you over there in a bit, I have some business here, then I have to return to Home One again,” Rieekan declared. “I'll expect a full report though.”

“Good to see you, Luke!” Wedge said as he left.

“Take care,” Hobbie offered and Wes just gave a wave.

“What was that about? Lando and who?” Luke asked.

“Oh. They think there's something between Lando and General Syndulla, but there couldn't possibly be after what she told me,” Leia explained.

“What's that?” Han asked. “He never said anything to me about it.”

“Years ago, he involved her in a con, and sold her into slavery,” Leia said laughing.

“That's not funny,” Luke said very seriously.

“Oh, it was a scam, she just didn't know it at the time, and it all worked out. She's still a bit angry about it,” Leia explained.

“That sounds like Lando alright,” Han said laughing.

“I heard that from Ackbar, he told me!” Rieekan laughed.

“Princess, I should get going. I have to visit someone else on the ward, then get back to Home One then my duties on the Liberty. Good to see you looking better, Skywalker,” Rieekan said smiling.

“They're getting me a regular room here. I'm pretty much discharged, they didn't have one ready.

Chewie roared.

“Chewie said it's small. Threepio is down there sorting through my things and unpacking,” Luke said then scratched his head. “I should be there tonight.”

Artoo beeped.

“About Threepio. I had a request from High Command if they could borrow him for some translating work,” Leia informed him. “The rooms here are very tiny, I imagine it will be cramped even with just you and Artoo.”

“Oh that's fine, it was nice to have the company while I was stuck here. Plus, I don't always understand Chewie still, after all these years,” Luke said.

Leia gave Han a sign and he took it as a hint. “Hey Chewie, let's go get something to eat, alright? I heard they just got some fresh fruit on this ship.”

Chewie roared.

After they left and they were alone, Luke sent Artoo to keep Threepio in check to get him out of the way.

“Luke, how are you doing?” Leia asked with deep concern.

“My hand still hurts, like it's missing, but I still feel the new one. It's really strange. That's not what I wanted to talk to you about though. I've heard from Yoda,” Luke whispered.

“Really?” Leia spoke with surprise.

“He's safe. He got away. He wants to return to Dagobah, but hasn't gotten there yet,” Luke whispered. “Through the Force. Meditation. We should try to do that with each other, while we are apart. It might not always work, but we can try,” Luke suggested.

“That might not be wise, especially with my frequent visitor,” Leia whispered. “There's always the safe channel on the Falcon.”

“Yeah, I wish we were in the same place. I sometimes feel I need to talk, but you're the only one I can talk with,” Luke said with a bit of frustration.

“Look inside yourself, Luke. You do what you need to do. If you have to, get transferred. I know the fleet will rejoin soon. Something big is coming up. Just hang in there, alright. Now, that's classified,” Leia said. “You need to know that I'll not be away from you long though.”

“Maybe you're right. Have you heard anymore from...you know,” Luke asked with a touch of anger.

“No, but I'm sure I will. Not that I want to,” Leia whispered.

“Should we tell people we are brother and sister?” Luke asked taking her hand.

“I'd like to, but I feel now is not the best time. Wait on that. That was difficult with the Rogues still speculating,” Leia spoke softly.

“Riza came up to see me with one of the other gals from the hanger,” Luke said with a laugh. “It actually was nice of her.”

“Was she hitting on you?” Leia said tensing up.

“I don't think so, I just think she was trying to be nice. She isn't a bad person really,” Luke explained.

“I suppose not. It's a strange situation to be in, war and living on ships and in hiding I imagine. A friendly face should always be welcome I guess,” Leia pondered.

“It was nice, and they both were trying hard to cheer me up. I was down at the time,” Luke explained. “They suggested I go to counseling, but how could I?”

“Trust in the Force. Your strength is there,” Leia said gripping his hand, the real one.

“It is. I talked a bit to Yoda, too. It helped,” Luke said smiling.

//

Home One

Later on Home One, Leia had her private meeting with Mon Mothma. As usual, she had to wait. After some time she was let in and had a seat.

“Thank you for coming to see me so quickly. I'm sorry you were kept waiting. So what was this about the aids to the new acting Emperor?” Mon cut right to the chase.

“Yupe Tashu, Mas Amedda and Moff Pandion, whoever that is. Tashu and Amedda, of course, you will remember,” Leia explained.

“Yes. Pandion, he must have moved up in the ranks. So your source? How close are they as far as the government itself? An old colleague perhaps? Are they close to the inner circle, or on the edges?” Mon asked.

Leia squished her face, “Let's just say I've spent some time with them so that I know them a bit. Maybe a bit of both?” It wasn't a lie, she was sure that Vader, while acting as Emperor, was probably in the dark about a few things as well.

“And you are sure this source is in the position to know these things?” Mon asked.

“Oh, with great certainty. I do not trust them, but I know they are telling the truth,” Leia answered.

“I understand.” Mon nodded her head. “And will you be in contact again with them soon?”

“Probably, most likely, yes.” Leia offered.

“Leia, where have you been?” Mon asked tilting her head.

“In hiding, didn't Han tell you? You wanted me to go underground for a while, correct?” Leia said gritting her teeth.

“I see, and you show up with Commander Skywalker. I know you knew where he was, but missing a hand? It was cauterized. That was a lightsaber injury. Did he do that himself?” Mon asked concerned.

“No, we've mentioned before that there is at least one stormtrooper who is known to carry one. You know that. He cut Luke's hand,” Leia explained pounding the table.

“Where was this?” Mon asked leaning back in her chair.

“I can't tell you that!” Leia answered her.

“You don't know or you won't?” Mon asked looking at her in the eyes.

“I won't. He shouldn't have been there. It doesn't matter now and it's not a security issue! I promise you that!” Leia shouted. “May I leave?”

Mon sat for a moment looking at Leia. “Are you alright? You can talk to me about anything. It doesn't have to be Alliance business. There will be no record. Do you trust me?” Mon asked her.

“I don't know who to trust anymore, to be honest. Well, I do have a few,” Leia sighed.

“You don't trust me? Leia, you can trust me,” Mon said taking her hand.

“Do you know who Luke's mother was?” Leia asked.

“I could take a good guess,” Mon said.

“Do you think anyone else is around who could also take a good guess then?” Leia said with a sharper tone.

“No, I don't believe so, few would,” Mon gulped.

“Because Jedi do not have families, correct?” Leia said glaring at her.

“That's correct. They didn't, but apparently Luke's father was a Jedi, one I did know. Why are you asking? Is it because you know who she was? Somehow I think you do? Did your father say something? They were close,” Mon said not really thinking.

“They were close? Yes, apparently they were. Where did they find me Mon? Do you know?” Leia questioned her.

“He said you were the child of war refugees, Leia. Nothing more. You were their child even if they weren't your birth parents,” Mon pointed out. “I imagine that Luke and yourself have been discussing this?”

“Yes,” Leia said then bit her lip. She laughed. “I don't want everyone to know this yet, but it seems that my father sent me not only to find General Kenobi, but he was to bring Luke as well. Did you know that?”

“I knew your mission was to bring back Kenobi, yes, I had never heard of Luke before he came to us,” Mon noted. “But I could see why your father might know about him, if he knew where Kenobi was. As I said, Luke's mother was a close friend. I knew her as well, if she was his mother that is. And it would make sense that Kenobi was watching over him.”

“You don't know anything else? Really?” Leia asked.

“About Luke's mother, I knew her, if she was who I believe her to be,” Mon said.

Leia paused. “I'm not ready to say this, but there's more and I don't want you to tell anyone. Not anyone in High Command or even General Rieekan. Luke knows, Han knows. Luke is my twin brother. Understand? My father helped Kenobi and Yoda escape that order to kill the Jedi. They hid our mother, she gave birth then died shortly after. Then my father took me in and Luke was taken by Kenobi to Tatooine. He's my brother, Mon. Did this ever occur to you as a possibility?”

“It really never did. It makes sense I imagine. There were so many orphans back then, Leia. He kept that secret. Yes, we should keep it secret for now, if the Emperor had found out, he might have killed you both,” Mon said seriously.

“The Emperor is dead, Mon!” Leia spoke.

“Darth Vader as well, I imagine, he's Emperor now,” Mon stated seriously. “Until we can eliminate him as well, you should keep it a secret. It's safe with me, I would never tell.”

“See, I wanted to tell everyone. We didn't know until not too long ago. Yoda told me. We became close anyway, scary isn't it? If it had gone a different way?” Leia shivered.

Mon took her hand.

“I'm glad you know. If Luke needs help, and I'm not around. I wanted someone to know. About us being twins. You understand?” Leia said. “I do trust you, Mon.”

“Thank you, Leia. I'll keep an eye on Luke for you, and I reach out to him. You can let him know he can come to me with anyone, alright?” Mon said hugging her.

“Thank you,” Leia said breaking the hug.

Leia thought to herself as she left. Keeping it secret from Vader? He knew. Mon didn't know that part, she could tell from her reactions. Leia was beginning to realize that Vader was the least of her worries now as far as Imperial government and the Rebel Alliance went and that Luke may find it necessary to tell Mon, if Leia couldn't at some point in the future.

Leia walked to the Falcon and Chewie already had some dinner waiting. She took her seat and Han sat in next to her and she rested her head on his chest, “I told Mon about Luke and I being twins. She won't speak of it, she thinks we should keep it quiet. What if Vader finds out, is what she said,” Leia laughed.

Chewie came out and sat down and started to eat. “Chewie? I have something to tell you, but we aren't telling everyone alright?” Leia spoke quietly.

Chewie roared with excitement stood up and started to hug her.

“Chewie it's not that!” Han stood up freaking out a bit.

Leia laughed. “No, it's about Luke. Chewie have a seat. Han? Why did Chewie think that was it?”

Han answered, “I dunno. He's Chewie.”

“Chewie, you know how I'm adopted? Well, Luke is my brother, we were separated as babies. I wanted you to know. I only told Mon. Luke knows. Yoda told me. It's a secret though, alright?” Leia said holding onto his arm.

Chewie roared then hugged her.

“I know, we haven't known long. It's crazy right?” Leia laughed.

Chewie roared.

“Sounds good to me. Let's eat,” Leia laughed.

Chapter Text

Chewie was right, the room was tiny. Luke was simple, he just needed a place to sleep and keep what few things he had, but it was tight with he and Artoo, and not enough room to turn around. The cot wasn't very big either, and if you turned over, you could fall on the floor if the wall on the other side of the room wouldn't keep you from doing that. He shared a common fresher down the hall with some of the other crew, which wasn't bad, but many of those guys didn't have the luxury of privacy either. The benefit of having friends in high places, a private room. He couldn't even imagine Chewie getting in here to put his things away. Well, he didn't expect to be spending much time in the room anyway.

He had been asked by Leia to catch a shuttle to Home One for breakfast, then he had a few meetings. Mon Mothma herself made an appointment to talk with him personally which he didn't understand. She had visited him once on the Redemption, and inquired about his health more than once. Luke knew she was close to Leia, but he hadn't really known her much except for her being their leader and the gatherings at meetings. He had to wait for a timed shuttle for those who needed to get to transfer to the ship, though he knew Leia could just call for one and get it immediately. There were ten others on the shuttle heading for the ship and one had been someone he had flown with from Hoth, but hadn't seen since then. She had been in recovery and were being reassigned. He didn't really know her well, but it was nice to see a familiar face, and one who had spent time in the hospital on the Redemption.

He wasn't looking forward to the meetings. He didn't know what he was going to tell them about his time on Coruscant, or Dagobah, but he thought maybe breakfast with Leia, Han and Chewie could help him come up with a plan. He knew Leia wasn't too eager about it either, and she had her own secrets. For instance, Luke not knowing that Leia had been on Mustafar.

He got to the Falcon in Home One's hanger, with the ramp down and bounded up where Leia came up to him and gave him a big hug. With the larger fleet ships being so huge and kind of sterile with cramped quarters, the Falcon was more like visiting a warm and cozy home, and since he hadn't been there since he arrived, it felt good to meet his friends there. Not to mention they had real food, though the fleet had been getting in some fruit lately which was nice.

Chewie roared and hugged Luke.

Leia came up to hug Luke and gave him and a peck on the cheek. “Luke, I told Chewie last night about us being twins. Mon knows as well. No one else does. It probably is better that way for now.”

“Yeah, especially with the other thing,” Luke said quietly.

Chewie nodded his head and roared a question.

“Oh, Chewie, it's just Luke means about our father being a Jedi, and the being separated. That's all,” Leia said not sure to spill the 'Vader is my father' information.

“I've been trying to reach Yoda. Not sure where he is, but at least we know he is alive. I just wonder if there is some way I can find him. Here, they are putting me on light duty. It's a good idea, really. Wedge has the Rogues now. I don't really have too many I know on the Redemption, but I'm sure it will work out. I'll have Artoo,” Luke said as he sat down. “I really don't know what I'm going to tell them about where I've been.”

“Mon knows it was that stormtrooper that wielded the lightsaber, so you could work with that,” Leia offered.

“I guess. I really don't want to talk about it much to be honest. I'm on light duty, maybe I can get some time off. I'd like to find Yoda,” Luke said leaning in and nesting his head in his hands.

Han came in with greasy hands and googles on his head, “Luke! Glad you could make it.”

“Well, I want to see you guys as often as I can before they split us up, and I have a meeting with Mon Mothma in a while, so I'll be here anyway,” Luke explained.

“Lando said he might show up, too,” Han mentioned. “That is if he isn't busy with other things,” he said quietly.

“What other things? I thought he was on a mission?” Leia said taking a bite of food.

“He just got in last night, but I know Lando...” Han started then stopped. “He kind of well, hooks up with someone occasionally.”

“It's not General Syndulla I hope,” Leia mentioned, remembering the gossip from the other day.

“Oh, no,” Han said waving his hands. “Just drop it.”

Chewie roared.

“What was that?” Luke asked.

“He wondered if Lando had a mate on board,” Leia translated.

“Oh, she isn't his girlfriend or anything Chewie, it's just, you know,” Han laughed.

Chewie roared and shook his head.

“Chewie really doesn't understand casual sex with humans. Wookiees just kind of grab someone and that's their partner for the most part,” Han explained as he started to clean himself up.

Chewie roared and shook his head and waved his arm at Han.

“Hey, I know it's usually something special. I didn't mean it like that, Chewie,” Han said trying to calm Chewie down. “I know you miss your family.”

Chewie did a soft roar.

“I got that impression when we were traveling together. I felt like Chewie was judging me,” Luke said taking a bite. “Hey Chewie this is good!”

Chewie roared.

“It's some of that fruit mushed up on some sweet bread. It does make a nice breakfast,” Leia noted.

“Why didn't you bring Artoo? Could have used him. Would like him to read the ship before we leave,” Han asked pouring some caf.

“I'll bring him next time. It gets crowded on those shuttles,” Luke explained. “So what do you think Mon Mothma wants? I hope she doesn't ask me about what happened with the Emperor.”

“She doesn't know about that. I told her I wasn't on Alliance business, though she tried to drill information out of me. I really haven't told you everything anyway,” Leia explained sipping her caf. “It's a long story.”

“Why were you there?” Luke asked. “You rescued me?”

“I told you, I just knew you were there. Do you remember anything else besides what we already discussed?” Leia asked.

“It gets cloudy after losing my hand. I remember telling you about my ship, and Artoo. And meeting the Falcon somewhere. It was inside?” Luke asked wondering if his memory was right.

“That's about right,” Leia said almost glad that Luke didn't remember the rest of it.

“You were hiding?” Luke asked. “It just seems there's something else to it. I can't put my finger on it. I know you aren't saying everything...”

“Luke, not now. I will alright. It's just...I'm alright. Nothing bad happened, well at least not to me,” Leia explained.

“Lando's coming,” Luke warned.

“I'll lower the ramp,” Han said getting up.

“Hey, hey!” Lando came in with a big grin.

“Mission go alright?” Han asked returning to his seat at the table.

“Sure did! Got a few more ships to join us. And maybe some illegal weapons. Had a few contacts on Nar Shaddaa hook me up!” Lando boasted squeezing in.

“That's fantastic!” Leia said getting up and giving more room, since she was finished eating. “You've really seemed to fit in, and your resources have been a great assets for us. I hear a lot of praise about you, especially from Ackbar and Mon.”

Han choked a little.

“You alright, drink something,” Luke said patting his friend on the back.

“No, I'm OK,” Han said smiling and taking another bit of food. Lando shot him a stern look, then grinned from ear to ear.

 

“Yeah, they got me doing some ground troop work in a few days, I can't really talk much about it,” Han mentioned. “You know how that goes.”

“Yes, I certainly do. Let me know that you made it out alright, send a message if you can. Looks like I'll be based off this ship a while. They are sending me on missions, but I guess I'm not the target you and Luke are apparently,” Lando said looking at Leia.

“We will. We'll have direct contact on the ship,” Leia noted.

“I really should get going. Chewie, thanks for fixing breakfast,” Luke said getting up.

“Try and find me later, when you're finished, Luke. Just comm me, and I'll let you know where I am,” Leia pleaded.

“Sure will!” Luke said as he left the ship.

Luke's first stop was to see General Dodonna. Dodonna wanted to go over Luke's abilities while in recovery and see what work he could do to keep him busy.

“General, I'm fine, I'm starting to learn to use my hand. It almost feels like it's always been there,” Luke explained.

“I understand, but occasionally cybertechnic parts take some time to adjust to the biological aspect of a person. We just want to make sure it's the right fit, and that it will work as a permanent solution for you. We've had some be rejected after just a few weeks. After that, we'll put you back on your regular duties,” Dodonna explained. “Plus, losing a hand, there is some psychological elements we need to consider. I'll keep you busy though, I promise you. I may even send you on a light mission or two, just to keep you from growing bored. Nothing too elaborate, but it will get you off the ship.”

Luke just nodded.

“We value you greatly, and you are an important asset to the Alliance, but I want you to know, that we also care about your well being and won't be taking that for granted,” General Dodonna stressed.

“Thank you, General. I may need to take some time away, personal business,” Luke said rubbing his head, hoping not to make Dodonna mad.

“Just give me a heads up, and we'll see,” Dodonna said gruffly. “I just don't want you to have any run ins again that will cause missing limbs. Though I'm well aware you are able to handle yourself.”

Luke laughed, “Understood, General.”

“Dismissed, Commander Skywalker,” Dodonna ordered.

Luke then went down to wait with Mon Mothma's assistant for their meeting. Others filed in as well waiting, so at least he had someone to talk to, even if he didn't really know them well. After what seemed like forever, but was probably just an hour, Mon had Luke come in and have a seat at her conference table.

“Thank you for meeting me here, Commander Skywalker. First of all, how have you been doing with your recovery?” Mon said standing there still looking at some charts.

“I'm doing alright, Ma'am. Leia said she told you about our relationship,” Luke said looking up at the same chart that Mon was, but not really making sense of it.

“Yes, and it explains a few things about her. When she rescued you from Bespin,” Mon said turning off the chart and having a seat next to Luke.

“I was there, but not really there, Ma'am,” Luke stated.

Mon laughed, “Yes, I imagine that you weren't. Her use of the Force.”

“The Force?” Luke stated.

“Yes, she didn't tell you? I imagine it's not my place, and I know how she just lets things pretty much roll off her back, but she apparently took you away from Darth Vader with use of the Force. At least from what our spies uncovered I could make an educated guess. She all but confirmed it. Of course, I wasn't there, and this is all heresay, but it sounds like she pushed Darth Vader out of the way and took you out with little else,” Mon said with a great seriousness.

“I wasn't aware of the specifics. I know she uses it, I just didn't know she could do that,” Luke said with his eyes wide.

“Luke, I want you to know you can discuss anything with me. If something is bothering you, or if you need someone to talk. I know that you may have some trouble adjusting to a few things, but I want you to know that I'm here. I may keep you waiting, and yes, my assistant gets on me about that, but just know that you can always talk to me,” Mon said taking his hand. “I remember your mother quite well, actually. I was discussing this with Leia. I'm certain she was your mother at least.”

“Really?” Luke said sitting up and wondering what kind of person would have children with Darth Vader of all people.

“Yes, we worked together often, in the Senate, with Leia's adoptive father, Bail. I'm positive she was your mother. She was a senator from Naboo. You knew your father was Anakin Skywalker and they were quite close, and she was expecting before she died. Though there were whispers it was never discussed who the father was. Jedi didn't have families, but if General Kenobi had you on Tatooine with him, and the timing of her death, it would make a great deal of sense. I imagine Bail knew all of it as well,” Mon shared with a smile.

“What was she like?” Luke asked

“She was very remarkable, I admired her a great deal. I believe she would have been part of the rebellion if she had lived. Her thumbprint is on a lot of our earlier movements. It was she who told Bail and myself to play along in the Senate and still fight for the rights of others. My first instinct was to rebel right there when the Emperor took over, but I was able to do a great deal by heeding her words. I would not be here today if I had not,” Mon explained.

Luke thought to himself. Mon has no idea what happened to his father. And it seemed his mother was the exact opposite, against the Empire, or the fall of the Republic, or whatever it was back then. He made a mental note to ask Yoda.

“Leia, I've known her most of her life, yet I didn't even know that about her until she told me. I did know she was adopted. Of course, her father would have taken in one of her twins. Force sensitives and Jedi were hunted by the Emperor. Bail had resources that could hide that as far as Leia was concerned. I'm sure it was a safety issue, why you were separated. Bail was the one who sent for General Kenobi to take him to Alderaan, and that was when you ended up on the Death Star. I did know he was in hiding, Bail had told me that. When Kenobi showed up with you, and you said who you were, it made sense you were her son, but I wasn't sure until Leia told me you were twins,” Mon said still holding Luke's hand.

Luke shook is head.

“Now, where were you when you lost your hand, Luke?” Mon asked bluntly.

“I'd rather not say, Ma'am. If it's all the same. Let's just say I ran into some enemies when I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I had been with Yoda, before that. I know you know that about Leia, so I know I can share that with you. It's not official information right?” Luke said wondering if he should have told her.

“Of course not, that would be very risky. Your secret is safe here. I only wish that Yoda would have joined us, he could have been very useful to us. I'm glad you could share it with me though. I can sign off on some report and it will make Draven and Dodonna and anyone else happy and if not, well, so be it!” Mon smiled. “Speaking of Draven, I see you have a meeting for a debriefing? I'll take care of that.”

“Thanks, I wasn't looking forward to that one,” Luke said sheepishly.

“You may return to your ship if you like. If there is anything you need, send it by my office, and we'll make sure it's taken care of. Dismissed,” Mon said standing then grabbing Luke's shoulder.

Luke got Leia on the comm, and though she was in a meeting, she found an excuse to get out of it, so they met for lunch in the commissary. It wasn't as good as eating on the Falcon, but it was like getting out a bit and there were a few familiar faces around.

“Mon was really nice. She got me out of the meeting with Draven,” Luke whispered. “She told me something about you though.”

“What?” Leia said a bit startled.

Luke got up next to Leia's ear, “You used the Force to get me away, when I was frozen. She said she had a report on it.”

“Luke,” Leia sighed.

“It's alright. We should talk about it sometime though. I'd like to know more about it is all,” Luke questioned her.

“It's nothing, and I'll talk about it later,” Leia said drinking some caf.

Luke then got up in her ear again, “Mon told me about our mother.”

“Luke, really, people are going to talk. Look over there. They're staring at us,” Leia said pointing with an angry look.

“So?” Luke said taking another bit of the fruit. “Let's give them something to talk about then?”

Luke takes a piece of fruit, smushes it, and throws it in Leia's face. Leia stands up, “What are you doing?”

Leia picks up a slice of the fruit and smushes it in Luke's hair. Luke laughs then smears some on Leia's shoulder.

“That's going to stain!” Leia laughs and takes a bigger piece and squashes it all over Luke's face.

Everyone is watching and laughing. Luke whispers in her ear, “Imagine if we grew up together?”

“I'd never get away with this at home,” Leia whispers in Luke's ear.

“Me either, we wouldn't have this to waste!” Luke laughs not whispering.

“We shouldn't here either, it's not common we have fresh fruit,” Leia is still laughing.

People are still laughing and pointing. Leia takes a bow.

“I still have a meeting to go to,” Leia cackles.

“You'd better clean up then,” Luke said. “I'll contact you later.”

Leia walks to the fresher and runs into General Cracken on the way, fruit on her face. “General”, she says in a very serious tone.

Cracken's mouth just gapes open.

Luke wipes his own face, with fruit still stuck in his hair and catches the next shuttle back to the Redemption. While he boards, he runs into the girl who had visited him with Riza the other day. He didn't remember her name, but she was giving him a funny look and then he realized it.

“The hair! Oh, a little accident in the commissary,” He laughed. “I'm sorry, I don't remember your name.”

“Ciley,”she replied. I do some of the dispatching work in the hanger on the Redemption. I had to come over here for a meeting.”

“Me too, and visit some friends,” Luke said as they sat down and buckled in.

“It's so humid on this ship. I can't wait to get back to the Redemption, it's not as bad over there,” she said stretching her clothes a bit.

They were clinging to her from the sweat, Luke had noticed.

