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Beyond - Legends Hide and Seek

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by GreatOne, May 13, 2021.

  1. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Time-travel AU
    Han, Jacen, Jaina
    Story is complete!


    I have not posted a story on this site for well over ten years! Maybe even fifteen years! Here is one I wrote not that long ago, so I will put it up here (even though I have to fix some swear words within the story to make this site happy) I'd love to post my other new story here, Fame and Fortune, but it breaks way too many 'rules' on this site!

    _____


    Hide and Seek

    "Mom, please? Jacen begged, tugging on Leia's skirt. "We'll behave!"

    "We promise," Jaina added, almost jumping up and down in anticipation.

    Leia sighed, and looked over at her amused husband. "I wouldn't be opposed to this if Chewie were going with you."

    "Chewie's on Kashyyyk," Jaina pointed out, like she was telling her mother something she didn't already know.

    The Corellian grinned at his overly worried wife. "So, you're sayin' you only trust me with our kids if I have the supervision of either a Wookiee or your Jedi brother?"

    "You know I trust you," Leia said, looking back down at their eight-year-old twins. "But you know our kids, too. They're a lot like you when it comes to finding trouble."

    "Not sure if that's an insult or a compliment, Sweetheart," Han replied. "It's just a quick trip around Coruscant to test out my new shields. The Falcon is in great shape, and everything is in perfect workin' order. I can't see where there will be a problem."

    "Famous last words," Leia returned, still looking at Jacen and Jaina. "These are my rules if you want to take a little ride with your father on the Falcon."

    "Anything, Mom!" Jaina said, pleased they had worn her down and were finally getting their way. Double-team nagging was usually quite effective with either parent. It was far less effective with Uncle Luke or Chewie.

    "You obey your Father."

    "We always do that," Jacen said, pouting a bit while ignoring Han's snort of laughter.

    "You keep your hands off all of the controls," Leia continued. "You sit on your hands, if necessary."

    "Yes, Mom," Jaina agreed. "We won't touch anything."

    "You also wear your restraints the entire time," Leia finished up.

    Jacen and Jaina threw their arms around Leia's waist, hugging her tightly. "Thanks, Mom!" they both shouted simultaneously.

    "Yeah, thanks Mom," Han added with a laugh. "I promise I won't lose them." Han gave her a quick kiss before adding, "And if I do lose 'em, I'll keep lookin' until I find them again."

    Leia gave Han a mock glare. "You'd better not come home without two, undamaged eight-year-old twins."

    "So, they gotta be ours, right?" He ducked away from her stomach punch, and waved toward the doorway. "Come on you two, short terrors. Time for a quick hop around the planet."

    "Be careful!" Leia's voice called out as the doorway slipped shut behind them.

    _____

    "Can we jump into hyperspace for a little trip?" Jaina asked from the navigator's seat as the sparkling City-Planet moved far below the viewscreen.

    Han's eyes were busy noting the readings of his newly installed shields, nodding to himself in approval as the numbers showed they were online and working correctly.

    "We love hyperspace," Jacen said, sitting in Chewie's co-pilot's chair. "Mom won't care."

    "Your mom will care," Han said, still checking the shield strength. "We said just a quick trip around the planet, and right back again. Hyperspace was not in the agreement."

    Jacen gave his sister a quick glance, and they both wondered if they could try to give their father a little Force-nudge so he'd agree to a fast hyperspace hop. It was something both Uncle Luke and their mother told them never to attempt with their father, and they knew they'd get into a lot of trouble if anyone found out.

    Han spun his seat around to face his daughter. "Don't even think about tryin' it."

    "Trying what?" Jaina asked, eyes wide. Uncle Luke had always warned the twins that the Force couldn't influence anyone with a strong will. Their father was one of the strongest willed being they knew - with or without the Force.

    Han wagged his finger in Jaina's face. "Usin' the Force on my mind. It ain't gonna work."

    "Jacen was the one that thought about it," Jaina hurriedly said.

    "JAINA!" Jacen yelled. "You were thinking it, too!"

    "We wouldn't really have tried it, Dad," Jaina said. "Really, truly."

    Han shook his head and turned back to face the viewport. "I don't know what I'm gonna do with you two."

    "And Anakin," Jacen added. "He's got the Force, too. You're really out-numbered, Dad."

    "Tell me about it," Han groused. "Good thing I love you, so I guess I'll keep you."

    Jacen reached over and patted Han's knee. "We love you, too, Dad."

    "Glad to hear it," Han said with a smirk. "We're coming up to our atmosphere re-entry window, so make sure you're still strapped in tight."

    The words had barely left his mouth when a blindingly bright flash lit up the cockpit, forcing Han and the twins to shut their eyes. Han blinked, trying to clear the colorful spots from his vision. "Damn, that was like a million holo-flashes going off in our faces at the same time." Worriedly, he gazed down at the controls. "Everything seems to be working fine, though. I wonder what the hells that bright light was?"

    "That's two credits you have to put in the swear jar when we get home," Jaina said, primly pointing out her father's language.

    A voice came through the communicator. "Unidentified ship. You have entered Coruscant airspace without proper landing codes. Please identify yourself."

    Frowning, Han leaned closer to the communication panel. "Flight control, this is the Millennium Falcon. I have already transmitted the take-off and landing codes, and you cleared us five minutes ago for re-entry and landing."

    "Millennium Falcon, I have no record of your codes. Please resubmit and wait for proper clearance and a docking location."

    "What the kriff?" Han muttered in disgust. How did this Controller not know who he was? Or that the Millennium Falcon had its own personal docking space next to the fancy apartment building where the leader of the New Republic lived with her family?

    "That's three credits, Dad," Jacen said, grinning.

    "Control, this is the Millennium Falcon. My name is Han Solo. General Han Solo. You know, the guy that's married to Chief of State Organa-Solo?"

    The Controller was silent for a moment, then responded, "Sorry, I've never heard of General Han Solo, or Chief of State Organa-Solo. But I am giving you clearance to land on docking bay 3924, and I am transmitting the proper codes to the appropriate space port. Do not deviate from these coordinates, or I will be forced to send up an armed escort."

    "What? Did you hit your head this morning an' wake up with amnesia?" Han practically shouted at the Controller. "Or are you just a kriffin' idiot?"

    "Dad?" Jaina said quietly.

    "What?"

    "Something's wrong."

    "Ya think?" Han muttered in disgust. "I'm just heading down to my regular dock, and to hells with him."

    "Dad?"

    Han sighed. "I know, Jaina. I owe the cussin' jar five credits now."

    "It's not that," Jaina said. "Things feel different. A lot different."

    Han spun back around to face Jaina. "How?"

    "Like ... I feel a lot of Force-sensitives on the planet. They weren't there before we left."

    "And I don't feel Mom or Anakin anymore," Jacen put in worriedly.

    That statement concerned Han more than anything else that had just occurred. He turned back and looked at the codes the Controller was transmitting. It wasn't a sequence he recognized the Coruscant Space Control used. In fact, the Falcon's computer was having a hard time deciphering the numbers.

    Finally, the computer gave a garbled translation, which indicated the landing code was old. Very, very old. In fact, according the Falcon's computer, it was now 42 BBY, well before the Clone Wars.

    It simply wasn't possible.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2021
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] Wonderful snarky banter amongst the family.

    Looks like they wound up in another time and place
     
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  3. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Thank you, WarmNyota_SweetAyes! I appreciate your comment!

    ___________


    Chapter Two

    It wasn't possible the Standard Year was now a decade before he was even born, Han decided abruptly. Something in the ship's quirky droid-brain computer was malfunctioning. It wouldn't be the first time, or the last time. Although, he mentally conceded, telling him they were nearly fifty years in the past was a new one, even for the Falcon's old computer.

    As they headed down to the planet's surface it quickly became apparent that the landing dock where Han normally berthed the Falcon no longer existed. In fact, the towering buildings didn't look familiar in the slightest, and Han frowned in confusion as he double checked his navcomputer. They were entering the planet almost exactly where they'd lifted off not two time parts earlier, but the man-made landscape had dramatically altered. Not wanting the Traffic Controller to make good on his promise of sending up an escort, Han obeyed the man's directions and took the Falcon down where the coordinates directed. As the old ship came to a graceful landing, and Han turned back to his twins.

    "Can you sense your mom or brother yet?"

    "No," Jacen muttered, shifting nervously in his seat. "I can sense a lot of beings with the Force, but not Mom or Anakin."

    "Me, either," Jaina admitted. "And did you notice that building we flew past?"

    "Which one?" Han asked, knowing there was nothing but buildings on Coruscant. Han had flown near his home, and it was concerning that his family's apartment building, while still there, did not visually look like the same building. The transparisteel windows seemed darker, and the outer lines of the building were narrower. It also didn't appear to have nearly as many floors, and the Solo apartment was a penthouse on the top floor.

    "The tall building, with all the spires," Jaina said, remembering her history lessons. "Uncle Luke showed us old holos of that building. It was the Jedi Temple, and it was destroyed by the order of the Emperor. But now it's back, right where it used to be."

    Han shook his head. "How is that possible?"

    "I don't know," Jaina replied, swallowing down her rising fears. She wasn't about to let her twin brother see she was scared.

    "Let's go see if we can find your Mom," Han said, trying to sound confident for his children's sake. He sincerely hoped they wouldn't sense his deepening apprehension. Leia, wherever you are… this really wasn't my fault.

    ______


    The twins and Han took a free public transport from the landing dock to the area where their apartment building was located. As the hover-transport glided through the air, Han noted the flashing advertisements, the clothing and hair styles, the makes and models of the hover-craft and the ships entering and leaving the atmosphere. Everything was old… except for the odd fact that models that hadn't been made in a generation seemed to be brand new, and there were plenty of transports and ships that would be considered classic antiques and now could only viewed in space museums.

    Exiting the transport, they walked up to their apartment building, craning their necks to gaze up. In bold lettering the name of the building declared it was 'Galactic Star Tower.' Unfortunately, the name Han knew it should be was Panteer Memorial Tower, in honor of an ancient Alderaanian palace. To confirm Han's worst fears, his floor - number 3892 - didn't even exist. The highest floor was 3544. There would be no way to contact Leia in an apartment that no longer existed.

    "Dad?" Jacen asked, biting his lower lip. "Is everyone we know dead?"

    "Don't be stupid," Jaina snapped at her brother. "We're in the past. That means we haven't been born, right, Dad?"

    "I don't know, Jaina," Han admitted, giving a hiss of air through his teeth. "This is a new one on me. Your mom's gonna kill me."

    "Why?" Jacen asked. "You promised not to lose us and you didn't. You just lost Mom and Anakin."

    "Uncle Luke and Chewie, too," Jaina added rather unhelpfully.

    Han gave a snort of humorless laughter. "And the entire known galaxy. When I screw up, I don't mess around."

    "I'm hungry," Jacen said, frowning at his father. "It's way past lunch. Can we find something to eat?"

    "Sure," Han muttered distractedly, tugging his children's hands away from the tower that they used to call home and toward a street vendor selling a variety of soups and sandwiches. He waited until Jacen and Jaina placed their orders and then pulled out a credit reader to pay the surly looking human.

    The greasy man glared at the disc. "What the kriff is this?"

    "Payment for the food," Han said impatiently. "It's good. It's got a lot of credits loaded on it."

    The man's eyes narrowed. "What the freakin' hell is the Universal Bank of the New Republic? You tryin' to scam me? I'll call Security an' I don't give a kriff if yer carryin' around a big old blaster or not."

    "I'll bet you have to put a lot of credits in your swear jar when you get home every night," Jaina informed the annoyed vendor.

    Han took a quick step back, pushing his children behind his back and mentally kicking himself. Of course his voucher disc wouldn't work, and neither would the actual New Republic credits sitting in his pocket be considered acceptable as payment, not if the New Republic didn't exist. "Sorry, I didn't mean to cheat you," Han groused, holding out his hand for the disc, which the vendor reluctantly returned. "No harm, no foul, right?"

    "Get lost, loser, and take yer little pick-pocket spawns with ya."

    Although he wanted nothing more than to pull out his blaster and threaten the man for calling his children names, Solo grabbed the twin's wrists and pulled them away from the street cart. Apparently, human nature never really changed from one generation to the next.

    "But… what about lunch?" Jacen complained. "I'm still hungry."

    "There are ration bars on the Falcon."

    "Yuck."

    "Jacen, please," Han snapped. "I can't help it. I don't have the right kind of money."

    "So when we run out of ration bars, we're going to starve?" Jaina questioned, blinking back tears. "I want to go home."

    Han stopped walking, and knelt down to face the twins. "No one is gonna starve. I have things I can sell on the Falcon that will keep us fed until I can figure out how we got here and how to get back. Trust me, I want to get home just as much as you guys do."

    "We could've tried to use the Force and make that man give us the food," Jacen said sullenly.

    "No!" Han ordered firmly. "In fact, there will be no using the Force at all while we're here. Not even a little bit."

    "Why not?"

    Han tried to figure out how to tell his twins the facts without frightening them even more. "Kids, if we're really in the past, things are a lot different, especially for beings strong in the Force, like you two are."

    "I don't understand," Jaina said.

    "You know how Uncle Luke trains everybody he finds that's strong in the Force, but only if they want to train?"

    "Yes."

    "Well, according to what I've come to understand, a long time ago kids like you didn't have a choice."

    "What do you mean, Dad?" Jacen asked, feeling his trepidation growing by the second.

    Han saw the worry in their eyes and wasn't sure if he should continue, but his kids weren't stupid. They would need to understand this time and place and be on guard. "If the Jedi found a child that was Force sensitive, they took them away to that Temple, and they never saw their family again."

    "Never, ever?" Jaina said in shock. She had always believed the Jedi were kind, good beings, but if they stole younglings from their families, that would make them anything but kind and good.

    "From what I understand, they never saw them again… ever."

    Jaina threw her arms around Han's neck. "You won't let them take us away, will you Daddy?"

    The little girl seldom called Han 'daddy' anymore, since both twins had decided on their eighth birthday they were much too old to use 'mommy' and 'daddy' and started calling their parents' 'mom' and 'dad.' The fact that Jaina was calling him 'daddy' again made Han's stomach constrict.

    "I will never let them take you away from me," Han promised, his voice hoarse and his eyes fierce. In fact, the Jedi would have to pry his children from his dead hands before he would ever allow that to happen. He pulled back, looking them both directly in their face. "Don't use the Force while we're here… promise?"

    "We promise," Jaina said, nodding as she noted her brother's agreement as well.

    "No one, not even Jedi, messes with us Solos," Jacen informed his father with more bravado than he actually felt, and was glad when his father gave him a tight hug.
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Ooh, that really does make going back in time complicated, your money doesn't buy anything. [face_worried] Naturally it's important to think of practical things first, like food ;)

    How will they get back though?
     
  5. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Thank you for reading, WarmNyota_SweetAyesha! I would think that it would be difficult to try and pass off "New Republic" credits in the Old Republic. LOL!

