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Saga - OT Shot in the Dark (AU ROTJ: H/L, Luke, Anakin, OCs) 2/3

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Ridley Solo, Jun 21, 2018.

  1. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2010
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Thank you as always!

    Almost there...one chapter left!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX


    Luke’s fingers drummed the exam table with impatience as Too-OneBe ran yet another extensive scan on his leg. Here he was, back on the Redemption; the medical prison he had only just escaped.

    Leia hadn’t said a word since helping her brother up and getting him into the hall. She didn’t yell, berate, ask her brother why, or call any attention to them...she just got him straight back to the medical frigate and ordered Too-OneBe to take a look at him. The droid had obliged and Luke was left with nothing to do but lie still during the procedure.

    Presently Leia leaned against the nearest wall, arms crossed, brows knit. She wasn’t angry, as Luke had feared, but radiated disappointment and concern. He didn’t dare look at her. While she hadn’t said as much, she must have known something about his deception. She’d stayed in the room to watch, after all. Clearly she didn’t trust him to pass on the diagnosis. Luke’s cheeks burned at the idea.

    Finally the bone scanner retracted back into the wall, and Too-OneBe rolled over to give his assessment. Slowly the flat exam table raised back up so Luke was somewhere between lounged and vertical. When the young man made a move to get up, the droid touched his arm with a clawed hand. “Not yet, sir. Lie still one moment longer.” When Luke obeyed with a sigh, the droid began pushing several buttons on the control pad. “It is apparent you do not yet appreciate the gravity of the situation.”

    Leia lifted her head. “What’s wrong, Too-OneBe?”

    “Normally I would not allow this due to doctor-patient privilege. But given Commander Skywalker’s apparent lack of honesty....” Too-OneBe brought up a three dimensional hologram of Luke’s leg scan. Within the pale green outline were his bones, thickened in several places. “You see the areas here, here, and here?” He pointed out the three thickest portions of Luke’s tibia. “That is bony callus. It is normal in the healing process. However...” He magnified the image to show one of the thick portions, inside and out. The knitting was only half finished. “This portion should be far more solid than it is. Continued pressure on the injury has prevented the bone from regenerating as it should.”

    Leia pursed her lips. He’s been overdoing. I knew it. A glance at her brother found him avoiding her eyes.

    Here Too-OneBe turned to address Luke directly. “I have already warned you of this overuse, Commander Skywalker. Had I run a more thorough scan I would never had agreed to the removal of your cast so quickly.” He tilted his metallic head to one side, as if puzzled. “What eludes me is how you managed to deceive my human counterparts. Medic Neela Machron knows better than to clear for fitness testing with bones at this stage of healing.”

    Luke had nothing to say to this and turned away.

    Leia took his as confirmation he’d cheated his way through the assessment. “What’s his prognosis, Too-OneBe?”

    “While healing has been delayed somewhat by premature stress, it should be the same as before. With enough time the Commander will make a full recovery. However,” he added when Luke seemed hopeful, “if you continue this overuse, the chances of another fracture occurring are quite high.”

    “How high?”

    “My conservative estimate would be a seventy-five percent chance.”

    Luke’s skin tone went a little pale, and he cringed. That wouldn’t be good….

    Leia was thoughtful. “The bone callus...would that explain why his leg has been giving out?”

    The droid lifted his head, then turned to Luke with interest. “It has occurred multiple times?”

    Luke frowned at his sister, then shrugged. “Just a few.”

    “Please describe symptoms.”

    “It...just goes numb for a second and won’t hold me up. That’s all.”

    “Is there any pain?”

    “No. It doesn’t hurt.”

    Too-OneBe tapped a few more buttons and enhanced the scan yet again to an almost microscopic level. Nestled among spongy bits of healing bone were blood vessels and a long, noodle-like strands running the length of his leg, which seemed a little worn. “Ah. Yes. Nerve damage. That is unsurprising, given your unhealthy levels of activity. It results from repeated pressure on the soft tissue around the bone.”

    Luke bit his lip. “But you can fix it, right?”