“Say, we have a little get together later in the hanger. Do you have anything going on tonight?” Ciley asked smiling.

“Not really. I don't know too many on the Redemption to be honest. That would be nice,” Luke said trying to subtly pick some of the fruit out of his hair.

Ciley reached up and did some of it for him. “Oh, I hope you don't mind?” She laughed.

“No, I'm kind of embarrassed. It was fun though, little food fight in the commissary,” Luke laughed and combed his hair a little with his fingers.

“Really? They still do that?” Ciley shook her head.

“Well, I did and a friend, it's nothing really. I imagine throwing protein paste or ration bars wouldn't have the same effect, but squishy fruit, it just seemed to be the thing to do.” Luke said shrugging.

“I wonder what the other guy looked like then when it was over,” she said in a flirty tone.

“Oh, it was a girl. I mean, It was Princess Leia. We're just friends, it wasn't you know,” Luke said realizing she might be fishing that he was with a girlfriend.

“Really? You smushed fruit all over Princess Leia? But she's part of High Command,” she laughed hysterically.

A junior officer next to them overheard and butted in. “I was there. That was hilarious.”

“I imagine she's mortified at her meeting. With stained clothes,” Luke chuckled.

“Yeah,” Ciley laughed.

“So, later, what time?” Luke asked as the shuttle pulled into the hanger.

“Oh just show up anytime. It's nothing big, just something to let off a little steam. When the last timed shuttles are in for the cycle.” Ciley said grabbing his arm as she got up.

They walked out together and Luke waved as he went left for his room.

Back at Home One, Leia, cleaned up save for the stain on her shirt and knowing she had no time to go back and get another one, waltzed into her meeting with Admiral Ackbar and Mon Mothma on the bridge of the ship as if nothing was wrong.

“Princess, I do hope are are alright?” Ackbar said with a bit of a frightful gruffness.

“Yes, I'm fine. Why?” Leia said looking down knowing it was the stain, and then realized the stain was the same color as blood. “Oh, it's just a stain! A little accident in the commissary with the fruit.”

“Well, that is a relief,” Mon said very dramatically and a bit standoffish.

“Princess, your ship will depart in two cycles,” Ackbar said laying out the plans for the ship. “You will be escorted by two other vessels, as well as having three vessels on board. The vessels will take turns escorting the ships, with the exception of the Millennium Falcon. The patterns will be given to your Captain, who has yet to be assigned, and further instructions will be given to you as far as other orders and assignments. I hope you realize that it is important to keep you moving for the time being. The risk is too great, and we hope to bring the fleet back together at some point soon in another location.”

“I understand,” Leia nodded.

“Leia, I know you are not happy with this arrangement,” Mon said grabbing her shoulder.

“I'll be fine, Mon. It would be nice to get planetside, any planetside at some point,” Leia said with a controlled laugh.

“We'll see,” Mon said worriedly. “Walk out with me.”

They left the bridge together and Mon leaned in and said quietly, “I spoke with Commander Skywalker earlier. I think we had a nice chat.”

“Yes, he mentioned he was coming to see you. We had breakfast this morning, then met for lunch, but he did mention you talked,” Leia said then laughed. “Actually, he put the fruit on my clothes.”

Mon had to laugh. “We talked about...” Mon thought a moment in case there was anyone listening then said, “his mother.”

“Oh,” Leia said quietly and stiffly.

“I don't believe anyone ever told him anything about her. It seemed to comfort him. He never having known her,” Mon replied. “If you'd ever like...”

“Yes, thank you. I know that would be of some comfort to him. He was in good spirits when I saw him, obviously, you can tell by the clothes,” Leia said trying to change the subject.

“Leia is something the matter?” Mon asked wondering why Leia's mood had suddenly changed.

“I'm fine, Mon. I think I'll go change. It's been a busy day,” Leia answered.

Mon nodded. “I'll see you again before you leave.”

“Yes, you will,” Leia said walking away.

The conversation was getting uncomfortable to Leia, and she didn't want to dwell on it. She knew that probably did help Luke in some way. If the woman was someone that Mon had thought highly of, it would be of some comfort to Luke, after having the revelation he had in the way he had been given it. Leia knew a little about her, from that long description ghost Obi-Wan gave, that she admitted she must have glazed over, and the bits and pieces she knew on a historical level from her father, her father that raised her. But she couldn't help remember that Darth Vader had referred to her as an angel. And her own parents, the real ones to her that loved her and made her who she was by raising her. That growing more complicated relationship she had with Darth Vader of mutual need and uncomfortable loathing. She felt more uncomfortable with the fact she was beginning to feel a little sympathy for him. The man who tortured her. “Ugh!” she said out loud.

“Princess?” one of the officers walking through the halls said out of concern while passing by.

Leia smiled and just said, “Stress. That's all. Sometimes you just have to let it out.”

The man laughed, “I know how that goes.”

Leia just picked up her pace. She just wanted to get back to the Falcon for a while and forget about all of this. She almost thought about flying away from it all. Then the sense of honor would sink in and the duty she felt she had to continue in the name of her parents and her home planet.

Luke took Ciley up on her offer and went down to the hanger to see if he could find the get together. It wasn't hard, there was a small crowd near the mechanic's room with a bit of noise. When he walked in, Ciley came up to him and pulled him in. He already knew Riza, who had her arm on some tall fellow he didn't know, and there were about twelve others crowded in the room. Ciley introduced him, and while everyone seemed to know who he was, he didn't know them and it was hard to keep their names straight. Still they were friendly and someone passed him a cup of some home made something that didn't taste really good, but they swore that didn't matter after having a couple of them. Luke, remembering some of the trouble he had gotten into before with Chewie, thought he would take it slow and not drink too much of it. They got into a few games and he saw more than a few pair off and leave for a bit.

Ciley whispered, “They are taking turns with the shuttle.”

“What?” Luke asked.

“You know, the shuttle? It's the only private place we have, so they use it to have some privacy for a bit,” Ciley laughed.

Luke shook his head and remembered he rode on that shuttle just that morning, twice. He wasn't thinking, then he said, “I have my own room.”

Ciley's eyes got wide. “You do? Where? Can I see it? I'm in a room with nine other girls all stacked like crates and no head room.”

“Sure, we can talk if you want. Come on,” Luke offered showing her the way.

When they got to Luke's tiny little room, Artoo beeped in greeting.

“Wow, this place is tiny!” Ciley exclaimed. “Where's the fresher?”

“There's a common one down the hall, ladies are on the left,” Luke noted.

“Be right back,” Ciley said grabbing the bottom of his chin.

Luke looked at Artoo. “Hey Artoo? How about taking a walk down to the medical ward. See if you can be of assistance to anyone and report back? Alright?”

Artoo gave him an annoyed beep, knowing he was trying to get rid of him, and took off down the hall. Luke wasn't sure what was going to happen with Ciley, but it was be nice to have a friend, or at least someone to chat with, and Artoo made it seem like he was a third wheel sometimes. Ciley returned a few minutes later, and since there wasn't really too much space, they both found themselves sitting on the bed.

“This is nice,” Ciley noted looking at the cramped room.

“It's alright, I mean, I'm not really here much except to sleep,” Luke shared. “I've only had it a couple of days.”

“Still, when you are sharing with so many others in a cramped barracks, it's nice to have the space,” Ciley smiled leaning back.

“How long have you been with the Alliance?” Luke asked trying to make small talk.

“About three years. I joined after Alderaan. I suppose a lot of us did. I used to work on Mon Mothma's ship as part of the crew, but then I found myself here when the fleet grouped here,” Ciley explained. “What about you?”

“Around that time, I started at the battle of Yavin,” Luke explained.

“Oh wait, you're that Luke? Luke Skywalker? I had no idea,” Ciley said with disbelief.

“Yeah, that's me,” Luke laughed.

“Riza just said, 'You have to meet Luke'. She didn't say it was you,” Ciley laughed. “No wonder you get your own room.”

“I think it's just because of my injury. Still technically in recovery,” Luke answered showing his hand.

“What happened to it?” Ciley asked looking at it.

“Touch it, it's not real,” Luke said uncomfortably, and with a forced laugh.

“Wow, that looks really good. You can feel with it and everything?” Ciley said in awe. “Hey, got anything to drink in here?”

“Just some water, we can go get something down at the commissary if you like,” Luke said standing up.

“Oh no, water is fine. Actually after that jet juice, some water is perfect,” Ciley said leaning back against the wall.

Luke poured her some and gave it to her.

“You know you're really cute. You seem so nice,” Ciley said. “Can we just talk? Do you mind?”

“No, that's alright. I don't have many friends on the ship, really. Not yet, most of the guys I know are located elsewhere,” Luke explained.

“And you know Princess Leia enough that she puts fruit in your hair?” Ciley laughed playing with Luke's hair.

“Yeah, she's one of my best friends,” Luke explained caressing her cheek.

Ciley backed off a bit.

“Oh, I'm sorry,” Luke said.

“No, it's alright. It's just. I lost someone recently is all. I like you though,” Ciley explained.

“I understand. I lost something too, besides my hand that is. I can't really talk about it, but things are weird right now,” Luke said leaning back on his bed to stretch out.

Ciley leaned back next to him, and though there wasn't much room, they were able to fit if they didn't move much. She put her head on his chest to use as a pillow. “Yeah, weird would explain it. Isn't everything weird around here anyway though. This really isn't how people should live.”

“No, but hopefully what we are doing will change that,” Luke said softly.

“Yeah, I hope so,” Ciley said.

They both woke up together with their clothes still on at the sound of Artoo opening the door.

“Come on in Artoo. Ciley this is Artoo, Artoo, Ciley,” Luke said introducing his new friend to the droid.

“Hi, Artoo,” Ciley laughed groggily. “I better get back. I have to get up early.”

“Thanks for stopping by, Ciley, this was nice. It was good to talk to you. See you again, alright?” Luke said walking out with her.

“I'd like that. Come hang with us again sometime, we have a great group of friends down there, if you get bored and you aren't busy,” Ciley said trying to fix her hair a bit.

“I will,” Luke said putting his arm around her. “How about after the shift later?”

Home One-Millennium Falcon

Leia's dream...

It was dark and Leia felt like a beam of light walking into nothingness. Something was drawing her towards it. A beam of light was shown and there standing under it was Yoda.

“Young one, I see. Your help I need,” Yoda said softly.

“What can I do?” She asked looking around and seeing nothing.

“In hiding I am. Return to Dagobah I wish. Imperial Shuttle I have stolen. Rebellion can use it no?” Yoda smiled.

“With the right codes they could. Where are you?” Leia asked looking around and seeing a green mist.

“Planet safe for me, not for you. Wait you must. Safe here I am. Come to you soon,” Yoda said then closed his eyes.

“I'll have a convoy soon, we can organize a rescue and recover your ship. Would you like to return to...” Leia started.

“Hush child. Ready not, and ears in the Force may hear. Patience. Luke is well, no?” Yoda inquired.

“Yes, he is still on light duty. He wishes to find you, but he's stuck for now,” Leia explained.

“Understand I do,” Yoda said as he faded quickly.

Leia then felt it, the darkness. He found her again.

“Princess,” Darth Vader addressed her.

“What is it?” She called out in annoyance.

“Join me, together we can bring the conflict to an end!”

“You've got to be kidding me? Join you?” Leia couldn't believe it.

“Hear me out. They want to destroy me, I feel it. With your help we can bring a new era to the galaxy!” Darth Vader said in a menacing voice?

“I want to destroy you!” Leia reminded him.

“Princess, you don't understand what is happening here,” Darth Vader pleaded.

“I understand enough!” Leia shouted in frustraion.

“There is worse than me, I've kept my word to you, have I not?” Darth Vader said in a more softer voice.

“True,” Leia answered.

“Come to Mustafar again,” Darth Vader beckoned.

“I've got other things to do,” Leia said telling herself to wake up.

“Nothing is more important! You must be made to understand!” Darth Vader said getting angrier.

“Oh I understand.” Leia gritted her teeth.

There was a pause.

“I can't protect you there. We can help one another,” He said, in that younger softer voice.

“I'm pretty good at protecting myself,” Leia reminded him.

“You are, I wish I could be more diplomatic about this,” his softer more human voice said.

“Not one for diplomacy?” Leia laughed.

“It was never my forte, not really,” the softer human voice said.

“Then what? Throw me out of an airlock like you did Aphra when you are through with me?” Leia snipped.

“Of course not, and you know she lived. Though that was not my intention,” he laughed with the more human voice.

“I'm done. I have other things to do, like sleep. Don't you have some admirals to kill or something?” Leia grumbled.

“I'll return, but I will give you something else to help you trust me, will you allow that?”

“This better be good,” Leia snapped.

“In due time, it will be a warning,” Darth Vader returned in the raspy tone. “I do need your help. I will come to you again soon.”

“Whatever, I'm blocking you out now,” Leia said as she lifted her shields.

“What, no! Wait!”

Leia woke up in a cold sweat and shaking. 'Great,' she thought to herself. 'Lucky me I get people request help in my sleep.' She sat up, and blotted herself with a towel and walked into the lounge of the Falcon. Chewie grumbled with his caf then went to put some on for Leia.

“Where's Han?” she asked.

Chewie roared.

“Great, I imagine we'll be leaving for the Remembrance soon then?” Leia asked.

Chewie roared with a question.

“I'm alright, just a bad dream.”

She leaned into Chewie and hugged him.

Chapter Text

Coruscant

"Your Excellency, have I not been a loyal subject? I've done everything that I could in serving the Empire to the fullest. If there is something that you ask of me, I would surely do it!" Arsin Crassus pleaded for his life.

"You now serve me. I gave you one command since ascending to my position and you have failed! There will be no second chances!" Darth Vader said lifting the large man up in the air with the Force.

"Your Excellency, if I can only be allowed to make it right," Crassus croaked grasping at his neck.

"Your Excellency, you may want to reconsider," Yupe Taschu suggested watching Vader grip the Imperial treasurer with the Force. "Crassus has always been a loyal servant."

"He serves only himself!" Darth Vader shouted as he gripped his fist tighter.

Tashu was both marveled by the power in Vader's grasped as much as he was mortified at losing a great asset as Crassus choked in front of him, his face getting redder and redder until he turned almost a shade of purple, and was released to the floor. Two officers attended to his vitals, noticed he was dead and called for back up to carry the body away.

"If you believe that to be wise, Your Excellency, I'm not sure that our dear Emperor would have agreed with you," Tashu shook his head as the door shut.

"Tashu I suggest you reconsider your assessment," Darth Vader said pointing at his chief adviser.

Mas Amedda nodded.

"I believe you will find a great many who have taken advantage of our benevolent leader throughout the years, Tashu," Darth Vader said knowing how to deal with Tashu and knowing too that he was valuable.

Darth Vader had never in the past made it a point to dwell on the details of how the Empire was run, where it's assets were obtained, or how they were obtained. He only trusted, or allowed Palpatine manage how he saw fit, and did as his master told. Oh he has some idea, and knew a great deal more than he let on. And he knew too that his master knew that he didn't always agree with the Emperor's plans. For a long time, he let it go. The Emperor was wise, but in time, he lost his complete trust and it became a relationship both of respect, distrust, loathing and necessity. He could tell Tashu was having a hard time adjusting to the new arrangement, but Tashu's own awe of Darth Vader's powers and his knowledge of the Sith allowed Vader to have a great deal of power over him to keep him in check, keep him useful and to use him as means to sift out the poison left behind.

"Your Excellency, it will be wonderful if you could find a worthy apprentice," Tashu suggested. "Of course, there would be few more worthy than you yourself was to our dear Emperor."

Darth Vader knew he would have to give him something, "Allow me to deal with that, Tashu. You need not concern yourself with such details concerning the Force. All in good time."

Tashu nodded and smiled, then bowed and moved backwards away from the room.

Vader had a more hands on approach to his rule. Not content to sit on a throne with guards and have others do as he pointed. He never understood how his master thought that a well thought system, but in that time, Palpatine had also set up others to replace Vader if the need arose, and Vader destroyed them all. Palpatine thought he was slick putting Darth Vader in this life support suit, when he could have done much more than he did. The suit was painful, and fed the hatred and the pain. Palpatine used that, just as he had used Vader most of his life. Vader learned in time that he had power over the suit. Perhaps the Emperors own life support system was his own throne.

Vader had slowed progress on the project in the Endor system. In fact, he extended that on a great many things, mostly in regards to those remote factories and projects that fed that project in which most were not clearly aware. His reasoning was that the Empire was in a period of mourning. Of course, this didn't extend to ship building, or ammunition plants and the like, but it was a small dent in all the works that gave the impression that it was less essential and work would resume after a period of mourning. When that would end, had not been established.

Vader called to Mas Amedda, "I'll be in my meditation chamber."

He arose and glided down the corridor, with his cape moving, and staff standing at attention. When one coughed, he stopped and pointed, and the man straightened up in terror. Vader couldn't believe that so many who had worked directly with Palpatine actually loved him. Vader used to love him. That was a long time ago, but it had been years. He knew why though, and Vader just didn't have that touch. With Vader, it was only fear they saw.

/

The Remembrance

When they had left the fleet, it was a bit difficult. Luke had still been dealing with his injury and was still on light duty, but it seemed he had made a few friends on the Redemption. Leia did get to talk to him some before she left, but never brought up the trip to Mustafar, or her time with Vader. He was still dealing with his own traumatic events at Coruscant and was still conflicted when she left him. Then, almost immediately after leaving the fleet, Chewie and Han had taken one of the escort ships in the hanger on a mission for supplies and intel leaving the Falcon and three of the ships at the convoy. It made sense, and the rotation would include the three ships instead of the four while they were away. Leia didn't have many she knew well on the Remembrance, not that she had many friends anyway, but there were a few on the ship she had worked with before and liked so that helped. Mostly they treated her as not an equal and someone above them, but it helped that a few who had been at Hoth were a little more friendly, and with Chewie and Han away, it was a bit lonely. She didn't even have Threepio who had been left behind on Home One doing translation work for the alliance. She did what she did best, which was to keep busy. She certainly had a lot of work to do and there was always more if she wanted to find it. There were specific places that the convoy was expected to join other ships for various reasons, as well as a mission involved which included her in the itinerary.

She kept thinking of new ways to help the alliance. Though the Emperor was dead, it seemed that spies were still finding information on the new Death Star and it's construction, and though Leia knew personally that the new acting Emperor Vader was one who did not support this effort, she knew it wouldn't end the fact that there existed a battle station that had the ability to destroy a planet out there. Vader hadn't contacted her since her invading her dream with her conversation with Yoda, but she knew she was due to hear from Yoda again. Something about her shields being down during those conversations allowed Vader to contact her. She certainly had no desire to deal with him, even if it meant helping the alliance. Vader seemed to want her help, and whatever that was, she was stubborn about giving in to his attempts at compassion or protection or whatever it was that was softening his Force presence. He had given her good information, but it still left a bad taste in her mouth and she had no idea what he had planned for her if he ever met with her again.

Leia was given a large suite on the ship, it was a bedroom, office, sitting room and it's own fresher, but she found herself sleeping on the Millennium Falcon while Han and Chewie were away. It was a comfort to her to be in a familiar place. She kept a few items on board, and slept in the cabin. It wasn't anywhere nearly as fancy as her suite and that was allotted to her as being the highest ranking individual on the ship being a member of High Command. The captain had quarters nearby, and she felt strange having to let him know where she would be retiring for the night, and he did protest, but she was determined and you just didn't tell Princess Leia no. She just slept better there on the Falcon. It was this particular cycle that Yoda visited her again.

In her sleep, Leia had another visitor:

When the darkness came and the light beamed on her, she started looking for the other beam of light. When she found it, it was just a beam, with no Yoda. She heard a voice.

"Leia?"

"Luke?"

"You're here, too?" Luke answered with a bit of confusion.

"Yes, are you meditating or sleeping?" Leia answered.

"Meditating. Yoda was just speaking with me." Luke answered. "I think he needs your help. He left though."

"Luke, leave come out of it!" Leia said feeling the darkness coming.

"Why?" Luke answered.

"Just do it! Now!" Leia cried out. "I'll call you from the ship."

Luke's presence left and it was dark again.

Leia tried to wake up, but she felt stuck. The light around her was growing dim. Then she heard him.

"Princess!" Darth Vader called out.

"I'm trying to wake up. What do you want!" Leia called out with annoyance.

"Some Imperial operations have been slowing down. Have your spies investigate. Report back what you find," Darth Vader commanded in his menacing mechanical voice.

"What? Report back to you? What do you take me for? A double agent?" Leia called out baffled by his request.

"We have common enemies, Princess. I've had them halt or slowed operations on the Death Star. There are others who wish it to continue. If your Rebels find anything about which Imperials are alarmed at this development, it could lead to information which would help us both," Darth Vader said in the more human voice.

"Why can't you do this yourself? Aren't you the acting Emperor?" Leia shook her head at the audacity of coming to her with this.

"I've eliminated a few I believe who may be involved in a conspiracy that was in place prior to the Emperor's death. However, I am in no position to find all of those in play. It would have been hidden from me. My relationship with the Emperor was very complicated," Darth Vader answered back to his mechanical voice. "Just pass the information on to your intelligence. You will find I am telling the truth."

She sensed he was.

"I will pass on what you've said, but I make no promises of reporting back to you," Leia said.

"Who were you talking to before I arrived, I sensed another?" Darth Vader asked.

"None of your business! Get out!" Leia said trying to wake herself up.

"I will allow you to wake, just remember what I have told you," Vader said as he disappeared.

Leia woke up in a cold sweat. She realized that Darth Vader had the ability to keep her from waking up from their conversation, so she would make a note to learn to fight that. If only she could have contacted Yoda. Where was he? She went to the fresher and cleaned herself up then went and put on some tea and sat in Han's cockpit chair. Since she wasn't in space, the lit hanger offered a dimmed light and she could see some of the crew laughing and talking with one another. She sipped her tea and leaned back. She was very tired. She had only slept a couple of hours before she was disturbed by Luke, then Vader. That was a close call. She really didn't think Luke needed his meditations or dreams invaded by Vader right now, not with everything he had been through. She went to the communicator and called Luke on the safe channel. It took a few minutes for them to transfer the communication to Luke's room, and he was wide awake.

"Leia? That was quick? I didn't expect to hear from you so soon. So that was really you?" Luke answered still a bit unsure they actually spoke through the Force.

"Yes, I was sleeping. Some other presence invaded, and I had to leave. I'm sorry," Leia apologized. "So, our little friend? Do you know where he is?"

"Yes, I can somehow get you the coordinates. Do you think you can pick him up. He is on a planet that is not really viable for humans," Luke answered.

"Oh, he's still there then, with the Imperial shuttle?" Leia answered leaning back.

"You know? Yes, he will need a pick up. He can't go flying around in an Imperial ship," Luke answered laughing.

"No, I suppose not, and we could use that. We are meeting a ship that could pick it up. I know the pilot. And Han and Chewie are meeting us there as well. I can have the ship taken back to the fleet and get our mutual friend home," Leia said careful not to speak his name unless it drew some attention. Luke seemed to understand that as well.

Luke gave her the coordinates and Leia logged them down. After a brief chit chat, Leia contacted General Draven and gave him the information. He kept demanding to know where she got it, but she was able to convince him that it was good, and to just trust her on this. She knew that Draven would never report back, but that she would be briefed on whatever was found when she returned to the fleet. As if she wanted to let Darth Vader know what the agents found. Growing very tired, she went to finish her tea which had grown cold at the holochess table. She leaned her head down and fell back to sleep, sitting at the table. This time it was uninterrupted by Sith Lords, Jedi Masters, or twin brothers.

/

The Redemption.

Luke felt better after talking to Leia on the communicator. He felt helpless being stuck on the Redemption and was thinking of stealing one of those shuttles, but they didn't have hyperdrives on them which was something he learned one night getting bored and waiting for for Ciley who had become a great friend to him. She wasn't Leia, but it was nice to have someone to talk to and eat meals with. He liked Ciley a lot, but he could sense that she had some profound loss that held her back and that they could only really be friends. It reminded him some of when he had first met Leia. He hoped to get her to open up more to him, but then he himself had things he couldn't really talk to her about and it became a mutual respect thing between them. They both knew they had deep hidden painful secrets, and just the comfort of having someone near who understood that seemed to be enough for right now.

Luke occasionally had duties on Home One, not often, but often enough he was there almost every cycle and sometimes he would see Lando when he could. He might bump into one of the Rogues or even talk to Mon Mothma occasionally, but generally he was getting bored. Some of the mechanic crew would give him things to do and allow him to tinker with things and a few times he even got something going they had long thought was never good enough to save. He would patch this or that or fix a droid or two and sometimes with the help of Artoo. At one point on a visit to Home One, he brought Threepio back with him. Once when visiting the offices where had been working, he could tell the droid needed a break, and a nice oil bath. With the help of Ciley and some of the hanger crew, Threepio got the full treatment and cramped up in Luke's little room with Artoo where he kept him up at night chastising the little astromech. He went right back to Home One the next day, which happened to be the day that he got full clearance to take a little side trip as part of a crew on a covert mission. Dodonna thought that Luke's Jedi skills might be handy for this job, and Luke was excited to finally be able to get away from the fleet. Hobbie would also be part of the crew, so it was nice to have one of the Rogues along.

