I'm doing another revision of "Father's Heart," and one of the things that has flopped in the past revisions has been a series of dreams that Leia has, which I intended to be a kind of telepathic experience once-removed, in which she enters Vader's mind without his knowledge, in two symbolic environments (one, the one shown below; the other involves a deep chasm bridged by a crystal web). In these environments, Anakin appears to her behind a different mask... the mask of Amidala, who Leia remembers, except with Anakin's eyes looking out at her. To the best of my knowledge, no one has automatically read these sequences and said, "Ah, I see, that's Anakin hiding behind Amidala on a weird symbolic dream plane." But I get a whole lot of, "That's neat, but what is it?" That tells me that there's something wrong with the text. So, what's below is the prelude to the dream, and the first dream sequence. Leia had met Vader as a very small child and been afraid, and the evening we catch up with her again, she is twelve and has dared herself to talk to him. After storming out of negotiations, her foster father has lectured her, but Vader has engaged her in a conversation, starting out with racing (she races speeder bikes) and going on to politics. Vader tells himself that he wants to win her over to the Empire. He is also interested in any memories she may have of Amidala, since he knows she had hidden on Alderaan last. Anyway, is there any good way to establish what's happening here without stating it outright. --------------- "You can gain respect in a negotiation by not backing down," Vader said, feeding what he knew well was her belief. "That's what I've been saying! But it didn't seem to work well today. And I am sorry for interrupting the negotiations. I was out of place." "You have no need to apologize, Your Highness. The reason it didn't work today, as you put it, is that you were in a position in which you had no options. In a stronger position, a well-controlled display of defiance might have been quite effective. It was a girl not much older than you are who began to dismantle the Republic with just such a show of defiance in the Senate." "I know that story." "I thought you might." Vader decided to press the issue. "Do you know who that girl was? I believe she might have been here for some time when you were young." Instantly, the girl's guard went up. He could feel the howling wind of it coming out from her mind. HER presence was obviously something the girl did not want to discuss, or had been forbidden to discuss, although Vader failed to see Organa's reasoning for the latter. "I see I've made you uncomfortable, Your Highness. I should apologize now," he said. "I'm sure it was simply too far back in your memory to be of note." The wind subsided, and Leia smiled. "It no longer matters," she said. "It was another lifetime." For a brief moment, Vader was angry, then he realized that she meant only to share a jest with him. She had no reason to believe his question was of great import to either of them. He wished he could laugh briefly, to reassure her that he knew it was a jest, but he had long ago lost that ability. He suspected it wasn't necessary. For the moment at least, she'd granted him some kind of provisional trust. That would be enough to start on. He waited for the voice in his mind to protest, but it was, for once, silent. +++++++++++++++ Leia dreamed of her mother that night. Not her adoptive mother. SachÃ© Organa was certainly beloved to her, and no one outside of Leia's mind would be allowed to refer to her as anything other than her real mother. But inside Leia's mind was another woman, the sad-eyed woman who never left her. In the privacy of almost unremembered dreams, Leia always called her "Mother." They were in a world of shifting rocks and sudden drop-offs, with fires burning all around them. The woman's face was painted like a porcelain doll's. There was something else about her, something strange that Leia couldn'