Saga ~~Rebel Cause~~ ***FINISHED!!!!*** pre-ESB, H/L, Luke

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  1. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Rebel Cause
    by Cheveyo

    Summary - Han Solo, on behalf of Rebellion against the Galactic Empire, brokers a deal for desperately needed supplies after fleeing the jungle moon of Yavin IV. The hard part isn't getting to the supplies; it's getting them out in one piece!

    Notes - OT, Han, Leia, Luke, Chewie, Dack Ralter, supporting cast. EU Compliant, Canon Compliant. H/L Romantic tension, Action, Adventure.

    Disclaimer: Based in the Star Wars Universe, as created by George Lucas and Lucasfilm ltd. All rights reserved by George Lucas and Lucasfilm ltd. alone. This is a work of fan fiction, not to be published or reprinted for profit.

    This is an extensive re-write of an incomplete story I posted last year. Let me know what ya think!





    Rebel Cause
    by Cheveyo



    ?No time for small talk, Your Worship!? Han Solo shouted over his shoulder as he raced to the Millennium Falcon?s cockpit. Another blast rocked the tramp freighter and sent Han into the cylindrical wall. From the cockpit the wookiee, Chewbacca, howled an expletive to his human partner.

    Leia staggered after the scoundrel, her blood boiling at the man?s off-handed dismissal. Their argument would have to wait, she knew, but she swore under her breath that she would not let this go.

    ?Draw power from the auxiliaries, Chewie,? Han commanded as he fell into the pilot?s seat. ?Angle the deflectors forward; I?m gonna try and keep us on course.? The co-pilot woofed an acknowledgement as his hair-covered paws danced over the consoles.

    Beyond the Falcon?s transparisteel canopy, two Imperial Strike class cruisers dove in to intercept the freighter. Green streaks of laser fire lanced out from them exploding off the Falcon's shields, shaking up its occupants, but otherwise causing no harm at this long range.

    Han grunted. He would never admit it, but Princess Leia might have been right. He should have plotted a more direct route to Cahruu. In the long run, the more trafficked hyperspace lane may have been safer than making this multi-jump hopscotch run--this was the third Imperial patrol they?d come across today, but it was the first that had noticed them.

    One of the Strike cruisers had querried the Falcon as it dropped out of hyperspace, and Chewbacca had responded with the usual fake transponder codes. One of the Imperials didn?t go for it, though, and ordered the seizure of the freighter for inspection.

    Han wasn?t about to let Imps aboard his ship again. Not without a fight.

    ?I told you?? Leia started as she slid into the seat behind Han?s, but was stopped short by the captain?s raised index finger.

    Han toggled the comm channel open. ?Hey, where?s my fighter escort??

    ?We?re right behind you, Han,? said the voice of Luke Skywalker. ?Do you have a plan this time?? His words were casual, but the tone of his voice betrayed his apprehension. The Falcon was continuing along the direct intercept course, and the cruisers were almost in range to deal some real damage.

    Chewbacca matched Luke?s sentiment with a warning growl to Han.

    ?Relax, we?re not gonna ram them.? Almost under his breath, he added, ?We?re just going to shake 'em up a bit.?

    ?You?re going to what?!? Leia exclaimed.

    "Fly between 'em, Sweetheart," Han answered. "They'll be too shy to fire unless they're sure they'll hit us, and not each other."

    ?Captain Solo,? came the voice of Dack Ralter, the other X-wing pilot tailing the Falcon, ?I don?t think that?s such a good idea.?

    Han glanced at the chrono above the sensor display. The cruisers? laser fire should be getting more dangerous any minute. ?Look,? he said both to Leia and to the comm unit, ?our hyperspace vector is right through that patrol, so we have two choices: plot a new course around them, or get past them. I don?t like the idea of opening up our backsides to these cru/>
  2. GreatOne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 4
    OH BOY! Another H/L story! Yeah!

    EDIT- You did finish it this time, right???? ;)
  3. Puggy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2002
    star 3
    Noooo GreatOne beat me to first post! *Whimper*

    Ah, well, that's okay. I love a new Han/Leia story, and pre-ESB is one of the best time periods.