The mission sounded simple, it involved inspecting a scraped Imperial ship that had been disabled and abandoned in space. There were a few asteroids in the area, and the ship was found in the middle of that, making it a bit tricky to maneuver to the ghosted ship. They went in a small vessel, with a crew of four, a young woman who had been a ground soldier, but was proficient in slicing and technical retrieval known as Cribbs, and Major Walver who was leading the mission. The ship would be piloted by Hobbie and Luke.

When they got out of hyperspace, the report didn't say that the asteroids would be so huge. A few of them were large enough to land the ship on, but it was the tiny ones that were the most trouble. With the shields holding, they took a few hits before they were able to reach the hull, where a large opening could be seen where the ship had been blasted. Luke closed his eyes and reached out into the Force.

"I have a bad feeling about this," Luke said opening his eyes.

"Nonsense. This ship has been here for quite a while now. I'm hoping we are able to collect something from it that we can use, something from the main computers or anything we might find on board," Major Walver said with an arrogant confidence.

Cribbs, Luke and Walver, all put on space suits. Hobbie was to stay on board and keep in communication while they checked things out. Hobbie still put on the suit, just in case, but not the helmet. If he was needed, it would just make things easier. When they got into the airlock, and then bounced into the ship, Luke still couldn't shake that feeling.

He spoke into his helmet, "I think there's something alive in there."

"Probably just some mynocks. We'll check the ship before we re-board," Major Walver said in a commanding voice.

Cribbs went right to the cockpit with Walver following. Luke rubbed at the back of his neck through the suit and kept looking around. Cribbs was able to get some of the electrical working with a remote she had brought with her and tried to see what data she could get from the computer.

"It's encrypted, but there's something here. I just don't know what it is," Cribbs spoke into her helmet.

"Get what you can," Major Walver spoke over her shoulder.

Luke went to the back of the ship, and noticed that much of it seemed closed off. He tried the door and it wouldn't open. Using the Force, he opened it, and a man with a breathing mask on his face had a blaster pointed at his face.

"Who are you?" The man asked.

"How did you..." Luke started to say as before he could sense the man coming at him with the blaster to strike him in the shoulder.

Luke ducked out of the way and knocked him down, the man's blaster knocked out of his hands. The man was angry and he was wearing a worn Imperial uniform that was mismatched. He was larger than Luke and very muscular. He started to get up and move towards Luke, his breathing mask starting to move enough to interrupt his breathing. Major Walver came up from behind and shot the man on stun. Walver then kicked the man.

"Hey, you have him on stun! Did you need to do that?" Luke protested.

"He's an Imperial, and he might have killed you and you are worried about me kicking him? Go see if there are anymore in there and see what else you can find," Major Walver ordered.

Luke found the man's makeshift survival area where he had somehow managed to create a small life support system within the ship with whatever was left of it. He also noticed another possible data center. It appeared to just be the one man. Luke wondered to himself how long he had been here, if he had been originally on this ship or found himself here castaway from something else. It was really amazing he had been able to survive this way, and he had to give the guy some credit. Luke started to make his way out of the room to the main hold where Major Walver was holding the stunned Imperial.

"There's something else in there Cribbs might want to check out. I don't know how long this guy has been in there, but I have to..." Luke started when there was a loud blast coming from the room that Luke had just been in.

The abandoned ship rocked. Hobbie called, "You all alright in there?"

Walver had fallen on the floor, Cribbs was holding onto the sides of the door of the cockpit, but Luke had held steady. The Imperial was starting to come too.

"Let's put him in binders and bring him on board," Luke suggested.

"He just tried to kill us with whatever was in that room of his! I think we should shoot him. He may be a danger on the ship!" Major Walver insisted.

"He probably had some kind of mechanism in there and you touched it, Skywalker," Cribbs noted. "You said there was some kind of computer device in there?"

"Yeah, but doesn't look like much left now," Luke said putting some binders he had on him on the Imperial.

"You really don't suggest we bring him back to the fleet!" Major Walver said still holding a blaster at the man.

"Rebel scum, I knew it!" the Imperial spit out.

"You'd be dead if you were out here much longer," Luke told him.

"I'm dead anyway!" the Imperial spoke.

Luke looked at him and straightened his breathing mask. He could tell the guy was getting weaker from the lack of air. Whatever he had rigged in that space of his had to be impressive.

"Look, I see how you've lived on this dead ship. You obviously know something about how ships work and mechanics. You're pretty resourceful. I would hate to have to leave you here. Why don't you come with us?" Luke asked. "Really, I mean it."

"You aren't serious?" Walver stated, being careful not to use their names.

"Of course I'm serious. He's obviously desperate. Look at him," Luke said pointing out the man's clothing.

Cribbs spoke up, "We really need to get back to the ship, our support systems aren't going to last much longer."

"Major, we can always throw him out the airlock later. Let's bring him on board. At least talk to him. He might even be useful, who knows," Luke suggested.

"I don't believe this! He could kill us all and take the data and the ship with us. It's too much a risk!" Walver said moving his way back to the airlock.

"I feel good about this. I don't know. He's not struggling. I think he just wants to live," Luke said looking at him.

The prisoner was actually not looking too well, and he had weakened from being out of his support system. He just shook his head.

Cribbs and Luke helped the man through to the airlock, and Walver gave Hobbie the command to open it up. "Skywalker, I'm putting you in charge of this one. What's your name?" Walver asked.

"TK-657," the man answered.

"You're a stormtrooper?" Luke asked. "How long have you been out here?"

"I don't know. I lost track. I thought pirates would show up, so I put on the Imperial uniform," TK-657 answered.

"And you get us?" Walver laughed. TK-657 laughed too.

"You have a real name?" Luke asked.

"I do, but we aren't supposed to give that when we are captured. You should know that!" He answered.

"I saw what you did on that ship, and you are just a stormtrooper? You're pretty skilled. How was it they only made you a stormtrooper?" Luke said puzzled.

"I just had a knack for it I guess. Was recruited from my village as a patrol from our local garrison, and then worked the supply ships. Why am I telling you all this?" TK-657 asked. "And why are you being so nice to me."

"You don't seem that threatening to me. And you don't have a blaster, and we're just sitting here talking as people, not enemies," Luke answered. "I imagine it's been a long time since you've talked to anyone. No communications systems left I take it? What happened to that ship?"

"I think we took a few hits in a pirate raid. You know, I believe most of the hits we took were from the other Imperial ship. Didn't even come back to see if there were any survivors," TK-657 answered.

"And you get saved by us? The enemy," Walver had to laugh about that feeling a bit more relaxed with the man.

"We really could use someone with skills like yours. You sure you don't want to join us?" Cribbs said laughing.

"I'd like to get home, honestly," TK-657 spoke with sadness.

"Well, we can't take you home, obviously," Luke laughed. "I could get you passage somewhere if you really want to leave. Odds are though that you are from some planet with a large mine or factory that the Empire is just draining the resources from your village. You've probably had to kill fellow villagers without really wanting to, and the Empire will leave you high and dry when it's gotten everything they can from the place."

"Mine, it's a mine. Hey, I'm not telling you what the mine is! If that's what you are trying to do!" TK-657 answered.

"That's not what I was trying to do, I'm just talking with you. You seem like a nice guy, really." Luke said. "I'm sorry, we are going to have to put binders to you feet too, but you can lay down if you want."

TK-657 nodded his head.

"How about something to eat? I know it's not much, but I have some caf and a ration bar," Luke offered.

"I've been living on nutrient drink for a long time. Something solid would be nice," he smiled.

Luke patted the Imperial on the leg and Walver took over keeping an eye on him.

Cribbs was trying to check the encrypted data, "Looks like they were draining everything from that mine, TK. Wouldn't be much left. My home planet was like that. Empire came, took over the mine. We thought it was great, until they sucked everything out of it and left us to starve."

TK-657 grumbled.

Luke handed him the caf and smiled. The caf put a smile on TK-657's face, too.

/

Remembrance-rendezvous point in space

Han and Chewie in the escort ship and a large freighter were waiting when the Remembrance came out of hyperspace. The freighter was too big to land on the frigate, so it attached by it's hatch. It was piloted by Nien Nunb who Leia had worked with before and had the supplies on board, as it was being unloaded, Leia made a proposal to her old friend.

"I need your help. We have the chance to pick up an Imperial shuttle. I believe if we do it in your ship, we will have enough time to meet the Remembrance on the next jump and rendezvous with it there. That is if you are alright with the idea," Leia said to Nien Nunb.

Standing with her were Han and Captain Aymeric, an Ishi Tib who understood basic, but spoke only in his native tongue. Leia could understand him, but no one else there in the group could.

"What are you up to?" Han asked having just arrived from escorting the supply ship. "You aren't suggesting going with him!"

The Captain spoke.

"He agrees with you, but I am going. You're welcome to come, too. In fact, I was counting on it. We will also be doing a rescue of an important individual," Leia said giving Han a look trying to convey the importance of the task.

The Captain spoke again.

"Let's just say, it's necessary and I'll be fine. I'll be at the rendezvous point, Captain. You remain in charge of the convoy, but if I do not return in time to meet you at the rendezvous point, make the next jump. I'll contact you via the fleet. Is that understood?" Leia stressed.

The Captain was angry. He knew that High Command would not be happy if they knew what Leia had planned, but there was no stopping her really. If Leia was determined to do something, she would do it regardless of what any other official or captain in charge thought. The Captain left frustrated and went to return to the bridge. Leia told Nien Nunb to wait, then walked with Chewie and Han to the Falcon to explain everything.

When they got to the Falcon, Chewie roared then Han said, "Yeah, what's going on here?"

"Yoda is on a moon with an Imperial shuttle and needs a pick up. We could use that Imperial shuttle, and I'll have Nien Nunb take it back to the fleet in his ship. We will need to get Yoda back to Dagobah. The moon is hostile for humans, it's barren, but Yoda has been able to survive up until this point. It's dangerous for him to fly anywhere in the shuttle. The fact he was able to get there was incredible. Getting off Coruscant? I can't imagine how he did it," Leia explained.

"And you know this how?" Han towered over her shaking his head.

"He spoke to me in the Force. He's been talking to Luke as well. Luke and I talked, he can't get away, and had no ship there. It will have to be me. I'll do it alone if I have to, but he needs to get back," Leia explained.

"I can take him back, me and Chewie. Nien can get the shuttle back to the fleet right?" Han asked.

"Yes, it should fit in his ship," Leia said wondering and hoping that it would be true. It should be. The Falcon could almost fit into Nien's large freighter. "Oh, and I'm coming."

"I can get him there, you stay here, they may need you at the fleet," Han insisted.

"I feel need to go," Leia said softly.

"That Force stuff?" Han answered.

"Yes, something like that. There's more, but I can't get into it right now," Leia explained. "I really need to talk to Yoda, in person. It's difficult to explain."

"That part isn't difficult to understand, the other stuff is. Alright, but we have to get you back. You know they are going to give the captain hell you taking some side trip," Han laughed.

"Let them. If he can't handle High Command, he has no business being in the position he is in."

They were able to fly one of the escort ships into Nien Nunb's freighter and boarded. Leia gave him the coordinates and made sure they had extra breathing gear due to the moon's atmosphere. Once out of hyperspace, Leia had Nien Nunb float in space above the moon, while she, Han and Chewie took the escort ship to the moon. They found the Imperial shuttle and landed as close as they could to it. Once they got out, there was a slight problem. The gravity was horrible.

"I have an idea," Han suggested and grabbed some grappling hooks.

Yoda, who had seen the ship, came out of the shuttle to meet them, appearing to be able to walk almost normally on the surface. As if there was no problem with the gravity for him. While watching from inside the ship, Leia could tell that Yoda was actually doing some kind of controlled floating.

"Han, I have an idea, wait here," Leia suggested wondering if she could meet Yoda.

As she started to go out the airlock with the breathing equipment attached, Yoda motioned for her to move back to the interior of the escort ship. She shook her head, but Yoda motioned to go back up, as he moved closer to the ship. The airlock was closed to keep the vitals on the ship, and Leia knocked and Chewie reopened it. She was breathing heavily and sat on the floor of the ship with Chewie very concerned.

"I don't think we can go out there," Leia said huffing and puffing.

Han pulled her up and walked her over to a seat in the cockpit. Yoda soon arrived at the airlock and Chewie let him in.

"Told you to stay I did," Yoda spoke as he came in the ship.

"I want that ship for the fleet," Leia said still breathing and gasping.

"Relax, calm. Water you must drink," Yoda insisted.

"What kind of moon is this?" Han asked puzzled that they couldn't even go out of the ship with breathing gear.

"Strange gas, strange effect on some species it has," Yoda informed them. "Fly the ship to your freighter I will. Get it here did I not?"

"That might be a good idea," Han shook his head handing Leia some water.

Leia started choking a bit.

"Slowly," Yoda insisted.

"You could have told us before I went out there," Leia smiled.

"Alright you will be," Yoda then laughed. "Wait, then follow I will."

Yoda went back to the airlock and walked back to his shuttle in the same way he had come over to the escort ship. Chewie and Han looked out watching and not really believing it. They then went and got the engines ready to meet the freighter with Yoda soon following. On the freighter, they quickly got Yoda into the escort ship.

Leia then sent a comm to Nien Nunb, "Imperial shuttle is on board. We will check for trackers, and then you may leave for the fleet as soon as we depart."

Nien Nunb signaled an OK through the comm and after an all clear, they left the freighter on the escort ship, and went into hyperspace headed to Dagobah. The escort ship wasn't very big, but Leia had indicated to Han and Chewie that it was very important that she speak with Yoda alone, as she didn't intend to linger long after they got to Dagobah. She figured talking face to face would allow her to discuss things that could be said without being infiltrated by Vader's presence.

"I'm glad we are able to speak this way. It's more lucid and clear. It seemed every time you tried to contact me through the Force, Vader somehow entered the conversation," Leia informed him.

"Felt it I did. Leave you could not. Know not how to stop him. Perhaps learn you can? Fear for you I do," Yoda nodded and closed his eyes.

"For me?" Leia asked.

"For clouded it is. Dark side I do not feel, yet, target you he does," Yoda answered. "Apprentice he may wish?"

"He tried that, sort of I believe. It was strange. He seemed almost protective of me, and he keeps asking for my help. Even before he knew who I was," Leia informed him.

"Strong you are," Yoda noted.

"He even entered when I touched Luke with the Force. I insisted Luke leave right away. He keeps giving me information from the Empire to give to the Alliance. I take it as a bribe. So far, he hasn't been wrong," Leia informed him. "He still needs my help. Master Yoda, he tortured me, threatened to kill Han and Chewie, but it's been some kind of mutual need. He found out who I was, and he killed his Inquisitors."

"Trained you they did?" Yoda asked almost sure of the answer.

"Yes," Leia answered.

"Yet, fall you did not?" Yoda said and closed his eyes.

"I don't think so. I'm still me," Leia answered.

"Hmmmph. Perhaps come to him through Force I shall. Kill me he did not. Left me he did," Yoda said with his eyes still closed. "When killed the Emperor we did."

Leia shivered, "What exactly happened?"

"Worry not," Yoda smiled. "Emperor is dead is he not?"

"Yes," Leia answered.

"Think on this I will," Yoda answered then closed his eyes and went into meditation.

Chapter Text

Mission Vessel- somewhere out in space.

Luke had taken a shift in the cockpit while Hobbie rested. This left Cribbs and Walver in charge of the prisoner. Walver wasn't looking forward to the conversation with Draven about the new stowaway, but for some reason, TK-657, who eventually said his real name was Vank Tolma started to loosen up and warm up to his captors. He got on especially with Luke, whose calm demeanor and kindness had been the first to ease him to the group, but it was Cribbs and a few things they had in common that really sealed it. He wasn't sure he wanted to join the Rebellion, but they did talk him into helping them in some capacity. They had recruited Imperials before, that hadn't been a big deal, but bringing them directly to the fleet? That was often frowned on. He was desperate for medical attention, which they all became aware of as time went on as it hadn't been obvious at first. When Walver finally got in touch with Draven, it was suggested he be taken to medical frigate and placed under armed guard. It would be on the same ship Luke had been stationed, so at least he would be there to check in on him. Walver was still a bit skeptical as it had been his mission and his responsibility if anything went wrong.

When they had arrived at the Redemption, a medical team and security was waiting for them. Luke accompanied Vank along with Cribbs who usually worked on another ship. Walver would take a shuttle to Home One to debrief and give the information, with Cribbs following later with the information on the data. Vank would be sedated for the time being while he was being treated, and he was scanned for trackers and devices by security. After making sure that Vank was taken care of, Luke went down to the hanger to find his friend Ciley. She was working, but she was glad to see him and promised to comm him when she got off her shift.

It was later when Ciley got off her shift that she sought out Luke. She first went looking for him in his quarters, but knowing Luke like she did in that he had brought the prisoner to the ship, she then wondered if he may be checking in on him and his welfare and then made her way to the medical bay. She found Luke sitting in Vank's room quietly meditating.

“I didn't mean to disturb you,” Ciley said when Luke opened his eyes.

“It's fine, really. This is Vank,” Luke said pointing to the former stormtrooper.

Ciley gave him a long stare and gasped. It couldn't be. Could it? She told Luke, “Vank? I know him, or knew him, a long time ago.”

“Really? He's a stormtrooper, or was when we found him. He was stranded and in need a medical aid, so I brought him here,” Luke explained. “We didn't have the best first impression, I'm afraid.”

“He was friends with my brother. When we were young,” Ciley said quietly and sadly. “I'm certain that's him.”

“Oh,” Luke said sensing that it was something painful for Ciley to talk about. “He said he came from a mining world, not sure which one he wouldn't tell me. There are so many.”

“Yes, it has to be him. How strange. At least he didn't end up in the mines. What are they going to do with him?” Ciley whispered.

“I don't know. He's under armed guard. Cribbs, she's the slicer who went with us, thinks he's too bright to be a stormtrooper. She tried to recruit him on ship after we got a little more comfortable with him. He was in a lot worse shape than we thought he was when we first found him, but he's doing better now. I imagine they will revive him and question him at some point. Walver wanted to put him out the airlock when we first got him, but it was strange, we got to like him after talking with him a while,” Luke explained with a laugh.

“He was so sweet when we were young,” Ciley remarked. “I'm glad you didn't. How strange that it's someone I know from before.”

“Do you have anyone left there?” Luke said.

Ciley was quiet.

“Oh, I'm sorry...it's just...I don't really have too many people back home either to be honest,” Luke apologized. “I imagine it's like that for a lot of us.”

Ciley shook her head. “Do you think they will let me see him when he wakes up?”

“They were going to let me know, I can tell you when,” Luke answered.

“Thank you. I'm glad you saved him. Even if he was a stormtrooper, he was still someone. I know for a fact he was,” Ciley said touching Vank's hand.

Luke nodded.

“You want to go grab something to eat? I'm starving. Just got off my shift,” Ciley asked turning around quickly. “That is if you don't expect him to wake up right away.”

“Oh he won't. It just felt nice to sit with someone. I could eat. Come on Artoo,” Luke called as the two of them walked to the commissary.

//

Home One- Mon Mothma's quarters

“Oh how I miss you when you are away,” Mon purred rolling in the sheets.

Lando sat up pulling on his pants, “Now, Mon. You're scaring me. Next you're going to want me to stop flirting with the girls down at the commissary.”

Mon threw a pillow at Lando, “You know what I mean. Do you flirt with the girls down at the commissary?”

“Maybe,” Lando leaned in and kissed her. Mon still covered with only a sheet.

“I only hope that it won't get to the point where one of them is blamed for fraternization,” Mon said as she got up and walked nude to her dressing gown. “I'm just so glad your trip went so well this time.”

“We did get a good supply of arms. I don't know where you are getting your information, but you've been getting some good intel recently,” Lando smiled adjusting his cape.

“Yes, our spies and some other various sources have really come through lately,” Mon answered. “It's all classified, but I assure you, it will not be dull for you.”

“Only for you when I'm not here. You're wearing me out woman!” Lando grinned.

Mon lowered her head, smiled and side eyed him seductively. “You've never complained before? Anyway, I do have an important meeting to put together. If you'll allow me, Calrissian.”

Lando took a bow, and made his way out of Mon Mothma's quarters.

Mon made her way to the meeting of High Command. It wasn't an important meeting, but one she wanted to put together to have most of the heads together on a few details. The strange request that Princess Leia had put in about reaching out to certain spies was detailing some interesting results, and the recent wins on some planets, as well as the arms deals were really helping. She only wish she knew who Leia's source was. It obviously was someone with access to the top in the Imperial government. Cracken had wanted to bring up a development as well. While not all the top brass were able to attend, Leia herself away, Madine was on an assignment, they did have enough of High Command to put together for the discussion. A big meeting would have to come soon, it was inevitable, and they were going to have to move the most central of the fleet yet again.

“Mon, it's about time you showed up. I was beginning to wonder if we were going to have to postpone this for later this evening,” Dodonna chastised the leader.

“I'm sorry, Jan, I had pressing business. I do hope you were able to discuss a few things among yourselves in the meantime. Cracken, I understand you have something important to share?” Mon asked addressing the group with great seriousness.

“It's rather ridiculous really, and it has to be a rumor, or a ploy of some kind,” Cracken stated looking at his notes.

“Well, spit it out,” Mon Mothma insisted.

Admiral Ackbar gruffly stated, “I've already told him that it's impossible.”

“I see. Well, let me be the judge of that,” Mon said looking at the faces. Dodonna's was a bit grave.

“The network has been contacted by the representative of an Admiral in the Imperial fleet, ma'am. A kind of negotiation if you will,” Cracken spoke calmly and softly.

Draven rolled his eyes.

“Do they wish to defect?” Mon asked.

“No, they wish to set up negotiations with the Rebel Alliance as representatives of Emperor Vader, ma'am,” Cracken held a stiff chuckle.

“You can't be serious!” General Rieekan laughed.

Mon looked calmly at Cracken. “Let me see what you have, Airen.”

“It's coming from Vader's flagship,” Cracken noted. “An Admiral Firmus Piett.”

“That is the name of the Admiral of the Executor according to our information,” Draven added.

“I see, and do they lay out any terms of the negotiations?” Mon Mothma asked.

“It was only a report, ma'am. Nothing concrete. There was a means of communication, nothing else,” Cracken explained.

“I'm suspicious to it being a trap,” Admiral Ackbar noted gruffly.

“Hmm, I imagine they want my head on a platter,” Mon laughed stiffly. “Reach out to your contact in the field and see what more you can uncover. Be cautious, yet be intelligent about this.”

“Ma'am, you don't actually think...” Cracken started.

“This is insane! It's Darth Vader! That ship was his flagship, it's as if it came from the man himself! I really don't see how Darth Vader's loyal admiral would have anything in mind of this nature. A negotiation!” Draven yelled out.

“We can still see what we can turn up. Who knows, look what we have uncovered by the information we've already obtained,” Mon pointed out.

“Yes, ma'am,” Cracken nodded.

“If they can use us, perhaps we can use them first?” Mon said with a raised eye.

Admiral Ackbar then addressed Cracken, “Have any of your people been able to follow anymore from the leads given to us by Princess Leia?”

“Yes, and it appears there is some more truth to that. Production has halted to some extent, and we've found a few leads into some suspicious individuals as the Princess requested. The strange things is, one would believe that the citizens who worked the factories and the mines would be revolting from lack of work, but that seems to not be the case.” Cracken declared to the group.

“I've got one of my spies reporting of festivals and games!” Draven said shaking his head.

“How are they supporting this?” Ackbar asked.

“I imagine is has something to do with the change of power? Perhaps?” Mon Mothma conjectured. “I remember in the senate when a moff was relieved of duty occasionally some changes were made and they may have to distract the citizens. But this is almost as if it were a reward.”

“Or a bribe, ma'am,” Cracken replied.

“How many systems are reporting this?” Dodonna asked then pulled up a chart.

Cracken pointed out the systems he knew that had shutdowns, and then Draven added his own.

“This matches some of the patterns we had seen before the Emperor had died!” Dodonna said with disbelief.

“What does it mean?” Mon Mothma asked in disbelief.

//

Dagobah

The escort ship landed in nearly the same place as before, as Yoda returned home with the help of Leia, Han and Chewbacca.

“Yoda, I'm sorry we can't stay here long. We need to make our rendezvous with the ship. It's been good to talk to you face to face though. You've given me a lot to think about,” Leia said walking down the ramp with Yoda.

“Yes, Yes talk to Obi-Wan you will?” Yoda said.

Leia sighed. She knew that Luke occasionally heard Obi-Wan and occasionally saw him off Dagobah, but she really never had, only here. Plus, she resented some of Obi-Wan's half truths. She did admire the man and obviously her father had as well, so there was that. Talking to his ghost was odd to her. Something about the energy of Dagobah made that happen, and why Yoda wished it of her, she didn't understand. She walked followed Yoda away from the ship and he bid her to sit. Obi-Wan appeared.

“I understand you've spent some time with Vader,” Obi-Wan said with a bit of sadness.