    _____
    Chapter Three

    Back on the Falcon, the twins watched their father as he removed a panel from the floor and jumped down into the tight space. Wearing goggles and with welder in hand, the ex-smuggler struggled to remove a side panel set against the wall of the compartment. Finally, the metal plating fell to the bottom of the compartment with a noisy clang.

    "There it is," Han said triumphantly.

    "There's what?" Jacen asked.

    Han handed up a small box to his kids, before hoisting himself up from the compartment and sitting on the floor with his feet dangling down under the floor panel. "That, kids, is my emergency fund. Only me, Chewie and your mom knows about this, and I suppose this qualifies as an emergency."

    "But you told us New Republic credits won't work here," Jaina said, chewing her fingernail and gazing at her eye-level father.

    "It's not credits," Han replied. "Don't bite your nails, 'cuz your mom don't like it when you do that."

    "You do it," Jaina said accusingly.

    "And your mom yells at me, too," Han said, grinning. He took the small box back from Jacen and opened it up. "These are fire gemstones, from the planet Dathomir. I got cases of 'em when I sold the planet back to the Singing Sister clan."

    "You owned an entire planet?" Jaina asked in surprise.

    "Well, sorta. I won the title in a sabacc game, and then I took your mom there on… a pre-wedding trip. Turned out to be a real fun trip, too, with crazy dark-side witches and Imps that wouldn't accept the fact the Emperor was dead and gone." He paused for a moment, reminiscing. "Anyway, I ended up giving the nice witches, the Singing Sisters, the deed to their planet, and they rewarded me for helping them by giving me fire gems. Your mom spent a lot of them on our wedding, and we put a lot aside for our future, too. I saved a few hidden inside the Falcon, 'cuz you never know when things like that'll come in handy."

    "Do you think food sellers will accept these?" Jacen questioned, gnawing on a ration bar while peering inside the box at the sparkling gems.

    Han shook his head. "No, I don't. But we can get Republic credits by sellin' them to a pawn shop. We won't get nearly what they're worth, but the dealers located on the lower levels will buy 'em and won't ask questions." Han removed three of the gems and placed them in his vest pocket before jumping back down and replacing the box in its hidden location.

    Once everything was safely stored they left the Falcon, securing the hatch behind them. The trio had taken no more than ten steps before a voice called out.

    "HEY! YOU THERE!"

    Sighing, Han turned to face the male Bothan hurrying in their direction. "Can I help you?"

    "I'm the Port Master, and you can't berth your ship here without payment! Fifty credits per twenty-five time parts."

    "Fine," Han grumbled. "I'll pay you later this evening."

    "No! Payment is upfront! You should have come to the office and paid me when you landed. That's the rule."

    Trying to reign in his temper, Han glared at the Bothan. "I don't have the funds at the moment, but I will in a little while. You'll get your money, pal."

    "I won't be scammed!" the Bothan screeched. "I'll call the Authorities and confiscate your ship!"

    "YOU'LL GET YOUR DAMN MONEY!" Han shouted back. It was taking every bit of his willpower not to pull his blaster and shove it in the Bothan's furry snout.

    "Daddy!" Jaina screeched out. "NOOOO! I don't want them to take you to jail! I don't want to lose our ship! Where will we go? We'll starve to death... or freeze to death!" She dropped dramatically to the ground on her back and began thrashing around with her legs while screaming at the top of her lungs.

    Han looked down, astonished at his daughter's theatrics. Then he looked back at the Bothan and said loudly, mostly so he could be heard over Jaina's yelling, "There? See what you've done? I'm going to report YOU to the Authorities for child abuse!"

    "You're a bad, bad Being!" Jacen shouted, adding to the ever increasing din. Without warning, he gave the Bothan a quick, hard kick in his ankle. "BAD BOTHAN!" The young boy threw back head and added his high-pitched shrills to the deafening racket being created by Jaina.

    "OW!" the Bothan yelled, hopping around and holding his ankle. "That hairless youngling kicked me!"

    "So you want to make my kids homeless?" Han shouted, waving his arms at the shell-shocked Port Master.

    "Should I kick him again, Dad?" Jacen asked, moving closer to the Bothan to get a good aim.

    "STOP!" the Bothan screamed in defeat. "I'll take your payment when you get back!"

    The twins immediately stopped yelling, and Jaina jumped off the floor, grabbing Han's hand and smiling up at him like an innocent angel. "I'm glad you came to see reason," Han muttered, hustling his children away from the wide-eyed Bothan.

    Once out of the hearing of the Port Master, Jacen grinned lopsidedly up at his father. "We didn't even use the Force, Dad."

    Han rubbed his forehead, feeling a headache starting to develop. "Thanks. That was so much better."

    ______

    "Stick next to me," Han ordered as they exited the lift. "These lower levels are dangerous, and you can't trust anyone."

    "There are a lot of bad beings down here," Jacen said worriedly, attempting to see through the dank and darkness surrounding them.

    "It smells bad, too," Jaina added, wrinkling up her nose in disgust.

    "I know," Han said. "Don't make eye contact with anyone, and don't talk to anyone."

    "Not even to you?" Jacen asked, smirking.

    Han shot his son a warning glare. "Don't joke around." He nodded toward a rundown store front with a flashing sign that promised 'Top Credits for Quality Merchandise', although much of the lettering was malfunctioning and the sign actually said, 'To Cre its fo Qu lity M rcha ise.' "Let's try that place."

    "Looks promising," Jaina said sarcastically.

    "Would you kids please try to stop talkin' like me?"

    "Mom says we can't help it," Jacen said. "It's half our genes."

    Han ignored Jacen's comment about his genes and pressed the button on the door, watching as it wheezed open. An elderly, blue skinned Mythrol stood behind the counter, looking a bit bored. There were no other customers in the small business.

    "Can I be of assistance?" he asked in a gravelly voice as he sized up Han and his children. "You don't appear to belong down on these levels."

    Solo approached the Mythrol, pulling out the three gemstones. "What can you give me for these?"

    The blue sentient took one of the stones, and gazed at it through a jeweler's loupe. "Selling, trading or taking a loan?"

    "Selling."

    "Interesting stone. Where'd you get it?"

    Han glared at the being. "Wedding present from an old girlfriend. She was trying to buy my love back. Didn't work."

    The Mythrol gave a quick laugh which promptly turned into a choking wheeze. "Five hundred credits. For all three."

    "FIVE hundred?!" Han spluttered out. "Are you kriffin' crazy? Those things are worth five thousand each!" He wasn't sure that was actually true in this era, but it was worth a shot.

    "Not a chance," the Mythrol responded. "You'd be lucky to get a thousand for them in an auction. This isn't a retail shop, my friend... this is a pawn shop." He waved his hand around. "I have rent. Taxes. Employees to pay."

    "Employees?" Han questioned. "I see you and some dust mites floating through the air."

    "All right. I see you drive a hard bargain. Five hundred credits per stone. I'm probably going to lose money because I will have to market them, and they will sit around taking up valuable space in my display cabinets."

    "They're small. How much space are they going to take up?" Han snapped at the being. "Eight hundred credits each, or I go find another pawn shop to deal with. There're a lot of 'em down here that'll be interested in top quality fire gems."

    The Mythrol grinned. "Eight hundred each. Deal."

    ______

    "Well, that was fun," Jacen said as they exited the shop, either two thousand and four hundred credits richer, or twelve thousand and six hundred credits poorer, depending on your point of view.

    "Dad?" Jaina said, tugging on Han's shirt. "I think someone is following us."

    Han glanced back over his shoulder. It was common practice for disreputable places to purchase valuable merchandise and then hire thugs to promptly get the credits back from the seller, so Han wasn't too surprised. "Did you see them, or are you sensing them?"

    "Sensing."

    "Jaina, I told you…"

    "Dad, the Force is not something we can just turn off, you know!" Jaina informed her father. "We need to hurry."

    Keeping his children in front of him, Han moved as quickly as possible toward the nearest lift, but they weren't quite fast enough. Before they reached their destination, three Gamorreans wielding huge axes stepped out from the shadows, blocking their way.
     
  6. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Chapter Four

    Han's reaction was instantaneous and his DL-44 was pointed at the swine-like beings as he took a fast step in front of his children to protect them before firing at the nearest Gamorrean, instantly killing the drooling, green being. That still left two angry, huge beings swinging at the Corellian with their illegal weapons, forcing Han to roll on the ground in a defensive move while shouting at the twins to move away from danger.

    "What do they want?" Jacen whispered to his sister as he drew back from the fighting.

    An ax fell, mere inches from Han's head as he fired up at his assailant, wounding the being in the shoulder. The blaster burn caused the Gamorrean to howl in pain and he dropped his ax as he clutched his arm, then he turned and ran away. However the remaining being wasn't about to back down and rushed forward to continue the attack.

    "Our credits, probably," Jaina replied, looking around for something to use as a weapon to help their father. "Look," Jaina said as she pointed. "We can use the ax that the Gamorrean dropped to help out Dad."

    "It's too heavy," Jacen argued as the last Gamorrean ax struck the ground dangerously close to Han's right side. "And besides, how can we even reach it?"

    Jaina didn't reply. She shut her eyes and pictured the vibro-ax lifting up from the floor and swinging at her father's attacker. Although the ax wasn't 'swung' with great speed, it was enough that the Gamorrean was startled and turned slightly from his attack on Han to address this unexpected threat. The brief distraction was all Han required, and his next shot took the last Gamorrean attacker out.

    Solo jumped to his feet, yelling at his twins, "Come on, hurry and get in that lift before that other one comes back with reinforcements."

    The twins quickly obeyed, and although the lift door took less than a minute to arrive, to Han it felt like forever. He quickly pressed the highest number, which would take them near, but not quite as high as their landing dock. To arrive back at the dock, they would have to locate a second lift tube which would connect them to the docking area.

    "That was a close call," Jacen said, watching the numbers light up on the panel as they passed level after level.

    "Yeah," Han mumbled. "Close."

    "Dad?" Jaina asked, her tone growing concerned. "You're hurt."

    Han bit his lower lip, glancing down at his right forearm. A deep gash showed through his sleeve, and the material was soaked red with his blood. "I've been hurt worse," he said tightly. Although, now that the adrenaline rush was over, the nasty cut from the ax was starting to hurt like all the nine hells, and maybe a few more. "I'll patch it up when we get back to the Falcon."

    Jacen forced himself to look at his father's arm. "Dad… that gash looks like it needs medical attention. It's really deep."

    "We can't go to a medical center, Jace," Han said. "They'll want to see my identification, and I can't show them my New Republic ident-chip."

    "But, you're bleeding really hard," Jaina argued, nodding toward the floor of the lift. A growing pool of blood was forming under Han's arm.

    "I'll make it, kids," Han said, trying to sound upbeat for their sake. "Can I use your belt, Jacen?"

    "Sure," the young Solo responded, hurrying to remove his belt and hand it over to Han. They watched in concern as Han tightly twisted the nerf-leather strap around his arm, directly above his elbow.

    Han nodded, even though the effort made his head swim. "There… that'll keep me from bleedin' out." He looked at the worried expressions of his twins. "Don't worry about me. Your old man is as tough as cured duracrete."

    Jaina reached over and hugged her father just as the lift doors opened, even though they weren't yet at their destination. Standing outside the door of the lift were two men, one seemed to be around forty years of age and the other was a young man, perhaps in his mid-teens. Both were wearing the brown robes of the Jedi Order and the younger man's hair had a long, thin braid trailing down his neck. They nodded politely as they entered the lift, and the younger man pressed a number a few floors below where the Solo trio intended to exit.

    The older Jedi gazed at the twins, then turned his attention to Han. "You've been injured."

    "Betcha didn't need the Force to figure that out, huh?" Han said, unable to stop his sarcasm. Or maybe it was the volume of his pain removing filters from his brain. But since Jedi were supposed to remain calm and unruffled, it probably didn't matter if he ticked them off - at least, he hoped it wouldn't matter.

    "What do you know about the Force, old man?" the younger Jedi snapped while shooting an annoyed glare at Han.

    "Who're you callin' an old man?"

    "Are you heading to the medical ward?" the older man questioned Han, shaking his head at the younger man to behave.

    "We told Dad that he should go there," Jacen replied. "But he's a stubborn Corellian. That's what our mom always says, anyway."

    This caused the older Jedi to chuckle, while the younger man laughed out loud.

    "Jacen!" Han snapped. "Don't talk to strangers." Especially these strangers…

    The older, tall Jedi crouched down in front of the twins. "Your name is Jacen?" He looked at Jaina. "And what is your name, youngling?"

    Jaina looked up at Han, her brown eyes wide and worried. "Daddy?"

    "Don't talk to 'em, honey," Han said, leaning against the back wall. He could feel beads of sweat on his forehead, and it was becoming difficult to remain upright. If he didn't get back to the Falcon very soon, he wasn't certain he'd last too much longer before he passed out. Han couldn't – he wouldn't - do that to his kids, so he ground his teeth together in sheer determination.

    Both Jaina and Jacen moved closer to Han, trying not to make eye contact with the two Jedi Knights.

    "You don't have to be frightened of us," the man said kindly. "My name is Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn, and that young man is my Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi."

    Han's eyes widened in surprise. "Kenobi? You're Obi-Wan Kenobi?"

    "Yes, I am," Obi-Wan replied, trying to be polite for Jinn's sake. "Do I know you?"

    "Not yet," Han muttered under his breath. Louder, he said, "I just heard someone talkin' about you, once. You're a lot younger than... I thought you'd be."

    "Young or not, I could take you down with my eyes closed," Obi-Wan responded snidely.

    "Kid, right now I think a pitten could take me down," Han said, grateful when the door opened, which allowed the Jedi to exit on their floor. As the two men stepped off, Han called out just as the doors slid back shut, "Don't let too much sand get between your ears, Kenobi."

    It felt good to get the last word in, especially after being called 'old.'

    ______

    Han struggled to walk toward the Falcon, allowing his two children to help him stay upright.

    "SIR!" the now familiar voice of the Bothan Port Master called out. "Do you have your docking payment, like you promised?"

    Han paused before turning to face the Port Master. "Yes, as a matter of fact, I do have it." He pulled out Republic chips and handed the Bothan four hundred credits. "Does that make you happy?"

    The Bothan grinned and handed Solo a receipt for the amount. "Thank you, Good Sir. I won't even charge you extra for my bruised ankle, which I certainly have every right to."

    "Thanks, you're a credit to your species," Han grumbled, turning to continue his struggle to make it to his ship. About three steps later, Han sank to his knees, and shut his eyes as the world seemed to tilt on its axis.

    "Daddy?" Jaina said, tugging on his vest. "Don't die!"

    "Don't say that! Dad's not gonna die," Jacen added, sniffing back his tears.

    "We certainly won't allow that to happen," Han heard the deep voice of Qui Gon Jinn saying, right before his vision finally went dark.
     
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  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] Love the snark from both Obi-Wan and Han ;) Han is absolutely in need of medical attention. [face_worried]
     
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  8. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    WarmNyota - I can imagine that when Obi-Wan was young he'd be less tolerant of Han's attitude!!
    -----

    Chapter Five

    Han was unconscious and transported by a hover-stretcher to the medical center located inside the Temple as his worried children, carefully watched by Padawan Kenobi, followed behind Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn and the medical droids.