    The droid paused. “Unfortunately deep nerve damage is one area in which we still have little knowledge. Rest and additional therapy is the only effective treatment. However if you follow my recommendations, it should heal. If you do not, the damage may well become permanent.”

    Permanent? Luke grimaced. “All right. What do I have to do?”

    Too-OneBe switched off the display. “Ideally, the re-application of a healing splint and full rest of the affected limb for a minimum of three days, followed by a very gradual resumption of activity. Crutches are recommended for at least ten days afterward.”

    Luke groaned, closed his eyes, and tapped the back of his head against the exam table.

    “I realize you are impatient, Commander,” said the droid, “but you were already warned of the extended recovery time.”

    “I know, but….” Luke chewed his lip. “I’m back on active duty. Is there any way I could still walk on it?”

    The surgeon seemed to pause, as if with disappointment. “Provided at least 80% of the next five days are spent resting, some light activity would be possible.” He tilted his head to the left. “Should you not inform your superiors of this?”

    Luke hunched his shoulders. “I’ve got some personal time coming. I’ll use that to rest.”

    This seemed to satisfy the droid and he nodded. “Very well. Do you have any questions?”

    Meekly Luke shook his head.

    “Too-OneBe, can we be alone for a minute?” Leia asked.

    “Certainly, Princess.” And the droid left the room.

    Luke couldn’t look at his sister as she shook her head at him. Uh-oh.

    “I had a feeling you were pushing too hard. That doesn’t surprise me. What does is the fact that you’d lie to everyone about your recovery.” Leia’s shoulders fell. “Why are you so impatient that you’d put your health at risk?”

    “I don’t have a choice,” said Luke, closing his eyes. “I have to finish my training.”

    “I know, but why now? Why not wait until you’re healed?” Leia wanted to know.

    “Because I can’t,” insisted Luke.

    “Can’t, or won’t?”

    The young Jedi sighed deeply and hung his head. “Remember when I told you I’d seen the spirit of Obi-Wan before? Well, he came to me again. He told me the Emperor is furious at the loss of Vader. He’ll be moving against us soon.” Urgently he looked Leia in the eye and took her hands. “He wants us...both of us. Nothing would please him more than to turn the Skywalkers to the Dark Side. And we can’t let him.”

    A chill shot down Leia’s spine at this knowledge. “He...knows…that we’re related?” Her stomach began to churn.

    Luke nodded. “Yes. Obi-Wan told me as much.”

    Leia’s first instinct was to shake her head. “But...no, that doesn’t make sense. How could he know? And why now? Why wouldn’t he sense it before?”

    Luke shrugged. “I’m not sure. Maybe he remembered something from the time you met him as a girl. Maybe it’s our proximity to each other. That’s probably why we had to be separated at birth. And you’ve used the Force a little now, so...” He pressed his lips together in apology.

    “So, maybe I shouldn’t use the Force.”

    “That won’t work now. He knows, and we can’t change that.”

    “Can he track us down?”

    “I don’t know. Maybe.”

    Leia’s stomach dropped and she sank into a small chair by Luke’s cot. “Now I see why you’re so anxious to leave. By staying here, we’re putting the rest of the Alliance at risk...” She closed her eyes and shuddered. Then she threw her brother a confused look. “Well, if he can track us here, why would you want me to come with you to Dagobah? Wouldn’t he be able to track us there, too?”

    The young Jedi knit his brows. “I don’t think so. Dagobah...it has kind of a weird presence in the Force. He wasn’t able to find Yoda there, even after two decades. Besides, that’s not the only reason I want you to come-”

    Leia groaned. “I know, I know. And we’ve already been through this. Even if I wanted to learn about the Force...I can’t leave. Not now. I’m sorry.”

    A long, heavy sigh gushed from Luke’s lips, and he hung his head. That was it, then. Even after telling her about the danger, she still wouldn’t change her mind. “I understand.”

    A long and painful silence passed between the twins before Leia spoke again. “I guess I can’t hold you up any longer. As soon as Too-OneBe’s cleared you to fly, you can go. I’ll extend your leave as long as I can, but...” Leia look his arm. “Luke, just promise me that you’ll take it easy. You’re not going to do any good if you re-injure your leg.”