“I wouldn't call it spending time. Not as if it was my choice,” Leia rolled her eyes as she spoke.

“One always had a choice,” Obi-Wan sighed.

“And let him kill Han and Chewie? We're all here, I'm fine and we're alive. He keeps pestering me, but it's nothing I can't handle. It's not as if I wanted to! And why do you care? The man tortured me. I know what he did to you, and I understand why you would have apprehensions, but I can handle myself. Once he knew who I was, he was almost protective. Imagine how I feel about that? I still wish him destroyed. There's something different about him now though. I can't put my finger on it, and he's been useful. I'm not one to turn down a resource. I imagine in theory, he is the new Emperor. I get the feeling that he doesn't have all the power for some reason, but I don't understand all of that just yet,” Leia fumed.

“I wish you to remain cautious. The dark side can be very tempting, and he is still a volatile individual,” Obi-Wan warned.

“You think I don't know that! Maybe it's not me who's vision is clouded. I know who I am, I know who he is. Believe me I do. He told Luke you know! Right before he killed the Emperor. He actually agreed with me that saving Luke took priority over the both of us trying to over take the Emperor. I'm sure Yoda filled you in on that one. Yoda was there!” Leia asserted.

“Remember how he himself was seduced by the Emperor as a young Jedi,” Obi-Wan pointed out.

“And remember that I don't want to be a Jedi, or a Sith or anything of that nature. Sure, being able to use the Force has been helpful, and I'm grateful for the help. I have other goals in mind, and if it includes whatever prophecy or vendetta or whatever it is you want from me, so be it. If it doesn't, well, it's not my problem,” Leia stood her arms across her chest. “I'd shut him out completely, but what he has given me, given us, the Rebel Alliance, it has turned out to be some good intel. He's a tool to me, you see. I frankly like it that way. It feels good to have something to hold over his head in a way. He wants my help? If it helps make the galaxy a better place, then I'm listening.”

“Please understand that we worry for you. And Luke as well. He seems to have be doing much better with his meditations, though I know he still struggles,” Obi-wan noted.

“I know that, believe me. I've not been able to see or talk to him as much lately, but yes, and I imagine he will be back. He sent me for Yoda after all. I was glad to bring him back here,” Leia spoke in a more calm manner.

“Do you believe Luke will continue his quest for Jedi knowledge?” Obi-Wan asked seriously.

“Yes, I do. He's just healing now, but I believe it's made him more focused than ever. He did lose something other than his hand, I hope you realize that?” Leia said almost blaming the man.

“Yes, I understand that,” Obi-Wan almost smiled.

“Well, I have a ship to meet, so if you'll allow me, I'll be on my way.”

Yoda took her hand hand held it tight. “Take care young one.”

Leia squeezed, “You too.”

//

The Executor – above Coruscant

Darth Vader descended from the shuttle to the interior of his flag ship. Admiral Piett was waiting along with some other officers, stormtroopers and guards.

“Your Excellency,” Piett almost smiled.

“Admiral, follow me,” Darth Vader brushed by without stopping.

Piett hopped quickly behind. Darth Vader then turned around. “The rest of you will return to your posts. The Admiral will call for you as soon as is necessary,” he stated then turned around again.

He led him to a private conference room. “Admiral, have you made contact with the rebels?”

“I have. I haven't heard back as of yet, but my contact had told me that they will take the request very seriously,” the Admiral stated. “Are you certain you wish to proceed with this kind of action? You are risking the Executor.”

“You will arrange for a meeting. Ask specifically for a delegation led by Princess Leia,” Darth Vader said pointing his mechanical fist in Piett's face.

“Your Excellency! I doubt very much they would go for such an offer!” Piett gaze went to a rare look of surprise.

“They may not, but she will. I know this! When I offer the terms. Is it not time you were made Grand Admiral, Piett?” the way Darth Vader said it sounded almost as a threat.

“As you wish, Your Excellency. I will arrange with my contact,” the Admiral said clicking his heels and turning.

“Admiral, we will make them agree if this meeting does not happen. We are at war. I would like to have a more peaceful option if possible. I hope you understand,” Darth Vader said as Piett swallowed hard.

Piett wasn't sure he would be successful, and dealing with rebels was distasteful for him, but if it was what the acting Emperor wanted, who was he to question it. Piett never aspired to be Grand Admiral, only to be a loyal servant of the Empire, maybe make a nice living, and retire. Yet, somehow his quiet demeanor and loyalty had brought him to this responsibility. He wasn't sure this was a good thing and daily he wondered if he would meet his end in the way that he had seen Ozzel and others die.

Darth Vader, while on ship, returned to his meditation chamber. He had told his now loyal advisers he had some business to attend to on the Executor and to contact Piett in the event he was needed immediately. He had few there in the capital he fully trusted, but the list was getting longer as he had eliminated those he was sure he had not.

//

The Remembrance

The escort vessel was able to return to the rendezvous point in time to meet the Remembrance and it's convoy. When they arrived on board, the captain was waiting for them. Leia was not sure if he was annoyed or relieved as she didn't understand the facial ques of his particular species, but she imagined that she had really put him out by the little side trip of retrieving and returning Yoda to Dagobah. When the captain insisted on a debriefing, Leia replied, “Just let High Command know I ordered it, and I have nothing to say about it.”

Chewie, who was standing next to her, laughed.

They made the next jump, and while in hyperspace, Leia decided to make use of her suite for once, and Han accompanied her. Between his own supply mission, the retrieval with Yoda and everything else, they had some catching up to do. Her room was nice and large and the change of scenery, even if it was on a ship, was novel as well as the large bed and the nice kitchen. While the ship had only the typical dehydrated foods, ration bars, protein paste and the like as a staple, Han had brought Leia some treats from his last run and thought he would fix it up for her while she went to clean herself up and relax a bit. It gave them a nice time of it just sitting around and chatting, something that was very rare. It was pretty quiet, and after reading a bit of another one of the books that Leia had taken from Wes's datapad, they just sat quietly for a while and then cuddled up together on the bed. Leia fell immediately asleep relaxed and refreshed from such a pleasant evening.

Leia could feel something, but it was more of a dimness than a light. She walked around in the dream vision and then shouted out. “Alright! What do you want now!”

She heard the young man's voice which she knew was still Vader, “Princess, would the Rebel Alliance be willing to negotiate for peace?”

“On your terms? Never!” Leia answered with frustration.

“What are your terms? What do you want?” he asked.

“That individuals are not in fear of their government. That they have a say in what goes on in their own systems. Slavery must end. A voice in what they want for their own peoples,” Leia answered.

“But what if they don't know what they want for their people? Or they can't provide for their own people? What then?” Vader asked still in the young man's voice.

“Guidance? Is that what you are asking? Do we still have the right to tell them what to do?” Leia asked with a bit of anger.

“Often you will find that some require a leader that will tell them what they need or want. It isn't always so simple. And I have seen myself the abuses that those in power have taken upon themselves to make gains for their own self interests,” Vader answered in his mechanical breathing voice.

“And you haven't done that?” Leia smirked.

“Only to some degree. I had always served the Emperor,” Vader answered with hissed breathing.

“Apparently now you are the Emperor!” Leia cried out.

“I'd like to hear what you have to say. I've arranged for Piett to reach out to the Rebel Alliance. I would like you to be their representative,” Vader hissed.

“Me? Haven't you done enough with me? Done enough to me?And you know they would never allow it. Oh, they might send someone, but me? Never,” Leia laughed.

“What if you wanted to go. If you wanted to go, you would go anyway. This I know,” he answered back in the young man's voice. “Do you not often go against orders.”

“What difference does it make? Why would I want to go?” Leia answered.

“Do you not wish for peace, Princess? Perhaps I should request your brother?” Darth Vader hissed with frustration. “I feel you would not wish for that to happen! I know you feel why it must be you.”

“No, I'd rather it be me than Luke,” Leia answered.

“I thought so,” Vader said back to his mechanical voice. “There is so much you and I could do together, we could create a new Empire, a better Empire.”

“Empire, right,” Leia answered with distaste. “And of course, on your terms.”

“I've heard you on the senate floor. You would be a great asset,” Vader answered back calmly.

“Or a pawn?” Leia smirked.

“You thrive in chaos. I feel it,”Vader said almost sadly back to the voice of the young man.

“No!” Leia screamed trying to fight Vader's presence and trying hard to wake up. She could feel herself shaking.

“Princess,” Vader said calmly. “I do not wish for you to be troubled. Understand. We can rule the galaxy to be a better place. You know this is possible. I promise you no harm, nor to your representatives.”

Everything was still shaking. Leia tried to listen to him, but she was frightened as well. She kept trying to wake up.

“Check the Imperial wanted lists, Princess,” Vader said in a soothing voice, as if he was disturbed he had upset her.

Leia was still shaking. She couldn't stop. She felt herself fading away from him.

“Check them! You are growing stronger I see, you will....” Vader said as he faded completely away.

Leia woke up sweating sitting up with Han who was rocking her in his arms.

“You were screaming and wouldn't wake up. I kept trying to wake you up,” Han said brushing her forehead as he felt her start to come out of her deep sleep.

“It was Vader talking to me again.” Leia explained.

Chapter Text

Remembrance-hanger bay

This mission was supposed to be a simple one, Leia would meet with an old supporter and then make a deal and return to the rendezvous point. She was almost disappointed with how boring it sounded. After the talk with Vader in her sleep, she had a couple of nights where he hadn't bothered her. While still on the Remembrance, she ended up sleeping in the Falcon for fear of alerting the captain who may have been nearby and concerned for her screams, though she no longer was having them. She really didn't need ship security busting in on her when she frequently had Han in her quarters either. It wasn't as fancy, but it was familiar and she felt stronger because of that. She knew she could handle Vader himself and his chats, but she just didn't like the idea of being bothered by it as they were exhausting emotionally. After the mission, they would return to the ship then regroup with the fleet in another system. She didn't know which one yet, it was still classified, but they would know when they returned. She could always call the fleet if they missed the rendezvous with the convoy as well.

The meeting was in an enclave on a moon in the Outer Rim that was so obscure it didn't have a name, but was somewhere near the Teth sector, which may have worried them before being Hutt space, but since the end of Jabba, they relaxed a little about that notion. Han was confident that he could get the ship on this moon, which really wasn't that inhabited save for a small fortress run by a Corporate Sector big shot who happened to be their patron and had been pretty much ignored by the Empire. After a briefing with the captain and General Draven by holo, Leia checked in with the bridge of Home One. A holo of Admiral Ackbar had come up.

“Admiral, I just wanted to let you know we are about to leave. Is there anything of note to report? I've gotten all the intelligence sent to me by Draven. I assume this mission is still on?”

“Princess, Captain Aymeric, yes, we are still in dire need of those resources. However, I'm glad you have gotten in touch with me, there are a few things I would like to go over with you, Princess,” the Admiral informed her gruffly.

Leia checked the channel again to make sure that it was safe. They had a tracking device that scanned for static and intrusions. It wasn't always one hundred percent, but most of the time it worked. The safe channels were often changed as well and the frequencies were quite the challenge for their splicers and hackers.

“We're clear, Admiral,” Leia answered back after a few moments.

“Have you checked the latest Imperial wanted lists?” the Admiral said with a hint of a smile.

Leia remembered that a few nights before, Darth Vader had told her in her dreams to check them. She never did. It would have been difficult to do so on the Remembrance bridge for risk of being tracked for going into a core holo network. In the fleet itself, they often relayed on the work of the spy networks and the security equipment designed to go through the propaganda that was being broadcast by the Empire. Leia made it a habit to often check it herself, sometimes just to see if she recognized anyone she thought may be lost, but being away from the fleet, she was in the dark.

“Admiral, you know I haven't. What's my bounty now?” Leia laughed.

The Admiral laughed, “That is just it. It's puzzling. Many known members of High Command have been removed from the lists. Your name as well. I'm very skeptical of this new development myself, as are General Draven, General Cracken and Mon Mothma. In fact, there have been a few high ranking Imperials who have been added.”

Leia gasped. Vader had been right. Was this a sign to her personally? “Yes, I agree. I'm sure it's a ploy to bring us out of hiding.”

“I'm afraid I can't go too much into detail now, but when you return, we'll having a meeting to discuss this with you. Perhaps by then we will have a few more answers,” Ackbar remarked.

“Yes,” Leia leaned back and shook her head. Just what was going on here?

“Report back after you return to the Remembrance. May the Force be with You. Ackbar out.”

Leia spoke to Captain Aymeric who gave her the details of the trip on an encrypted datapad, then returned to the Falcon on the other side of the hanger. They soon took off in the ship and entered hyperspace. Since Leia's dream, Han and Chewie had been very clingy with her. Chewie wasn't sure what was going on exactly, but knew that something had upset her, and it was even annoying to Captain Aymeric, who couldn't seem to get the Princess alone for Alliance business without one of them nearby. It was a bit too much for Leia as well, as even though they were like her family, she really needed some time alone occasionally. In fact now that they were in hyperspace, Leia excused herself and went to one of the gun wells just to sit alone for a while and think.

When they arrived on the moon, the only place to land was a cleared area where there had been a very elegant ship and two very fancy supply ships. There literally seemed to be nothing at all on this moon but rocks. Once they landed they were met by a very elegant woman standing with a small entourage of three armed men. As the ramp opened and Leia walked out, Han grabbed an extra blaster and Chewie his bowcaster. Leia had met Madame Sevmille before some years before when she had been a young senator. She was never sure what business Madame Sevmille was involved with, but apparently she was willing to supply the Rebel Alliance with a supply of fuel cells and detonators. Leia had wished Artoo was here, as he was generally pretty good with inventory without raising suspicion as she got a bad feeling about the good Madame's intentions.

“Princess Leia, how wonderful to see you again,” Madame Sevmille said coldly, yet with the hallmark of gritted politeness and held out her hand.

“Madame Sevmille. It has been quite a while,” Leia answered noticing there wasn't any inventory anywhere to be seen. “So, I understand you've made an arrangement with the Alliance?”

“Yes, they've already taken care of what I require,” Madame Sevmille smiled.

“I don't see any inventory out here,” Han said, blaster pointed. Leia pushed his blaster down as the entourage pointed their weapons at the group.

“Now, now, now, there is no need of that. You will find you are quite safe here, my dear,” Madame Sevmille answered. “I just can not leave everything out here in the open. They will be unloaded from the ships. I would love to offer you a tour of my facility here. I'm sure you would enjoy a nice meal, and I would love to have your company. Your escorts can handle the loading of the crates, I am quite sure. Wherever did you get a Wookiee? I'd love to have one myself. It would be so useful.”

Chewie roared. Han grimaced.

Leia gritted her teeth, “Chewbacca is a friend, Madame Sevmille. Certainly you don't insinuate anything...”

“Oh my dear, no. I only meant to hire. I meant no disrespect to you, Chewbacca,” she waved as if she were batting a fly. “It is only that they can do the work of several humans. You are quite fortunate to have one with you and to call him as a friend I am sure. The slavery of Wookiees is scandalous. You do see them traveling for work though from time to time, those which have their freedom.”

Chewie, Han and Leia just looked at each other in disgust. “If you'll excuse me a moment, Madame Sevmille, I need to return to the ship and get take care of something, then I would love to join you.”

“That's quite alright. I look forward to showing you around. Do not be too long, dear Princess. I believe the chefs are at work right now,” Madame Sevmille exclaimed with a snooty tone.

Chewie did a soft growl.

“Would you mind if my friends join me?” Leia asked, knowing that Chewie perked up at the sound of food.

“Won't they be busy loading your ship? We can send something out. I'm also on a time restraint. I've only come to see to the deal, my dear. I'm afraid I must return immediately after dinner,” Madame Sevmille declared.

“Alright, give me a few moments and I'll be right out,” Leia said returning up the ramp with Han and Chewie following her.

“What is with that woman?” Han asked shaking his head.

Chewie groaned.

“She's rich and entitled I imagine, but I don't have a good feeling about this deal. She has something else in mind, I can feel it,” Leia whispered.

“Like hocus pocus feeling?” Han's hands went up and waved and he made a face.

“No, laserbrains, intuition. Something isn't right here,” Leia crossed her arms on her check and shook her head.

Chewie tilted his head and made a small growl.

“I'll take the comm with me. She wants me alone. I'll try contact you, stay on alert,” Leia asked, making her away back down the ramp.

“Looks like they are taking the goods out now, we better get down there,” Han said looking out the corner of his eye.

“I'll check one of the crates on the way. The wall must open up or something. It doesn't look like much, but I've seen weirder set ups,” Leia noted.

They all walked back down the ramp and eyed the crates being loaded near the Falcon, Chewie grabbed one, and they were very heavy. “We'd better grab one of the carts,” Han said as he opened one up.

Inside the one he had opened were fuel cells, like the manifest indicated, then another were large blasters. “Seems legit as far as goods,” Han observed.

“I assure you, I would not deceive the alliance in anyway, Princess.” Madame Sevmille noted.

Leia nodded, then followed Madame Sevmille towards the rocky fortress. Leia turned her head and gave a look to Han who looked up as she turned with a bit of worry, then went back to his work helping Chewie load the ship. As Madama Sevmille stood in front of what looked like a rock formation, one of the attendants hit a remote and the wall opened revealing a grand entrance with technical readouts, about thirty sentients working various controls, and holomaps being projected above their heads. Madame Sevmille led Leia to a door and opened it. It lead to an elegant hallway, with Madame Sevmille leading the way to a dining room. There were servants already there preparing a place setting for each, with a young man getting up from his seat as the ladies opened the room.

“This is my son, Rollo. Rollo, meet Princess Leia. She'll be dining with us.” Madame Sevmille said stiffly.

The young man made a slight bow then walked up to Leia and took her hand to kiss it. Leia wasn't dressed formally, but Rollo was, as was Madame Sevmille. “I wasn't really expecting to have dinner with you. If I had, I would have found something more appropriate to wear,” Leia said looking down at her ill-fitting soldier uniform.

“It's quite alright, my dear. We understand. I imagine it's not often that you are entertained in a way that you must have grown accustomed to as you were growing up. Please have a seat,” Madame Sevmille stated stiffly.

“I'm very delighted to have finally gotten the opportunity to meet you, Princess. I have heard some interesting things about your escapades throughout the past couple of years. I imagine it's been very difficult for you,” Rollo said with a smile.

“It's been exciting, I'll give you that much,” Leia said as the first course was served. Then thinking of Han and Chewie. “Would you mind if I bring something out to my friends when we are finished here? I'm sure they would be hungry after getting the ship loaded.”

“We will make sure they are taken care of, my dear,” Madame Sevmille assured her.

After some time, and some boring small talk, Leia was starting to feel that the dinner was taking longer than usual. Surely Chewie and Han had already had everything loaded up and were still waiting. She stood up, “Madame Sevmille, I'm grateful for your generosity, but I am on a tight schedule. I hate to leave in the middle of dinner, but I'm afraid I must go out and tend to my shipment.”

Madame Sevmille then stood up. “It will be taken care of, my dear. I'm afraid there is another plan in motion for you.”

“Another plan?” Leia asked. What exactly was going on here.

“Your General Draven has asked me to have you taken to another location for your own protection and the protection of the Rebel Alliance. You need not worry about your friends. They will be instructed to return. It will be all taken care of, I assure you,” Madame Sevmille insisted stiffly.

Leia bolted for the door, with both Rollo and Madame Sevmille standing and watching. The door was magnetically shut and she couldn't budge it.

“What do you think you're doing!” Leia shouted with frustration. She tried the comm, but it wasn't working. There had to be some kind of magnetic force field that wouldn't allow it.

“My dear, calm down. You are in no harm here. In fact, General Draven has arranged for you to be sent to one of your father's relatives who is currently in hiding. All will be quite well. You'll be able to wait it out until the fighting ceases. I thought this might make you happy. Surely you don't enjoy being a soldier. Not one of your breeding. My son Rollo will accompany you,” Madame Sevmille said walking towards the angry and distressed Princess.

“I can't believe this is happening! You don't know who you are dealing with!” Leia shouted.

“My dear,” Madame Sevmille put her arm on her shoulder. “This will be for the best, trust me.”

“No, it will not. And I won't stand for this!” Leia fumed.

Outside of the Falcon, with the ramp still down, the crates loaded, and Han and Chewie mulling around waiting, three of Madame Sevmille's armed lackeys approached the men and then one of them said, “You may depart now. Arrangements have been made for the Princess. She will be taken underground and put into hiding.”

“You're kidding right? You expect us to leave here without her? No, there's no way she would go for an idea like that,” Han said looking at the man strangely. “Let me see her!”

Chewie roared.

The blasters raised. “Sir, I'm afraid you will have to leave.”

Han raised his hands, but Chewie had other ideas. He knocked two of the men down, as Han then reached for his blaster, stunning the third man. He then stunned the other two which had been knocked out cold. It didn't seem that no one else had paid attention, or if there was any other security watching noticed. They probably just expected they would go on their way, leaving Leia there. With the ramp to the Falcon raised. They moved towards the fortress with the opening that Leia and the fancy Madame had gone into, that giant wall seemed to be secure. Quietly, they moved around the perimeter, and stopped. They heard a noise, and it was another security guard that they took down with the blast on stun. Moving a bit further, they found an access door that was locked. Han started to pick at it with Chewie on watch.

Chewie roared.

“No, a smoke bomb will just draw attention. We just have to get inside and find Leia,” Han gritted while working the control panel.

Inside, Leia climbed on top of the table, shocking Madame Sevmille and Rollo and then slid across, knocking out the food, the utensils and everything as she made her way for an open door towards the kitchen area. Madame Sevmille started to call security, but Rollo put his hand on his mother's hand and shook his head. “Let her go. She seems to be too much trouble anyway.”

“I promised General Draven!” Madame Sevmille shouted looking at the mess of her dining room.

Leia ran through the kitchen as the staff looked on in shock, and she even knocked over a few dirty dishes in the process. When she got to a closed door, she opened it and almost as if she were expecting it, standing there was Chewie with Han fiddling with some wires.

“That works, too,” Han said straightening himself out.

“Come on, let's get out of here,” Leia said running towards the Falcon. When she saw the men laying down near the ship she said, “What happened here?”

One started to stir, and Han stunned him again, “I'll tell you later.”

Chewie was following blaster pointed ready to fire at anything aiming to stop them. They ran up the ramp and into the cockpit. “Forget the drop off! Head directly for the fleet,” Leia ordered.

“Head for the fleet? But what if she's tracking the ship?” Han cautioned.

“She's not,” Leia called from the seat behind.

Chewie roared.

“She had orders from Draven to send me underground. I need to speak to High Command,” Leia groaned.

//

Redemption-medical bay

Both Luke and Ciley had been checking in on Vank during his recuperation. The powers that be still wanted him sedated while he was in recovery, mostly for security reasons, and both were told they would be allowed to be there when he was finally revived. Luke actually had put off his own planned personal mission to be there, both because he had become concerned with Vank and how he was treated, and the fact that Ciley had become such a friend. The med droid came out and ordered them to move out of the room, but close by, while a sentient doctor, a Duros female, entered to help with the procedure. There were concerns that the patient would become violent, so an armed guard was also allowed. All of this concerned Ciley and Luke stayed with her until they deemed it safe to come in. They walked up to the cot where Vank was strapped, and he actually flashed a smile.

“You, you're the one who brought me here,” Vank said weekly pointing at Luke.

“Glad to see you doing much better. I thought we were going to lose you on the ship. I really had no idea how bad off you were health wise. You're lucky we found you,” Luke laughed.

“And now what? Prison? Execution?” Vank asked with a tight laugh.

“No, I don't think so. I wouldn't allow them to do it. I've brought Ciley here with me, she says she knows you,” Luke said bringing the young woman closer to the cot.

“Ciley? I knew a Ciley. A long time ago. Bratter's sister?” Vank asked trying to get a good look at her.

“Yes, it's me. I just happened to find out you were here by chance. Luke has become a friend, and he's been sitting with you,” Ciley informed him.

“Really? You act as if you care,” Vank laughed.

“I did, I do. I hope you're feeling better, Vank. I'm afraid that you'll have to go through some of security. Cripps, you remember her from the ship? She wants an update on you, too. She's hoping you'll join us. It's up to you though,” Luke pointed out.

“Yeah, I'm surprised you've all allowed me to live. How long have I been here?” Vank asked.

“A few days,” Luke said smiling. “They kept you sedated because you were an Imperial, but we made sure you got healthy.”

“And we've been looking out for you,” Ciley said laughing. “I couldn't believe you were here. You know I don't have anyone from home anymore, it was just good to see you I imagine.”

“Yeah, heard something about that. They weren't really criminals were they?” Vank asked.

“Not really. I came here when I wouldn't testify against them. Brat though, he was determined to fight it. Didn't work out,” Ciley said sadly.

Vank nodded. “I had nothing to do with that, I hope you realize that.”

“It wasn't you. You at least got out of working in the mines. I won't hold that against you,” Ciley answered.

“I'll leave you two alone. General Cracken is probably going to send someone over soon, just to warn you. Ciley, I'll make sure they cover your shift,” Luke said patting her shoulder.

“Thanks,” Ciley nodded.

