Writer: Hopefulwriter Rating: G For everyone Characters: General Leia Organa Solo, Admiral Ackbar Time Frame: After the last battle SUMMARY: Admiral Ackbar has some advice for General Organa Solo after the battle. (From STAR WARS: The Force Awakens) From her vantage point she could see the battle was over - debris, ruins and bodies………… storm troopers and Resistance fighters, lay everywhere. Smoke drifted into the sky and the smell of spent weapon’s energy, and starship fuel permeated the air. Leia was familiar with all of it….thirty years of it. All the remnants of the Resistance could do was pick up the pieces, pack up and go..either to a new base or the next battle. Would it ever end?! Would the Resistance win what they had so long fought for? Leia gave a great, soul shattering sigh. They’d won this battle. Others were jubilant, celebrating a victory. No one noticed her…sitting alone. It’s not that they didn’t care…they didn’t know….yet. Leia looked up, and from a distance, scanned what rebel faces she could see and gave a wry, tired smile. Some of them were just babies when events happened that would follow her all of her life. They were young, idealistic, pumped up…thinking they could put out any weapon the New Order could construct with a water gun. She felt like that ….once….believed it was possible…gave all her energy and talents to it. As she pondered amid the cries of celebration, it came to her that that was part of the problem…. feeling she was giving so much to the cause and not enough to her husband and son…not even to herself. She’d tried so hard to instill her fervor for the Rebellion into Han and Ben..delighted when Han joined with them, putting all his skills and effort into furthering the resistance and destroying the weapons of the Empire. Then Ben…she filled him with the exploits of her brother, Luke, a Jedi, until Ben, to Leia’s joy and Han’s apprehension, said he wanted to “Be a Jedi just like Uncle Luke.” Leia thought back to when Han left. How could she explain to her son his father would no longer be around. With a forced smile she explained to the wide-eyed youngster “ Your father has gone on a special mission and will be gone for a long time.” When had that childhood pride in her son’s eyes turned to hate at his father’s prolonged absence. Then, just as Leia had thrown herself into more of the Rebellion’s effort, Ben had thrown himself into his Jedi training. And now….she’d lost Han a second time. This time forever. Ben was still alive….still out there under the influence of Snoke.. Even deeper and deeper into the Dark Side. Ben, Kylo Ren, seemed to thrive in the Dark Side….glorying in the havoc and pain he could inflict. Would he not be content until he destroyed everything she and all the others had fought and struggled for? Would he kill her too?! The thought shocked Leia. “General Organa.” Leia glanced around and saw Admiral Ackbar. “We’ve located a destination for a new base.” He stood quietly. Leia took a deep breath, and standing, said “Let’s go.” The Admiral put a hand on her shoulder. “Not yet.” He said. Leia looked up at him in surprise. “You’re not ready.” He finished. She gave him a quizzical look. “Oh, you may be ready to continue the fight, but there are things you must resolve inside yourself before you can once again give all your effort.” “What are you talking about?” She asked, tilting her head to one side as was her habit. Ackbar gave a chuckle. “We’re both thirty years older. I’ve watched you from the very first. Full of fury and determination…a great asset to the Rebellion. Many others wouldn’t have dared to confront and challenge Tarkin and Vader. To see the obliteration of your home planet. Not only surviving capture but killing your captor. Finding out you had a twin brother and that one of the very entities you were fighting against was your own father.” Leia stood quietly, listening to the Admiral detail events in her life. Ackbar seated himself on the bench and indicated for the Princess to do the same. With controlled impatience, Lea sat back down beside him. “Oh, there were good times.” The Admiral intoned, watching the pilots and soldiers in the distance. “Your marriage to General Solo. The birth of your son. But even those events were shadowed by the following years when Han left. Ackbar lifted a hand to Leia’s chin, turning her head to face him. “Han didn’t leave you and Ben….he left the Rebellion. Said it ‘wasn’t his war.’” Leia blinked as Ackbar continued, releasing her chin. “Then young Ben’s Jedi training…We really don’t understand the seduction of the Dark Side. We’ve never had to face it as Luke and Ben did. I saw you a while ago…slumping. You knew then what we have just been told. Han Solo is dead.” Leia sat motionless. “Through all these events you remained staid, determined. And you’re that way now. Ready for the next move, the next battle. But, you aren’t ready.” “How can you say that!?” “Through all of what I’ve said you never expressed grief, not one tear was shed.” Leia gave a huff. “I’m not talking about feminine tears.. but soul-sorry tears…determined tears…to continue the life long fight for freedom, not for just yourself, but for everyone. Tears are not a show of weakness, they are an honest emotion.” “I don’t cry over things.” She spat at him. “Tears don’t change anything you’ve said.” “No it doesn’t” The Admiral agreed, “but they can change you. You’re not a Stone Princess. You won’t be free…ready, until you face your own Dark Side- unspilled emotions…until you cry, release all those feelings.” Leia rose abruptly, taking steps away from the Admiral. She wouldn’t listen any more. Ackbar slowly stood, watching General Organa’s departure. He couldn’t leave her like that. “LEIA!!” He called forcefully. She stopped…still, unmoving…then ever so slowly turned around. Only then did the General see the lone, telling tear sliding silently down her cheek.