    Luke met his sister’s eyes and nodded. “I promise. Yoda’s never taken it easy on me, but he’ll be able to sense something is up. Don’t worry. He’d never hurt me.”

    That didn’t make Leia feel any better.

    * * * * *

    If Luke’s superiors were surprised at his request for two weeks’ leave, it redoubled when Leia not only granted it, but added an extra week.

    It didn’t matter much in the long run. Luke had certainly earned it, and the main goal of the Alliance now was to regroup. Three weeks of course wasn’t enough time for Jedi training, but-

    “It’s the best I can do,” Leia apologized as she handed her brother a datapad with further details. “It won’t be any longer than a month until we can start planning the attack on Coruscant, and you’ll need time to get Rogue Squadron back together and flying as a team again.”

    Luke nodded, trying not to lean too much on his X-Wing’s ladder. It was time to go. He’d taken the prescribed three days’ rest and still wore a thin splint around his left shin. The droid surgeon’s orders were clear; no running, jumping, or strenuous exercise for the duration of his leave. Any signs of swelling, pain, or numbness brought with it the prescription of elevation and further rest. “It’s all right. Even if the only thing I manage is building a new lightsaber, that’ll help. And I’ll be keeping my promise,” he added, trying to smile.

    Leia couldn’t smile back. Her eyes were on his healing leg. “Just take it easy. Please. If you hurt yourself on Dagobah...”

    Luke let go of the ladder to take his sisters’ arm. “I’ll be fine.” His shoulders fell when he noticed Leia trying not to cry. “Hey...I’m not going to be gone forever.”

    Leia bit her lip and nodded. “I can’t help it. We’ve always been close, and finding out you’re my brother...the only family I’ve got left...” She shrugged and wiped at her eyes, irritated about the tears getting through. “Just come back, all right?”

    Luke responded by wrapping his sister in a gentle hug. “I will. I promise.” Upon pulling back he opened his mouth to leave one last offer to come along...but reconsidered. A tech behind him announced that Artoo had been loaded into the astromech socket, and Luke blew out a short breath. “Time to go.”

    The former princess nodded and backed away, still biting her lips. “Be careful,” she called as her brother mounted the ladder.

    “I will,” called Luke. He thanked the tech and pulled on his helmet. He watched out of the corner of his eye as Leia continued backing away. Her worry for him ran deep, and he felt bad that he couldn’t help. She should be coming with me, he thought, knitting his brows as the ship powered up. But she’d made her decision, and he had to respect it.

    The canopy eased down as the fighter slowly lifted into the air. Luke gripped the joystick and tried relaxing into the familiar routine of flight. His heart tugged him in the other direction and made him look down at Leia again.

    She was well out of the way of his flight path but her unease seemed to grow. Leia stood with her arms knotted and his lip clamped between her teeth. She almost looked ready to cry.

    Luke forced himself to smile and wave. He got a wave, but not a smile, in return. “May the Force be with you,” he whispered to her mind before throttling forward. His heart warmed when there was a slight nudge in return.

    It was difficult for Leia not to cry as her brother took off and disappeared out of the hangar. She watched as the tiny dot of his X-Wing made the jump to hyperspace, then was gone. Afterward she wiped her eyes and wandered back into the corridor. Why am I crying? She wondered. He’ll be back. He always comes back.

    The hard knot in her stomach disagreed. Somehow, she knew something was going to happen on Dagobah. The idea that this was yet another warning from the Force was hastily pushed aside.
     
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  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Firm directives from Too-OneBee which I'm glad Luke followed this time. Terrific sibling feels, with worrying concern from Leia about what might/will happen to Luke? [face_thinking] =D=
     
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  3. Ridley Solo

    Ridley Solo Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 27, 2010
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Oh, just you wait...just you wait... [face_devil]

    And here we are....final chapter! Don't worry too much, there's still a whole other story to post. I'll give everyone about a month to catch up, then start posting.