“So, he's your boyfriend?” Vank laughed as Luke started to leave the room.

“We're just friends. We've helped each other,” Ciley stroked Vank's hand. “I'm glad to see you.”

Luke made his way down the corridor to his small room. He sat and looked and Artoo followed him. He knew he had to get back to Dagobah. He could feel it. Why was he putting it off? There was excuse after excuse and he did feel a bit of anger towards Ben Kenobi, but that was going away. A few things lately had put some things into perspective. He needed a ship. Luke packed up his small belongings and headed back to Vank's room hoping Ciley was still there. When he got there, he saw the two of them hugging each other and crying.

Luke cleared his throat. “Ciley? I'm sorry to intrude.”

“It's alright,” Ciley sniffled as Vank held her arm.

“I didn't want to leave without letting you know,” Luke said sadly.

Ciley got up and walked over to Luke. “Really? Right now?”

“Well, I had planned on leaving before, but I wanted to know. I have to go now. Thanks for being there for me,” Luke said giving her a hug.

“You too, and for helping Vank,” Ciley hugged back.

“You take care,” Luke nodded turning around.

Luke made his way down to the shuttle to Home One. It was a wait for the next one, so he just fiddled around in the hanger a bit waiting with the others. Once it arrived, he and Artoo climbed on board and headed for the ship. It was hard to travel by shuttle with Artoo, and it seemed to annoy the other travelers, but there wasn't much he could do about it. Artoo needed to come. Once Luke got to Home One, he would have to get an x-wing and take off. He had already made arrangements with Mon Mothma to have it waiting for him on Home One. He just needed to clear with Admiral Ackbar and he wanted to see Lando if he was on ship. As he walked towards the bridge, he was intercepted by General Draven.

“Commander Skywalker, did you know anything about this?” General Draven drilled him.

“About what? I've been on compassionate leave,” Luke said alarmed at the general's tone.

“Follow me,” General Draven ordered.

Luke and Artoo followed the very angry general to his office where once he escorted them in, he slammed the door.

“They are your friends are they not?” General Draven brought up a holo of the Millennium Falcon.

“Yes, whats wrong? Is something wrong with Han and Chewie?” Luke asked a bit worried.

“I made arrangements to put the Princess in hiding, but somehow she is on her way here. She's supposed to be going underground with relatives of her father,” General Draven pointed to the ship furiously. “I just received a hail from them not long ago.”

“Mon Mothma?” Luke asked a bit puzzled.

“She didn't know. It was a security issue, I assure you,” General Draven spoke with anger.

“I'd like to know what she has to say about this myself,” Luke said leaning back in the chair and putting his arms on his chest.

After Draven hailed Mon Mothma he left Luke alone in the office while he tended to some other business. Luke, after waiting a bit, reached out for Yoda, and felt his presence knowing he was back on Dagobah. As soon as whatever was going on here was cleared up, he would leave. It always seemed to be something holding him back from leaving. And now he had no qualms at all about going. It felt right, and he was ready to confront Kenobi and continue his training. It was some time later when Mon and Draven both came into the room. Mon Mothma seemed a bit alarmed, and Draven was still angry.

“Commander Skywalker, I'm sorry you've been kept waiting. Of course, you knew nothing of this,” Mon soothed. “I've gotten word the ship will arrive soon, and we'll be able to clear everything up upon it's arrival. General Draven, I understand your reasoning, but you should have run this by me first.”

Draven looked over to Skywalker, “Mon, it was a security issue. I'll be able to go into detail with you when we are alone. I thought that perhaps Commander Skywalker had some contact with the ship. That is all.”

“I understand. And now, you've brought him into your plans now, haven't you? What were you thinking?” Mon Mothma asked.

Luke was beginning to feel that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, that he had no business being here, until Draven spoke. “It has to do with him as well. I've gotten some intel from Coruscant.”

“If it has to do with me, I want to know,” Luke spoke up.

“As you may or may not be aware, the bounties on high ranking alliance members have been removed from the lists, as has yours, but that wasn't why I wanted to put her into hiding. You are taking a leave of absence are you not?” Draven pressed.

“Yes?” Luke questioned him.

“Then why are my people in the field still hearing your name spoke on Coruscant as being wanted by the new Emperor himself. Not Mon, not Admiral Ackbar, you, Princess Leia, and that hunk of junk ship of Captain Solo's.” Draven said leaning on the table and then pounded on it.

“I have no idea,” Luke shook his head knowing he really did have some idea as to why.

“Mon, they are specifically still being targeted,” Draven stressed. “Even if they are not on any lists officially.”

“Draven,” Mon started.

“I thought hiding Princess Leia would help, keep her away from the Rebel Fleet, her convoy. I know I overstepped bounds. I know negotiations were on the table,” Draven pounded with frustration.

“Draven, that is classified, and you have an unclassified member of the alliance in the room,” Mon stated.

“It has to do with him! Skywalker! Why you? The Death Star? The fact you are a Jedi? Is there more you haven't told us?” Draven yelled.

“Draven, please, you will stop this line of questioning. Of course, it's probably related to that,” Mon stoically tried to soothe the general. “I just wish you brought this to me.”

Luke sat down wiggling a bit in his seat.

“Commander Skywalker. Perhaps you could go to the bridge and speak with Admiral Ackbar about your departure? I'd like to have a word with General Draven,” Mon insisted.

Luke took a deep sigh then left the room where Artoo was waiting outside. He made his way up to the bridge and Admiral Ackbar was there with Lando going over some details of shipping lanes.

“Skywalker, come in!” Admiral Ackbar said warmly.

“How are ya, Luke,” Lando patted him on the back smiling.

Luke smiled, “Looks like they are keeping you busy.”

“We are, we are very lucky to have Calrissian as one of our team. So, Skywalker, I understand you're taking the x-wing on a leave of absence,” Admiral Ackbar said patting Luke on the back.

“Yes, just a personal journey. I'll be back. It's better than hiding on a medical ship,” Luke laughed.

“You have my blessings. I hope you return soon, we could use you. I understand the need. If only I had the luxury. Sometimes I envy you young fry with your missions and your adventures. Though commanding a battle is quite demanding,” Ackbar acknowledged gruffly.

“Luke, let me walk out with you, that is if it's alright with you, Admiral,” Lando said putting his arm around Luke.

“Absolutely, Skywalker, May the Force be with you,” the Admiral called out as Luke left the bridge.

“Luke, I understand you need to take leave, but don't be a stranger. I know they must be planning something big, though you never heard that from me,” Lando winked.

Luke shook his head, “I'll know, I'll be here when you need me. I have to do this, then I'll be back at the fleet.”

“I'm glad to hear it. You take care of yourself. Have you heard from Han and Chewbacca?” Lando asked.

“I understand they might be on their way back here, but you didn't hear that from me either,” Luke laughed.

Lando laughed as well then patted Luke on the back. “Of course not.”

“I may stick around until they arrive,” Luke laughed knowing yet another thing would delay his departure.

“You do take care of yourself. I've got to finish up a few things with Ackbar. If I can, I'll get down to the hanger when the Falcon arrives,” Lando laughed then turned around.

“Maybe I'll see you then,” Luke waved and walked back.

Luke filled out the paper work, and was issued the x-wing. It wasn't the same one he was used to flying, but it was very similar. He put his belongings inside, then before he was able to get Artoo boarded, Threepio came calling out followed by General Cracken.

“Skywalker, I was hoping I'd catch you before you left. I was just on my way to the Redemption. I understand you were there when the prisoner woke up?” Cracken asked.

“I was, and he's much better. My friend Ciley from the hanger on the Redemption knew him on their home planet. She's with him now,” Luke explained.

“I see. Cripps was working with the prococol droid here, and when he heard you were leaving, he had to come and see you off. Cripps is supposed to join me on the trip to Home One. She really wants to get that stormtrooper to join up. Pretty impressed with how he survived. Between you and me, Skywalker, what are the odds of that happening? Would you deem that wise?” Cracken said with a bit of skepticism.

“I don't know. He's a nice enough fellow, but that doesn't mean much. Just don't give up on him right away. He left a bad first impression, but once we got to know him, he's just someone who wants to live,” Luke said trying to convince the general.

“Well, we've turned more stubborn recruits. Maybe I'll at least get something out of him. I'll let you know,” Cracken said as he left Luke to his ship preparations.

“Thanks, general,” Luke said watching Threepio warning Artoo of the dangers of flying.

//

Millennium Falcon on route to Home One

“Gee, Leia, you're wound up so tight,” Han said working the knots out of Leia's neck.

“I can't imagine why! Can you believe the nerve of that man. Thinking he could just send me away!” Leia said laying down on the cot, her feet in the air.

“We'll be there soon. You don't think they learned something. Something you know, but they probably didn't know, do ya?” Han said getting up and wiping off his hands of the lotion.

“I don't think so. He might still be looking though, even with the supposed lists having disappeared. Might have made Draven jumpy. He's so suspicious. I imagine Captain Aymeric is very upset with me, but this couldn't be helped. I just hope Mon and the others weren't in on this as well. Of course they are!” Leia fumed tensing up further and sitting up with just the sheet wrapped around her.

They could hear Chewie roaring in the distance.

“We're coming in soon, you should get dressed. Want us to stay on the ship when we board?” Han asked then kissed her forehead.

“Yes, it might be best. I'll comm you if I need you. They might want a debriefing, and you know how much you love those. If it goes too long, I'll figure out some way to get you to get me out of it,” Leia took a few deep breaths to control her anger as Yoda taught her.

She quickly got dressed, then joined the others in the cockpit as they came out of hyperspace. Some of the fleet was in the distance. Leia called into Home One with her codes, then they landed in the hanger. As soon as the ramp opened, Leia came storming out, only to see Luke standing there, all smiles.

Leia walked up to him, knowing he in no way was the source of her anger and hugged him. It actually calmed her a little. Luke could sense her tension.

“Draven just drilled me, I have some idea of why you might be upset,” Luke said pulling her out of his arms still holding her.

“Wait until I see him. Anyway, it is good to see you. I hope you're feeling better,” Leia said loosening up a bit.

“I am, actually, I was just on my way out. Going to meet an old friend for a bit,” Luke smiled knowing Leia would understand what he meant.

“Yes, I'm sure he is waiting for you,” That actually got a smile out of Leia.

“Where's Han and Chewie?” Luke asked noticing they hadn't come out.

Leia pointed up at the ship, “Still on board, I'm sure they would love to see you. They'll probably have to unload the cargo here. If you'll excuse me.”

She went to hug Luke again, “Do be careful.”

“You too,” Luke said holding her tight. “We'll be in touch.”

They could sense that half the hanger was watching them. “I imagine the odds are climbing, but you know that Luke is really having an affair with Han!” Leia yelled at at annoyance as a few of the onlookers coughed.

Luke laughed then made his way up to the Falcon.

Cracken, who was still in the hanger, noticed Leia on her way out of the hanger with great purpose. “Princess! Wait up.”

“Were you in on this, too!” Leia shouted.

“In on what?” Cracken asked, “I just wanted to say hello. I know you didn't meet your convoy. Is everything alright?”

“Oh, it will be, and you'll hear about it later. If you will excuse me,” Leia said moving her way towards the corridor.

Cracken turned, scratched his head then went back to his own business while waiting on his shuttle.

Threepio started to follow her, “Princess Leia!”

Leia stopped in her tracks, “Threepio! I'm sorry, but I'm in a hurry right now. I'll catch up with you later. In fact, why don't you meet me down in the hanger, by the Falcon?”

“Why yes, Princess, certainly, if that is what you wish. I'm sure that Chewbacca and Captain Solo will be glad to have my help,” Threepio said as he moved in that direction.

Leia actually laughed at that. When she got to Draven's office, the receptionist had her have a seat and started working his fingers frantically. A few moments later, he told Leia that they were waiting for her in the conference room. Leia stormed out in that direction and then burst inside. Mon Mothma, General Draven, Admiral Ackbar, General Madine, General Rieekan and General Dodonna were all waiting inside. Leia burst in and yelled, “We're you all in on this!”

“Princess Leia, this meeting is not all about you. However, I will address the reason that you were detained on your past mission. General Draven took it upon himself on some intelligence to have you placed into hiding which he thought was for your own welfare and the security of the Alliance. I assure you that he did not run it by the rest of us, however, he has been reprimanded and will owe you an apology. No, this meeting is of greater importance,” General Dodonna explained.

Leia stood at the table next to Rieekan, who patted her shoulder and whispered, “I'm glad to have you back.”

A holo showed over the table. General Madine explained, “These are the routes we have been keeping watch on as far as what we believe to be related to construction of the new Death Star. Just from watching the shipping lanes, we believe that progress has been halted. A few of you have already been made aware of this fact, and Princess Leia, whatever your source has been, they have been correct on that account.”

Leia nodded.

“We've been contacted by an Imperial Admiral through an operative. He wishes to reach out for negotiations between the Rebel Alliance and Emperor Vader. It's coming from Admiral Firmus Piett and at first we felt it may be a trap, or the Admiral wished to defect. However, a new development has come to our attention,” Mon Mothma spoke, the glow of the map giving her an aura of dignity around her frame.

Leia gasped at the mention of Piett.

“Princess, this was why I tried to have you hidden,” Draven spoke, but a cue from Mon Mothma and a chastising look, stopped him from going further.

“Your name came up as our negotiator. We remember your capture and escape from Darth Vader on the original Death Star, so we are finding this to be a very dangerous situation. At first, we entertained the idea of a means to make a peaceful solution, then it was suggested that you, Princess, would be our envoy,” Mon Mothma stated. “Specifically, from Darth Vader's personal flagship's Admiral.”

Leia knew what this was, and High Command was clueless. “I understand.”

“Princess, we cannot allow you to embark on such a dangerous mission. I hope you aren't considering this,” Rieekan said with great fear.

“Perhaps hiding isn't such a bad idea then?” Leia sat up a bit more confident.

“Certainly, not. Leia, we need you. We intend to go a different...” Mon started but was stopped as Leia lifted her hand.

“No, I'll hide. Draven, let's see if your people can even find me, huh?” Leia laughed.

Rieekan whispered to her, “You can't be serious, Your highness.”

“I am. Don't worry. Meet me outside,” Leia whispered back.

“Please, Princess, hear us out!” Madine insisted.

“I've heard enough. I'll be in touch,” Leia started walking out laughing uncomfortably.

Rieekan followed her, “Princess, don't do this.”

“It will be fine, I promise. I know what I'm doing. I think,” she couldn't stop laughing uncomfortably.

Rieekan reached out and Leia fell into his arms. He hugged her tight and with a few tears she let go and headed off for the hanger. Sad to see that Luke's x-wing had left, she looked over at the Falcon where Threepio was waiting outside.

“Princess, I'm afraid you've just missed Master Luke,” Threepio stated almost sadly.

“It's alright, follow me,” Leia commanded.

“Oh dear, Chewbacca has threatened to tear me to pieces if I come back on board,” Threepio moaned.

“It will be alright, I need you,” she replied as she climbed up.

“Well in that case...” the droid followed.

Leia saw Han waiting for her in the lounge, “How'd it go?”

“It went. Did you get everything unloaded?” Leia asked.

“Yeah, they took care of it,” Han answered.

“Then can you get us out of here. Somewhere where no one will know us, if that's even possible. I have to get out of here for a while,” Leia whispered calmly.

“Where? Anywhere?” he asked.

“Aren't you the expert on hideouts?”

Chewie did a soft roar.

“Sounds good to me,” Han responded moving towards the cockpit. “Get her ready. Leia, is Goldenrod coming with us?”

“Yes. Why not?”

Han grumbled.

Chapter Text

Dagobah

Luke took a seat down on the log and waited. He could see Yoda hobbling up from his hut in the distance, but it wasn't Yoda he was waiting for. He could sense that Obi-Wan was near, but wasn't yet showing himself. Then he appeared, sitting next to Luke on the log.

Luke looked at his ghostly appearance and spoke, “Ben, was everything you told me a lie?”

Obi-Wan paused a moment, then spoke himself, “Everything I told you was true, from a certain point of view.”

“Is my father Darth Vader?” Luke asked hoping this wasn't true. Even though Leia had confirmed it, he wanted to hear it from the Jedi masters.

“Not ready for the burden were you. Told you he did. Your father he is,” Yoda spoke as he came closer to Luke and sat on the other side of him.

“But you said he died!” Luke cried out and shook his head.

“The person I knew as Anakin Skywalker is dead, he was killed by Darth Vader. That much is true. Anakin Skywalker was taken over by the personage that is now Darth Vader, by Vader's own turn to the dark side,” Obi-Wan explained.

“How is that possible? He doesn't even look human!” Luke cried out.

“Machine he is, with man inside. Tell him you will Obi-Wan?” Yoda said pointing his cane at Obi-Wan's ghost.

“When your father was consumed by the dark side, I thought I could help him. I was wrong. We had a bit of an argument about that,” Obi-Wan explained.

“Three good limbs Vader had before argument with Obi-Wan, he did. No limbs and need of life support after,” Yoda explained frankly.

“You put him in the suit?” Luke asked.

“Oh, not me, I left him for dead. Not that it makes it sound any better. I couldn't finish him off. I should have. I still loved him. I was weak,” Obi-Wan spoke softly.

“The Emperor it was, kept him alive. Needed him he did. Died he should have, with much suffering. Suffering still,” Yoda explained.

“And you kept watch over me so that one day I would kill him?” Luke asked not really wanting to know the answer.

“He is evil. Only one as powerful as he is able to take him down. Though I did come close, as I said. That was my mistake. Taken over by the dark side more fully now, more powerful,” Obi-Wan said calmly.

Qui-Gon then appeared, Luke could not see him, but Obi-Wan and Yoda could, “Tell him Yoda, tell him what you saw.”

“Hmmph,” Yoda said putting his cane down.

“It figures you would show up,” Obi-Wan looked up almost annoyed.

“Your master?” Luke asked.

“Yes, Qui-Gon is here,” Obi-Wan explained.

“Vader kill me he did not, defeated the Emperor he did. Left me to leave on his own he did,” Yoda spoke.

“I'm sure he had other things on his mind, Yoda. You merely got away,” Obi-Wan argued.

“And boy's welfare, priority it was!” Yoda said pointing his cane at Obi-Wan.

“Leia was there, she said she is my sister. We were separated at birth. Why was she even there!” Luke said looking confused.

“Talks to her he does, not clear to me it is,” Yoda explained. “Saved you she did, did she not?”

“I worry about Leia. The dark side is so tempting,” Obi-Wan said shaking his head.

“I just saw her, she seemed fine,” Luke said. “Now, how was it that we were separated? And how come I didn't end up growing up in a palace and on a dirt farm? With my real last name? How was that smart?”

“I was watching you, Luke. Your father hated Tatooine. He hated Sand. I took you to your Uncle and Aunt to raise. I thought they would allow me to be close to you, but your Uncle couldn't see me as a positive influence. He thought your father was dead. He didn't know what became of your father,” Obi-Wan explained.

“I got the impression he barely knew him. So that woman who came when my grandmother died, Aunt Beru told me about her. Was that my mother?” Luke asked.

“Yes, your father was supposed to be protecting her on her home planet. As a bodyguard of sorts. He had an attachment to his mother, something that would not have happened to most Jedi. Apparently there was more going on between he and your mother than we believed. Or I pretended not to know. They were very close friends, we all knew that. They apparently married in secret. I didn't know until the very end, when you were born. Yoda was there as was Leia's father, her adoptive father. I couldn't raise a child, so I took you to the Lars farm, but I watched you. I always watched you,” Obi-Wan said with a bit of sentimentality. “You were both loved, at least take comfort in that. And you did find each other. Tatooine helped make you who you are, never doubt that, Luke. I could not train you, but your rough upbringing was a training of it's own. Leia's father knew who she was, and she learned skills as well, even with her more privileged upbringing. Not in the ways of the Jedi, but how to fight. In a way, hiding you both in plain sight from the Emperor and Vader. They were led to believe your mother died with child.” Obi-Wan explained.

“Alright, and I'm here now. I'll promise to be more focused. I can't kill my father. I just can't, but I still would like to learn the ways of the Jedi,” Luke said trying to take comfort in Obi-Wan's words.

Yoda let out a laugh, “Hmmmph, Luke. Teach you more we can not. Taught you what we could we did.”

“So, I'm a Jedi?” Luke shook his head not believing what he was hearing.

“No, more you must do. Face Vader still you must. On your own you learn, but already know what you need. Fallen and lost the Jedi became. Why there are only you and I there are,” Yoda explained. “Come, eat. Root leaf on the stove I have.”

“Come on, Artoo,” Luke called out as the droid followed.

In the hut, Luke sat down and stirred the root leaf. Yoda sat on his bed and stretched out his legs, then brought out some scrolls and passed them to Luke.

“I can't make any sense of these!” Luke said looking at the text.

“Learn you will, take them. They are yours. They will start you on your way,” Yoda explained.

Luke was embarrassed he didn't know how to read the writing, but the pictures called out to him. Next time he saw Threepio, he would ask him what the rest meant, but the picture, he knew in his heart what it meant and what to do. He was to go somewhere. He had already seen an ancient Jedi site before, but he didn't even know this place on the scroll existed.

“Always looking to the horizon, never the right now with you. Adventure you long for. Adventure you will get,” Yoda laughed. “Tell you I will not, but guide you always I will.”

Yoda took Luke's hand and held it looking into his eyes, and then nodded his head. He then started coughing.

“Master Yoda, are you alright?” Luke said sensing Yoda's weakness.

“Time to move on it is, next step to take. When gone I am, the last Jedi you will be,” Yoda said moving again towards his bed.

“You can't die,” Luke said with great worry.

“Never truly gone, Skywalker,” Yoda said as he laid down. “Time it is. Waited for you I did.”

Luke sat with him as Yoda laid there looking up at the reflection of the fire on the ceiling. “Pass on what you have learned. With you always I will be. ”

Luke watched Yoda as he drifted off to sleep. He twitched a little then went into a peaceful deep sleep. Then Yoda disappeared completely. Luke gasped. Then he heard Yoda's laugh. “Told you I did, heeeee.”

Luke took Yoda's blanket and realized it was a Jedi cloak for a much larger being such as a tall human male. He put it on and walked out towards the area where they had sat earlier on the log. “It looks good on you, Young Luke,” Obi-Wan Kenobi stated appearing before him. “Yoda is still here. He will always be with you and with Leia as well. That was my master's robe. The one you can not see. It suits you well. Stay on a bit, would you. It's much easier to talk with you here.”

Luke nodded then sat down. “These texts. I can't understand them.”

“You will, be patient. Remember to be patient always,” Obi-Wan soothed.

Yoda then appeared, looked at his new look and then looked at Luke, “Calm. Remain calm. The Force will guide you. You are one with the Force and the Force is in you as it is in all living things. Strong in the Force you are.”

Luke nodded, then sat there calmly and reached out to feel everything around him and he began to understand.

//

Nar Shaada

“You've got to be kidding me? Hide here?” Leia said as soon as she realized exactly where they had found themselves.

“I know it's risky. So we disguise ourselves, we've been in worse binds. We hide in plain site. No one will know. 'Sides, with Grakkus gone, no worries. This place is big enough to get lost,” Han said as they landed with false transmitters and identifications.

Chewie roared.

“I'm sure we won't run into her. Chewie had some female Wookiee who would chase after him. And maybe a few other beings as well. Right Chewie,” Han laughed and got out of the cockpit with Leia following rolling her eyes.

“I've got a bad feeling about this,” Leia shook her head.

Han pulled out a few of the disguises and they tried different looks. They would be leaving Threepio in charge of the ship, Han paid their fees for the docking bay, and then reentered the ship. The spaceport they landed in was crowded and seedy, but then everything here seemed to be like that.

“Isn't this place crawling with bounty hunters? Are you sure?” Leia said with a touch of worry. “I don't like this.”

“You can handle Darth Vader, but this place worries you?” Han said putting a wig on Leia's head.

“I guess not. I just remembered the last time we were here,” Leia bit her lip then took some of the make up.

“It will be fun, we won't stay long. Maybe you'll hear something interesting. You learn everything that's going on in the galaxy in these streets. And that place before? It's on the other side of the moon,” Han soothed.

Chewie roared.

“Yeah, good idea. We should fix you up as well. Been a while since we've been here, but you never know,” Han said handing Chewie some paint for his fur.

Once they got their disguises together, they left the spaceport for the city. It reminded Leia a lot of Coruscant in it's lower levels, or at least the lower part she had visited. Only it was more linear. There were people everywhere, and Leia noticed that most of them looked down at the ground, only occasionally looking up. Han seemed to know where he was going though, and they even got to a neighborhood, that could almost pass for respectable, though that was pushing it. Han knocked on a door, then they heard some tumbling around and a lot of noise. The door wooshed opened and a man was sitting in a repulsor chair with a grumpy face giving them a good look.

“Who the hell are you?” The man said trying to figure out who they were.

Han cleared his throat and Chewie roared. Mako took another look, one of recognition, and then looked around outside and motioned the group in. Han removed some of his disguise, so Mako would really know who he was and then Mako said, “Han? You know you shouldn't have come here.”