    Great start, Cheveyo! Looking forward to more. :)
  4. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    EDIT- You did finish it this time, right???? ;)

    LOL - why yes, yes I have. I'm editting as I post, but I can promise with 100% assurance that you will not be left hanging. :)

    Thanks, Great One and Puggy, for reading! I'll post more in a bit.
  5. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Next Post!


    ?These are the coordinates. Where?s our welcoming committee?? Han scanned the jungle around them. The clearing was just large enough to fit the Falcon and little else. The dense wilderness made for great cover on land, and the sensor-dampening camouflage netting Chewie had draped over the freighter?s hull concealed her from any airborne snoopers.

    ?Maybe they were held up,? Leia answered, watching the readout screen on the portable sensor pack. Two life forms were approaching from the northwest, where the X-wings had sought open land. ?Luke and Dack are on their way,? she noted.

    Han nodded. This jungle reminded him a lot of Yavin IV, complete with the eerie fog. The sooner they were all off this rock, the better he would feel. His instincts told him this was an ambush waiting to happen. ?I?ve got a bad feeling about this.?

    Leia looked up from the sensor pack. ?Why didn?t you say so before? This is your deal, remember??

    ?I did say so before,? Han bristled. ?I trust Gribb less than I would trust a Hutt. He?s put a thorn in my back side more than a few times.?

    "You mean he's been a thorn?"

    "I mean he's put a thorn," Han repeated with emphasis. Chewbacca barked his agreement from beneath the Falcon?s belly, where he had gone to work calibrating the balance equalizer on the forward landing strut.

    ?You said he would come through with the shipment,? Leia reminded him, her voice beginning to show more of her own worry.

    ?Oh sure, he?ll come through,? Han said. ?He?s a businessman to the end. But I?m more concerned about the expansion packs he may decide to bring to the table.?

    Leia had an idea where Han was leading her. ?More money? I don?t think the Alliance would be willing to pay out more for??

    ?I don?t think it?s about money,? Han said, waving away her comment. ?I just don?t know. I keep thinking about that last Imperial patrol we came across.? He was about to elaborate when an older man appeared at the top of the Falcon?s boarding ramp.

    ?What?s the hold up, Captain?? Lieutenant Voresko asked as he came down the ramp.

    Han shrugged, scanning the perimeter. ?I guess we?re early.? The cargo pilot looked about as apprehensive as Han felt. They were here to fly the convoy of four supply transports out to the Hoth system, assuming Gribb showed up with the transports. The man gave a ?humph? and sauntered back up the ramp.

    ?Miss us?? came Luke?s voice from the far side of the Falcon. Dack came along close behind.

    Leia waved a hand to the young hero, then focused her attention back on the sensor pack. The readout was flashing. ?Han, Gribb?s here.?

    From under the camouflaged Falcon, Chewie let out a snarling roar. He shared Han?s anxiousness to get airborne again.

    ?You said it, pal,? Han said. ?Let?s get this deal over with.?

    Within moments, two open-canopy speeders shot through the jungle and came to rest beside the freighter. From each spilled two men armed with blaster carbines.

    Leia approached the quartet, her hand draped casually beside her hip holster. Han wasn?t as inconspicuous. His hand was wrapped around the grip of his holstered DL-44, ready to draw at the first sign of trouble. With his thumb, he unfastened the safety strap holding the blaster in place.

    He moved in front of Leia?Leia hid her resentment toward him from the men moving toward her?and held his free hand out, pointing to the quartet. ?I thought you said we were meeting two people, Gribb. I count four.?

    ?Even a dreg like me needs some protection, Solo.? The bearded man named Gribb approached Han with his hand extended. Han took it with a lopsided grin. ?These are my muscles, Stren and Yrao, and this is my personal aide Kroder, whom I believe you know.? Han nodded a greeting to the group. ?They?re also damned good pilots,? Gribb added, ?in case you need ?em.?

    Han dismissed the offer as he let his gun hand relax a bit. ?Already got it covered, buddy.? He shoved a thumb back in the direction />
  6. DarthMasan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2002
    star 3
    yeay! a new H/L, hope to see more

    DM
  7. Puggy Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2002
    star 3
    ?I did say so before,? Han bristled. ?I trust Gribb less than I would trust a Hutt. He?s put a thorn in my back side more than a few times.?