    Thank you so much for reading!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

    Leia’s limbs were stiff...paralyzed with some evil force that rooted her to the spot. She shivered with a deep chill as she took in the scene before her.

    She was with Luke in a large, elegantly decorated room...or at least it had been at one point. Carbon scouring marred the walls and several pieces of furniture had been upended or sliced in two...or both. A large throne sat before a window in the shape of a stylized spiderweb, with the landscape of an alien world on the other side. In the throne sat the cowled, pale visage of Emperor Palpatine. He was scowling at Luke. Neither of them seemed to notice her.

    The young Jedi was battered, bruised, and bleeding from several small wounds. His left eye was swollen shut. A thin line of blood ran from his nose and the corner of his mouth while numerous other cuts dotted his arms, legs, and torso. A deep slash laid open his right bicep, which he stood clutching with his left hand. He looked as if someone had beaten him within an inch of his life.

    Despite all this Luke stood tall and resolute, his face firm and unafraid in the presence of evil. A new lightsaber was clutched in his bionic right hand. Even that was missing chunks of synthflesh, showing off the machinery underneath.


    "It’s over." Luke smiled in satisfaction. "You've failed, Your Highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me."

    Palpatine trembled with rage. He rose to his feet and shook his head, glaring at the young Jedi. "Very well...Jedi...." He snarled and stretched out his arms toward Luke. Pure electricity shot from his fingertips.

    Luke took a step back, lifting his lightsaber to deflect the new attack. He grimaced, arms straining.

    The Emperor lowered his arms for a moment and the lightning subsided. He seemed confused.

    Luke, already panting with effort, straightened his spine with another smile. "Surprised? Why?"

    This only infuriated the Emperor more. He gave a demon-like screech and administered a hard Force-push to the young man before sending out lightning yet again, this time in a wave twice as strong.

    Luke was nearly knocked down and barely had time to lift his saber in defense. The Dark Side energy crackled around him. His weak leg wobbled, but still he held his ground. He gathered strength for his own Force push.

    Palpatine reached out with a claw-like hand and made a fist. A sickening crunch filled the air.

    Luke collapsed on the floor with a cry, his left leg useless beneath him. He held his saber in front of himself for a bare minute before it slid from his hands. The lightning resumed. He crumpled into a heap, writhing and screaming in agony. The torture continued until Luke could no longer move. He lay there, moaning, as Palpatine stood over him.

    Leia couldn’t move. She couldn’t scream. She couldn’t do anything but stand there helplessly, wanting more than anything to help her brother.

    The Sith lord cackled. "Young fool...none can defeat me. Not even your pitiful master, Yoda. Yes," he sneered, reacting to Luke's look of shock. "I know the one who trained you. I wonder...with you gone, who will keep your dear sister from me?"

    Luke inched painfully his elbows. "No...she'll never join you."

    Palpatine sent another short wave of electricity at Luke to subdue him. "Oh, but she will...she will..." He tore Luke's lightsaber from his hands. With a maddening cackle, he lifted the blade high.

    Luke, weak and bleeding, gave one last look of defiance to the Emperor and closed his eyes, echoing what Ben had done years before. He wasn’t afraid to die.

    The blade came down on Luke’s neck in a brilliant flash of blue-

    "LUKE!” A scream of utter terror tore from Leia’s throat and she lurched up in bed. It took a minute to realize she was in her quarters aboard the Liberty. A wild look around the darkened room revealed nothing amiss. The glowing chronometer on the left told her it was about two hours until the wake-up call. There was no Emperor, no lightning, no pain. Luke had left for Dagobah the previous afternoon.

    Leia’s breaths came in gasps. Every limb trembled violently, and she wrapped her arms around herself with a shudder. Her eyes ached with emotion, and she squeezed them shut. Calm down. It was just a dream...a horrible dream. It wasn’t real.

    But the deep, bone-penetrating chill was still there. The image of her brother being tortured would not leave, no matter how she willed it away. Tears she had been fighting slid down her cheeks. Her stomach twisted into a knot of fear.