“I was here, and thought I would check in on ya. Make sure you were doing alright,” Han said looking at his old friend.

“I make do. I don't do the running no more, but I have a job. And I tend to myself. Been a long time though, and if you're in trouble, I can't help you,” Mako stated. “So don't stay too long. Who's that?” he said pointing to Leia.

Leia looked at Han wondering if he trusted this man and it seemed he did. She didn't want to be rude though, and they hadn't brought up any false names to use here. The man knew Han. Her gut just thought to go with the truth, “I'm Leia.” She offered her hand.

“Where do you come from where they wear wigs like that!” Mako laughed, “Your hair is coming out from underneath. If you are hiding, you might want to fix it.” He pointed to a mirror.

Leia was horrified to see that it had gone lopsided. Her brown braid had fallen down under the red wig as well.

“Well, don't get too attached to this one, if you are, because he'll just send you away when you get too close,” Mako said to Leia as she was fixing her hair.

“Now, Mako,” Han looked at him shaking his head and putting his finger on his mouth.

Leia smirked and perked up, “So, Mako, you've known Han a long time?”

“Probably longer than just about anybody else. I'm surprised he still has Chewie around. That is you Chewie isn't it?” Mako laughed.

Chewie roared.

“It's good to hear you laughing,” Han remarked.

“Well, you caught me on a good day. Maybe. So you're in trouble, the only reason you'd ever show up here, I'd imagine,” Mako shook his head and then pointed. “Disguises. That hutt is dead at least so he won't be looking for you, but you have the Empire after you. Don't think I don't know. I get out sometimes, and I hear things. Known associates.” He points to Leia. “Yeah, don't you think I don't know who you are now. What are you doing in a hell hole like this? Don't bring the rebellion to my doorstop. Han, I would have never thought you'd go for that kind of thing, but then again, you've surprised me before.”

“Hey, Mako, I'm just here to say hello. We won't stay long, promise,” Han grabbed his friend's shoulder.

“I just can't believe you didn't just come here and didn't want something,” Mako replied pointing at Han angrily, “I'll say it's good to see you, but I'd appreciate when you see yourselves out, you do it without causing a scene.”

“How is it that you've never gotten any artificial limbs? Surely there is something they could have done for you to help you be more mobile?” Leia inquired.

“Where am I supposed to get something fancy like that here and with what? This ain't no core world. This is Nar Shaada! I'm lucky to get a bacta tank treatment every once in a while,” Mako chastised her.

“I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. Let us help you,” Leia offered.

“Mako looks out for Mako. I appreciate your concern,” Mako said softly. “I do alright.”

“We'll go, we didn't mean to get you all riled up. Just needed to know how you were doin', you know? I almost didn't come. Say, can you tell me what's good to eat around here, where maybe I won't draw too much attention? Then I'll get out of your hair, I promise,” Han said backing away with his arms out.

“Two blocks to the left then down away from the park. You'll do alright there. Be careful, Han, and take care of yourself. As long as I don't get any trouble, I'm glad you stopped by,” Mako said with a much warmer tone.

Han ran his hand through his head and then grabbed Mako's hand.“Yeah, you too.”

Mako saw the three of them out and then went back into his home. Under the mirror he saw a small bag of credits. Mako growled then a smile came on his face.

“Who was that guy?” Leia asked as they moved away from his place.

Chewie growled.

“Yeah, way back, before Chewie. He used to be a lot of fun before he got hurt. I felt like I should go see 'im,” Han whispered before they got to where there were more people walking.

They got to the place that Mako described, a small out of the way diner and found a table in the back. It was pretty empty, just a few other patrons and a droid waitress came and took their order then flitted away. Once they had something to eat, they went walking a few more blocks where it was a lot more seedier than the area that the diner had been.

“Probably a Princess jail here,” Leia whispered with laugh.

Chewie roared, and Han looked all nervous and shook his head. They ended up in a bar where there appeared to be many games of chance going on all at once. Chewie wasn't even the only Wookiee in there, and one seemed to be missing an arm, with some kind of makeshift droid's arm attached. It looked like it came from one the kind of tall droids that were often seen among the Imperials. There were aliens of all kinds, even one or two that Leia couldn't even recognize their species, but most of the beings were speaking Huttese which they all could understand. The three of them took a seat in a dark corner. Chewie went up to the bar and got them all drinks, bringing back a big growler of something with the most amazing smell and a huge smile on his face and something for Leia and Han as well.

“Thank you,” Leia said as she took her drink, something small in small blue container. “Whatever it is that you have, Chewie, that smells really fantastic! What is it?”

Chewie roared.

“Mind if I take a sip?” Leia whispered leaning over.

Han put a hand on her back and whispered, “You don't want to try that. It's pretty potent stuff. He can handle it, but you?”

“I'll have you know I can handle my liquor thank you, and if it's all the same to you, what's a taste?” Leia whispered back.

Chewie growled a bit.

“Just drink that. I'm sure it's good. He'll probably get another one and be fine, trust me, you don't want to drink it. I wouldn't even touch it,” Han said taking a sip of his beer.

Whatever Chewie brought Leia was pretty good, though it tasted as if it were local, watered down and handmade. It had a bit of local fruit in it as well, and she could see quite a few patrons around drinking the same thing. She looked around, hoping not to see anyone familiar, such as spies she had worked with, or anyone in an Imperial uniform. It seemed to mostly either be locals or just people having a good time. Han was more intent in seeing if he recognized anyone, having spent time here before, but didn't catch anyone familiar. No one seemed to be looking in their direction and seemed concerned with their own business or games or whatever it was they were doing. Chewie quickly polished off his drink, leaving his growler, and Leia picked it up and took a sniff.

“Hey, be careful with that,” Han warned.

“It's empty, and it smells so good,” Leia laughed and set it down. “I'm just smelling it.”

“Trust me, even a little of that will be too much. Seriously.”

Leia was upset at being told what to do, and took the growler, put a finger inside and wiped it clean with her finger. Then she put her finger in her mouth.

“Let's see then,” Leia laughed.

Han groaned.

Chewie returned with another one, and had a seat, still sober and still smiling. Shortly after he was followed by a Rodian man who took a seat next to Leia. Chewie nudged Han.

The Rodian whispered, “Mako sent me looking for you.” He then slipped him a small card and walked away.

Han picked up the card and it had an address on it and some instructions. He passed it to Leia.

“Do you think it's a trap?” Leia asked confused.

“Mako? Nah. He wouldn't do that. 'Sides, I know that address,” Han smiled and put it in his pocket.

“Really? Is it the Princess jail?” Leia whispered with a laugh.

“Might be,” Han laughed and put his arm around her.

Leia finished her drink and when Chewie went back for a third, he brought her another one. She was starting to feel a little woozy though and didn't touch the drink, even though it was pretty mild as far as alcoholic beverages went.

“You feeling alright there, sweetheart?” Han asked as Leia swayed her head down a bit.

“What?” she answered blinking her eyes.

Chewie growled in concern.

“She tasted your drink when you weren't looking. I told her not to,” Han said to Chewie.

Chewie stood up and growled angrily at him.

“I know, I know, pal, but she does what she wants,” Han gritted back at him a little tipsy himself from having had a few beers.

“I like you, I like you a lot,” Leia said grinning and looking up and leaning on Han.

“Yeah, sweetheart, um, me too,” he answered realizing she was a goner. “Chewie? What is in that stuff?”

Chewie roared.

“She barely touched it, it couldn't have been even a sip,” Han dipped his finger in and sniffed it. Then he put it in his mouth.

Chewie roared.

“Yeah, yeah, I know. This isn't even a sip, I'll be fine and I'm bigger than her,” Han laughed.

Chewie shook his head.

“Someone passed this over to me from Mako,” Han showed Chewie.

Chewie's eyes perked up.

“Yeah. Looks like we have a place to stay here for a night,” Han grinned and put it back in his pocket.

Chewie tilted his head in a question.

“We'll be alright pal. Wow,” Han shook his head. “This stuff really punches you in the head doesn't it?”

Leia was nuzzled into Han's chest. “Are you going to send me away?”

Han just rubbed her head and finished his drink. Then they walked out with Leia having a little trouble walking and Han started to mumble some gibberish and then Chewie having to play nursemaid, again.

//

The Executor- Over Coruscant

“Admiral, so you've made contact with the Rebels” Darth Vader said after he called the Admiral into his private chambers. He didn't trust communications with the Admiral from the planet to the ship.

“Your Excellency, I have. They seem eager to have a meeting, however, word from my source is that the Princess will be unavailable for the negotiation,” Piett said with a bit of fear on that last bit.

Vader was calm though and answered, “I see.”

“They would like some time to prepare,” Piett asked with a gulp.

“Yes, that will do. Perhaps in that time we may be able to convince them to adhere to our request on the presence of the Princess,” Darth Vader said turning away. “That is all, Admiral. Your service to me on this matter has been most satisfactory.”

Piett's eyes shot up with relief and left the chambers for the bridge.

Vader went into his meditation chamber on ship. He preferred it to the set up that he had on Coruscant and after a few more eliminations, was confident enough that his staff would heed his bidding. He could try to get in contact with the Princess through the Force again if he had to, but he could foretell that she would come to him eventually. He knew she would. As for Skywalker. He was becoming cloudy, or was he becoming stronger? He never forged a deep connection to him unless he was near just from that encounter on Bespin and the killing of Kreel. Darth Vader was more concerned with other matters to try and connect. Perhaps the Princess would somehow bring him to them?

//

Ossus

Luke felt he was in the right place, but there was nothing here. Only traces and ghosts of what had been here before. He put his hand down on the ground, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath. He could feel ancient Jedi and listen to ancient voices. He let out a breath then looked around with his eyes. Standing tall and reaching out he closed his eyes and could see and feel everything. He stood there for what seemed to him to be a few moments, but in the end was an hour. A stranger, an old man in ragged clothes, tapped him on the shoulder curious as to what Luke was doing there.

“This place they say is haunted,” the old man said looking at the young man.

Luke opened his eyes and nodded. “Hello. Have you lived here long?”

“All my life. There's never been anything here, just old legends. I remember though, visitors coming here and doing as you are doing now. It's been a long time since I have seen such a thing. Had me wondering is all,” the old man answered. “Nothing here though, but there's something about this spot alright. I like to come here myself sometimes just to sit. Helps me think. Never seen a ghost though. I don't know what everyone goes on about it being haunted. It's just dank and spooky to them, but it's not spooky to me. It's right peaceful.”

“Nor to me. It had a strong pulse, as if it's alive here. It is peaceful. Can you tell me anything about what used to be here?” Luke asked looking at the old man.

“Don't really know. Used to be some things here a long time ago, I remember hearing stories about that. There's a trader in town, you could ask him. I'll take you to him, if you don't mind following me to my home for something to eat. I'll feed you if you like. I don't have much, but you're welcome to it,” the old man answered warmly. “Name's Neebal.”

“Luke,” Luke offered his hand.

“Nice to meet ya, Luke. Follow me,” Neebal waved his hand as he wandered in the direction of his home.

Neebal's home was quite simple, even more simple than the homes that Luke remembered on his home planet of Tatooine. It basically had a cot on the floor, and a fire place, no table or chairs. It was even more sparse than Yoda's hut. Neebal took the bottom of a gourd and placed some of the broth he has cooking on the fire in Luke's bowl. It was more water than broth to be honest, but it was warm and it felt good going down. It was probably the best that Neebal had, and something Leia had said before about never refusing food from a stranger while talking about something on a more diplomatic level and not referring to something that basically could barely pass for tea, struck home to Luke. Water on his home planet was scarce and this would even be a luxury in relation to that, though they did have more nourishing things to eat there.

“Back where I come from, this much liquid served for a supper would be a luxury,” Luke meant as a complement to his host.

“I know it's not much, but a good bone will last for weeks if you use it right,” Neebal laughed. “And where is it that you come from, Luke?”

“Tattooine. Water is precious there. There's a lot more of it here. This would be something rare and grand there,” Luke laughed and took another spoonful.

Neebal laughed, “One poor man's meager rations are another man's treasure.”

Luke offered to share one of his protein bars he carried around with him. Neebal smelled it, didn't smell anything then took a bite. “Not bad.”

“Not bad, but not good either,” Luke laughed.

“It's rare for me to have something like this, so yes. When harvest time comes, I'll have a few roots or some vegetables to add, but I scavenge for bones in the meantime,” Neebal smiled and took another bite as if it were the best thing in the world.

After the meal, Neebal got his stick and started to pull himself off and led Luke into town. The market square reminded Luke of Anchorhead a bit, only less sunny, as this place had more shade from the trees and the mountain formations. There were tents of various goods, one selling parts for speeders and ships, another one selling trinkets, food vendors, and various other things.

“They don't do this everyday, it's only certain market days where they have the tents up,” Neebal explained.

“It was like that in the town I grew up near as well,” Luke explained looking at all the shops.

“I don't even venture here often, unless I just want to see someone,” Neebal pointed out as a few people had recognized him and gave him a wave.

They got to one tent and there was a merchant, another human also who was probably somewhere in his 40s.

“Old Neebal, who did you bring with you today?” the man asked looking Luke up and down and realizing he had to be an off worlder.

“This is Luke, I found him in that place. You know the one where they always say it's haunted. He spent the whole morning there just sitting. Thought I would bring him to you.” Neebal answered.

The man's eyes got wide and then he escorted Neebal and Luke into the tent.

“It's been a long time an off worlder came to that spot, what brings you here, Luke?” the man asked.

Luke pulled out one of the scrolls he had gotten from Yoda. The man eyed it carefully. “I'm afraid I can't read the writing, but it brought me to that place,” Luke explained.

“Where did you get this?” The man smiled and looked it up and down.

“From an old friend,” Luke answered hoping the man didn't intend to take it or make an offer for the scroll. “Can you read it?”

“Few could,” he answered then whispered to Luke. “I know what this is though. You stay right here.”

The man left and opened a chest on the other end of the shop and took out an object then covered it up in his hands and a small cloth. He came back to Luke and opened the cloth he had over it. “Do you know what this is?”

Luke gasped. It was a holocron. Grakkus the Hutt had wanted him as a means to open one up, and he knew they held Jedi secrets. Luke shook his head in the affirmative.

“How is that possible, surely, you lot are all gone?” the man whispered.

“There is just me,” Luke answered, remembering Yoda's words. He showed the man his hidden lightsaber.

“Here, you take this. My gift. You might want to visit this place,” the man pointed to the scroll. I know you can't really make it out, but if you go out further about two miles from where you had been found by Neebal, you won't miss it. It's near the large rock formation. Not much there, but it might be of interest to you. And you come back and see me again sometime.”

Luke nodded, and took the holocron and hid it in his pocket. “Isn't there something that I can give you for this?”

“It's already yours,” is all the man said in a mysterious tone, then he started to get angry and ordered Luke out of his shop loudly as a customer came in looking for specific wares.

Luke got the hint, and that the man wasn't trying to be rude, and walked out with Neebal. As they were walking through the market place, Luke stopped at a salted Nerf stand and bought a large piece with the bone still attached and had it wrapped.

“Something for your journey, Luke?” Neebal said looking wide eyed at the parcel.

“No, something for yours. You have no idea how much you've helped me today, and I've only wanted to give you something in return. I know it's not much, but it might be good to have for your broth until harvest season,” Luke said carrying the parcel back to Neebal's home.

“Surely you don't mean all this for me? All I've done is share a meal and brought you to town. This is way too much,” Neebal said humbly.

“You've done more than that. You really have no idea,” Luke answered with a smile.

//

Nar Shaada

Leia woke up to a loud banging outside the door, wearing only a sheet on a large pallet in a dumpy room with Han wrestling a bit beside her complaining of the noise. The door opened and a familiar female voice shouted in the room, “I hope you both are decent this time! Damn crazy kids you owe me big time. I hope you know that!” then she cursed in Huttese under her breath.

Entering the room was a very angry Sana Starros, who had been on a few missions with them previously when she was trying to get the money that Han owed her when he stiffed her from a con some years before.

“Sana? What are you doing here?” Han asked holding his head and with Leia hiding hers under the sheet.

“What do you mean what am I doing here? You crazy lovebirds have been here for five days hiding out. Don't play stupid with me, Solo,” Sana said putting down some food on a counter that had only a sink and a single heating device.

“Five days!” Leia shouted, finally poking her head out of the sheet.

“You seriously don't remember?” Sana stood her hand on her hip. “Don't try and fool me!”

“Where's Chewie?” Han asked looking around for some clothes.

“He took off in the Falcon, and you're paying me for this, I hope you remember that bit?” Sana said rolling her eyes wondering if she would ever really see any credits now. “Is this whole 'Amnesia' thing a con, too? Don't think you can get away with this, because I'm calling Chewie to come get you if you don't pay me back. Or maybe I'll just throw you to the bounty hunters.”

“What? The last thing I remember, Sana, was leaving a bar with Chewie and Han. I was a little woozy, but we were headed for some address that Han had,” Leia said trying to cover herself up the best she could.

“Look, I'll step out and let you get dressed, then I'll be back in a few minutes. So hurry up. Why you'd want to honeymoon in this dump is beyond me, Princess,” Sana answered walking out covering up her eyes a bit.

“What did she mean by that?” Leia yelled at Han who just shook his head. “Do you remember anything? Five days?”

“Sweetheart, last thing I remember was like you said, leaving that bar with you and Chewie. I have no idea what's going on here. And I don't even know where this is! This isn't even that address Mako gave me. I know that place, and this ain't it,” Han answered getting up and working on getting dressed.

“Yes, let's hurry up and get dressed before she comes back. At least she got us some food. I'm starving. What did she mean by honeymoon?” Leia asked rubbing her head a bit.

“I don't know. You know Sana, she says all kinds of stuff. I'm not sure we've been here for five days. She might have robbed us blind,” Han laughed.

Leia checked her stuff. No everything was there, and she trusted Sana enough and had gotten to like her when she had gone on missions with them before. She was a bit rough on the outside, but she knew deep down she would never really double cross them. If she was going to, she would have already done it, that is if it had really been five days. They took some of the food and sat on the floor as it seemed to really be the only place to sit, the bed being just a thin cot. It was almost like a camp out indoors. There was a fresher, and Leia went to make use of it, and by the time she had gotten out, Sana had returned.

“So you really don't remember anything that has happened for the past five days? You didn't seem drunk, but you sure were happy. So happy it was almost nauseating. It was nauseating. You're lucky I found you,” Sana said getting some food for herself and sitting down on the floor.

Leia sat next to her and grabbed her own food. “So, how did you get here?”

“Well, I live here. I had landed in the spaceport, saw the ship and I remembered some codes and got in. Threepio was inside and told me you had just landed. Why you came here, I'll never even guess. It was stupid. Do you know how many greedy kriffing sleezmos,” Sana said taking a bite then continued. “Ran into Mako in the spaceport. He works there, and he told me you were here and where he sent you. I found the three of you, and I don't believe this, but you actually talked me into being a witness. I was onto you both a long time ago.”

“Witness to what?” Han was almost afraid to ask.

Sana put her hand in front of her face and shook it, “So you are going to pretend to not even remember that either? It figures. After what you put me through. This one has a seal and is legal and everything, so there's no getting out of this one.”

“Sana, what happened!” Leia asked almost choking on her food.

“You're serious? You don't really remember? I thought you were putting me on? I mean, this hole is some place this spacer I know uses when he's on the moon, so I figured it be alright if you used it. I'm sorry it's not really fancy or anything,” Sana said with her mouth full of food. “You've been in here for five days. I've been bringing you food, we've been talking, but if you all are going to start making out in front of me again, I've had it.” She walked up and grabbed a flimsy from off in the corner of the room and gave it to Leia. “The magistrate is finally going to figure out you're here if we don't get off this moon soon, as I'm sure it's on it's way to be filed.”

Leia looked at the paper and her eyes went wide, her jaw dropped and she put her hand in front of it to cover it. She took a deep gasp and passed it over to Han. “We're married!”

“Is this legal? Really?” Han said shaking his head.

“Sure is. As I said, I was there. Han kept saying something about not sending you away and giving you proof and Chewie was beside himself. You made his whole lifetime I think. He even took a holo, probably is watching that thing over and over. Princess, you giggling like a school girl.” Sana shivered then continued, “Though why you wanted to stay here instead of going off with Chewie, I don't know. He had to get that ship off the moon before it was discovered, see. It was starting to get some notice. I'm taking you to meet him as soon as you're done hiding or whatever you said you were doing. It really figures you'd not remember this, Han, that would be so like you. Believe me, I know,” Sana said with a bit of disgust. “I really don't know how I got into this mess with you two. Princess, there's still time to fix this if you want. If you really don't want to be stuck with Solo I mean.”

“Hey!” Han yelled out.

Leia was more in shock than anything.

“I honestly don't remember it. Truly, Sana,” Leia said calmly, trying to take in the depth of the situation.

“What did you drink at that bar?” Sana said shaking her head in disbelief.

“I had just some watered down cocktail, and Han had beer,” Leia answered, trying desperately to remember.

“The Wookiee stuff. We both tasted it,” Han said with his hand in front of his face.

“Oh you didn't? That stuff isn't for humans. Even one sip of that could kill you. You've been in a dream state since then, I imagine. Oh boy,” Sana laughed so hard. “This is too good. You're still paying me though. For the food, for the ride to Chewie, everything. This place was free, as I said, I knew the guy wasn't using it for a while. You seriously said you wanted to stay on Nar Shaada and have a honeymoon, I'm not kidding,” Sana could barely get it out from laughing.

“We'll pay you, Sana, for whatever trouble you've gone to. I promise,” Leia said trying to remain calm, but still in disbelief. “When do you think we should go meet Chewie?”

“I'll take you as soon as you can go. I've got a job I need to do on another planet, but I've been waiting on you two,” Sana laughed. “I can't believe you did this. Actually I can. This is too much. I'm in tears from laughing.”

Han looks over to Leia and says, “Does this make me some kind of royalty now?”

“No.” Leia shakes her head, “That's all you have to say?”

Sana laughed. “Oh you had plenty to say the other day. I thought I was going to be sick. Let's get going. You might want to dig up those stupid disguises you were wearing though, who knows who or what we'll run into.”

//

Ossus

Luke stood reaching his hand on the tall structures that were hidden in the mountains. He felt history and a great energy from them, and knew one day he would have to return with Threepio. Perhaps he could translate some of the strange writing on the walls. He made note of everything he had seen here. He felt it was important to return to the fleet, if he could find them and then hopped into his x-wing. He'd wait to check out the holocron. He was curious about what it contained, but something told him that now wasn't the time to open it, he would know when. He gave Artoo some coordinates and went to his first jump. He'd contact the fleet once he got there. He felt a great peace and was full of a serious optimism and hope, and not of foolish boyish fantasies or recklessness. He had more of a sense of duty and purpose now and a deeper focus. He felt as if he could see for the first time in his life, or something to the effect of that. As he went into hyperspace, he called out to Artoo. “Artoo, how you doing back there? Can you keep an eye on things for a while?”

He heard a few beeps.

“Alright, Artoo,” He smiled then he proceeded into deep meditation.

Chapter Text

Home One

Luke arrived on the hanger of Home One after being directed there while connecting with the convoy. He was led directly to General Cracken's office for a security debriefing, although he was on no mission, then sent to a meeting with those of High Command who had been available. Mon Mothma, Cracken, Ackbar and Rieekan were in attendance with the others having duties elsewhere.

“Commander Skywalker, have a seat,” Mon Mothma directed.

“Am I in any trouble?” Luke responded feeling a bit nervous. His talk with Cracken didn't seem to lean that way, but he had a sense of urgency in the room.

“Certainly not, we've only wanted to put something before you, that is if you are willing. It's not been set in permacrete, however, we didn't want to put this forth without your knowing about it, or get a sense of your feelings on the matter. I know I can trust you, and you would do well to remember that this is a confidential meeting and everything is classified,” Mon Mothma stressed.

Luke nodded. “I understand.”

Ackbar brought up a holo and started the discussion, “Commander Skywalker, we have been approached by an Imperial Admiral in regards to a peaceful negotiation on behalf of the acting Emperor, Darth Vader. While they specifically asked for Princess Leia by name, her current whereabouts are unknown to us. Nor, do we believe, that the Princess, after her abduction from the Tantive IV after the battle of Yavin, is the best choice. However, according to some of our spies, the fact that you and Princess Leia are being sought unofficially by the Imperial government makes us wonder if you would be a candidate to go in her place, along with either myself or Mon Mothma representing the Rebel Alliance. We would like to put forth your name, that is if you are willing, as a possible substitute.”

Luke was in a bit of shock. Of course, Darth Vader was still looking for him, as he would Leia. Even if they were no longer on Imperial lists. He wished that Leia was here now.