    "You mean he's been a thorn?"

    "I mean he's put a thorn," Han repeated with emphasis.


    *Laughs* Aww, poor Han! Hehe.

    Great update, Cheveyo... And I don't much like this Gribb character either, so I don't blame Han. :)
  8. starwarsfan68 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2003
    star 3
    Cheveyo... Nice job... The ever cautious Leia. Sounds like a trap to me though... Can't wait for more.
  9. RebelMom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2000
    star 6
    I remember this. glad to see you start it up again.
  10. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Welcome DarthMasan, Starwarsfan68, and welcome back, RebelMom! Thank you all for the words of encouragement. I'll post the next bit in the morning. Thanks for reading!!
  11. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    NEW POST!




    Han slowed the airspeeder as he punched through the jungle?s foliage into the vast plateau. The four Soru-Suub medium transports sat nestled in the soft ground, waiting for lift-off. ?So far so good, Gribb,? Han remarked.

    ?Have I ever treated you unfairly, Solo?? the smuggler said, forcing a hurt look on his face.

    Han sent a sneer to the man in the passenger seat. ?You gotta be kiddin? me. How about that job on Langhra VI? Or that little altercation of yours on Nar Shadaa?? Han said through a forced grin, ?Nah, buddy, you?ve never treated me unfairly.? He brought the speeder in next to the nearest transport and powered down the repulsors.

    ?Okay, so I made a few bad decisions in my youth,? Gribb conceded. ?But you gotta admit, Solo, you must trust me a little? after all, you?re here, right??

    ?What?s the matter, Gribb?? Han asked with a sly grin as he jumped out of the ride. ?Afraid I won?t turn my back on you??

    ?We?re here,? Leia added, ?because you have what we need. And we have what you want.?

    ?Right to the point,? Gribb said, watching Leia as she stepped out of the speeder and replaced her blaster in its holster. ?I like that in a woman, especially when the point is money.? He aimed a finger at the young princess and quipped, ?You?re hanging with a better crowd, Solo.?

    Han rolled his eyes. ?Nice.? He wasn?t concerned with Gribb?s overt attention to Leia; although he wanted to flatten the guy just for looking at her? he wasn?t sure why.

    He was, however, in a rush to get this over with before the Imperials tracked them. That little tap dance with the Strike cruisers a couple jumps back was still sitting funny with him. He kept asking himself whether they'd been there by chance or design, but he still hadn?t come up with an answer he liked. There were no nav buoys in that area to patrol, and the nearest system was a light year away. However, only three other people knew the route Han had planned to take?one of them was his co-pilot and best friend, the other two were piloting the X-wings. No one could have known.

    To quell his initial anxiety, Han had replotted their course through an extra jump, just in case the cruisers were tracking their heading. Now Han was wondering if that had been enough.

    He headed for the freighter?s ramp and said, ?Let?s see your goodies, Gribb.?



    ?So this thing really flies?? Yrao said in disgust, eyeing the battered hull of the Millennium Falcon. He and his two associates shook their heads in what Luke thought was disgust. The remark conjured up memories of Luke's first impression of the ?hunk o? junk?. He grinned, but kept his defense of the tramp freighter to himself.

    Chewie, on the other hand, took it as a personal affront and launched into a very vocal tirade that had the strangers back-pedalling, physically as well as verbally. When he felt he?d chastised them enough, the wookiee gave them each a glower and a snarl and stalked up the ramp.

    Dack felt the urge to break the ice and said to no one in particular, ?So, how do you know Gribb??

    ?He hired us,? the man called Yrao said bluntly. ?We have the same associates.?

    ?I see,? Dack said with feigned interest.

    ?Maybe we should take a look at our payment,? Stren said.

    ?To make sure we?re being handled fairly,? Yrao added.

    Something inside Luke told him this wasn?t right. He didn?t know why, but he didn?t trust these men. Maybe Han?s pessimism was finally rubbing off on him. A memory came to him of Old Ben Kenobi's advice. Trust your feelings, Luke, his friend?s ghostly voice had told him in the battle in the Death Star?s trench.