    She knew this feeling all too well. It was the same cold, hard knot that had plagued her while Luke was missing on Endor. Her dreams then had been more vague, but they still involved the loss of her brother. They were connected...not only as twins but through the Force. Was this the same thing? Was that bothersome Force telling her that Luke was yet again in grave danger?

    Leia let out a shuddering breath and slid from her bed, untangling her legs from the perspiration-damp sheets and heading for the comm. Part of her felt foolish for checking in on her brother like a brooding mother bird, but she knew there was no way she would get to sleep without hearing from him. Her hands trembled as she thumbed on the comm, wiping her eyes. Once she had a fix on Luke’s frequency she pressed the call button once...twice...thrice.

    After the tenth time with no answer, Leia closed her eyes and took several deep breaths. Take it easy. He’s probably with Yoda. He might have turned it off. He might even be asleep. This reasoning didn’t keep her from trying again and again at regular intervals.

    Time passed. The musical tone announcing wake-ups for those on a diurnal schedule chimed throughout the ship, and Leia’s programmed lights switched on. The former princess pressed her lips together and sighed. “Come on, Luke. Answer...please...” She tried yet again.

    Same result.

    Leia finally switched frequencies to Luke’s X-Wing and called him there. Still nothing. So she decided to leave a message. “Luke. I...I’m sorry to bother you-” Leia frowned. How was she going to explain herself? “I know this seems foolish, but...I’m worried about you. I just can’t shake the feeling that you’re in danger somehow. Whenever you get this message, can you please let me know? I’d really appreciate it.” The foreboding silence on the other end made Leia press her lips together. “Luke? Are you there….?”

    A single beep announced the end of the message. Leia’s shoulders fell. You’ve done all you can. He’ll call back soon….

    * * * * *

    At an unspoken signal borne out of years of working together, Han and Chewbacca flipped switches and eased back on the controls that would bring them out of hyperspace. Right on cue the bluish tunnel faded, and the starlines reverted back into individual stars. The Rebel fleet loomed dead ahead.

    Han leaned back in his seat with a sigh of relief. He threw a look of gratitude to the ship and nodded.

    Chewbacca turned to his friend and rumbled an accusation of Han’s doubts they would make it back in one piece.

    It was only half serious, but still earned a frown from Han. “Was not. I knew we’d make it back all along. This old girl’s never let us down.” He smiled and gave the bulkhead a fond pat. His smile was short-lived. But she sure needs a lot of work.

    Ever since Hoth the Falcon had earned the reputation of being somewhat unreliable...and there was at least some truth to it. The ship seemed to attract trouble like a magnet. No sooner had one thing been patched than something else was damaged or just gave out. It was something of a miracle she still ran at all. Even Han had lost track of which parts were original and which were replacements. Thus far he and Chewie had managed to keep her running, but it was getting more difficult all the time. Before too much longer she’d need a complete overhaul. As those kind of funds were harder than ever to secure, they had to content themselves with three or maybe four parts at a time.

    Considering the Falcon was over sixty years old, even that was an accomplishment.

    Don’t worry, baby. We’ll fix you up, though Han wistfully as he ran a hand over a dent in the bulkhead. Then he pressed the comm. “Liberty, this is the Millennium Falcon, requesting permission to land.”

    The comm crackled. “We’ve got you on our sensors, Millennium Falcon. Permission granted. Welcome home, General.”

    Han eased toward the Calamarian cruiser. “Thanks. Good to be back.” They’d been away far too long, and Han wanted nothing better than to take some time off to get the Falcon back into shape...and of course spend time with Leia. He’d missed her more than he thought possible and couldn’t wait to hold the wonderfully feisty woman in his arms. Hold her, kiss her, and maybe find some time to be alone...really alone. He grinned.

    The former smuggler’s famous lopsided grin faded a little. Only if she’s up to it, he reminded himself. Poor Leia had been so agitated lately it was hard to tell what she did or didn’t want.

    Well, all he had to do was be patient. Whenever Leia was ready for affection, she’d let him know.