Mon Mothma stood in front of the holo and looked at Luke.“Of course, Luke, I do know that your injury must have been caused by a lightsaber. From what I understand, Darth Vader himself will not be there for this discussion. While they asked for Princess Leia, I believe we may be able to persuade the Admiral to allow a civil discussion with you in her place. I know you are not the diplomat that Leia is, but remember, it will most likely be me who will be there as well. If we know of any great danger, of course the meeting will be canceled, but I feel that they will make a move on us if we do not go on with this plan. As a gesture of good faith, they have already showed themselves in ways that you are not classified to be aware of as of yet, however, you should know. They were in the process of building another Death Star.” The holo then projected the partially completed Death Star. “Once we became aware of it, we put spies and operatives on finding out whatever we could, but at the death of Palpatine, the Death Star became less of a priority. While I don't understand why, everything points to that being true. I know this is a lot to ask of you, and it puts us both in great danger, however, we are poised to meet in a neutral ground, the Admiral has assured me. Most of High Command is pressing for Admiral Ackbar or General Dodonna to go instead of me, but I would like to be there.”

“I'd like to help the Alliance anyway I can, Ma'am. I'm not sure I'm really the one you want,” Luke said with some hesitation.

“You are the one we have, and your being a Jedi, or at least your abilities you have proven to the Alliance prior, can only be an asset to us. Of course, it's possible this meeting will never take place, but even with Darth Vader's reputation, the reputation of his Admiral must be considered. To all accounts, he is an honest man, and I'm willing to meet with him, I believe your presence could make that happen,” Mon explained.

“I've just returned, but I'd like to think about it if you don't mind. Thank you for your confidence in me,” Luke answered.

“It's good to have you back, Skywalker,” General Rieekan patted him on the back.

“Thanks, General.”

“Commander Skywalker, that does sound reasonable. Come to my bridge first thing in the morning. In the meantime, we'll arrange for you to have accommodations here on the ship,” Admiral Ackbar spoke gruffly.

“Thank you.”

“Commander Skywalker, this meeting is adjourned, however, I would like to speak to you privately if I may,” Mon Mothma led Luke out of the room and down the hall to her private office.

“Please cancel any meetings for the rest of the afternoon, would you?” she spoke to her secretary as she entered the office.

Outside, Lando had been following, heard those words and waited outside for a few moments before coming in to the reception area himself.

“General Calrissian. I'm afraid Madame Mothma has canceled all meetings for the rest of the day. Would you like to make an appointment for another time?” the reception spoke as he looked into his data to take care of any requests pertaining to the rest of the Alliance leader's day.

“No, but I'll wait a bit if that's alright. She's expecting me,” Lando smiled, then pulled out his own datapad and made use of it.

“Suit yourself,” the receptionist grinned knowingly the possible reason that General Calrissian may be dropping in on the leader, and then went back to his own work.

Inside Mon Mothma's office, Mon had Luke sit down.

“How are you, Luke, really?” Mon asked in a very motherly tone.

“I'm good. I should tell you that Yoda has passed away. I was with him at the time and it was very peaceful,” Luke said calmly without remorse.

“I'm so sorry. Yoda was a great Jedi, and he must have meant a lot to you. You seem to be taking it well?” Mon asked hoping that Luke was truly alright.

“Yes, he will always be with me. He will never truly be gone, I feel as if he still guides me. In fact, I didn't mention this to Cracken when he debriefed me, while on my journey, I've visited an old Jedi site,” Luke informed her with a bit of enthusiasm.

“So you're continuing your Jedi studies. Splendid. That was one of the reasons I wished for you to join me, when I set the offer with Admiral Piett. I know it's a great risk. Think on it carefully, and don't feel you must if the offer is even received. It is your choice, Luke,” Mon said as she held and squeezed his left hand.

“I've just got back. If you don't mind, I'd really like to take care of a few things on my ship, and then work on the arrangements for my stay here. I'm really tired,” Luke said getting up still holding her hand.

Mon showed him out with her arm around Luke as she went into the reception area. Lando stood up as she came out, and looked at the two of them clutched together.

“Mon,” Lando nodded, Mon gave Lando a displeased look when he used her first name.

“Lando!” Luke cried out grabbing the man and shaking his hand in greeting then patted him on the shoulder.

Lando took a deep gulp and then got himself together and said, “Luke, how are ya!” He patted his back while giving Mon a questioning look. She stood there with her usual stone face.

“I just got back! When I get some time, I'll come find you. Maybe we can meet for mess later?” Luke asked.

“Sure, sure, sounds great,” Lando said looking back at Mon then leaving the room with Luke.

Mon shook her head then told her receptionist. I'll be in my quarters, and left following the men.

Mon called out, “General Calrissian, a word please?”

Lando turned around. “Luke, I'll catch up with you later, alright?”

“Sounds great, Lando. It was nice to see you.”

“Madame Mothma, you called,” Lando said coldly.

“I hope you remember we have an appointment this afternoon,” Mon whispered in his ear.

“Yeah, about that. Sure,” Lando said stiffly, straightening out his shirt and shifting his cape as he went into the other direction.

Mon walked back to her quarters alone with a slight skip when she got to the door. She waited then sent a comm to Lando. She washed up a bit, but Lando took his time arriving at her door.

“It's about time you that you came. I didn't believe you would show up at all,” Mon greeted him giving him a peck on the cheek.

“What was that display I saw with you and Skywalker?” Lando said with a bit of anger.

“General Calrissian! That was a private matter and it did not involve you. I was merely inquiring on his welfare. The poor boy has been through a lot,” Mon answered with a touch of anger.

“That's not what it looked like,” Lando said shaking his head and gritting his teeth.

Mon motioned for Lando to sit. “Lando, our arrangement is strictly that, an arrangement. You certainly aren't jealous are you? And for the record, there is nothing between Commander Skywalker and myself.”

“Mon, from what I hear around the fleet, Luke has had quite the reputation and at the risk of outting some members of a few of your flight squadrons, you are one of the few who haven't made Skywalker's famous list. Maybe he is out to cross you off as one of his conquests. Jealous? Of course I know what this is. If you think I have any feelings for you, well, maybe I do, or maybe not. Alright, maybe I was a bit jealous,” Lando sulked.

Mon smiled and grabbed Lando's face and kissed him deeply. “You know I don't love you, but you are the only one who has been in my bed as of late. I want you to know that. Not that it means anything.”

“I don't love you either, but I just don't want to end up in the clinic, you know,” Lando answered unbuttoning his shirt.

“It was kind of sexy to think you might be jealous,” Mon purred as she slipped out of her dress. “What is this list of which you speak?”

“Oh, one of the Rogues has a list of everyone that Luke has or hasn't had sex with. You are on there, but your name isn't crossed off. Don't worry, I don't think anyone knows about us, except your receptionist,” Lando said leaning her down on the sofa.

“General Cracken hinted something about it,” Mon answered with a heavy breath as she lifted her leg around Lando's hip, holding him closer.

“Han knows, but he's not here,” Lando said grabbing her breath and kissing her on the neck.

Mon's eyes grew wide, “Do you think the Princess knows? Oh what would she think of me?”

“Do you really care? Funny enough, the Princess is on that list as well and not crossed off, yet they seem rather close,” Lando grinned grabbing her face and going in for another deep kiss.

After she came up for air, Mon spoke, “I know for a fact that they do not have that kind of relationship. As for the two of us, maybe we should make this the last time for a while, until things cool down?”

“What? You'd give up all of this?” Lando pointed his hands at himself.

“I guess not,” Mon gripped him closer to her and they kissed deeply as Lando struggled to remove the rest of his clothes. “I am the leader, however, and I do need to keep up appearances. I hope you don't believe that means I am embarrassed by you.”

“Of course, I don't believe that. I'm an attractive man, Mon, and the other ladies on board would be jealous if they knew how much time you got to spend with me,” Lando smiled and then went for her neck.

Mon could only hope that Lando could not read that she may have fibbed here and there.

//

Volt Cobra

“I can't believe I let the two of you talk me into this! I didn't know I was going to have to shoot my way out of the spaceport! I should have made you leave before they had time to know that paper was filed,” Sana yelled coming up from her chair in the cockpit as they entered hyperspace.

“I don't even remember anything. Any of it! I swear!” Han yelled back. “I didn't know we would have to leave the moon shooting our way out.”

Leia calmly replied with her hand on her face, “I'll make sure you'll be paid for whatever trouble you went though for the past few days, Sana. Thank you.”

“I didn't know you were on something. I can't understand Chewie half of the time and I just thought you were either one extreme or the other. I've been around the two of you enough to not be surprised about anything, but amnesia? Being so drunk or whatever you don't even remember any of it? This is something else.” Sana said heading to her cabin. “We're meeting the Falcon on your 'secret hideaway' and let's hope that half the Empire thought not to look for you there. I may not even be able to return home now. They tagged my ship!”

“They appeared to be local security. I'm sure you can work something out when you get back. Can't you change a few things? Maybe convince them it wasn't you? Don't you have a few friends you can talk too so you can return?” Han pleaded.

“You were shooting at them! And I'm sure they knew it was me, and you know they'll call in the local garrison! Maybe if you hadn't killed one of them,” Sana shook her head. “Tell me that was on stun.”

“That was me, and it wasn't on stun,” Leia answered with a half smile gritting her teeth. “And if the Empire finds out. I don't think they want me dead.”

“For whatever reason they'd want to keep you alive, they wouldn't give a fig about me, Princess,” Sana shook her head and slammed the door.

“I'm sorry we had to put her through this. You seriously don't remember anything?” Leia asked sitting on the floor, and hugging her knees and looking at Han.

“No, so don't even start.” Han sulked. “Maybe we should talk about this?”

“I don't really feel like talking about it. Wait until we see Chewie. I feel like it's my fault. You told me not to touch that drink. That I remember,” Leia answered.

“So that's it! I'm not good enough for you. How do we know this is even real,” Han said with a touch of anger holding up the paper.

“That's not it at all! It was stupid! We even used our real names! That had to set up some red flags somewhere. And you don't just get married. We are in the middle of the war! I have duties to perform!” Leia shouted.

“They all but sent you away! You're a risk to them!” Han yelled back.

Sana poked her head out of her cabin and shouted, “Would you two please keep it down, I'm trying to get some sleep in here. You can go practice your foreplay or whatever this is somewhere else once we land alright?” She mumbled something under her breath and slammed the door.

“So, what do we do here?” Leia asked in a whisper.

“I don't know. I just would have liked to have actually been in on it or have remembered is all. What would your father and mother have said. Would you have something arranged or whatever?” Han asked moving in a little closer so they could be more quiet.

“No, we didn't do that. At least I don't think so. My parents both came from noble families on Alderaan, but they would have been in the same circles. I dated who I wanted and they were supportive about that. Not that I did that much. Something happened, and it was hard for me. Certainly not in the time I knew you,” Leia said sadly.

“I bet they weren't expecting anything like this,” Han pointed at himself.

“Mon and Carlist don't seem to have prejudices against you. I really don't know what they would think. I don't want to think about it, it's easier not to. Let's just get some sleep,” Leia said as she stood up, grabbed a blanket then leaned in next to Han on the floor.

Leia fell into a hazy dream.

Leia found herself walking in the dark again. There was only light around her and she couldn't see anything in front of her. She was hoping it was Luke, or Yoda, but then she heard the breathing.

“Princess. You must be strong, you have been blocking me,” Vader remarked. She couldn't see him, but she could hear him.

Leia was relieved to hear that Vader wasn't able to contact her during the 'lost week' on Nar Shaada. She stood still and with a bit of annoyed reluctance stated, “I've been busy. What do you want?”

Vader began to speak in his gentler Anakin voice,“I've had my Admiral reach out to your Rebel Alliance for peaceful negotiations. Please realize I would like for this war to end. I've asked that you be their representative. So far they haven't been willing...”

Leia cut him off. “I'm not even there. They couldn't offer me up as a sacrifice if they wanted to. They wanted me to hide, so I'm hiding. Though it seems you may have found me.”

“Sacrifice? I did not harm you while you were on Mustafar. I have no intention to do so,” Vader still spoke softly in the Anakin voice.

“You choked my friends and used them to get me to even go there!” Leia shouted.

“They are sending Mon Mothma in your place. We are considering it, however, I would much rather prefer you were there. How about we come to another understanding. Perhaps you could represent me with the Admiral? I'm sure together we can come to some understanding. Please, Leia, and you would be protected and I assure you that I will not harm your friends, nor your leadership and it's representatives. Come to me. On the Executor. I will arrange it with Admiral Piett,” Darth Vader spoke in the Anakin voice. “My advisers, they advise against meeting with the Rebel Alliance, but I hope we can put an end to this conflict and perhaps restore peace in the galaxy again. I want your help. You are my child.”

“I am not your child! Just the result of whatever you used to be did and inflicted on to some poor woman,” Leia cried out.

“Do you not want peace, Leia. Or do you thrive in the conflict, the chaos, and the war? Do you not see some kind of life outside of that?” Vader returned to the mechanical breathing voice and sounded angry.

Leia felt exposed. Perhaps she did to some extent. She had no idea what she would do when the war was over. Perhaps help the new government, or aid worlds who were destroyed by the Empire. Did she ever see a life beyond the war? Did she even believe she would survive this war and not become a martyr?

“I don't. I haven't. I just assumed I would end up dead before it was over. Probably by the hands of you or one of your minions,” Leia answered with a sigh. She knew he knew her well. She didn't think he was that smart, to be honest. Maybe he wasn't, but he had her figured out well enough. “How could I represent you with the Admiral? I'm one of them! I stand with them!”

“I want your opinion. Come with me. We may be able to discuss this further. Use the Zia persona. You do not even have to be known to them as Princess Leia. Surely, they dismiss you at times and use you merely as a symbol.” Vader answered in the younger voice.

“They do, sometimes. I feel as if they see only my father, or hold me up as a prop. They've made decisions behind my back. Why am I telling you this? Usually I am aware of what the Rebel Alliance is up to most of the time,” Leia answered. “I'm heard sometimes.”

“It was like that for me. Not taken seriously. It was part of how I became this. Don't become this, Leia. Let me help,” Vader answered with the mechanical voice.

Was this how Palpatine persuaded him to join him in the first place? Think, Leia, think. You could actually turn this another way, take him down from the inside. “I'll think about it.”

“That's all I can expect. Don't make me come find you though, Leia. I can promise that I will not harm your friends, but I can not make that promise throughout the Empire. I will give you the direct codes to contact Admiral Piett, they should be imprinted on your mind. Use them, but do it quickly. You may have no choice,” Darth Vader said in the softer Anakin voice this time. Not trying to be threatening, but to emphasize that she is still being sought.

“I know I'm still wanted. I had evidence recently. I'm sure you will hear of it in time,” Leia answered.

“Well, that should be enough to convince you then,” Darth Vader returned to his mechanical voice. “Do you know where Luke Skywalker can be found?”

“No, and you should know not to ask me about him,” Leia snapped with anger.

“I merely wanted to know of his welfare. My connection to him is not as deep,” Vader answered.

“I would know if he were in danger, and he seems to be doing fine,” Leia snapped back.

“I will trouble you no further now,” Darth Vader's voice faded out leaving Leia alone in the darkness under her bright light.

She woke up, she wasn't shivering, and was laying on the floor of the Volt Cobra with her head on Han's chest, the blanket covering her. She got up to use the 'fresher as Han stirred a bit. Afterward, she went to the cockpit and sat looking into hyperspace with a lot on her mind.

Nar Shaada – Magistrate's office.

“Ship, Volt Cobra. The workers in the spaceport knew the ship. Said it belonged to Sana Starros. She's from Wormstew Town. We've had her in custody a few times, but nothing that would stick. You do hear rumors...” the captain reported standing in front of the magistrate.

“What kind of rumors?” The magistrate asked as he stood up from his desk.

“She worked for the Hutt's which wouldn't put her on our radar, and the odd suspicious cargo. Stealing arms. Possibly running for the Rebel Alliance,” the captain recalled from memory.

“And you believe this woman who boarded her ship firing the blaster was Princess Leia? That does make sense if Captain Starros worked for the Alliance. You only wanted to ask them questions, but it becomes a full blown shootout in our spaceport! And we lose a man. Another four are injured. I do know the spaceport can be dangerous, however, one of our men died! If I had heard about this before the squad acted, I may have just looked the other way. The odds that it was really her? But you telling me the rumors that this Captain Starros may have been involved with the Alliance, gets my attention. Can we prove it's the Princess. I'd hate to get the Empire involved, but if there is proof, you know it could come down on us if we don't report it. Otherwise, I'm burying this,” The magistrate spoke, then sat down again in his chair and moved as if to think.

“There had been a ship in the spaceport earlier. Though it had different transponder codes, it matched the description of the Millennium Falcon. The Princess is long associated with that ship,” the captain showed a holo of the ship.

“A Princess associated with that heap! Are you sure?” The magistrate examined the holo.

“The captain of that ship is Han Solo. Well known throughout Nar Shaada. Had been several bounties on his head in fact. Though why would someone like him fly straight into the plague wasp nest that is Nar Shaada with so much to lose?” the captain speculated.

The magistrate turned off the holo and sat down. “We turn this into a robbery until we get proof. I can't have a garrison get involved. We'll lose all those credits! They'll ruin our business. We are paid to keep attention away from the organizations who do business here. Did you ransack the apartment of Captain Starros? Was there any proof of anyone else staying there?”

“None, it was a mess. I don't imagine she's a great housekeeper, but there wasn't anything suggesting that she had guests. Maybe it was just a charter, people who had to get off the moon because a deal went wrong. That's all. We can play it like that,” the captain suggested.

“Good idea. And all the dispatchers said they knew nothing. Of course, we'll have to pay off the widow of our lost comrade. That shouldn't be a problem. Stranger things have happened here,” the magistrate went back to his desk and sat down.

The secretary soon came in holding a data pad and carrying a file. “Sir, what you asked about before, I may have found something.”

“It's alright, Sel, Captain Bilm knows everything. Spit it out,” the magistrate rubbed his temples.

“It was filed through the courthouse this morning. Apparently with the holiday, we were bombarded with all the birth certificates, building permits, marriage certificates and the like today. I haven't gone through them all, but your specific search for a certain individual? It showed up with a date from five days ago,” she handed him the data pad with the file highlighted.

The magistrate looked then slammed it down. “Captain!!!”

“Yes, sir?” the captain cowered and walked towards him.

The magistrate handed the information over to the captain, who took a good look, blinked then took another look, “A marriage certificate, sir. I don't understand?”

“Look at the names!” the magistrate fumed.

“Oh dear. It may have been them after all. Should we destroy it?” the captain asked meekly.

“It's already being sent to the records on Coruscant!” the magistrate took a bottle from a drawer and set it on top of his desk and pour himself a drink and swigged it. “Call the garrison. This must be reported, or it will be my neck and yours. Maybe the Empire will reward us with jobs elsewhere. I'll doubt we'll live long here.”

“Us, sir? Is my name on any of this?” the captain gulped.

“If it's not, it will be. I won't be going down alone. It was your mistake, Captain, never forget that.”

//

The “secret” planet in the Monsua Nebula.

Chewbacca walked back to the caves looking through the crates for anything they may have kept hidden that could still be useful. Mainly he was looking for a nice bottle of wine for when his friends returned. All he found was a half bottle of whiskey. He had wished he had picked some up before he left Nar Shaada, but he really thought there was more here. Maybe Han had come back and taken the rest or someone else found their hiding spot. Or he just forgot the last time when they came here, that he had taken most of it on the Falcon, which was probably the right answer. When he heard the engines, and the distant rantings of Threepio, Chewbacca ran back to the ship and saw the Volt Cobra land. After they disembarked the ship, Chewie was excitedly hugging Leia, Han, and Sana who all seemed to have serious looks on their faces. Chewie tilted his head with a question.

“Thing is Chewie, Leia and I, we don't remember the past five days. Sana said you took a holo? Anyway, I need you to tell me everything that happened, alright pal?” Han asked scratching his head.

Chewie roared.

“See? Chewbacca doesn't believe you don't remember either!” Sana shouted. “Am I getting paid?”

“We already explained it, Sana. I'll make sure you get paid. You know I will,” Leia said calmly.

Sana groaned, “Princess, I can't go home.”

“You could still run for the Alliance. I can contact them from the Falcon,” Leia soothed.

“One job, maybe, just one job. Then I'll have to hide myself somewhere until this all dies down. You got it?” Sana said turning away from them a bit furious.

“How did she get involved with this again?” Han asked not remembering what she told them.

Leia rolled her eyes. “Mako told her where we were.”

“So, you're starting to remember stuff?” Han asked confused.

“No, just from what she told us since just before we left Nar Shaada? Or did you forget that part? Do you remember the shootout? Chewie? You get that medical scanner out. I'll code Mon about Sana,” Leia said going up the ramp to the cockpit.

Sana, Han, and Chewie all went up on the Falcon, and Chewie did a medical scan. “I'm fine, seriously, Chewie, I just forgot a minute is all. I don't remember what happened before then. Sana said you had a holo?”

Chewie roared excitedly and went to get it. Leia came out of the cockpit. “I sent the code to High Command. General Dodonna said you are more than welcome to join the fleet. He has just the job for you. Something about Sullust. Whenever you can get there. I'll get you some credits in the meantime. It was frustrating really. He wanted me to come back as well, but I'm not ready.”

Chewie roared.

“I'm not a symbol or something they can just toss around when they want, Chewie. I am not a child either that needs to be protected,” Leia explained.

“Um, OK,” Sana answered.

“I'm sorry we put you through all this. I really wish I remembered,” Leia told her softly.

“Well, Princess, it's your lucky day because Chewbacca is bringing the holo in here right now,” Sana laughed. “Thanks for the gig. I'm sure it will work out for me. I'm just sorry you found yourself stuck with that over there.”

“Hey!” Han shouted.

“Well, sometimes, he's alright,” Leia answered and went to grab some credits to give to Sana.

Sana groaned, “Do you really think there is any possibility of winning this war?”

“Yes, I do.” Leia answered with a smile.

Sana looked down, moved her foot a little, then looked up, “There's a hospital on Nar Shaada. They barely make it as it is. The whole community depends on it, but they are always on the verge of closing. The cartels don't care, the Empire doesn't care, those folks can't afford to give anything. I'd like to see places like that benefit from whatever happens next. I know it's just something small, but it's my something.”

Leia nodded and hugged her. Chewie returned with the holo and started it up. Leia covered her eyes as soon as she saw her image. “What was I wearing!”

“It was something Chewie and I rigged up with some curtains we found being thrown out. You said you wanted to wear them. It had to be dark blue or something like that. I didn't get that part,” Sana answered. “I didn't understand everything you said either.”

“It's Alderaanian,” Leia answered sadly, “It's something my mother said every night before I went to bed. A prayer. I hope I didn't say that in front of anyone else? Alderaanian could have tipped someone off!”

“Oh no, we were just with Chewie, he was taking the holo,” Sana answered. “You needed help with your hair. Kriffing hair, you have so much of it.”

“I thought I was supposed to be in this thing? Are we sure this actually happened?” Han asked.

Chewie roared and started pointing.

“I had the holo here,” Sana pointed out.

“Why is Chewie carrying Han?” Leia asked shaking her head.

Chewie roared.

“A Wookiee tradition? You carry each other over the shoulder?” Han shook his head not thinking that was right.

Chewie roared.

“Of course, several from the clan do it, but he was the only one there,” Leia laughed. “That poor Duros man. I bet he never had anything like that before. Their faces are difficult to read, but just the fact that he has that expression at all, it had to be a new one for him.”

Chewie pounded his chest and roared.

“Chewbacca has played this holo 147 times, Princess Leia,” Threepio added.

“Hopefully this is the last, did you take any other holos of the week, Chewie? We can't remember five whole days,” Leia asked.

“Shhh” Han hushed. “What am I saying?”

“It was muffled, it's away from the holo camera,” Sana said.

Leia laughed, “He dropped you!”

Chewie softly roared.

“Look I stood back up,” Han said grumbling and starting to get up. “Maybe we shouldn't watch this.”

“What! Watch it! We have to know what happened,” Leia said pointing.

Han mumbled under his breath something.

“What was that?” Leia shouted.

Chewie shut the holo off and roared.

“No, that's not it! This doesn't mean anything. We don't remember it. And it's ridiculous,” Han stood up walking up to Leia with his finger in her face.

“Look here, Captain,” Leia shouted back.

“So, it's back to that is it. I knew it! I'm not good enough, that's it. Forget it. I just think it should have meant something. This is a farce,” Han answered. “I would you know. Just not like that. You can pretend it never happened if you want.”

Leia lowered her head and put her hand on her face, “I'm sorry, I thought you meant...”

“No. We can do it another time. That doesn't count, or not at all if that's what you really want. Or just pretend it didn't happen if you want that, too. I don't even want to see it anymore. Chewie get rid of it,” Han answered. “In the meantime, we can just go on like we have, until we do it right or don't do it at all.”

“Alright,” Leia answered then ran to the cabin.

Han put his arms up in the air, then sat down and sulked.

“Alright then, I'll be off. Maybe I'll see you all again sometime, hopefully not too soon, but who knows. At least it's always interesting. I might lose my home, or almost die, or whatever, but boring, never,” Sana said as she left the ship.

Chewie went to Han and hugged him with a gentle purr.

“Thanks, Pal.”