    ?Sure,? Luke said, and withdrew his comlink from one of his flight suit's pouches. He thumbed it on and said, ?Chewie, our friends want to see their payment.?

    The wookiee barked a reply, and Luke dropped the comlink back into his pocket. He nodded to Dack and said to the smugglers, ?C?mon up.? He led the three quiet men into the freighter?s interior. Dack brought up the rear, h/>
  12. GreatOne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 4
    No Leia. Han's suspicions usually aren't wrong! LOL
  13. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    lol, GreatOne (winkwink, nudgenudge).



    NEXT POST




    Luke entered the Falcon?s cargo hold astern with the others in tow. Chewbacca awaited them in front of three cases, his bowcaster resting in his arms across his torso.

    Across the hold, fastened to the wall by cargo netting, was a frantic, gold-cased protocol droid. His arms waved as best they could through the restraints as he called out, ?Oh, Master Luke! Thank goodness you?ve arrived. You must get me out of this.?

    The wookiee chortled out a bark.

    ?I will not be quiet, Chewbacca!? answered the droid. ?Captain Solo has gone too far this time. I was merely trying to point out that??

    ?Threepio,? Luke interrupted, ?not now.?

    ?But Master Luke??

    Kroder couldn?t suppress a laugh. ?Technical difficulties??

    Luke turned to Chewie, purposely avoiding Kroder?s eye contact. ?He?s under control.? He moved to the crates and keyed in the access code. The crate unlocked with a hollow click and he raised the cover. The three smugglers approached the bounty, visibly staying out of Chewie?s reach.

    Kroder eyed the hard credits with satisfaction. ?Nice,? he commented. ?Good to know the Rebellion is liquid. There?s no telling how long this war of yours is going to last.?

    Without warning, Chewie howled a curse that made C-3PO call out in surprise. He moved like lightning, his fangs bared in a snarl as his bowcaster came up to his shoulder, trained on the smugglers.

    Luke's hand was on his blaster even as he was trying to decypher Chewie's warning. Movement to his left told him what the language barrier could not. He leveled his blaster a Yrao, who now had his carbine firmly pressed into the nape of Kroder?s neck. Dack had drawn his own blaster out and trained it on Stren, who was trying to cover both of the X-wing pilots with his short-barreled rifle.

    In a matter of seconds, the situation had turned into a Rodian Standoff, everyone pointing a weapon at the other, and Luke wasn?t sure why.

    His answer came not from Gribb?s right-hand man, who winced under the pressure of Yrao?s barrel, but from Stren. ?Thanks for the creds,? he said, ?but it looks like we?ll be needin? your ship, too.?



    The three subsequent cargo inspections went much the same way as the first. To Han?s surprise, it looked like Gribb was playing with all his sabacc cards above the table.

    ?What?d I tell ya, Solo?? Gribb said with pride. ?I?m a full supporter of this rebel cause of yours. I wouldn?t pull a Hutt trick on you.?

    Han wasn?t completely convinced, but he slapped the man on his shoulder?harder than Gribb anticipated?and said with as much sarcasm as he could force, ?Thanks, buddy. That means a lot to me.?

    Gribb caught the tone and regarded him with furrowed brows as he rubbed his shoulder.

    ?So how do these slugs handle?? Han asked, looking around the transport?s interior.

    Gribb led them to the transport?s small cockpit. ?Not too bad for their size. These don?t have the? um, amenities? you?re used to in that flying crate of yours, of course.?

    Han grinned. ?Nobody?s perfect.? He stepped into the compact command module and sunk into the pilot?s acceleration chair. The consoles looked like they were re-fitted to accommodate a crew of one; these ships usually needed three or more to fly. Transports this large couldn?t fly with just a pilot. It would at least need an astromech to help out. He searched the console displays and found his answer. ?You?ve got them outfitted with droid brains.?

    Gribb chuckled. ?You?re good, Solo. That?s right, these rust buckets are designed to use as few resources as possible, and that includes personnel.?