    Once inside the Temple, the twins had been taken by Kenobi to a small bedroom with two cots and given meals, which neither child consumed since they were both far too concerned about their father's condition to feel hungry.

    "You should eat," Obi-Wan said, pointing at the untouched meals. "It's perfectly good food."

    "We're not hungry," Jaina replied, her mind in a whirl. Would they ever see their father again? Was he dead? No, she decided, glancing over at her brother. Jaina was certain they would have felt their father's death. He was alive, but maybe the Jedi were holding him as their prisoner. Maybe they were all now prisoners. She could tell Jacen was having the same thoughts and worries.

    "We want to see our Dad," Jacen demanded, standing up from his chair and pointing a finger at the young Jedi, in much the same manner that Han often pointed when he was stressed or annoyed. "Kidnapping is probably against the law. Or it should be if it's not, anyway."

    Obi-Wan rolled his eyes. "No one's being kidnapped. Your father lost a lot of blood, and he's been taken into surgery to fix his arm.. Then he'll be placed in a bacta tank for a day or two. You can see him after he's out of the tank, okay?"

    "NO!" Jaina yelled, also leaping up from her seat. "How do we know you're not lying? We want to see our dad right now!"

    Just then, Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn entered the room, smiling at the twins. "Padawan Obi-Wan isn't lying, younglings. Your father's surgery went well, The ax did more than just cut him, it shattered the radius bone in his forearm." Seeing their frightened expressions, Jinn quickly continued, "He's going to be fine. The surgery went well, and he needed transfusions for his blood loss, but everything will be okay. I promise."

    "So why can't we see him?" Jacen asked, a bit more intimidated by Jinn than he was by Kenobi.

    "He's being transfered to the bacta tank, and he's being kept sedated until he's taken out of the bacta," Jinn explained. "Again, let me reassure you that he'll be fine, but he won't know you're there, and I don't believe seeing your unconscious father in a bacta tank is appropriate. I'm glad we got him to a medical clinic quickly, though, or things could have turned out much worse for him,"

    "Does he still have his arm?" Jaina asked as another terrible thought occurred to her.

    Jinn smiled. "Yes, the surgeons repaired and saved his arm. He'll be as good as new in a few weeks."

    "Thank you."

    "You're most welcome," Jinn replied. "I do have some questions, however. Can you two have a seat?"

    Jacen and Jaina exchanged looks, but took their seats obediently. "What questions?" Jacen asked.

    The Jedi Master pulled out an ID chip, and showed it to the twins. "This is your father's Ident chip. It states his name is Han Solo."

    "Yes," Jaina said slowly. "That's his name."

    "He's considered an inactive, yet on-call General? From a place called the New Republic?"

    Jacen cleared his throat. "He's in more like a Special Op. When Mom needs someone to do an important mission that's classified, he's the one that usually goes on that assignment. Mom doesn't trust just anyone, you know."

    "Jacen!" Jaina snapped at her brother. "You can't tell these things to people we don't know!"

    "But he's seen Dad's ID chip! He already knows!"

    "May I ask what this New Republic is and where it's located?" the Jedi Master asked.

    "We're not, um..." Jaina said, biting her nail again, then stopped when she remembered what her father had told her earlier in the day.

    "From here," Jacen added. "We're from the future."

    "They claim to be from the future?" Obi-Wan repeated, looking in disbelief at Qui Gon Jinn. "Are they actually being serious?"

    "We're not lying!"

    "I surmised that from the date-stamp on your father's ID chip," Jinn said, then looked at his Padawan. "Whatever happened here, the Force is telling me these people are not from our time."

    "How far in the future?" Obi-Wan asked his Master, his voice betraying a bit of awe.

    "According the Solo's Ident Chip, approximately fifty years." Jinn looked back at the twins. "I've also sensed that you two are very strong in the Force."

    Once again, Jaina jumped out of her seat. "You're NOT stealing us! Dad won't let you take us away from him, and we're not going to stay here! We'll break out and find our dad and rescue him from your dungeon!"

    Obi-Wan burst into laughter. "Did your father tell you we have a dungeon where we keep beings?"

    "No," Jaina said, her lips thinning. "But Dad said Jedi in the Old Order took Force-sensitive children from their parents, and the children never saw them again. Was he lying to us about that?"

    "No, he wasn't," Jinn said. "But taking away Force-sensitive younglings is for everyone's benefit."

    "How is that possible?" Jacen practically shouted. "How is not seeing your mom and dad and everyone else that loves you a good thing? Uncle Luke would never do that! He trains us, and we get to live with our mom and dad and our little brother! And Uncle Luke trains lots and lots of other Force-sensitives and THEY get to live with their families, too!"

    "Then your uncle is a stupid fool!" Obi-Wan responded hotly. "What kind of Jedi trains multiple Padawans and allows them to have family attachments?"

    "WHAT KIND OF JEDI STEALS YOUNGLINGS FROM THEIR FAMILIES?" Jacen yelled. "You're no better than a SITH!"

    "WHO ARE YOU CALLING A SITH?! HOW DARE YOU!" Obi-Wan shouted back, moments before Jaina picked up her bowl of food and threw it in the Padawan's face. Gravy, vegetables and chucks of meat splattered on the wall and dripped from a stunned Obi-Wan's face to the floor. He turned around in shock to look at Qui Gon Jinn, who promptly burst into laughter at the scene. "This... this isn't funny!" Obi-Wan spluttered out indignantly.

    "You called Uncle Luke a stupid fool," Jaina said with a sniff. "You deserved it."

    Qui Gon wiped the tears of mirth from his eyes and attempted to look stern. "You said your father works as a Special Op for your mother? What role does she play in the New Republic?"

    "Mom's the Chief of State," Jacen replied, glancing over at Obi-Wan who was trying to clean the stew from his face. "She's in charge of everyone."

    "And who is your Uncle Luke related to - your Mom, the Supreme Ruler of the New Republic, or your Dad, the unemployed snarky Corellian who obviously must answer to your mom?" Obi-Wan questioned, warily eyeing the remaining bowl of stew. He glared at Qui Gon and said, "These two would make terrible Jedi Padawans."

    "We don't need you to train us," Jacen snapped back, not bothering to answer Obi-Wan's question about Luke. "All we need to do is find a way back to our own time, and leave everyone here to make a ton of mistakes that Dad, Mom and Uncle Luke have to fix up in the future because of the mess you make."

    "I don't make mistakes!" Kenobi said hotly.

    "Sure you don't" Jacen returned sarcastically. Mentally, he thought his dad would be proud of both his children for standing up to these Jedi.

    Obi-Wan was inclined to keep arguing, but Qui Gon put his hand on the younger man's shoulder. "Let's remember they're only eight, Obi-Wan, so let's try and act like the adults. We need to discuss this problem with the Council and especially with Master Yoda." He turned to the twins. "Have a nice night. I will keep you posted on your father's condition, and try not to worry about him."

    The two Jedi left the room, and the door clicked shut behind them. Immediately Jaina pressed the 'open' button, to no avail.

    "We're locked in."

    "We're prisoners," Jacen said morosely. "Do you think they're telling us the truth and they'll let Dad live?"

    Jaina sighed. "I'm pretty sure Jedi only kill in self defense."

    "What if they think Dad's a threat to them? Or that they need to get rid of him in order to keep us prisoners forever?"

    "I don't know," Jaina admitted. "I didn't sense they were lying, unless they're really good at it and I can't tell."

    "Kenobi called Uncle Luke a stupid fool."

    "I know." She smirked. "He paid for it, though."

    "We have to escape and save Dad," Jacen said firmly.

    "I agree," Jaina said. "Let's get some rest and come up with a plan. If Dad's really in a bacta tank, we won't be able to rescue him right now, anyway."

    "As soon as he's out, then."

    "Yes," Jaina agreed. "As soon as Dad's out of the tank, we'll rescue him and get back to the Falcon."

    "Do you think they'll try to find us once we run away?" Jacen questioned his sister.

    "I don't know. Probably. But we'll get away, because we always get away."

    Jacen smiled. "That's because we're Solos, and not even a whole building full of mean old Jedi can beat us Solos."
     
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  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] OH that was rich! =D= The discussion about the old and new way of doing things with Force sensitive younglings. I do think Jaina and Jacen will need help finding a way "back" to the future. [face_mischief]
     
  10. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    WarmNyota - The Old Order Jedi wouldn't know what to do with a Force-sensitive with Solo genes!

    ______

    Chapter Six

    It took a few moments for Han's eyes to obey his brain as he slowly woke up. He knew immediately he was in some type of a medical clinic, and by the general smell and taste in his mouth, he'd been in a bacta tank although he couldn't recall where or why. Licking his dry tongue across his lips, he turned his head to look up at a vaguely familiar face. It was obvious the man was a Jedi and Han tried, unsuccessfully, to connect this tall, older man with one of Luke's students.

    "Where am I?" Han asked, his voice rough from lack of use.

    The Jedi gave a slight smile. "You're in the medical clinic located within the Jedi Temple, General Solo."

    "You look familiar," Han said. "Can't recall your name. Sorry."

    "Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn at your service," Jinn responded. "You were badly hurt after Gamorreans attacked you on the lower levels, and you passed out as you were trying to return to your ship. My Padawan and I met you in the lift while you were heading back up."

    Everything came back in a rush, and Han tried to sit up. "My kids..."

    Qui Gon's hand lightly pressed Han's shoulder, forcing him to lie back down. "Jacen and Jaina are fine. We have taken good care of them, and I will bring them to you." Jinn shook his head briefly. "They've been a bit of a handful for my Padawan to deal with. They threw a bowl of food in his face and accused us of putting you in a dungeon."

    Han gave a lopsided grin at the Jedi. "That sounds like my kids, alright. How long have I been out of it?"

    "Two days," Jinn answered. "I'm sure you're aware that your children are quite strong in the Force."

    Immediately Han's expression changed from pleasant to guarded. "You ain't keepin' them here. And don't try usin' any of your Force mind control kest on me, either. It won't work."

    "I've had a long discussion with Master Jedi Yoda and the Jedi Council about your situation," Jinn said, keeping his tone pleasant. "Everyone is in agreement that you... and your children need to return to your own time. Remaining here could alter events that should not be altered."

    "So you figured out we're from the future?" Han asked, wondering if he should be surprised.

    "Your Ident chip was a big clue, and your son was quite willing to collaborate this fact. Do you have any idea how this time travel event occurred?"

    "No," Han admitted. "I was just testing some new shields by takin' my ship for a spin around the planet. The twins wanted to come along, so that's why I'm here with them. Leia must be goin' out of her mind with worry by now."

    "Leia is your wife's name?"

    "Yes."

    "Is she a Jedi?"

    "She's got the Force, but her brother hasn't spent much time with her training," Han told the Jedi. "She's kinda busy running the free galaxy and takin' care of three kids. Course, if you ask her, she says she's got four kids, 'cuz she counts me as one of 'em."

    Jinn laughed. "Is your third child Force-strong?"

    "Yeah, my youngest boy is probably the strongest of all three."

    "And you're the only one in your family without Force abilities?"

    Han sighed. "Yeah. Long time ago, I used to be a smuggler and I can tell you that sometimes dealing with Hutt crime lords was easier than dealing with an entire family of Jedi." He frowned at the man in concern. "What have my kids told you about future events?"

    "Not too much," Jinn said. "Nor have we asked. They did mention they were being trained by their Uncle, who apparently is a Jedi Master, and that their mother is the Chief of State of the New Republic." Qui Gon sighed. "Which means, of course, that this government, the current Republic, must somehow collapse and require rebuilding."

    "Understatement."

    "If you'd like, I will go get your children so they can see you are recovering and not sitting in our Jedi dungeon," Jinn said with a brief laugh.

    "Of course I want to see my kids," Han said, perking up at the suggestion.

    At that moment Obi-Wan burst into the room, his eyes wide with concern. "Master Jinn! We have a problem." He pointed at Han. "His rowdy off-spring have disappeared! I can't find them anywhere!"

    "Disappeared?" Han shouted, sitting up. Only then did he notice the plasteel cast on his right arm, with IV lines running out from under the hardened tube.

    Jinn frowned at his Padawan. "Their door was locked."

    "They took off the panel and rewired the locking mechanism," Obi-Wan grumbled as he glared at Han. "You've raised hooligans."

    "Thank you," Han said smugly, before turning to look at Jinn. "Get me my clothes. I need to go find them. Maybe they've returned to the ship."

    "That's unlikely," Qui Gon said. "They were quite insistent that they needed to rescue you from our evil clutches. I really wish you wouldn't have frightened them into believing the Jedi of your past were untrustworthy."

    "I only told 'em what I heard, and as far as I'm concerned, what I told them was the truth. You do take younglings from their families and think it's all fine and dandy 'cuz you believe you're more important than us beings that can't access your stupid Force."

    "The Force isn't stupid!" Obi-Wan yelled. "The future must be a really messed up place if people like you are allowed to keep and raise Force-sensitive younglings."

    Han would have jumped out of the bed if the attached IV line wasn't preventing him from doing so. Instead, he snarled at Kenobi, "If the future is kriffed up, you can take a good hard look in the nearest reflector and see exactly who caused it to get so kriffed up."

    "General Solo," Jinn said carefully and calmly. "We will find your children. You are in no shape to join us right now, and much of the Temple is off-limits to non-Force sensitives, anyway."

    "That would be you, snarky Corellian," Kenobi added hotly.

    "Padawan," Jinn warned with a stern look. "General Solo is our guest. We do not insult our guests." He turned a much more pleasant expression toward Han. "We will locate them, since it is highly unlikely they will have left the Temple without you. Please show us some trust and faith. We are not as wicked as you've been led to believe."

    Han sighed and ran his hand through his messy hair. "I'll give you a few time-parts, but if you can't find them real fast-like, I'm gonna start looking and I don't give a damn about your rules."

    "Thank you, General."

    "Han... call me Han. I don't much care for being called 'General.' It sorta ticks me off, in fact."

    "Seems to me a lot of things tick you off," Obi-Wan returned quickly.

    "You certainly do," Han shot back.

    Qui Gon held up his hands. "Temporary ceasefire, please. And, Han? Thank you for giving us the chance to find Jaina and Jacen. I appreciate it... we appreciate it."

    The Jedi Master pushed his Padawan out of the room before more words could be exchanged.

    ____

    "Maybe we should have waited," Jaina whispered as she hide inside a supply closet with her brother. "They might have taken us to Dad."

    "We gave them enough time," Jacen argued. "Dad's in trouble, and we need to help him."

    "I don't think he's in a dungeon, though," Jaina said. "When I concentrated, I got the impression of him being inside a medical room."

    Jacen sighed. "Last night, when I meditated on this, I got the impression of some bad lady, and Dad was being held down with binders."

    "Well, that's just weird," Jaina argued. "What did this lady look like?"

    "She was kind of pretty. Blonde, with short hair, maybe around Mom's age. It didn't seem like she belonged here."