Leia sat in the cabin and laid back on the bed. She needed to think. She laid on her side and something was digging into her hip. She reached into her pocket and pulled out a large durasteel washer, probably something that she had picked up on the street. Suddenly she had a vision. It was on Nar Shaada and she was walking with Han, Chewie and Sana, and they were all happy. Han didn't seem drunk and she didn't feel drunk. She did feel different. Like she did when she was young sitting alone with her parents. Or just out in the gardens of Alderaan. Only as she looked around at the place they were standing, it was probably the exact opposite of anything that she knew on Alderaan. If you could call it anything, you'd call it a slum. But somehow, she had a feeling of home, because she could think about it with all the happiness and sadness that came with it. And it wasn't bothering her. But she was looking at herself from a brief moment from that week from what she herself was now, and it was painful and sad. Whatever happened that week, at least she was truly happy then, but it gave her no comfort.

She went in the fresher, washed up a bit, then went back to where Han and Chewie were sitting. Chewie nodded then stepped out to the cockpit. Han looked up with a flabbergasted look and then Leia spoke, “I remembered something. From last week. It didn't really mean anything, but I was actually happy. Remembering that made it feel worse. I don't deserve anything like this. It's me who's not good enough. Alderaan isn't even the first time I lost something I loved. I'm bad luck.”

“You're bad luck? You killed a Hutt for me. If I were a Wookiee, I'd owe you a life debt,” Han patted the space next to him for her to sit down.

Leia snuggled in and they just hugged each other. “I guess we should head somewhere else. We're going to run out of supplies if we stick here,” Han said rubbing her back.

“About that. I've gotten another visit in my dreams from him, he said I should contact his Admiral for negotiations with the Alliance,” Leia said. “I think he really means it. He wants peace. He told me once that I thrive in chaos. Do you think that's true?”

“Vader talking to you in dreams. Of course, we can trust a guy who tried to kill me and Chewie,” Han spit out.

“He sometimes talks in a human voice. Once he came as a little boy. I know he tortured me, but I honestly believe he wants my approval, or forgiveness, or something. And he always asks about Luke. He's softer sometimes. Then he gets angry,” Leia tried to describe the strange dreams chats with Vader.

“You must get that from him. Sure, why not! We went right into Nar Shaada and had to leave in a shootout, so let's go see Imperial Admirals because your evil dad with the freaky magic powers wants you to,” Han stood up and paced putting his fingers in his hair.

“He's not my dad!” Leia gritted under her breath.

//

Home One.

Luke was given a room, it was much larger than his room on the medical frigate, but the ship was so humid that Luke felt like he was sweating all the time. He had been in a lot of environments since leaving Tattooine, but he never thought his least favorite place would be a humid Mon Cala made spaceship. He might even prefer the icy cold of Hoth. He wondered what his Uncle Owen would think of the thickness of the water in the air on the ship, and dreamed of him harvesting gallons of it. It almost felt like drowning. Leia had told him once after a few days that you get used to it, but every time he visited, he would be happy to return to a dryer ship. Now, he was staying there.

He was meeting Ciley and Vank for mess. Vank had been persuaded by Ciley and Cripps to join them and he had been put into technical maintenance on less secure protocols. He was very skilled and had even spliced a stolen Imperial droid and gotten some data off it that gave the Alliance important information on the new Death Star, though most still didn't know about that. Ciley was still stationed on the medical frigate, but was trying to get a transfer now that Vank was here, but it still hadn't been possible. She was hoping that Luke would be able to help pull some strings.

“I don't know if I can do that. You might ask Lando. He's a friend of mine, he works with Ackbar a lot. I'll see what I can do. So is there something between the two of you now?” Luke teased.

Ciley laughed. “No.”

“She's not my type. Her brother and I, we were close see,” Vank added sadly.

“Oh I get it, no need to get into it. Makes sense though you would see him like family then,” Luke smiled.

“Yes, in fact I've met someone on the ship. I've asked him if he could pull some strings as well, but he said it wouldn't be proper in his position. Our relationship is new, so I wouldn't want to start in with 'can you get my late boyfriend's sister a job' when I myself am still on probation,” Vank added.

“Is he high ranking?” Luke asked.

Vank leaned in, “He's the receptionist for Mon Mothma.”

“Oh, I know him. Or I've seen him. Yes, I can see where that could cause some problems. My friend Lando, I'll see what he can do,” Luke said looking at Ciley.

Vank leaned back and smiled, “From what I've heard, he can do quite a lot.” He then winked.

“What do you mean?” Luke asked.

Vank whispered, “That he's Mon Mothma's boy toy.”

Luke gasped then smiled, “Really?”

“You didn't hear that from me. Jel is not known for spreading gossip, but when you have been drinking and have a bit of fun, sometimes things come out. So keep mum about it if you would,” Vank whispered.

“What are you guys talking about?” Ciley asked with curiosity. “You know it's rude to whisper.”

“Guy talk, that's all.” Vank grinned.

Ciley rolled her eyes.

“Well, I hope your friend might at least be able to help me. It would be nice to work here. Not that I don't have friends on the other ship. The mess is nicer over here, and I understand that the women's dormitory in the hanger is nicer as well,” Ciley said taking a bite of what seemed to be some kind of stew.

“It's more fun in the hanger after the shuttle shifts over there though, Ciley. I tried to check it out last night, and it's a lot more quiet. They said with the top brass always looking over their shoulder, they have to be careful. Of course, I'm new so they may have been suspicious of me,” Luke added.

“Oh, you just don't know where to go, Luke! It's the engine room here,” Vank said. “You'll have to stop by tonight.”

“I don't know, Vank. Maybe a few months ago I would have taken you up on that,” Luke said shaking his head. “I use my off time for quieter things now.”

“You aren't an old man? Everyone needs to let their hair down every once in a while,” Vank teased.

Ciley spoke up, “Luke had quite the reputation before I met him, but now he's more into meditation and the like.”

“The Jedi stuff, yes,” Vank added taking a bit of food. “You were on quite a few Imperial lists.”

Luke shook his head.

“Luke just hangs out with his droid most of the time now, and sometimes me,” Ciley said patting his hand.

“But you two aren't?” Vank asked.

“No, just friends,” Ciley said leaning her head on Vank. “Though I know they've put us in the betting pool a few times for kicks.”

“They put everyone in the betting pool,” Luke said taking another spoonful of stew. “It's nice to have hot food, but on a ship this damp, I feel like I'm dripping all into the bowl and watering it down.”

Vank and Ciley laughed.

“I have some good friends that are family to me, but I haven't seen them in a while. I know they are alright,” Luke said quietly.

“How?” Vank asked. “That Princess who hasn't been here?”

“Yes, and some others. I just know,” Luke answered.

“Look, Draven over there is staring at us,” Ciley twitched her head looking at Vank.

“He think's I'm an Imperial spy,” Vank smiled.

“He's suspicious of everyone,” Luke said laughing.

Vank laughed covering his mouth, “He's coming this way.”

“Commander Skywalker?” Draven said with great authority. Luke stood up at attention.

“Yes, Sir?” Luke answered.

“I'm sorry to disturb your meal, but you are needed in the conference room,” Draven said giving Vank a dirty look.

“I'll see you later, Ciley and Vank,” Luke said as he left the table.

Draven said nothing in the corridor as they walked to the conference room and once he got there, only Mon Mothma and General Dodonna were in attendance.

“Commander Skywalker, thank you for coming. I hope you've given thought to that proposal I had given you yesterday,” Mon Mothma spoke.

Luke nodded.

“We've been contacted again by Admiral Piett. He wishes to meet with us on Lah'mu. He will arrive by shuttle with an envoy of the Emperor. However, the Executor will be nearby. He assures of our safety. It is a very remote place, and we have no reason to doubt him,” General Dodonna spoke putting up a holo of the planet before them.

“You know I still think this is a horrible idea,” General Draven added.

“Alright, I'll go. I don't know what help I can be, but I'm in,” Luke said with a bit of enthusiasm.

“Good. I've decided to go with you. While Draven and many of the others have put themselves forward, I believe that I should be the one to go with you,” Mon Mothma added.

Dodonna shook his head.

“Jan, I'm not irreplaceable. I've been in this sort of situation more than most of you, and it's important that I be the one to go,” Mon Mothma stated.

“I insist on being in the cruiser above the planet,” Draven added.

“We must be prepared. Piett assures me that the Executor will be the only ship in the atmosphere, but who knows how many ties and ships will be on the inside. Not to mention it's own power,” Dodonna added.

“It's a risk we must be willing to take. I'm happy you've agreed, Commander Skywalker. We will be in touch,” Mon Mothma put a motherly hand on his shoulders and escorted Luke out.

In the corridor on his way to his room, Luke could see Lando off in the distance. “Lando!”

“Luke! How are you making out here on Home One?” Lando patted Luke on the back.

“It's a bit... sticky... here?” Luke said with a bit of a laugh.

Lando had a puzzled look, “Oh you mean the humidity. You get used to it.”

“That's what they keep telling me,” Luke said with a smile. “So um Lando, I've got something to ask you. Tell me if I'm overstepping here. I have a friend who would like to be transferred to the hanger here. Can you pull some strings with Ackbar?”

“Is this a lady friend? Luke, you old dog you!” Lando said giving him a big slap on the back.

“She's a friend, but it's not like that. Ciley. She works on the Redemption. She's always over here when she has free time, but since her shift is over after the shuttles go out most of the time, she can't get over here to visit with her close friends. I know it's a trivial thing, but you think you can do something? I enjoy our talks, and she has someone who is almost family here,” Luke pleaded.

“Well, you send over her file, and I'll see what I can do with Ackbar. Though personal requests are frowned on, we'll see what we can do,” Lando said with a bit of seriousness.

Luke leaned in and whispered, “So Lando? Is it true? About you and Mon Mothma?”

“Now, Luke, wherever did you hear such a thing?” Lando laughed put his hand over his shoulder and walked with him to his quarters.

Chapter Text

Home One

The Volt Cobra landed on the hanger of Home One and was greeted by General Dodonna. Sana had a little bit of trouble getting clearance and she used his name and Luke's as a means to be able to land in the hanger when her codes did not work with security clearance due to the fact that Dodonna had made the mistake to not put it in the computer. Corona squad was called in to fly out and to protect the fleet from her ship, which to them appeared to be rogue and heavily armed and a threat to the fleet. After they almost fired on her, and then subsequently getting an escort from members of Corona Squadron, Sana cursed and pleaded spewing off any name she remembered from other work she had done for the Alliance, until Dodonna himself sent a communication down and sought to greet her in person so there would be no question that she was to be permitted to board. When Luke got wind of it, from having been hailed by security about the ship, he raced to the hanger himself.

Sana wasn't happy. After her week with Han, Leia, and Chewie, she thought that helping the Alliance would be an easy thing. “They almost shot me down out there!” Sana said climbing her way down the ramp and meeting General Dodonna and Luke at the bottom.

“Captain Starros, so glad of you to come,” General Dodonna offered his hand.

“I'm glad you're happy,” Sana huffed.

“Hey Sana!” Luke smiled and started to come in for a hug, but Sana kind of shrugged. She did smile and put her hand on Luke's shoulder.

“Hey kid, you've really changed. Our little Luke is growing up,” Sana laughed.

Luke gave her an awkward laugh, and even General Dodonna smiled. “I understand you've had contact with Princess Leia, General Solo and Chewbacca?”

“You aren't going to debrief me are you? Because I am not in the mood. I'm just here for a contract, that's all. General Solo?” Sana laughed. “Never said that. You're kidding right?”

“He enlisted, but I imagine since the Princess has taken a leave, his duty is regulated to her security,” General Dodonna explained.

Sana laughed, “You really have no idea.” Sana paused, then laughed some more.

“I apologize for you're having so much trouble getting clearance for landing, Captain Starros, but I'll have the contract made up, and then have you escorted to my office. If there is anything you need while you are docked here, bring it up with your escort and we'll do our best to accommodate your needs,” General Dodonna offered graciously. “Again, I am very glad you will be working with us. We really could use your help.”

“Thanks, General,” Sana said waving her hand up.

“Yes, well, I'll leave you to it then,” the general said as he walked away from the hanger.

“So, Sana, it's so good to see you!” Luke smiled.

“Luke, come on up on the ship for a bit. We'll talk,” Sana offered and started up the ramp with Luke following.

Sana took a seat in the cockpit and rubbed her temples a bit.

“They really gave you a rough time landing. I'm sorry, Sana, but they get a bit on edge. I'm sure it was just a mistake,” Luke said taking a chair near her in the cockpit.

“Oh that. I might have expected that. It's not a big deal. Dodonna is getting up there in years, he forgot. It happens. I shouldn't tell you this, it's not up to me, but...” Sana was still rubbing her temples.

“Are they alright? What happened, Sana!” Luke was a bit alarmed. He thought if something happened to Han and Leia or Chewie, that he would sense it, but he didn't feel anything like that.

“They are alright. Or they were when I left them. If they haven't killed each other, yet that is,” Sana went on. “That's not it. They were on Nar Shaada for about a week. I didn't know they were out of it.”

“Out of it?” Luke asked wide eyed and concerned.

“They seemed alright, just happy, too happy maybe. Anyway, keep this a secret, it's for them to tell, but I thought you would want to know. I know how close you are and all that. It's been a crazy week, I had the Princess and Han in this empty apartment for five days, and I was feeding them and talking with them. It seemed so normal, not like they were drunk or anything. Apparently they had some of this really strong Wookiee stuff that could kill you, but it just made them forget five days. They actually acted like they wanted to be in that hell hole, and they were so sickeningly nauseating. I swear, Luke. I couldn't take it. Anyway, I found them because an old friend told me to go check on them as that hunk of junk had been getting some attention in the spaceport. Chewie took the ship off the moon, but they wanted to stay. Oh I left out something! They got married and said it was their honeymoon, only they don't remember any of it!” Sana hit her hand on her leg and laughed really hard. “I wish you could see it. I swear. Anyway, I thought you should know. Don't tell anyone here though about it. They were fighting about it when I left, which for them could just be a normal thing.”

Luke just sat there with his mouth dropped open. He turned his head for a moment, then turned it back and looked at Sana.

“Tell me you weren't sweet on her or something, kid,” Sana rolled her eyes. “Or him, I don't know what your deal was there.”

“No, it's not that. I just thought if they did that, I'd be there is all. It's just shocking and unexpected. I knew they were, um, but I didn't expect,” Luke just didn't have the words to explain what he was feeling.

“Yeah,” Sana smacked Luke's shoulder, “It's crazy and I was there. They don't remember it, so it was a shock to them as well, but it sure was hilarious. They put me through hell though. I can't go home. We had to shoot our way out of the spaceport. I lived there. That's why I'm here. Princess set it up so I could get some work from the Alliance.”

“I won't tell anyone, but I'm glad you told me. I'm sure it's something that Leia would prefer sharing on her own time, knowing her. Do you know where they are now?” Luke asked leaning in quietly.

“No idea, but hopefully far away from me. I had enough of those two for a good while this week. She mentioned you a few times. With your saying you wanted to be there, she said that. She said you were like her brother,” Sana said leaning back in her chair.

“Sana, I am her brother. We found that out not long ago. Imagine my surprise. Not everyone knows, but it's true,” Luke said seriously. “At least I was thought of anyway.”

“No kriffing way? I guess it makes sense. How is that possible? I mean, she's the Princess and you come from that dirt farm?” Sana asked shaking her head.

Luke leaned back, “I'm not completely sure of the whole story, but we were twins separated at birth. It's not exactly a secret, but we'd like to keep it quiet for now. I just didn't want you to think that I had hard feelings for the wrong reasons. Chewie and Han know.”

“I understand that. I really thought she was older than you,” Sana laughed. “Wonder what they have me doing here?”

“Not sure. I think it has something to do with an arms shipment and medical supplies because there's crates out there to that effect,” Luke answered. “I'm sure they'll pay you part of it upfront.”

“They usually do for that, because otherwise they might think that I'd steal them,” Sana laughed. “Not really, they know I'm good for it. I did a swindle with some and they got the benefit from most of it. Dodonna knows that. Don't ruin my rep though.”

Luke laughed. “I won't.”

“I better wait for Dodonna's underling outside. It was good talking to you, kid. Take care of yourself,” Sana said standing up and walking across the cockpit.

“You, too,” Luke followed then went down the ramp.

As he walked down the ramp, he saw Ciley waving to him from the other side of the hanger. “Who is she? She your girlfriend?” Sana teased.

“No, just a friend, but everyone says that,” Luke said laughing.

“She's cute. Maybe I should go talk to her? I have some time to kill anyway. Introduce us?” Sana said smiling.

//

The Millennium Falcon approaching The Executor

“I can't believe we're doing this. I can't believe I let you talk me into it,” Han spoke as the tractor beam pulled them in.

Chewie roared.

Leia patted Han's shoulder wearing the black and gold costume. The mask was on but up off her face, “He knows we're coming. It's just the Admiral.”

“Just the Admiral of Darth Vader's flagship, which we willingly have allowed ourselves to be tractor beamed into. If I told you this three years ago, that we would do this one day, you would have yelled at me and said I was out of my mind,” Han said as the ship came into the hanger. “Chewie, there's still time to hide in the smuggler's compartments.”

“There will be no need. Trust me. Just stay on board,” Leia answered and gave him a peck on the cheek as she made her way to the ramp, pulling the face mask over her face.

Admiral Piett stood there alone, at attention, and a bit nervous, “Miss Zia.” He clicked his heels.

“Admiral,” she answered.

“If you will follow me,” the Admiral replied.

She knew where she was going. Darth Vader's private quarters, and she knew he would be waiting there as she could feel his presence. She walked with confidence, hiding any trepidation she may feel about being here, and began feeling the beings on the ship. She really didn't sense anything beyond life and mundane tasks, but it was still enemy territory. She could tell that the Admiral had done as he was told and made sure that no one was working anywhere she would be seen. She was to be a mysterious passenger. She wondered if the ship was recognized, but she assumed that Vader would take care of that as well, or make sure it wasn't an issue. Something with her talks, though in dreams, did give her some hope. Was it sympathy or empathy for his situation? Or perhaps did she feel the layers of his past falling from him? She really didn't know, but he was different than that the monster that had tortured her some years before. He had even seemed horrified by what he had done to her. She sensed that. She could never forgive him of course for his many atrocities, nor could she accept him as anything but her biological sire or as a mere tool in her own agenda. As Piett brought her in, Vader was standing there.

“Admiral, stay,” Vader demanded and closed the door using the Force from where he was standing.

Piett swallowed hard.

Leia stood straight and confident taking in her surroundings. She had been here before, but she realized with the vulnerabilities that Vader had regarding the suit, the meditation chamber, and other devices which aided his needs that they could also be an asset to her. Vader sensing her observation walked up to her with his fist in her face and looked directly at Leia.

“You would do well to remember that the Force is quite capable in aiding me to stay alive if any of these devices malfunction,” Vader warned her as if he sensed why she was looking around. “You are on an Imperial ship, I only have to say the word and that ship you came in will be destroyed along with it's occupants.

“So it's the same deal as before is it?” Leia answered defiantly. “I should have known.”

“You're ship will be safe. I assume you came in with the same crew? The captain and the Wookiee?” Vader asked as he turned around and walked towards Piett.

“Yes, and Threepio. It's hard to not count him as a being,” Leia stated hoping to hit a nerve.

Vader turned his head, “Of course. Your respect for the droid is admirable.”

“Why am I here?” Leia asked her arms crossed over her chest.

She got the impression that Piett was not exactly sure who she was, but that there was some connection to the rebellion because of the ship itself and it disgusted him. The diplomat part of her didn't want to alienate him, but she needed to feel Vader out as to his exact motives. She knew she had power over him, and that he would use the Falcon, Han, Chewie and possibly even Threepio if needed to have power over her. Something about Threepio though softened him. And she knew he had told her that he had built him as a child, but she was sure that wasn't the reason why.

Piett had to think for a moment. He really wanted to talk to this young woman alone. Since he assumed she had some tie also to the rebellion, he was concerned. He was being sent on a task with someone he barely knew. Was she a spy for the Empire? He had remembered that ship was one that had been a priority more than once to capture, yet now it was an ally? Or was it? He really didn't know where he stood with this mysterious person, and while usually he wasn't meant to question anything that Darth Vader did, he did have a lot of questions in regards to this. He remembered before when he had merely been captain that another young woman would work independently for Darth Vader. Did he just have some weird fetish of taking on young females as personal assistants? That one was said to have been thrown out of an airlock when he was finished with her. And if pressed, he would state that he was a bit scared of being Darth Vader's representative in initial negotiation talks with the Rebel Alliance.

Piett collected himself and stiffly stated, “You are to accompany me in the negotiations with the Rebel Alliance. As I understand, it will be only Mon Mothma who will be accompanied by only one other individual. If it is security, or an assistant, that I am not aware.”

Leia took a deep breath out of disbelief and agitation. "Do you have a name for this other individual?” she said with a nod of her head.

“I don't know what your rank is or what your position is, but I am Admiral of this ship. Young lady, I am not accustomed to being addressed in this fashion,” Piett snapped back. “I am not aware of the other person who will be accompanying Mon Mothma. It is supposed to be a peaceful meeting, however, the Executor will be in the atmosphere nearby, as will be one of their ships. We have called a truce for the meeting. Killing Mon Mothma is not our goal here. However, our communications have been quite civil and I do not expect them to attack the Executor. A secondary plan is in place, as I am sure that the Alliance has their own defense plan as well. It would be an intelligent guess.”

“Indeed it would,” Leia answered with sarcasm.

“Zia, it would be to your advantage to give the Admiral your respect. I expect more from you, after all, you have had some diplomatic training, have you not?” Darth Vader warned.

Leia straightened herself out. She was in enemy territory, but she wasn't a prisoner here. She had a hard time remembering that. Was it the Imperial uniform? “I forgot myself, my apologies, Admiral.”

“Duly noted, miss,” Admiral Piett replied.

“That will be all, Admiral, I will call you if needed,” Vader ordered.

“Yes, Your Excellency,” Admiral Piett clicked his heels and stiffly removed himself from the room.

Darth Vader removed Leia's mask using the Force and she grabbed it before it fell to the ground. “Princess, I expect you to treat Admiral Piett with respect. You will find he is not a difficult individual and the need for sarcasm and defiance will be unnecessary.” He put his finger in her face. “You were a senator and an ambassador were you not? I expect you to behave as such.”

“You have some nerve reprimanding me,” Leia answered. “But I understand. Piett doesn't appear to be a monster and is only doing his job. I see the Imperial uniform and I feel the need to put my guard up.”

“Understood. I may have done the same at one time myself,” Vader replied and paced a bit then he continued. “Piett knows my mind in regards to the negotiations with the Alliance, however, I expect for you to remain quiet during the talks. Do you understand! You are to protect the Admiral if the talks turn into a battle zone. You may do as you wish, use the Force or reveal your identity, either tactic should be enough to arrange for a peaceful negotiation.”

“You really want this? I thought it was an ambush, but you really want the war to be over? I don't believe this,” Leia said pacing herself around Vader as he watched.

“Princess, I've always wanted the war to be over and to maintain order and peace,” Darth Vader insisted drawing his mechanical fist in the air. “The terrorism which has been caused by the rebellion must come to an end. We have more in common than you might believe. I too wish to put an end to slavery, however, I still believe that your ideas of galactic rule are idealistic. There are those who wish to be told what to do, and those who need to be told what to do, however, I believe that voices should be heard and that each system has different needs. I am willing to reinstate a senate again, as long as it is functional and doesn't lead to a motion taking years to go through. While my political life has been as an enforcer for the past twenty odd years, I do remember the Old Republic and it's faults.”

“The terrorism which was caused by the rebellion? Your Empire destroyed my home planet! Entire cities! And they have the means to do it again!” Leia shouted standing beneath him, looking up, and pointing directly into his mask. She took a much calmer tone, “In fact, as you and I both know and I remind you again, you forced me to watch it yourself.”

“Enough! I would like us to move forward. Palpatine is dead. Tarkin is dead.” Darth Vader shouted. “I have been taking control and with your skills and knowledge I thought this test might serve us both well.”

“Test! This is a test!” Leia fumed. “I hope you know that I am still a member of the Rebel Alliance and I do not represent you in anyway.”

“I am aware of that. However, you are a powerful Force user and my child. If you want to admit it or not. I had hoped when I learned of your brother, that he would join me and help me to bring a new order for the galaxy. I know that you are more skilled in this sort of situation, having been raised the way you were. In the way you may have been raised had your mother lived. Princess. I'd like to go to my meditation chambers. I've had enough right now of this discussion. We will resume later. Would you care to stay here, or return to your ship?” Darth Vader said turning away from her.

Leia could sense a break in his demeanor. She had seen this before in both in their encounters in person and in the dream discussions. “I believe I was raised to destroy you. We weren't brought together by accident. My father sent me to retrieve Obi-Wan Kenobi when you captured me. He brought Luke with him. Where would we have been raised? Coruscant?”

“Naboo, your mother wanted you to live on Naboo. I imagine you would have spent time in Coruscant, in very much the same way that you actually were raised by your adoptive parents. Though I believe now, that Palpatine never intended for your mother to live, nor possibly either of you had he known of your existance,” Darth Vader sounded softer, it was still through his respirator, but it was if he were speaking as he did as his younger self in her dream con