    * * * * *

    Leia’s stomach twisted in knots and she drummed her fingers on the conference table with frustration. Hours had now passed since she had tried to contact Luke. As yet there had been no reply. Now she was convinced he was in trouble and had just informed the Alliance about it.

    As one could imagine, this news was a little hard to swallow. The members exchanged looks of doubt that a nightmare could mean anything. None but Mon Mothma knew of their family ties.

    After a short while Leia pressed her lips together. “You don’t believe me.”

    Reeikan gave an apologetic shrug. “I wouldn’t say it’s impossible. You were the one to find him when he was wounded on Endor...but according to my sources you received direction from the older Skywalker beforehand. True?”

    Leia grimaced, not wanting to be reminded of her temporary connection. “Yes.”

    “You must admit, all this is a little...far-fetched,” admitted Ackbar reluctantly.

    “Skywalker is on leave. You yourself granted him an extra week of it. He’s on a planet that, as far as we know, the Empire isn’t even aware of. He’s probably safer there than anywhere he’s been in the last four years.” Madine eyed Leia, clearly fighting impatience. “Princess, with all due respect...you’re tired. A lot has happened lately. Why don’t you get some rest?”

    Before an irate Leia could raise a protest, Mon Mothma spoke up. “Yes. That is an excellent idea. Of all those who could use some time off, I believe Leia is the best candidate. In all her years of service she’s never taken leave. Not once.”

    Leia knit her brows and eyed her friend. She’s up to something. “While I thank you for your concern, now is not the time for rest.” she surveyed her comrades with a look of regret. I can’t rest until I know my brother is all right.

    Mon Mothma looked directly at her young friend. “On the contrary. I believe now is the perfect time. Why don’t you take some personal leave, just as Skywalker has done?”

    Madine, Reeikan, and Ackbar all nodded and spoke their agreement.

    Leia was confused until she caught the knowing look that Mon Mothma gave her. She’s giving me permission to go after Luke. If I don’t take this chance, I might not have another. “Very well...but not for long, and only on one condition.”

    The senator from Chandrilla gave Leia another knowing look. “I believe I can guess what that condition is. Proceed.”

    * * * * *

    “Sure you don’t want to join us, Solo?” asked the temporary flight crew as they headed for the exit. “Heard they got a shipment of Corellian Ale.”

    Han looked up from his datapad with a wistful sigh. His to-do list was far too long to go for a drink now. Besides, Leia didn’t like kissing him when his breath smelled of liquor. “Nah, wish I could. Maybe next time. You go ahead. I gotta lotta work to do.” He made a face and turned back to count the number of repairs the Falcon was going to need before she was spaceworthy again. They truly had made it back in the nick of time. Another hour and the hyperdrive might have gone out completely. This was going to have him grounded for quite some time...and that list of parts was longer than ever. Wonder how I’m gonna talk the Council into this?

    But that could come later. First he needed to see Leia. Where was she, anyway? Usually she was right there waiting for him as he landed. Now fifteen minutes had passed and she was nowhere in sight.

    Han’s brows knit. His first instinct when Leia was avoiding him was that it was something he'd done. But he’d been gone over two weeks, and she’d just been saying how much she missed him. Something didn’t add up. Hope she’s not sick, he thought with a frown.

    Chewie, already dragging out the tools, grunted and asked if Han was going to help.

    “Yeah, in a minute.” Han set the datapad on an empty crate at the foot of the ramp. “Gonna see if I can find Leia.” He was halfway to the left exit when the doors on the far right slid open and a woman in a gray flightsuit strode in beside a technician. At first glance he didn’t recognize her.

    That wasn’t unusual. Y-wing flight groups were always on the hunt for more pilots. They were old, slow, heavy ships not nearly as sleek and glamorous as A-wings or even the reliable X-Wings. Not many wanted to fly a sluggish bomber.

    But then Han noticed the tiny frame, the curves, the thick brown hair, and the stern set of the jaw. He stopped dead in his tracks and did a double-take. “What the…?” Is that...no, it couldn’t be. But Han broke into a jog anyway and followed the pair right over to Y-Wing being prepped for flight. When the woman showed her face his jaw went slack. “Leia?”