    "Here? As in the Jedi Temple? Or in this time?"

    "Both," Jacen said. "I don't understand it, myself. But I'm worried about Dad."

    Jaina peeked out of the room. "I don't see or sense anyone nearby. Let's get going."

    _____

    A tall woman wearing a medical gown and a surgical mask covering her lower face entered Han's room. "Han Solo?"

    Han sat up, warily. "Yes. Have they found my kids?"

    "My name is Elsha Virong," she whispered, putting her finger to the mask. "We must be quiet and we must hurry if we are to rescue your children."

    Concerned, Han swung his legs over the side of the bed, tugging the hospital gown over his exposed legs. "What's happened to my kids? Are they hurt?"

    "The Jedi are lying. Your children are not in the Jedi Temple," she said. "I know where your children are being held." She hurried over to a small closet, and pulled out Han's clothing that had been cleaned from the blood. A new white shirt had replaced the heavily damaged one that he'd been brought into the hospital wearing. "You need to get dressed and come with me. We can find them before it's too late."

    Han tugged at the IV line, and the woman hurriedly assisted him in removing the tube from under the cast.. "Turn around while I get dressed, lady."

    Her eyes betrayed amusement. "I never thought you'd be modest, Captain Solo."

    For some reason, Han's internal warning system flared but he shoved the feeling aside. His children needed his help, and he wasn't going to waste time trying to decipher this woman's motives. If she was here to assist in finding his kids, he would accept her help and ask questions later.
     
  11. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Chapter Seven

    The medical clinic was located on the second floor of the Jedi Temple, so exiting the building took very little time. Han and the mystery woman encountered only a few Padawan younglings on their way out of the building. Solo was glad that his blaster and rig were in the same closet where his clothes had been stored, although it niggled at the back of his brain that is was very odd the Jedi hadn't confiscated his weapon if they had stolen his children away.

    It quickly became obvious to Han that the Jedi were far more concerned about those entering the building than those leaving, so security wasn't particularly tight. Considering most sane beings wouldn't even consider attacking a building filled with Jedi Knights, this wasn't too surprising.

    Once outside, the woman grabbed Han's left arm and pointed toward a speeder. "Over there. That's my vehicle."

    "My kids are far enough away that we have to take a speeder?"

    She nodded, pulling Han along. "We have to hurry, before they noticed you've left. If they stop us, they'll wipe our minds so you'll never remember you even had children."

    Han frowned at the woman as she took the driver's side seat. "That doesn't seem like anything the Jedi would do to someone, and I'm not defending them 'cuz I'm not exactly a big fan of them to start with."

    Elsha didn't respond. She only waited until Han was in the speeder, then lifted off and entered the busy air lanes moving between the tall buildings. After a few moments, Han said, "Are you ever gonna take off that mask?"

    The woman glanced at him, then removed the thin flimsy covering her mouth. "Am I acceptable to your eyes?"

    Solo grinned. The blonde woman was indeed quite attractive and she reminded him of someone, although he couldn't say exactly who. "I don't really care what you look like, lady. I'm happily married."

    She gave him a strange look before returning her focus to her flying. "Good for you, Captain Solo," she said tightly. "Not all of us are lucky enough to achieve that elusive goal."

    "How did you know my name, anyway?"

    The woman didn't answer for several longs seconds before she finally replied, "I've been able to disguise myself and infiltrate their Temple as a physician's intern. They don't often allow their medical center to treat non-Force sensitives, so you were an anomaly that I decided to research. The Jedi didn't exactly try to hide your identity, Solo."

    "I see," Han replied, still unable to shake off his distrust of this woman. "How do you know where they've taken my kids?"

    "I followed them," she said simply.

    ______

    The twins tried to be as quiet as possible as they made their way down the floors and toward the medical ward. Since they weren't wearing the standard garb of Jedi and Padawans, they were aware they would be noticeable and stand out among all the other younglings.

    "Only one more floor," Jaina said softly as she hurried down the emergency staircase. "Then we should be on the medical tier."

    "Why is it getting harder and harder to sense Dad?" Jacen asked in concern. "We might be too late. Someone is probably taking him to the dungeon."

    "Master Jinn told us they don't have a dungeon."

    "I don't believe him," Jacen said. "I don't trust any of them."

    "You sound just like Dad."

    "Good. I like sounding like Dad." Jacen pressed the 'open' button on the door and the hatchway slipped quietly inside the wall, revealing a hallway. But the hall wasn't empty and a small Jedi holding a walking staff stood waiting for them on the other side.

    "Disobedient, you are," the green being stated, frowning in disapproval at the twins. "Much unnecessary panic have you caused."

    _______

    The blonde woman stopped the speeder on top of a building before leading Han down a series of lifts, until they finally reached a long, empty corridor. "This way," she said, indicating they should move toward the left. "Do you see that doorway at the far end of the hallway? That's where your children are being held."

    Nothing seemed quite right about this scenario to Han. "They're in this building? Where is everyone? There are no Jedi... no guards... not even security droids."

    "They don't think it's necessary," Elsha whispered. "Your offspring are being kept drugged so they can't escape."

    "Drugged?" Han asked, stunned. Was it possible that the Jedi of the Old Republic were even worse than what he believed? Could it be that Luke was unaware of how the Jedi he revered behaved and treated beings? If they kidnapped younglings, then kept them drugged and submissive, how were they any better than the Sith? Han shook his head, confused as he followed Elsha toward the door. "If they're that evil, why did they bother to fix my arm and keep me alive?"

    "Don't you understand?" Elsha hissed in disgust. "If you had died, they wouldn't have anything left to hold over your children and make them do what they tell them to do. They planned on using you as incentive to force your children into accepting them, and then they could suck them into their cult and twist their minds, just like they do to every other youngling. That's how they control all younglings... they threaten their families with death if they don't obey."

    "Why… why are you helping me? Why do you care what happens to my children?"

    "Years ago, my sister was kidnapped into their cult, and I was too young to help her. But I can help you, Captain Solo. We can end this cult if we can free your children and expose the Jedi for what they really are – twisted and evil."

    They reached the doorway, and she pointed at the lock. "Can you rewire the door to get it open? I'd hate to have to blast it open, because I don't want to make noise and be heard."

    "I can try," Han said, frowning as he pulled the panel off the side of the door. The wiring was surprisingly simple to figure out, and it took only a moment before the door hissed open. They both hurried into the dimly lit room while Han looked around in surprise. Other than a hover-chair sitting in the center of the small room, it was entirely empty. "I think this must be the wrong room," he said, turning around to face Elsha. A blaster was pointing at his chest, and a shocked Han slowly raised his hands.

    "No, Han. This is the correct room." She smiled as she pulled the trigger.
     
  12. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Chapter Eight

    The twins sat sullenly across the cafeteria table from Master Qui Gon Jinn, Master Yoda and Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi.

    "We were just trying to see our dad," Jaina muttered defensively, frowning as she stared down at the table top.

    "Rescue our dad," Jacen corrected his sister as he glared at Master Jinn. The little green Jedi Master named Yoda made him nervous so Jacen refused to look directly at him, although he recalled Uncle Luke telling him stories about how Yoda was the Jedi Master that trained him to properly use the Force. "Dad's not close by anymore, so that just means you've taken him to your dungeon."

    "We DON'T have a dungeon!" Obi-Wan snapped. "How many times do we have to tell you that?"

    "Then why won't you take us to see him?" Jacen grumbled. "All you Jedi do is lie to us!"

    Yoda gave a weary sigh. "Dungeon, we have not. Lie, we do not."

    "Then where is he?"

    "We would have already taken you to see him but your father left the Temple, about two time parts ago," Jinn replied.

    "Escaped, he has," Yoda informed them with a solemn nod.

    "Now we KNOW you're lying to us!" Jaina screeched as she stood up, sending her chair crashing backwards. "Our daddy would NEVER, EVER leave us!"

    "It's lucky we don't have lightsabers, or we'd chop all of you into little pieces," Jacen put in dramatically. "I wish Chewie were here, 'cuz he'd pull your stupid arms right off!"

    "Temper, these two younglings have," Yoda said, looking at Qui Gon in dismay. "Training as Jedi you say they are?"

    "Jaina, please sit down," Jinn said calmly. "Let us show you a holo-vid capture of your father leaving the Temple with one of our medical interns." He reached over and handed them a data-pad, showing Han leaving with a woman wearing a medical face mask. "The woman's name is Elsha Virong, and she just started here a few days ago working as a lab tech, reading blood work and doing other types of lab work."

    Jacen regarded the video with suspicion. "You could've made a holo-vid to look like our dad was leaving with her."

    "He doesn't know her, so why would he leave with her?" Jaina questioned, her eyes narrow. "Dad loves our mom, and he wouldn't run away with someone else."

    "We're not saying he did run away with her," Jinn said. "We don't know why he left, but he did."

    "She has blonde hair," Jacen suddenly noted, looking at his twin in alarm. "Just like the lady in my Force vision last night." Panicked, he looked at Qui Gon. "Do you have a holo of this lady, so I can see her face?"

    Qui Gon nodded, taking the data-pad back and tapping some keys before handing it back to Jacen. "That's a holo of Elsha Virong."

    "That's her, Jaina…that's the bad lady that I saw had Dad in binders." He looked at the three Jedi. "You have to let us leave. We have to find our dad before this lady kills him."

    Jaina took Jacen's wrist, tugging for him to follow. "Come on, let's go… before she hides him somewhere we can't find him."

    "Now wait a Force-flecked second," Obi-Wan told the twins. "You two are way too young to go loping off all by yourselves to rescue your dad. You don't even know where she took him."

    "Agree with Padawan, I do," Yoda said. "Too young, you are. Too dangerous Coruscant is for younglings alone to travel."

    "I don't know why Dodonna complains about how Dad talks," Jacen grumbled. "He should have to listen to you for a few minutes."

    Jaina ignored her twin's insult to Yoda and addressed Jinn. "Our dad needs us."

    "Even if we don't know exactly where he is, we can use the Force to sense where he's located," Jacen informed the Jedi. "Dad might not be Force-sensitive, but he's got his own Force-signature and everyone in the family can tell when he's in trouble. Uncle Luke says that's 'cuz we love him, so his signature comes through to us loud and clear."

    Jinn smiled and nodded. "Your Uncle Luke is correct. Everyone does have a Force-signature, and the closer we are to them the stronger we feel that signature. My Padawan and I will go with you and help find your father. Then, hopefully, we can work out how you got to this era and how to get you back home."

    Obi-Wan groaned in protest. "We have to go rescue that snarky Corellian, who even admitted to us that he's an ex-smuggler? Why, Master Jinn?"

    "Because it's the right thing to do," Jinn said patiently. "We help beings that need help, and these three need our help."

    "Help them, you must," Yoda agreed, sharply poking Obi-Wan in his thigh with his stick. "Mature acting, you are not."

    "Ow," Obi-Wan yelled, taking a quick step away from Yoda. "I'm mature!"

    "Prove then to these time travelers, you must."

    "Not just your maturity," Jinn added, "but this is our chance to prove that the Jedi of the Old Order are not evil." He looked at the twins. "Let's go rescue your dad, okay?"
    _______
    The first thing Han became aware of was the renewed pain in his right arm. Whether it was because he'd re-injured his broken arm by falling down or the pain meds had worn off, Han wasn't sure, but he was in a lot of pain either way. Groaning, he opened his eyes and found himself staring at Elsha Virong, who was sitting cross-legged on the floor directly in his line of vision. He glanced over at his wrists and noted they'd been attached to the arms of the hover-chair with binders, and more binders were keeping his ankles clamped together, as well. The woman had also placed him in a black, robe-like cloth to cover his own clothing. "What's goin' on? Why in the hells did you stun me?"

    "I didn't think you'd come with me willingly, Han, my love" she said, smiling widely.

    "I ain't your love," Han snarled. "I don't even know you."

    "But you will," she said, standing up and bending close to his face. "And you will come to love me, too." She briefly placed her lips on his, until Han quickly jerked his face away. "I will make you love me… much more than you loved my sister."

    Han was completely baffled. "Your sister? The Force-strong one that the Jedi stole from your family? I don't know her!"

    Elsha laughed. "That story wasn't true, my love. My sister's name is Jessa Vandangante."

    "What?!" Han spluttered out in surprise. That was a name he hadn't heard for a long, long time, but he clearly remembered the cute blonde he'd had a few flings with in the Corporate Sector, not long before meeting Luke and Leia. Indeed, he could now see that Elsha strongly resembled Jessa.

    "I'm her younger sister, Elsha Vandangante," the woman informed Han. "Jessa really had a thing for you, Han, darling. You broke her heart when you never returned to the Corporate Sector. You broke my heart, too."

    "I didn't even know Jessa had a sister, so how could I break your heart?"

    Elsha glared at Han, obviously annoyed at Han's question before continuing her story. "My mother died less than a month after I was born, and my father, Doc… I'm sure you remember him... had to raise an infant and a toddler, all by himself."

    "So that means…"Han trailed off, his mind trying to comprehend everything she was telling him. "You're from the future, too?"

    "Yes, my love," Elsha replied, caressing his face. "I'm the one that brought you here, in fact."

    "How?" Han tried to turn his face from her fingers, but his efforts weren't very successful.

    "You know, those fancy new shields of yours, darling? They were designed by one of Doc's outlaw techs, a man by the name of Caleb Rayne. He's a rather brilliant engineer, if you must know. Although discovering time-travel when he created those wonderful shields was quite by accident. But once he discovered what they were capable of doing, he just had to figure out minor little details, like how to calibrate them to move through time to a particular era. Once he did that, all I had to do was get them sold to you and make sure they were preset to travel to this exact time."

    Han shook his head. "I don't understand."

    "I've always been in love with you, my darling. You never even looked at Jessa's little sister, did you? I was invisible to you." She pouted a bit, then continued, "But I grew up and I never forgot you... and now I have you all to myself."

    "So you sent us to the past?" Han asked, glaring in disgust at Elsha. "To kidnap me?"

    "Us? No…you were supposed to come alone. I waited to have my plant sell you those shields until after your Wookiee left for Kashyyyk, and I had no idea you'd take your children along for the test ride," she said, sounding a bit defensive. "They'll be okay, though. They can grow up with the Jedi and live happily ever after in the Temple with their own kind."

    Han's face grew red with rage. "I guess you didn't pay much attention to your history lessons. The Jedi are all murdered by the Sith in about another twenty or so years. If my kids stay here, they'll be included in that carnage."

    "But they know that history, too," Elsha said. "And because they know, they can avoid being in the wrong place and getting killed. Don't worry so much, darling. They'll be fine."

    "I'm not gonna fall in love with you. You're a crazy lady."

    Elsha laughed lightly. "Oh, I don't suppose you will fall in love with me right away, but eventually you will. We do have a little trip ahead of us, so relax and let me do all the work, my love."

    "Trip?" Han questioned, suddenly more worried than he was a few moments ago. "Where are you taking me?"