    This not-so-little modification sent up a red flag in Han?s mind. The rest of the ship was devoid of enhancements?he?d wager it was even less than ?stock?. Had Gribb splurged for this single alteration? Han doubted it.

    Leia seemed to pick up one Han?s thoughts, and she asked, ?You made the modifications yourself?? Han still found himself surp/>
  14. RebelMom Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2000
    star 6
    gotta love the double cross, whether intentional or not.
  15. starwarsfan68 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2003
    star 3
  16. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Muuwaahahahaaaahaaaaa. ;)

    Everybody have a great weekend! Thanks for reading, and I'll see you all with the next installment first thing Monday morning!

  17. GreatOne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 4
    Looking forward to next chapter!
  18. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Wellllll, it's 9am here on the the Pacific coast. How about a new story bit! ;)


    Chewbacca roared a challenge to the two hijackers; he wasn?t about to let them steal the Millennium Falcon.

    ?Drop your blasters,? Yrao commanded as he hid behind Kroder, ?or your associate here?? His statement was cut short as the wookiee grabbed hold of Kroder and tossed him over his shoulder into the crates.

    Wide-eyed and with no hostage to negotiate behind, Yrao fell backward and squeezed the trigger. Two blaster bolts flashed across the hold and exploded against the wall paneling beside C-3PO, who screamed another fearful curse.

    Luke and Dack fired in tandem as they scrambled for cover. Dack?s shot picked Stren up off his feet before he could get away. He landed hard a meter away from where he?d been standing.

    Luke fired at Yrao, but missed as the man fell away from Chewie?s reach. Yrao threw his carbine aside and raised his hands, cowering as he lay on the cargo bay?s deck. With Stren out of the picture, he knew he was in over his head.

    Chewbacca lunged at the hijacker, lifting him off the ground by his neck. He howled a demand, but Yrao only grasped desperately at the furry paw choking him.



    Leia came to stand between Gribb and Han, more to keep the latter from strangling the former. ?Who do you keep referring to?? she asked the smuggler. ?You said ?they? told you these were the best droid brains on the market??

    ?Stren and Yrao,? he said. ?They arranged the purchase of the transports for me.?

    Han didn?t believe him. ?You?re tellin? us you let your ?muscle? do your paperwork??

    Gribb shook his head. ?Of course not! But they came with their own contacts from previous employers. They said they could get their hands on the ships when I tole them about my deal with the Rebels?er? with you.?

    ?How long have they been on your payroll?? Leia asked.

    ?About three standard months. I picked them up outside of Ord Mantell.?

    Han cursed under his breath, and reached for his comlink. ?Chewie, the deal is off. We?re headed back.?

    Leia grabbed his arm in protest. ?Han, we can?t break this deal. The Alliance needs this equipment for the new base.?

    Han studied Leia for a moment as he waited for Chewie?s reply. Maybe she was right. Maybe there was another way out of this.

    ?On second thought, Chewie, maybe we should?? and his voice trailed off. His brows furrowed as he stared thoughtfully at Leia. He realized his friend had not answered the first message. ?Chewie??



    ?Chewie, let him speak,? Luke said, straining to understand Yrao?s frantic gasps.

    Chewbacca growled his reluctance, then threw the would-be hijacker into the wall beside C3-PO. In an effort to right himself, Yrao became entangled in the cargo webbing secured to the wall plating. Dack kept his eye trained down his arm, past his blaster's sight, and on Yrao's chest.

    ?Keep him away from me!? Yrao demanded, pointing one hand at the wookiee as he rubbed his injured larynx with the other.

    ?You?re in no position to make demands,? Dack commented.

    Behind them, a shaken Kroder picked himself up off the deck. ?How could you?? he said with disdain. ?Gribb?s done nothing but treat you like family.?

    ?Yeah,? Yrao spat, ?disfunctional family.?

    ?Chewie, pickup!? This came from the wookiee?s comlink, nestled tightly into its place on his bandolier. It was Han Solo?s voice. Chewie withdrew the device and barked out a summary of what had just transpired.

    ?Tell Luke and Dack to make for the fighters,? Han instructed. ?We?re getting? off this rock. Leia and I'll be heading back with Gribb in a minute.? Chewie acknowledged and turned off the comlink.