    Leia turned to the man with a strained, somewhat guilty expression. “Han...you’re back?”

    “Yeah. Where you going?”

    “At the suggestion of the Council, I...decided to take some leave.”

    Right. Han crossed his arms. “You? Leave? Like hell you are. What’s goin’ on? Why now?”

    Leia grimaced and accepted the helmet from the tech. “I have to. It’s-” She closed her eyes, loathing the words. “Luke’s in trouble.”

    While Han was apt to protest, Leia’s expression left no room for arguments. Oh no. Not again. “What?”

    Leia bit her lip. “He left for Dagobah yesterday. I’m not sure what’s going on, but...I just have this horrible feeling something is going to happen to him...that he’s in danger.” She sighed, knowing she wasn’t making any sense. “If he’s not in trouble now, he’s going to be. Soon.”

    “Y’mean...uh...you sure?” Han winced when Leia nodded. Must be that Force again. He swore. “So call him back in.”

    “I tried. He’s not answering his comm, either personal or on the ship,” explained Leia, biting her lip.

    “Yeah? How many times?” Han wanted to know.

    “I don’t know...dozens….but it’s been hours. Something is holding him up.”

    Han’s stomach dropped. The last time Luke had neglected to answer his comm he wound up with a broken leg. Not again. His heart sank further when he noticed Leia was the only one suited up. “Great. So, who you takin’ with ya?” Leia’s expression told it all. “Uh-uh. No way. You are not flying into gods know what all by yourself.”

    Leia was clearly pained at this decision. “I don’t have a choice. We can’t spare any pilots right now and taking an armada might only make things worse.”

    Han opened his mouth, ready to volunteer, but the Falcon wasn’t going anywhere. He swore. “At least take a copilot, then. Luke’s hurt, you’re gonna need help to take care of him.”

    “If Luke is hurt, he might not be able to fly,” countered Leia. “That’s why I’m taking a Y-Wing. It’s the only fighter with room for a passenger, and the only ship was can spare.”

    “But...” Han sighed. He didn’t like this at all. “C’mon. Why’s it gotta be you?” Gently he took her hand.

    “Because I can find him. I’ve done it before.” Leia squeezed his hand before releasing it. “Han...I have to go.”

    Han sagged on his heels. Further arguments would be useless. When Leia set out to do something, she did it, and Force help anyone who got in her way. Reluctantly he backed up and watched as her fighter was powered up. He wasn’t especially worried about her piloting skills -she could fly, all right, even if she didn’t choose to most days- but her safety if she ran into trouble. “Just...just...be careful, all right?”

    Leia nodded as she set her helmet in place and powered up the bomber. "I will."

    Flight crews began backing away. Han watched as the canopy closed and Leia got clearance for launch. The old bomber rose lethargically into the air and aimed straight for the exit. When Leia caught sight of Han again, she waved once.

    Han waved back, feeling as if his heart was being torn in half as the woman he loved eased out of the hangar, distanced herself from the fleet and then made the jump to hyperspace. “Be careful out there, sweetheart,” he murmured, feeling something fill his eyes. “I love you…”



    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Stay tuned for the final story in this trilogy, "The Trial of Darth Vader", due out this July!
     
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  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Ouch! That dream Leia had was just too much like, might as well call it that, a vision of the future... :eek: [face_worried] And coupled with Luke's not answering ... On the edge of my seat until the third installment, with a very gripping title. :cool: =D=
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2019
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  5. AzureAngel2

    AzureAngel2 Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 14, 2005
    I hope you write on soon. Because to leave us hanging like this is not fair. I want more.

    (But now I need to be off and take care of 1 kilogram asparagus.)
     
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  6. ThisIsMe1138

    ThisIsMe1138 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 26, 2018
    Um.... I just realized that I like didn't get the alert when you updated this and now whoops there goes whatever I was about to do it's time to read the rest of this :D:D:D:D:D
     
  7. Oddly_Salacious

    Oddly_Salacious Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Heh... I liked that.
     
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