    "Naboo, my darling. I've already made financial arrangements for us to live on that beautiful planet for a few years, so you can forget about your wife and realize how much better I treat you. Unfortunately, we won't be able to enjoy the scenery on Naboo until you fall in love with me."

    "What the hells does that mean?"

    "We'll be living in a lovely apartment… under water... until then. Escape won't be possible for you once we're down below the surface of the lake." She burst into laughter at his astonished expression and then she forced a gag into Han's mouth before pulling a cowl over his face. "We mustn't have you calling out for help, can we?"

    As he felt her pushing the hover-chair from the room, Han decided he might be in a bit of trouble.
     
  13. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Chapter Nine

    Several factors worked against the twins as they struggled to get a sense of where their father was located. First, they were still very young and although they could easily sense Han when he was nearby, their skills were nowhere near the level of Luke or even their mother, who could 'feel' Han's presence even if he wasn't physically located on the same system. Secondly, Coruscant was a busy planet with billions of various life-forms all competing for their fledgling Force abilities attention. Jacen and Jaina knew their dad was in trouble; they knew he was still on Coruscant. But pinpointing exactly where was a different creature entirely.

    Jedi Qui Gon Jinn knew all of this as he gazed down in concern at the two younglings. Their fear for their father's safety and their love for their father was coming through in loud Force waves. Gently, he asked them, "Can you tell if we're getting closer?"

    "No," Jaina admitted, blinking back tears. "Dad's worried…I can tell that much."

    "And Dad's in pain," Jacen put in, biting his lower lip. "His arm is hurting real bad."

    The Jedi nodded. "His arm was badly broken. The bacta IV that was going directly into his arm to aid the bone-knitters was removed before the bone had a chance to fully heal, so it's not surprising his arm is still hurting, Jacen."

    "I'm not saying his being in pain is a good thing but if Solo's hurting, maybe that will help his younglings find him by using the Force," Obi-Wan suggested to his Master.

    "That's a possibility," Jinn admitted. "However, we need to keep in mind that although they are quite gifted, they are also very young and are far from being full Jedi Knights." The tall Jedi knelt down in front of Jaina, reaching out to take her shoulders. "Rather than trying to sense your father, maybe if you concentrate, you might get a visual impression of where he might be located."

    Both twins nodded and tried their best to focus on what Master Qui Gon was asking them. Finally Jaina said, "A spaceport dock."

    "But not he's not being taken to the Falcon," Jacen added. "I see a different ship. Bigger than our YT-1300." He frowned in concentration. "It might be a Soro Suub 3000."

    Obi-Wan looked genuinely surprised. "You can see the ship? And you know the model, too?"

    The young boy glared at Obi-Wan. "Uncle Luke might be the one teaching us how to use the Force, but Dad is the one that teaches us all about ships and stuff. We know what different ships look like."

    "Mom says as soon as we can reach the controls, Dad can teach us to fly," Jaina said rather proudly. "I'm taking a lot of vitamins so I get bigger faster. One day, I'm going to be as good a pilot as my Dad, and he's the very best, you know."

    Ob-Wan snorted. "Since he's a Corellian, I'm not in the least bit surprised he's brainwashed you into believing he's the best pilot in the galaxy. All Corellians have an inflated ego about their piloting skills, as well as one other amazing skill."

    "What amazing skill would that be?" Qui Gon asked, raising his eyebrows at his Padawan.

    Kenobi flushed. "I can't say that out loud, Master … not in front of younglings."

    "Perhaps you shouldn't think it in front of younglings, either," Jinn admonished his student.

    "Kissing?" Jaina surmised quickly and innocently. "Mom says Dad's a really good kisser."

    "YUCK!" Jacen put in, scrunching up his nose. "Kissing is disgusting!" He looked over at the Jedi Master and added, "Mom and Dad kiss all the time, and they think it's funny when I make gagging sounds whenever I catch them."

    "I don't blame you for gagging," Obi-Wan muttered under his breath.

    Jinn loudly cleared his throat. "We should contact the closest Port Masters and see if they have any Soro Suub 3000's in their docking bays."

    Obi-Wan nodded, glad to have the subject changed, then quickly started thumbing through his communication device for the nearest Port contacts. "I'm on it, Master Jinn… right on it."

    _______

    "Here we are, darling," Elsha cooed as she pushed the hover-chair up the ramp and into the waiting ship. "A nice, luxury ride all the way to Naboo."

    Once inside the ship, Han could hear the ramp being raised before the woman finally removed his hood. He was still gagged and unable to make a comment. Han looked around at his surroundings, and noted they were inside a very nice lobby area of a fairly large ship.

    "In two standard days, we will be residing in our new home," she continued gleefully. "I will cook for you, and give you nice, long hot baths while you sip expensive wine." She leered at Solo before adding, "I'll bet your uptight prude of a wife never gave you a bath you, did she? You'll really like it when I lather you up." She leaned down and whispered loudly in his ear, "I'll make you nice and soapy all over, my love."

    Han really, really wanted to make a sarcastic comment to this lunatic, frustrated at his inability to do so. He turned his head in surprise as a tall man in his early thirties entered the room.

    "Oh, darling, meet Caleb Rayne. You remember…the man that invented the time travel shields that got us here?"

    The blue-eyed man with thinning, long blond hair nodded in Han's direction. "So this is your victim?"

    "Victim?" Elsha said with a harsh laugh. "He's my lover."

    "Yeah, he looks like he loves you a whole lot," Caleb said sullenly. "When do you want to leave for Naboo?"

    "As soon as I tidy up a bit," Elsha replied. "Watch my lover for me and I'll be back in a few minutes."

    She hurried away, and Caleb casually reached over and removed Han's gag. "Enjoying your time travel vacation yet, Solo?"

    It took a few seconds for Han's mouth to moisten enough to speak. "I know she's crazier than a Hutt on spice, but why are you helping her?"

    "Elsha's not a pilot, and she certainly doesn't know how to program the time travel shields. Only I know how to do that, so she needs me."

    "Doesn't explain my question, pal."

    "I love her," Caleb said sadly. "I've always loved her, so I do whatever she asks me to do."

    Han shook his head in disbelief. "She's kidnapping me to force me to become her lover, and you're goin' along with this insanity because you love her? You gotta be as crazy as she is, Rayne."

    "You wouldn't understand!" Caleb shouted, then quickly looked back over his shoulder to where Elsha had disappeared a few moments earlier. He lowered his voice, "I'm not good looking, Solo. I'm homely, actually, and Elsha is beautiful, so why would a beautiful woman ever want me? But if I can give her what she desires, maybe someday, when she's not so young and beautiful, she'll finally see me and realize how much I've always loved her, and how hard I've tried to make her happy." He gave a sad smile. "So if her heart's desire is you, I'll help her have her heart's desire while I bide my time."

    Thinking desperately, Han told the man, "So what if you're not in the same class of looks as Elsha. It won't matter if you can show her your love, and showin' your love isn't by helping her kidnap me, Rayne."

    "I have no other way."

    "So you're willing to watch the love of your life be with another man? That don't make sense!"

    Caleb shrugged. "I'm hoping she'll soon realize Corellians are over-rated."

    Han sighed. "Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time there was a little homeless street rat that grew up and turned into a worthless Smuggler. And that worthless Smuggler fell in love with a classy, beautiful Princess. The worthless Smuggler didn't think he had a chance in all nine hells with the Princess, because she was way, way out of his league. But guess what? He didn't give up, and he didn't care if other men, men way more important than he was, pursued and wooed the Princess. The Smuggler just didn't give up, and one bright day the Princess married the Smuggler. And to this day, the Smuggler pinches himself every morning to make sure he's not dreaming, and he's not dreaming. It's real as can be, 'cuz all these years later, the Princess still loves the Smuggler."

    "How nice," a droll female voice spoke from behind Han. "Except I don't care if the Princess loves the Smuggler. The Smuggler will wake up, very soon, and realize he doesn't love the Princess - he loves someone else. Me. End of story."

    "That's what you think," Han snapped at Elsha.

    The woman ordered Caleb in a haughty tone. "Get up to the cockpit. It's time to take off."

    "Yes, Elsha," Caleb said, lowering his head and hurrying away.

    Glaring down at Han, Elsha said in a low, menacing voice, "Try that again and you'll find yourself without vocal chords." She grabbed his jaw and planted a hard kiss on his lips, digging her fingernails into his face to keep him from twisting away. Then she released her grasp as she took a step back. "Don't make me angry, my love. You'll find I have a quick temper… I'll enjoy punishing you as much as pleasuring you."

    Elsha turned to follow Caleb toward the cockpit, leaving Han to ponder his dimming chances of escape in the spacious lobby of the ship.
     
  14. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Chapter Ten

    "I found a matching ship," Kenobi said excitedly to Jinn as he concentrated, listening carefully to his com-link. "Docked on the Emulade Tower, bay 2973."

    The older Jedi nodded in approval. "That's fairly close. We should be able to get there in a quarter-part."

    "NO!" Jacen suddenly yelled, shutting his eyes tightly. "It's too late!" He pointed up toward the sky, although with all the speeders and various ships taking off and landing it was impossible to tell which ship the young boy was indicating.

    "He's gone," Jaina whispered, grasping her twin's hand as she stared up in shock at Qui Gon Jinn. "The bad lady took him away."

    Kenobi and Jinn exchanged worried looks. "Is there a possibility the ship filed a flight destination?" Obi-Wan asked his Master.

    The older man sighed. "Unlikely, especially if the woman forcibly took Solo."

    "Of course she forced Dad!" Jacen yelled. "You are crazy if you think he left us here on purpose!"

    "What are we going to do?" Jaina asked, although it didn't appear she was addressing her question toward anyone in particular. "We can't just let her steal our daddy."

    "First, we shall see if there was a flight destination filed," Jinn informed the twins, vaguely annoyed at being called crazy by Jacen. "If so, we can hope it was truthful and we will start looking at that location. I will also look into this woman's past history, and see if we can find any clues as to her true identity." He looked over at Obi-Wan. "Go to that dock and check with the Port Master and see if there is any information you can locate regarding that ship. We will meet you back at the Temple, and go over what we know up until this point."

    Obi-Wan nodded his agreement and watched as the two younglings visibly drooped in defeat. Even though these two children were annoying and more than a little disobedient, he felt badly for them. "Don't give up," he said, trying to sound more encouraging than he truly felt. "We'll figure this out, somehow."
    _______

    Several timeparts later, Obi-Wan returned with a surprising bit of news. The Soro Suub 3000, piloted by a Captain Rayne, had indeed filed a flight plan at the last second before lifting off. According to the report, their destination was the Naboo system.

    Qui Gon had also managed to obtain several security holo-vids showing Elsha Virong pushing someone in a hover-chair who was covered up with a black shawl from head to toe. Sometimes it appeared that whoever was seated in the chair tried to struggle, but then the woman stopped pushing the chair long enough to grab the covered right hand and rotate the wrist. This caused whoever was seated to give a noticeable jerk of the head and shoulders before becoming subdued for a while. Another security video showed this same woman pushing her concealed captive into a ship, which left a short time later.

    "Elsha Virong does not have any known history beyond her medical certificate from a university located on Naboo," Jinn said to the small group sitting around a conference table. "I've contacted this university to see if her certificate is authentic, but I'm certain it will take some time for us to hear back."

    The children's eyes had not left the security video. "She's hurting Dad's arm on purpose," Jaina said, chewing her fingernail and not caring anymore about her mother's rule.

    "Quite deliberate, pain it appears she is causing him," Yoda said in agreement.

    "Why?" Jacen asked, his young voice sounding desperate. "We don't even know anybody in this time! Why would this lady take our dad... and hurt him?"

    "Unknown, the reason is," Yoda replied. "Locate him, we will try."

    "Try?" Jacen shot back. "We have to find him!" He looked wildly at his sister. "Let's fly the Falcon to this Naboo planet by ourselves."

    "That's ridiculous," Ob-Wan said, rolling his eyes. "You said yourselves that your dad hasn't taught you how to fly yet."

    "We've watched him fly the Falcon enough times," Jaina argued. "We can do it."

    Qui Gon smiled gently, but shook his head. "This isn't something younglings can do alone, even smart, strong-willed younglings like you two."

    "Chewie!" Jacen shouted as another thought occurred to him. He stood up and stared at his sister. "He'd be in this time, right? If we contact him, he'll fly us to Naboo and – "

    "Didn't Master Jinn just get finished telling you that we'll go?" Kenobi interrupted hotly. "Is everyone in your family this hot-headed and reckless, or is it just Solo and his Corellian off-spring?"

    "Don't you dare insult our dad!" Jacen yelled. "It's a good thing there isn't any stew sitting around, or you'd be wearing it again!"

    Yoda sighed. "Understand not why hot-temper all humans seem to have."

    "Who or what is this Chewie you're referring to?" Qui Gon asked, ignoring Yoda's insult to humans, which seemed to include him as well.

    "Chewie is Dad's co-pilot and best friend," Jacen said. "Chewbacca. He's a Wookiee, so he's already born and grown up. Chewie would fly us to Naboo and rescue Dad, 'cause he owes Dad a life-debt besides being his friend."

    "He wouldn't owe your father a life-debt at this point in time, though, would he?" Qui Gon pointed out to the children as gently as he could. "He doesn't even know you or your father yet."

    "Go to Naboo, you must," Yoda ordered the two Jedi as he waved his stick at the twins. "Take the younglings along, you must. Remain inside the Temple, they will not."

    "That's true," Jaina said firmly. "If you don't take us along, we'll figure out a way to get to Naboo without you."

    "Fine," Qui Gon said with a defeated sigh. "You two can tag along, as long as you behave."

    Obi-Wan gave a snort. "That'll happen."
    _______

    The trip to Naboo was excruciating for Han, since the pain in his right arm was intensifying by the timepart. It didn't help that whenever he tried wiggling his binders or made some snide comment to Elsha or her insipid, wanna-be boyfriend, she was quick to grab his wrist and wrench it sideways as punishment. At least he had been allowed out of the hover-chair to use the refresher several times during the trip, although both Rayne and Elsha kept their blasters trained on him every second and Han had to shuffle slowly along since she refused to remove his leg restraints. Rayne was also ordered to accompany Han into the refresher, which didn't make either of the men very happy.

    Two days later, Rayne set the ship down next to a pretty lake, which Elsha informed him, as she was pushing the hover-chair down the ramp, was named Lake Paonga.

    "The city under the water is called Otoh Gunga," she said in a sing-song voice. "That's where all the Gungans live. Have you ever heard of Gungans?"

    Han shot a glare over his shoulder at her. "Can't say I have, lady."

    "Well, we'll take a little ride down on an underwater taxi called a bonga," she continued on like she was a happy tourist guide. "Their leader is a Gungan named Boss Nass, and since he's basically a politician I bribed him to give us a nice place to live down in their underwater city." She smiled, pleased with that her plan was working out so well. "Gungans aren't too fond of humans, but if there is one constant in life it's that money talks, you know. I think Boss Nass must like me, because he even assigned a guard to keep an eye on you so you can't escape. I haven't met him yet, but his name is Jar Jar Binks. I'm sure he must be a very competent Gungan guard, and very smart, too."