    ?And you had nothing to do with this?? Luke asked Kroder, who was still rubbing his neck from the hard landing.

    He shook his head. ?Contrary to Captain Solo?s apparent reservations, Gribb and I are here to help the Rebellion. Then he added, ?For a profit, of course.?

    Chewbacca motioned to Luke that he had this situatio/>/>/>
  19. GreatOne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 4
    Oh boy! This is getting exciting!
  20. GreatOne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 4
    Upping this story! It needs to be read!
  21. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Thanks for the Up, Great One! I'll post another section here in just a bit.

    :D


  22. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Here we go! This was a fun part to write (I love writing Artoo!! :D)




    The blue and silver astromech droid whistled a sour tune behind the X-wing fighter?s cockpit.

    ?I see them, Artoo,? Luke said. The nose of his X-Wing was aimed toward six Imperial TIE fighters flying crisscrossing patterns. They dipped on the straight-aways to strafe the slower cargo transports as they broke for orbit. ?Red Eight, stay on my wing, we?ll cut through their flank and draw fire away from the freighters.?

    ?I copy, Luke.?

    The two snub fighters came at the TIEs in a blur. Luke?s targeting reticle highlighted a fighter as it came out of its strafing run. The marker glowed red and he fired, sheering off the fighter?s port solar panel. Luke was already targeting the next TIE as his first spiraled into the ground and erupted in a ball of fiery debris.

    Artoo whistled a warning, and Luke glanced at the translator. Two TIEs were angling in behind him, but their maneuverability was drastically reduced inside the planet's atmosphere. They were no match for the X-Wings in this arena. ?Dack, scissor right.?

    Dack acknowledged with a click of his comm, and the X-wings banked hard, passing each other as they turned into their respected loops. The TIE?s followed, spraying green lasers across the sky in hopes of flaming the rebels. The maneuver put Dack's TIE in a perfect line of fire with Luke's cannons. He called for Dack to break off as he sprayed the TIE with laser fire. The Imperial fighter broke apart, showering sparks and debris as the firey ball cockpit fell from the sky.

    Luke pulled hard on the yoke as his aft shielding took two hits from his pursuer. On his display he saw Dack coming in and around to take care of his nuisance.

    The last of the TIE's took a couple strafing potshots at one of the freighters before veering in on Dack's tail as his guns flashed red, pelting the fighter behind Luke. Luke spiraled out of the way and swung around to try to get a lock on the last Imperial. Dack angled up to avoid his last victim's raining debris field and the TIE matched him. Green lasers flashed around and past him as he barrel-rolled to evade.

    As Dack spun away, the X-Wing in the TIE fighter's crosshairs was replaced by a tramp freighter headed straight for it. From his station in the outrigger cockpit, Chewbacca let loose with the tramp freighter?s fire-linked quad laser cannons. The TIE fighter blew apart, sending molten debris to the surface far below.

    ?Thanks, Chewie,? said Dack. He and his wingman fell in beside the Falcon to escort the cargo transports who were already punching through the atmosphere to safety.



    As expected, Chewbacca found the origin of the TIEs waiting for them in high orbit. The Nebulon-B frigate was already moving to intercept the Falcon and her small convoy. Chewie double checked the jump coordinates from the navicomputer. The convoy would easily make the jump to hyperspace before the frigate was on them.

    Chewie's instincts told him this wasn't right. He pulled up the frigate's data analysis from the sensor suite. It had less firepower than any of the patrols they'd "run into" on this trip, and right now it was only moving at half its maximum sublight speed. The Falcon andeven the transports would blow by it as thought it were floating adrift. Chewie let out a worried bark.

    ?What?s up?? Kroder said, entering the outrigger cockpit for the first time.

    Chewie barked and pointed out the forward viewport. Kroder didn?t understand Shyriiwook, Chewbacca?s native language, but he thought he understood the gist of the comment. He saw the slender frigate moving in toward them and collapsed into Han?s seat.