    "What about your boyfriend?" Han groused, looking over at Rayne, who was tagging behind them, frowning at the lake. "Is he comin' down there, too?"

    "Oh, Caleb hates water," Elsha said with a laugh. "He'll stay in Theed, and live on the ship until we need him to help move us into a new home, after you fall in love with me. Then he can go back to the Corporate Sector while we remain on Naboo and have lots and lots of babies." She grinned over at Caleb. "Isn't that right, Caleb?"

    "Yeah, right," he said grimly. "Wait here, then go back to the Corporate Sector. That's my plan."

    "There's our ride now," Elsha said, pointing to a strange looking craft that suddenly bobbed out from the surface of the water. She leaned over and gave Han a quick kiss on his cheek. "Our new life is about to begin, darling! Aren't you looking forward to it?"

    "Every bit as much as I'm looking forward to false teeth, hearing aids and prostrate gland problems," Han muttered under his breath as he warily eyed the approaching craft.
     
  15. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Chapter Eleven

    The top hatch of the bongo sub popped open, and a strange looking creature with a huge nose and floppy ears stuck his head out. "Mesa heres! Yousa readies for yous ride?"

    "Yes, we certainly are," Elsha replied politely to the creature, totally ignoring Han's dumbfounded expression. "My name is Elsha Solo, and this is my husband, Han Solo. You would be...?"

    "Jar Jar Binks atta yous service!" the bizarre creature said cheerfully.

    "I'll need your assistance getting my husband inside the craft. You did receive the message about his terrible accident and his current, very confused mental state, correct?"

    "I ain't her husband," Han snapped at the Gungan as he loped forward to help Elsha unfastened the wrist binders from the arms of the hover-chair.

    "See what I mean?" Elsha said with a sad sigh. "The accident totally wiped out his memory of our happy marriage, and now he seems to think he's married to a princess and he's under the delusion that he's from the future, if you can believe that. My poor, poor, deranged husband."

    "Dat's vwey sads to hears," Jar Jar replied. "Yousa a nice lady, so Isa helps you an yous deranges husbanda get his memories backs, okays?"

    Elsha gave Han a triumphant look and with Caleb's added assistance, Han was pulled upright to a standing position while Elsha used his right hand for leverage as she jerked him to his feet. This made Han grunt as pain radiated up his arm and she quickly kissed him in a faked apology. "Sorry, darling. I keep forgetting how badly your poor arm still hurts from the accident."

    "Don't do anything stupid, Solo," Rayne muttered under his breath so Jar Jar couldn't overhear. "I've got a blaster trained on your back, and you're heading down under the water one way or the other. You might as well enjoy the trip awake instead of unconscious."

    The blonde woman removed the ankle shackles before forcing Han's wrists behind his back, then snapped the wrist binders together, effectively immobilizing him but not before he gasped in agony at the new, awkward position of his right arm. The pain nearly drove him to his knees, but Rayne grabbed his uninjured arm and pushed him toward the bongo craft.

    "It'll be a lot easier on you if you just accept your new life and make her happy," Rayne said quietly in his ear as he pushed the stumbling and off-balance Corellian down the sub's hatch. "I'll see you again, but only after you realize the only way you have to leave this place is if you become a nice and submissive husband."

    "That'll never happen," Han growled, allowing the Gungan to help him down the rungs that led into the strange water craft.

    Elsha quickly followed behind, still smiling. "Isn't this nice, darling? It's going to be just you and me, and pretty soon your memory of our happy life together will return. That's what the doctors all claim, anyway, and we have to believe them." She held up a satchel. "Plus, I have lots of your medicine in this bag that will help you remember, too."

    The overhead hatch sealed shut, and Jar Jar Binks nodded happily as he sat down in front of the controls. "Doesa whats I'sa can to helps nice lady's mate getsa better."

    "I'm sure you will, Jar Jar," she said. "My husband might not be too cooperative with taking his medication, so I'll appreciate any assistance you can give me."

    "You're planning on drugging me to get me to cooperate?" Han asked, eyes widening at her implication.

    "The medication is for emergency purposes, darling. If you are a very good boy and listen to me, you won't need to take it at all," she replied, winking at him.

    Han felt his heart rate increase, and turned his glare away from the insane woman to stare out of the front viewport of the bongo, watching in both dread and fascination as the craft slid down into the watery depths of the lake. After a few moments he moved slightly, shifting his body to get a better view. Although he pretended to be watching the various underwater creatures swim past, his eyes shifted down to observe Binks as his stubby fingers worked the controls. It was obvious he would need to use one of these bongos to escape, and knowing how to operate one would come in very handy.

    _______

    "Disa is yousa new homes," Jar Jar said flinging his long ears around and nearly hitting Han in the face. "Yousa likes?"

    The ride down had been fairly uneventful, and after docking they had moved from the craft into the amazing underwater city of Otoh Gunga. Even a star jockey as jaded as Han Solo was fascinated at the huge floating orbs of light, one built right after the other and each attached by smaller globes allowing the residents access to move between each organic, glowing sphere. It was an amazing place and Han might have enjoyed the experience if not for his dire circumstances.

    Jar Jar Binks had led them through many winding 'streets' and past hundreds of Gungans, who all looked at the strange pair of humans with curiosity. It wasn't often that humans were down in their city, and it was especially odd that one human appeared to be a prisoner judging by his unkempt appearance and wrist binders. Finally they reached their destination, which was a private apartment suite, the interior obviously modified to accommodate humans instead of beings that were partially amphibian.

    "It's perfect," Elsha said, clapping her hands in glee. "I couldn't be happier." She turned to face Jar Jar. "You will make certain either you or another Gungan is constantly stationed outside our apartment? My husband is certain to try to escape, at least until his memory returns."

    "Coursa!" Jar Jar replied. "Mesa takes goods care of Hans Solos for yousa."

    "I'm certain you will," Elsha said. "I do have to go check in with Boss Nass, so I'm counting on you to watch Han until I return."

    "Wills does!"

    Elsha turned to face Han. "If you promise to behave, I will take the binders off, darling."

    "It's not like I have a choice, since I can't hold my breath long enough to reach the surface," Han said with a sneer.

    "Turn around," she ordered.

    Han sighed and moved his bound wrists in her direction. The binders fell away and he immediately felt the sharp prick of a needle in his hip. "HEY!" he jumped away, shooting her a deadly glare. "What the hells was that?"

    "Just something to make you nice and relaxed, my love," Elsha said. "It's not that I don't trust you, but ... I don't trust you."

    Han blinked as the fast acting drug took effect, therefore couldn't resist as Elsha led him to sit on a soft, pale green sofa. When she leaned over to kiss him, he discovered that he was unable to turn his face away fast enough to prevent the kiss. The pain in his constantly throbbing arm was now fading, which Han decided was a good thing and he slumped against the back of the couch, scrubbing his left hand across his face. Through his fog he listened as Elsha ordered Jar Jar Binks to guard him, which seemed so amusing to Han that he actually laughed out loud. Elsha briefly patted his head like she would a child, and then left the apartment.

    "Yousa wanna plays games? Mesa knows plenta games."

    Han forced his eyes to focus on the Gungan, who was now sitting in a chair facing him. "Game?" he managed to ask, although his tongue felt thick in his mouth.

    "Mesa knows dis game," Jar Jar said, taking out a small rubber ball from his pocket and several colorful spiked, star-like objects. "Yousa scatter des spikey thinga, an bounca dis ball, an den trys to picks up der spikes befores da ball hits back down." Han watched as the Gungan made several attempts at bouncing the ball and picking up the colorful spikes, without much success. "Mesa knows dis game, buts mesa nots so good at its," Jar Jar said sadly as he clamored around on the floor to locate the ball and several of the errant star-spikes.

    "I can see that." Han sighed, looking around the apartment and wondering how long it would take for the drug to wear off, and whether or not he'd ever be able to escape this situation. Jar Jar Binks seemed like a weak link in the crazy woman's plan to keep him captive - he just had to figure out how to exploit this creature's apparent gullibility to his advantage. The Gungan reminded Han of Threepio, in fact. Who would have believed there could possibly be another, more annoying version of Goldenrod, and that version would end up being his guard? It just didn't seem fair, Han thought morosely.

    "Yousa wanna tries?"

    "The crazy woman drugged me, Binks. I can barely keep my eyes open, much less play games involving hand-eye coordination," Han said tiredly

    "Crazy ladys? Dis besa yousa wifea?"

    Han forced himself to lean forward, looking directly at Binks in his eye-stalks. "That woman is NOT my wife. I haven't been in an accident, and my memory is just fine. She's telling everyone down here a bunch of lies to keep me as her prisoner."

    "Whys shes do dat?" Jar Jara asked, looking concerned. "Sides, yousa have badda arm. If not accidenter, den whats?"

    "I got into a fight with Gamorreans carrying axes," Han said. "And the crazy lady - who is NOT my wife - keeps re-injuring my arm when I try to escape. She wants me to be her husband, but I'm NOT her husband. If she really cared about me, do you think she would've twisted my broken arm behind my back like she did while we were topside?"

    Jar Jar looked thoughtful. "Dat wassn't vwery nice-ah of dat ladys."

    "No, it wasn't," Han said, again slumping down into the sofa. He'd barely slept for the past two days anyway, and it was becoming difficult to keep his eyes open with the sedative coursing through his veins. "If she really loved me, she wouldn't drug me... or hurt me. Think about that, Binks."

    "Isa dinks hards about dis, Hans Solos," Jar Jar said. "Isa dinks vwery vwery hardsa."

    "You do that," Han mumbled as he finally drifted off to sleep.
     
  16. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Chapter Twelve

    The Corellian Consular cruiser landed on Naboo in a space dock reserved for Jedi Knights by the Royal House of Naboo. The two Jedi and the Solo children were escorted to the residence of King Veruna, the current elected Monarch ruler of Naboo.

    Qui Gon Jinn bowed his head politely to the King, who was sitting on his throne and didn't appear overly pleased to see the Jedi Master. "Thank you for allowing us to land, and for your kind hospitality."

    "Of course," Veruna said tightly. "Jedi are always welcome on Naboo. You have requested information regarding a recent arrival of a Soro Suub 3000. There indeed has been an arrival that matches, and the pilot has requested a long-term berth. My guards will show you to its location, and offer any assistance should the pilot prove difficult."

    The Jedi Master gave a nod. "Thank you, King Veruna. However, only showing us the location will be required. I'm certain my Padawan and I will be able to handle the pilot."

    "If you insist," the King replied, his eyes moving to the twins. "Those younglings are not dressed in standard Padawan robes."

    "Jacen and Jaina are not your typical Padawan," Qui Gon said, ignoring Obi-Wan's less than discreet cough. "They are only visitors, and we are seeking their father."

    "So they are not Force sensitives, then."

    "Indeed, they are quite strong in the Force, your Highness, but their circumstances are unique."

    "I see," the King said, eyes narrowing in interest. "So their father is the pilot of the Soro Suub?"

    "Perhaps," Qui Gon responded. "We have reason to believe he may be onboard that ship."

    Still focused at the children, the King said, "I wish you success in locating your father."

    "Thank you," Jacen mumbled, turning to follow his sister and the two Jedi from the throne room. As soon as they'd left the chamber, Jacen turned to Qui Gon. "I don't trust that man. He's sneaky."

    "Do you twins trust anyone?" Obi-Wan asked, rolling his eyes.

    "We trust our Mom and Dad," Jaina said. "And Uncle Luke and Chewie."

    "Yeah," Jacen agreed. "That's about it, and maybe Lando and Wedge."

    "And General Rieekan, too," Jaina added thoughtfully. "But not that King Veruna. I'm sure that Dad wouldn't like him, either."

    "Your ex-smuggler of a father probably doesn't trust anyone," Obi-Wan muttered.

    "He sure doesn't trust you," Jacen shot back with a smirk.
    _______

    "I'm surprised to hear from you, Veruna," Magister Hego Damask II of the InterGalactic Banking Clan stated through the shimmering holo-com connection. "You certainly aren't looking for more financing this soon after the election, are you?"

    "Of course not," the King quickly reassured his financier. "But I thought you might have some interest in my visitors."

    "And who would that be?" Damask questioned, sounding a bit bored.

    "They are young, human twins. According to Jedi Master Qui Gon Jinn, they are both strong in the Force, yet for some unknown reason, the Jedi are not training them," the King said eagerly. "Certainly you must see their worth."

    "Are you very certain of this?" Damask asked, his eyes flickering to a sickly yellow hue. "I will not take kindly to having my time and effort wasted coming to Naboo."

    "I'm certain."

    "Then I shall endeavor make the trip. If you are correct, I will reward you greatly. If you are wrong, you shall find it quite regretful."
    _______


    The Soro Suub 3000 sat quietly, its ramp closed up tightly. "That's the right ship," Jacen said firmly. "But Dad's not inside."

    "He's somewhere on this planet, though," Jaina told the two Jedi. "Just not right here, in this city."

    Qui Gon nodded as he pressed the buzzer on the side of the ship. "There is a human presence inside this ship. I can sense he is quite agitated."

    "Do you think he will even lower the ramp, Master Jinn?" Obi-Wan asked.

    The older man gave a knowing smile. "He will, my Padawan." Qui Gon shut his eyes in concentration. "You will allow us entry," Jinn said softly, moving his hand in a quick motion toward the ramp. A few moments later the ramp lowered and a thin, nervous man walked down to reluctantly greet his visitors.

    "What do you want?" he demanded. "I'm busy."

    "Where is Han Solo?" Qui Gon asked without preamble.

    "I don't, don't know who…who or wh…what you're talking about."

    "LIAR!" Jacen screeched, running forward up the ramp before either Jedi could stop him. The boy stopped less than a meter in front of the man. "That's Dad's blaster and gun rig you're wearing! GIVE IT BACK RIGHT NOW!"

    Jaina ran towards the startled man as well, loudly demanding, "What have you done with our daddy?"

    "I… I don't know what any of you are talking about…."

    "Perhaps we can help refresh your memory, before it becomes necessary to have the local authorities arrest you for kidnapping," Qui Gon told the frightened man.

    The man fumbled with the blaster, attempting to make a fast draw although he only managed to drop it from his inept fingers as soon as it was free of the holster. Jacen quickly retrieved it from the ground, pointing it at the wide-eyed, fearful man. "You're the worst fast draw I've ever seen," the boy said with a Solo smirk. "Dad could've fried you into a smoking pile of ash a thousand times before you pulled a blaster."

    "And then our Mom and Uncle would have chopped whatever was left of you into little bits with their lightsabers," Jaina put in loudly. "So you'd better tell us what you did with our daddy!"

    Qui Gon walked up to the man and put his hand on his shoulder. "Why don't we go into your nice ship and have a long talk, my friend."

    "Before these younglings decide to use their father's blaster on you," Obi-Wan added.
    _______

    Otoh Gunga

    Elsha handed her sullen captive a plate of food. "I made us a nice dinner, darling. I hope you like seafood, because you'll be eating a lot of fish while we're down here."

    "Seasoned with a lot of sedatives, I'm sure," Han muttered, glaring down suspiciously at the food.

    He had been asleep for over seven hours and awakened with a pounding headache from the residue of whatever drug she had used to put him under. When he woke, Binks was gone and his captor was cooking in the kitchen, loudly humming a romantic, popular tune from fifty years in the future. Annoyed, he found that his shirt, boots and socks had been removed and only the plasteel cast covering his right arm remained on the upper portion of his body. To his dismay, the shackles had been locked back around his ankles. When Han had demanded to know where she'd put his shirt, Elsha had only laughed and said she preferred looking at him without it. The boots, she informed him, were taken off to prevent his running away, although Han wondered if she truly believed the lack of footwear would keep him from trying to escape. If so, the woman was sadly mistaken, although Han mentally had to concede the shackles would be a huge impediment.

    "Only if you seem to need it," she responded to his comment about the seasonings with a grin. "You really need a shave, my love. I know your right arm is in a lot of pain, so I'll shave you after we eat. Won't that be nice and romantic?"

    "I'm keepin' the beard."

    She stuck out her lower lip. "Why do you insist on being so contrary?"

    "Why do you insist on being so insane?"

    "I'm trying my best to be a good wife," Elsha said, suddenly bursting into tears. "Don't you realize how much I love you? I'd do anything to make you happy, my love!"

    "You can stop the act, lady, since no one's around to hear your performance," Han snapped.

    Her tears stopped immediately and her tone grew icy. "Eat your food, and then I'm shaving your beard off. Unless you'd rather have me use a belt across your bare chest as punishment for your insolence." She stood up and pulled a nerf-leather strap from a satchel. "Your choice – MY LOVE."

    Han stared in disbelief at Elsha, suddenly understanding why he wasn't wearing a shirt. Then he picked up his fork and ate the food she had placed in front of him without further comment.
     
  17. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Chapter Thirteen

    The Jedi quickly found out the man's name was Caleb Rayne, but he was very reluctant to tell them much more than his name.

    Now sitting in the man's ship, Qui Gon leaned back and folded his arms across his chest in contemplation. "You must be aware that you are in a great deal of trouble, Captain Rayne. The fact that you are in possession of Han Solo's blaster strongly implicates you in his disappearance."

    "You have no proof who used to own that moldy old blaster. I bought it on Coruscant in a pawn shop."

    "Liar," Jacen snapped. "Besides, it's not moldy."

    Jaina jumped up from her chair and pointed at the worried man. "You're very ugly. You kidnapped Dad because he's so much more handsomer than you, and you're jealous." In the back of her mind, she knew her mom wouldn't be very happy with her for calling someone bad names, and Jaina had been raised to not judge beings on their appearances. Still, this man was responsible for bringing her father to this place, so in Jaina's opinion, good manners could be thrown out the airlock.

    "That's not true!" Rayne said indignantly. "That doesn't even make any sense!"

    Obi-Wan choked back a laugh. "That reason really doesn't make sense, Jaina."

    The Jedi Master gave a quick glance over at the twins, subtly shaking his head in their direction as he continued his questioning. He needed the children to remain silent for a short amount of time while he interrogated Rayne. Addressing the man, he said, "We are very close to having you arrested for Solo's murder. You will spend the rest of your life sitting in prison."

    "MURDER?" Rayne spluttered out. "He's not dead!"

    "So you admit you brought him to Naboo?" Obi-Wan quickly inserted, sounding pleased at the man's slip. "Where is Solo now?"

    "He's… he's…."

    "He's where?" Qui Gon prodded the man.

    "He's with Elsha."

    "The blonde woman Solo was seen with leaving the Temple? Elsha Virong?"

    "Her last name is really Vandangante," Caleb told them, staring down at the floor.

    "So why did you kidnap Solo?"

    "Elsha loves him," Caleb said, flushing. "She wants him for her husband."

    "Now that doesn't make sense," Jacen loudly complained. "Dad's already married to our mom!"

    "Did Elsha pay you to assist her with this kidnapping?" Qui Gon asked the man, hoping the children wouldn't distract Rayne from his confession.

    "No."

    "Are you from the future?"

    Caleb nodded, rubbing his hands together and swallowing nervously. "Yes. I'm the one that accidentally invented the time travel device. After Elsha found out about it, she became fixated on catching Solo, so I brought her here to set up the situation on Naboo. She thought if she brought him to a time where no one knew him, she could keep him from leaving. Solo was supposed to come alone while he was testing the shields, but I don't believe that Corellian ever does what's expected." He gazed at Qui Gon in despair. "That was her plan, anyway."

    "Why did you help her if she's not paying you?"

    "I… l love her," Caleb admitted, shutting his eyes, his face awash in despair. "I'd do anything for her."

    "Extremely strange way to show your love," Obi-Wan muttered.

    "Where is Solo now?" Qui Gon asked.

    "He's with Elsha, living in an under-water city. She figured it would be next to impossible for him to escape from down there, and I was supposed to wait here until he fell in love with her, and then help them set up a happy home in Theed. I was hoping... eventually... she would come to love me, when she knew how much I was willing to do to make her happy."

    Obi-Wan looked over at Qui Gon. "Elsha doesn't sound too mentally stable." Neither does Rayne, the Jedi Master mentally thought back at his Padawan.

    Rayne gave a sad sigh. "Elsha will kill Solo before she lets him go back to the future and return to Princess Leia."
    _______

    Otoh Gunga

    Jar Jar Binks reappeared in the apartment, walked up to the sofa where Han was sitting and slapped the Corellian on his back like he was greeting a long-lost friend. "Whersa yousa crazy lady?"

    "She said she was tired and needed to get some sleep," Han replied, not bothering to add that Elsha had strongly suggested she join him in bed, a suggestion that Han had immediately rejected, aware she might use the strap on his bare back for disobedience. Fortunately, she had only told him it was a good thing she was actually tired, and later on he wouldn't be given a choice in the matter. Little did Elsha know how many times in Han's past he'd been beaten – sometimes to the point of death – for disobedience and little did she understand his resolve to remain faithful to Leia. It would take much, much more than being lashed for Han to submit to her demand.

    "Yousa wears shackle chains on yousa bottom flippers?"

    "I've already told you, Binks, this woman is holding me as her prisoner." Han pointed to his chest. "She's planning on beating me with a strap if I don't listen to her orders, an' I can tell you right now I ain't gonna be planting my flag pole in her field no matter what she does to me."

    Jar Jar looked worriedly at Han. "Mesa not seesa flag poles anywheres in dis room, so Isa not sures why shes beats yousa for not plantin' its."

    "It's an allusion, Binks."

    "All-lusion means yousa needs mesa to helps yousa?"

    Han perked up at the offer. "Will you really help me?"

    "Sures," Jar Jar nodded enthusiastically. "Mean crazys lady shoulda notsa beats yousa. How Isa helps yousa?"

    "Find me a thin, metal stick in the kitchen area," Han murmured. "These manacles are ancient, and I can probably pick the lock open."

    Nodding happily, Jar Jar nosily rummaged through various drawers, making Han cringe and look toward the bedroom door, worrying that Elsha would wake up from all the racket.

    "Dis ting works?" Jar Jar asked, holding up a pick that was probably used for skewering fish fillets while they were fried.

    "Give it to me," Han said, waving Binks to his side.

    For a few long minutes Han poked around inside the lock with the metal prong until the binders sprang open. Giving the Gungan a cocky grin, Han stood up and retrieved his shirt and boots from the opposite side of the living room. "We gotta hurry, Binks, before the crazy lady wakes up," Han said, tugging on his boots as he stood on one foot. "Can you show me where I can find one of those weird things to drive topside?"

    Jar Jar again slapped Han on his back, making Solo almost fall over since he was still standing on one leg and pulling on a boot. "Isa best bongo driver der is. Mesa takes Hans Solos back up, since yousa an' me bestest buddies."

    For a brief moment, Han had a flash back to Endor as little Ewoks hugged his knees, declaring he was now part of their tribe, when only a few time parts earlier they had nearly cooked him for dinner over an open fire. Now a strange Gungan was declaring he was Han's best buddy, shortly after being hired to guard him in his under-water prison. Life was certainly strange, but Han knew that just like the short Ewoks had been instrumental to his success in destroying the Death Star shield, this tall, lanky Gungan was important to his upcoming escape. It was past time for his famous Corellian luck to make a comeback.
     
  18. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Chapter Fourteen

    Holding the open ankle shackles, Elsha Vandangante was livid. She had paid Boss Nass a small fortune to ensure Solo would be properly guarded when she was either asleep or not in the apartment, and less than a day after arriving the man she loved had escaped, undoubtedly with the help of the traitorous Binks.

    Fuming, Elsha flung down the binders and quickly placed a com-link call to Boss Nass, demanding his immediate assistance in recapturing Solo and punishing Binks. Nass seemed as upset as Elsha over her hysterical call and quickly offered to help.

    As she left the apartment to meet up with a different Gungan guard who would hopefully be more competent and aid her in re-capturing the Corellian, Elsha glanced down at the manacles and the leather belt. Solo would pay for his disobedience. Her outrage diminished and Elsha suddenly smiled as she pondered her new options. Solo trying to escape was her opportunity. With the attempt undoubtedly doomed to fail - especially if Binks was helping his rescue - then Elsha could look forward to punishing her new lover. She could just picture it all in her mind. In a few short time parts, Solo would be very, very sorry as he begged for her forgiveness, and Elsha would be very, very happy as she demanded his total compliance.

    _______

    "Dis waysa!" Jar Jar said, pointing his stubby digit toward the left corridor. "Mesa bongos isa parks der."

    "Great," Han said, wishing he had his blaster.

    The idea of leaving his weapon behind, fifty years in the past, wasn't making Solo very happy. He was already trying to figure out his next step after he made it back to the surface. Step one would be to locate Rayne in Theed. That shouldn't be too difficult. Convincing the so-called outlaw tech genius to take him back to Coruscant might be a bit more difficult, especially without his trusty DL-44. Still, he would manage to convince the man, one way or the other. Then, in step two, it was on to rescuing his children from the Jedi Temple. The last step was taking Rayne and his kids back to the Falcon and hoping Rayne would be agreeable to putting in the correct programming for the time travel shields to make it back home. Elsha would then be on her own in the time and place she'd brought Han and his children. Maybe Rayne would find another ship, put those weird shields on his new ship and then go back in time once again to rescue his 'true love." Perhaps then Elsha would finally fall in love with the homely man, Han thought, and good luck to Rayne living with Elsha the Insane for the rest of his life if he got his heart's desire.

    "Dats wesa boat!" Jar Jar said, tugging Han to stop running and pulling Han out of his musings. Jar Jar pointed to a bongo dock.

    Han nodded, looking over his shoulder down the corridor from where they'd just come. "Move it, Binks. The crazy lady will be missing us by now, for sure."

    Binks put the proper code into the door, watching in glee as the hatch blossomed apart. "Yousa firsts, Hans Solos, mesa besta buddies."

    _______

    Topside, standing by the edge of Lake Paonga, Jacen and Jaina stared down into the deep blue waters. "Dad's down there," Jacen declared. "Now that he's close, I can really sense him better."

    Qui Gon gave a short nod, gazing over at a very unhappy Caleb Rayne. "There is a city down there called Otoh Gunga. The beings that live down there are Gungans. They aren't exactly friendly with humans, so I'm surprised they allowed Elsha to take Solo into their city."

    "We paid their leader, a Gungan by the name of Nass," Rayne muttered, kicking at the damp dirt. "We paid him a lot of Republic credits. A lot of credits."

    "Ah," Qui Gon said knowingly. "I'm not certain he will be thrilled with humans requesting a ride down to the city, especially if he suspects we are there to rescue Solo."

    "Someone will have to stay topside and guard Rayne," Obi-Wan said. "And the children shouldn't go down there, either. It's going to be dangerous."

    "We can handle danger," Jaina said confidently. "You wouldn't believe all the bad things that have happened to us already."

    "So you're saying your parents fail on a regular basis to keep you safe?" Obi-Wan asked, raising an eyebrow. "I can't say I'm too surprised. That's why Force-sensitive younglings should be removed from their birth family."

    "Bantha ****," Jacen shot back, ignoring his sister's shocked look at his language. "Are you saying you're going to keep all the younglings in the Temple safe? If you believe that, then you're in for a big surprise."

    "What does that mean?" Obi-Wan snapped. "I'm tired of all these vague hints that I'm somehow responsible for the end of the Jedi and the Republic!"

    "Stop this now!" Qui Gon said loudly, raising his hands. "We cannot know what occurs in the future!"

    "We need to hire a Gungan pilot to take us under," Obi-Wan said, deciding to obey his Jedi Master and change the subject away from whatever events happen in the future. "Should we tie up Rayne and trust the children to keep him properly guarded while we go rescue a smart-mouth smuggler?"

    "No," Jaina said, shaking her head.

    Obi-Wan sighed in exasperation. "You can't come with us!"

    "No!" Jaina repeated, much louder. "Nobody can head down there!"

    "Why not, Jaina?" Qui Gon asked gently.

    "Because Dad's already on his way up," Jacen said, giving both the Jedi a wide grin. "I knew that lady wouldn't be able to keep Dad a prisoner."

    _______
    "Wesas being follawed," Binks informed Han rather calmly.

    Han twisted around in the co-pilots seat, trying to look behind the bongo. "By another ship?"

    "Nudder ship, fer surea, but dat not alls."

    "And who else is following us?" Han prodded, getting annoyed at Binks. It certainly was easy to do, even with the Gungan helping him escape.

    "Notta whosa. Dat be a whatsa. Wesa being follawed byes a goobersfish. Ayes realla bigga goobersfish."

    "And what, may I ask, in all the Nine Hells of Corellia, is a gooberfish?"

    Jar Jar pointed out the starboard side of the bongo at a giant, wicked looking creature with enormous fangs and glowing red-orange eyes, thrashing its scaly tail as it headed in their direction. "Dats prolly da biggesta goobersfishy Isa ever seesa."

    Han swallowed. "Are they dangerous?"

    "Mesa just says dats mesa nevers dids meet goobersfish Ida inviter to is party." Jar Jar looked over at Han rather worriedly. "Hangs onsa tights whilla mesa tries to evasives dat goobersfish."

    "Well... kriff."
     
  19. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Chapter Fifteen

    Han felt his stomach drop as Binks made a quick, hard dive in an attempt to evade the giant gooberfish. Clutching the seat tightly with his good arm, he glared at the Gungan. "Warn me next time, will ya?"

    "Mesa notsa have times to warns," Jar Jar said, his already wide eyes managing to get even wider. "Nows dey shootin' atta us-ah."

    "Gooberfish can shoot?"

    "Nooosaaa... dat udder bonga shipper dats headen dis way." He pointed out the port side this time, and Han immediately saw a large, harpoon type of weapon careening in their direction. Before he could suggest another dive, Jar Jar pulled the bongo's controls up and the harpoon shot beneath their ship, missing them by less than ten meters.