    Chewie thought to frighten the man out of his best friend?s chair with one of his more charming sneers, but he let it pass. Kroder wasn?t touching anything, and Chewie had more pressing concerns at the moment.

    ?Will they catch up to us?? Kroder asked.

    Chewie growled and shook his head ?no?. He pointed to his read/>/>
  23. LadyPadme Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 26, 2002
    star 5


    Oooh...looks like I've made it back just in time! ;)

    Great to see you back, Cheveyo, and I'm glad you revived this story. Can't wait to see where you take it.

  24. GreatOne Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 4
    This is a wonderful story, and wonderfully written. I am enjoying it! :D :D
  25. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Welcome (back) LadyPadme! ;) And thanks for your great motivation, GreatOne.

    Here is this morning's post...



    ?I don?t like it any better than you do,? Han shouted as he headed for the transport?s central processor. ?Just keep those TIEs off our backs.? He preferred to be in control of the ship around him, but Gribb had expressed no skill when it came to mechanics. Han was forced to relinquish the pilot?s seat for the moment.

    Gribb scowled at the retreating man?s back as he slumped into the cockpit?s command chair. He took in the readouts before him. The deflector grids were up, but they?d taken some hits in the first TIE attack. He hadn?t expected these transports to come under heavy fire. More to the point, he hadn?t expected to be on one of them when they did come under fire. His sensors showed that the frigate was altering course now, intent on pursuit.

    The monitor flashed a question to Gribb as he turned the freighter away. He ignored the computer?s inquiry for a course heading. He assumed it would relay any data to the Imperials, and give away their tactics. He needed to fly by the seat of his pants now.

    Leia chased after Han. ?We?re sitting ducks out here.?

    ?Don?t worry, Sweetheart, we won?t be here long.? Han stopped at an access panel in the floor decking and knelt down to lift it open.

    Leia started to ask why they couldn?t make the alterations once they reached the safety of hyperspace, but stopped herself. She knew there might be an ambush waiting for them at the endpoint. And with the brains still transmitting their every move, the transports wouldn?t be able to plot a safe jump. Instead, she put to voice her rationale for the Imperial's bizarre subterfuge. ?They knew we'd be looking for homing beacons."

    "Yeah, they've used that trick too many times before," Han replied. " I've gotta hand it to 'em. This was a unique idea." He clambered over the edge and draped himself across a tubular conduit to better reach the components he would be adjusting. ?Ah!? he said after a moment?s tinkering. ?I got it. You'll be back in committee meetings in no time. Make yourself useful, Your Worship, and hand me a hydrospanner, will ya??

    Leia was almost overcome by the desire to shove his legs over the conduit, sending him headfirst into the chamber?s grilled floor panels. Instead, she retrieved the requested tool and tossed it aimlessly into the open access. Metallic clangs echoed up from the cramped access as the tool ricocheted downward. Then it thudded against something very much not metallic?though it was just as dense, she mused. From below came a pained curse, then, ?Hey, watch it up there!?

    Leia allowed herself a small victory and called back, ?Sorry, Captain.?

    The freighter rocked as a laser blast struck its shields. The sudden jarring almost nudged Han off his precarious perch. He grabbed hold of a cable protruding from the equipment in front of him to keep from falling. His stomach could feel the evasive maneuvers Gribb was putting the ship through. ?What?s goin? on up there?? he called.

    ?Looks like our friends are sad to see us go,? Leia said. ?I?m headed forward to check it out.?

    ?Hurry back,? Han called after her. ?I might want another concussion in a minute.?

    Leia reached the entrance to the modified cockpit and peered in. Gribb seemed to have his hands full, between dialing down systems and jerking the maneuvering yoke to and fro. Beyond the pilot?s chair, Leia saw the galaxy?s stars pinning every which way. Green lances of energy streaked past the viewport from behind them. The occassional TIE fighter sped across the view plane in a blur, launch green fire at the other ships. By the number of blasts she saw go by, Leia decided Gribb was doing well at not getting hit.

    She left him to his task and returned to the gaping access in the deck. ?Gribb?s doing fine. He sends his regards,? she said into the chamber.

    Han sneered as he tightened the clamp around the makeshift bypass. ?Great.? He gave the computer />
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