    "That was close," Han gasped, sincerely wishing he was behind the controls instead of sitting in a co-pilots seat and basically doing nothing to help the situation.

    "Mesa can aska yousa to maybees fires dis heres bongos harpoon at der gooberfish?" Jar Jar suggested, pointing at a weapon control panel in front of Han's seat.

    "No problem," Han replied, taking the joy stick and maneuvering the torpedo tube to face the determined fish monster. Waiting until the creature was a bit closer, he fired the harpoon and it sailed away. The gooberfish twisted to avoid the impact so the harpoon only put a large gash down its side, which seemed to enrage the fish rather than making it turn tail and flee.

    "How many harpoons are in this ship's weapons hold?"

    "Threes," Jar Jar informed the Corellian. "Yousa has twos lefta, unless der lastest time someones uses dem up and notsa replaces dem."

    "Oh, great," Han muttered, trying to line up another shot on the fast moving fish "I could do this a lot better with my right hand." He tried another shot, except this time Jar Jar pushed the 'down' lever again at the exact moment Han's finger pressed the trigger, which caused the harpoon to go wide. "I TOLD you to WARN ME!"

    "Sorrees," Jar Jar said mildly. "Buts mesa nots dink wesa likes to getta harpooned by dat udder ship."

    Han then understood why Binks had jerked the controls, since he was trying to avoid not only the gooberfish but their pursuers as well.

    The other bongo moved very close to their ship - close enough, in fact, that Han could clearly see the two Gungans at the controls as well as Elsha sitting behind them in the navigator's seat

    "You would think if crazy Elsha was so in love with me she wouldn't want to skewer me, would you?" Han mused aloud, glaring through the viewport at the determined blonde.

    _______

    Elsha was furious. All she wanted to do was catch Solo, not kill him, but the two Gungans, the pilot and co-pilot, seemed intent on destroying the bongo they were following at the direction of Boss Nass.

    "LASO LUSS!" Elsha screamed out at the co-pilot, the Gungan behind the firing controls. "I told you I don't want him dead!"

    "Sorrees," Laso Luss mumbled, looking a bit sheepish. "Dat lasts ones wasa supposes to hit der gooberfish."

    "GOOBERFISH?" Elsha screeched. "WHAT IN ALL HELLS IS A GOOBERFISH? And WHY have you decided to go fishing RIGHT NOW?!"

    The Gungan pilot pointed out the window. "Wesa notsa fishings. Dat der isa gooberfish, and wesa abouts to gets eaten." Both Gungans hit the escape hatch and sprang themselves free of the bongo, leaving the human female to fend for herself as the water rushed into the cockpit.

    Shocked, Elsha turned just in time to see a giant, underwater beast , and an open maw that was filled with huge fangs.

    _______

    "Uhs ohs," Jar Jar said, shaking his head.

    "What now?"

    "Heres comes dat goobersfishy again," Jar Jar said, pointing out the viewport.

    Solo turned just in time to see the huge sea creature open its mouth and suck in the bongo containing Elsha. Han was rather surprised to see her Gungan pilots were busy swimming away from the sub and to safety. "How hungry are these gooberfish, usually?"

    "Dat shoulda fills hims righta uppa," Jar Jar said happily.

    The gooberfish dove down into the depths, taking its meal and leaving Jar Jar and Han to finish their ride topside in peace.

    _______

    "DADDY!" Jaina screamed as Han emerged from the bongo. The twins rushed forward, grabbing their father around his waist and very nearly toppling everyone off the pier and into the lake.

    Solo was thrilled and suprised to find his children safe, as well as waiting for him on Naboo. "When did you kids get here? How did you know where to find me?"

    "We followed him. " Jacen pointed over his shoulder at Rayne. Then he grinned up at his father. "And here's your blaster, too, Dad. Rayne tried to make a fast draw with it, but he's the worst fast draw that ever lived. You could beat him using your broken arm and have time left over to fix yourself a drink."

    Han smiled at Jacen's comment before taking his blaster and gun belt from his son and placing it back around his hips. But he was flummoxed at Rayne's actions, so he asked the man, "First you kidnap me and then you filed a flight plan? To the actual planet you were taking me? You're not real good at subterfuge, are you?"

    Rayne flushed, unable to meet Han's questioning gaze. "I wanted us to be found, because I didn't want you to fall in love with Elsha. Then I would never have a chance with her."

    "Uh, Rayne?" Han said slowly, wondering how he was going to break the bad news to the man about Elsha's fate.

    "I know, I know!" Rayne said hotly. "You would never have fallen in love with her! I get it, Solo! I just couldn't take the chance that you might."

    "Crazy ladys notsa in loves wit anyone, anymores," Jar Jar piped up. "Crazy ladys fishy food nows."

    It took a second for Binks proclamation to sink in, and when it did Rayne's face paled and he dropped to the ground, crying and wailing out Elsha's name in grief. When he finally stopped sobbing and sat up, Obi-Wan and Qui Gon each took an arm and pulled him to his feet.

    "It's all over, Rayne," Qui Gon told the man gently. "You need to help Solo and his children get back home, and you need to go back there, as well."

    "Why should I help them?" Rayne sniffed, wiping his face. "We can all stay here and rot forever as far as I'm concerned. If Elsha is dead, then nothing matters anymore."

    Han was about to step forward to get in the man's face and threaten him, but Qui Gon gave Solo a quick shake of his head and addressed the grief-stricken man. "Jacen and Jaina are innocent in all this. They have a mother that's waiting for them and I'm sure she must be worried sick about them. If you don't care about helping Solo, then at the least you can consider the children."

    After a few moments, Rayne nodded. "You're right, Jedi. I'll go back with you to Coruscant and set the time travel shields on Solo's dump of a ship so it will go back to the right time."

    "Hey!" Solo objected. "My ship is not a dump!"

    "After you program Solo's ship, you can take your own ship back to the future, as well," Obi-Wan added, ignoring Han's outburst. "Everything will be put back in the right time and place."

    The group headed back to the spaceport at Theed in silence. Little did they know that Rayne was already considering how he could take himself back to a time when Elsha was still alive and before she ever laid eyes on a certain, swaggering Corellian. After all, her obsession hadn't started in earnest until she watched Princess Leia marrying Solo over the Holo-Net. If he could prevent her from falling in love with Solo in the first place, then maybe he still would have a chance with her. Time travel allowed for fixing mistakes, Rayne thought to himself in sudden happiness, never pausing to consider minor details like how much older he would be than Elsha, or how very young she would still be, or even how he would be able to stop past events from reoccurring. Love was rather blinding for the homely Caleb Rayne.
     
  20. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Chapter Sixteen

    "I am not pleased. Not pleased at all." Magister Hego Damask II frowned at King Veruna. "It is a very long trip from Mygeeto, and you promised me you would have two Force-strong younglings waiting for me here."

    "It is not my fault," Veruna said, eyes wide and sounding slightly panicked. "They left only a few time-parts ago, with the Jedi and their father, as well as a pilot of the Soro-suub 3000. I tried to delay them, but the Jedi could not be swayed to remain." The King perked up at that realization. "The ship belonging to Rayne is still here in Theed. That must mean he will be returning, and then he can tell you were these younglings were taken."

    "Probably to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant," Damask replied. "I will not be able to go there."

    "Of course not," the King said. "But the Jedi were clear that these are not their Padawans. It is unlikely they were taken to the Temple. Rayne will know where you can locate them, I'm certain."

    "I will wait for a short while for this Captain Rayne to return to retrieve his ship," the disguised Sith Lord Plagueis told the King. "If he does not return shortly, you will be in quite the debt to me for wasting my time."

    _______

    Coruscant

    "There," Rayne said, frowning down at the controls as he sat in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo. "Everything is programmed into the time travel shields. Leave the planet's atmosphere, just like you did last time, then re-enter exactly where you did last time, too. As soon as you turn the shields back on when you re-enter, you should jump forward in time to precisely when you left. No one will even notice you've been gone, and everything will be the same as it was before you left."

    "'Cept my arm," Han groused, pointing to his right arm, which was still in the plasteel cast.

    Rayne flushed. "That wasn't anyone's fault but your own, Solo."

    "How'd you figure that?" Han said, miffed. "I had to get some Republic credits for berthing fees and to eat, and it sure as hells wasn't my idea to get attacked by Gamorreans!"

    The younger man stood up from the co-pilots seat, then shrugged his shoulders. "It'll heal."

    "Yeah, now that Elsha the crazy lady isn't constantly re-injuring it to punish me it'll have a chance to heal," Han responded with a glare. "You sure you don't wanna come back with us in the Falcon, Rayne?"

    "No, he can't," Qui Gon spoke up as he entered the cockpit. "It's true that Caleb must go back, but he can't leave his Soro-suub behind. A time-travel device is dangerous, and he's agreed to destroy all of them once he returns to his own time."

    "I'll destroy the ones on my ship myself, 'cuz he sure ain't gonna be allowed back onboard the Falcon," Han said stubbornly. "I barely trusted him this time."

    Rayne pushed past the Jedi Master, eager to leave the Falcon and its surly captain behind. Qui Gon smiled over toward Han. "It was nice meeting you, Captain Solo, and your children, too. They are quite the handful."

    "Yeah, well, I'm proud of 'em," Han said defiantly.

    "As well you should be. Good luck in the future, Han."

    Han only nodded, unable to wish the same good luck to Qui Gon Jinn or his Padawan. Neither Jedi knew their fate - it was best to keep it that way.

    Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi watched as Caleb Rayne exited the battered YT-1300 freighter, then turned his attention to the Solo twins. "So, your uncle Luke is a great Jedi Master?"

    "Yes, he is," Jaina said. "He's the best Jedi ever."

    The Padawan smiled at the young girl. "I wish I could meet him."

    "You will," Jacen said without thinking, then slapped his hand over his mouth, eyes wide. "Oops."

    "Is that so?" Obi-Wan asked, raising his eyebrows. "I look forward to that day." He reached down and gave both twins a hug. Somehow, despite their attitudes, he had grown rather fond of them. "Tell your father I said goodbye, and tell him I don't think he's a bad guy… considering he's an ex-smuggler and a Corellian."

    Jaina hugged Obi-Wan back enthusiastically. "We'll tell him, but I'm sure he knows. Our dad grows on everyone, once they get to know him. At least that's what our mom always says."

    He watched as the twins hurried inside the ship, waving goodbye to Qui Gon as he walked past them down the ramp. Both Jedi watched as the freighter lifted off, gracefully turning to glide away.

    _______

    Naboo

    "Remember, you must destroy this technology once you are back in your own time," Qui Gon told Rayne as the man exited the Corellian Consular cruiser to return to his own ship. "Time lines cannot be disrupted."

    "I understand," Rayne muttered. "I'll destroy it."

    Qui Gon nodded in approval. "That's good to hear. I'm putting a great deal of trust in you, Caleb."

    "I said I'll do it!" Rayne shouted. "I don't need you to keep nagging me!" He hurried down the ramp, eager to put distance between himself and those annoying Jedi.

    "Do you think he really will destroy the device, Master Jinn?" Obi-Wan asked, frowning in concern as they watched Rayne practically run toward his own docking bay.

    "I'm not certain," Jinn admitted. "But the Force is telling me Rayne won't be causing trouble in the future…or in the past anymore."

    _______

    Caleb Rayne hurried into his Soro Suub 3000, relieved to be inside his own ship. His relief was short-lived, for waiting inside was a tall, pale Muun, holding a silver tube and the stranger looked quite intimidating.

    "Who… who are you?" Rayne spluttered out, taking a step back.

    "I am Darth Plaguies, the Wise," the Muun replied. "Where are these Force-strong younglings?"

    "Who?"

    "The two human children that were traveling with you?" the Sith snapped out impatiently.

    "Oh… Solo's kids? They should be back home by now," Rayne replied, his voice sounding miffed.

    "Where is this place they call home?" the Sith asked.

    "Coruscant."

    "So they are living in the Jedi Temple after all?"

    "The Temple?" Rayne repeated in surprise. "The Temple isn't there anymore. I'm sure the kids live with their parents in the Presidential Suite. Their mom's the President, you know."

    The Sith frowned at this strange human, who was obviously quite insane since Plaguies could tell through the Force that the man actually believed what he was saying. The King of Naboo would pay dearly for wasting his time.

    Uncomfortable with the Sith's steady stare, Rayne asked, "Did Jinn send you here to make sure I'd really go back home? You Jedi are starting to annoy me."

    "Jedi annoy me, as well," Plaguies responded dryly. "If you cannot assist me, then we are finished here." Without waiting for Rayne to answer, the Sith turned and exited the ship, leaving the befuddled human behind.

    Rayne shook his head in disgust as he sat down in the pilot's chair, flipping switches to quickly leave the planet. He never noticed that Darth Plaguies was intently watching him as he lifted off, nor was he ever aware that the Muun Sith Lord was grinning as the Soro Suub 3000 blew up less than a minute after lifting off. The pieces of the ship and the remains of Rayne drifted down into the lake, and Rayne and Elsha would now spend eternity together under the pretty blue waters of Lake Paonga.

    _______

    Coruscant

    "Mommy!" Jaina cried out as the twins rushed into their apartment penthouse. "We missed you!" the girl said, throwing her arms around a surprised Leia as Jacen quickly added his own hugs around his mother.

    "It's only been two time-parts!" Leia said, startled at her daughter's joy at seeing her mother. "How could you miss me so much?"

    "It's been a whole entire week," Jacen said balefully. "Not two time-parts."

    Confused, Leia looked over as a bedraggled Han shuffled into the living room. "What in the stars happened to you?" She looked at his right arm, which was obviously set in a cast. "How...how did you break your arm?"

    "Got attacked by Gamorreans with vibro-axes," Han groaned, thudding down heavily on the sofa. "Then I got kidnapped by a crazy lady from inside the old Jedi Temple who wanted to marry me, so she took me to Naboo an' down to an underwater city then kept threatening to beat me with a belt, 'cause, ya know, that's the only sure-fire way I know to convince a guy to fall in love an' marry you, only then I escaped with the help of a clumsy Gungan an' on the way back up to the surface of Naboo we almost got speared by a harpoon but then a giant gooberfish ate the bongo with the crazy lady inside, and after that, Rayne, who was in love with the crazy lady, decided to help us get back to the future with the time travel thingy he invented."

    "If you don't want me to know how you broke your arm, just say so."

    The End
     
  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha 2 Truths 1 Lie Host star 8 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Riveting adventure with crazy Elsha and a greatbit of assistance from Jar-Jar. ;) Wow, a whole week was really 2 time-parts. I'm glad it wasn't the other way around. [face_laugh]
     
    GreatOne likes this.
  22. GreatOne

    GreatOne Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 22, 2003
    Howdy, WarmNyota! Thank you for reading! You know how time-travel messes with, um, time.... what was a week to Han and the twins only turned out to be a few hours to Leia. If it had been the other way around, Leia would have been pulling out her hair, and poor Han would have had a lot of 'splainin' to do! I appreciate your reading this! (and who would think Jar Jar would actually be helpful? LOL)
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.