|Lady of Shadows
Author: shieldmaiden19 PM
The last thing Leia Organa expected to experience on Cloud City was the brush of the Force. Now apparently, she's incredibly strong in it, and Darth Vader is taking a little too keen of an interest in her. Book One of my Lady of Shadows trilogy. AURated: Fiction K+ - English - Drama/Adventure - Leia O. & Darth Vader - Chapters: 22 - Words: 34,458 - Reviews: 125 - Favs: 46 - Follows: 49 - Updated: 06-24-12 - Published: 08-18-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7299829
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Han is gone. Those were Luke's words. It is impossible to put into words what I felt at that little phrase. Immediately, I began pelting him with questions:
What are you talking about? Where are you? What happened?
Whoa, whoa, whoa, Leia, slow down. I'm getting there! I'm on Tatooine right now. I've just paid a visit to Jabba's palace – Jabba is dead, the place is like riot scene, and an important 'decoration' (I could feel his anger and distaste at that word) is missing.
Han? I asked.
Yes, Han. I opened the mind of one of the lowlife bottom dwellers at the palace to see what he remembered, but the images were so blurred by spice, I'm not quite sure what I saw. What I think happened was this: a strange woman walked into the palace uncontested, put the inhabitants of the throne room in some sort of haze, pulled out a blaster, and shot Jabba point-blank. The haze must have been incredibly powerful, for he didn't remember anyone reacting either at her shooting Jabba or her going over and removing Han from the wall. Then she just walked out. No one has seen her since. Leia, she has to be a Force user to be able to put people into such a weak state! What are we going to do?
I uttered a vicious Corellian curse Han himself had unwittingly taught me. Han was gone. What in the nine Corellian hells were we going to do? The mystery woman would have to be the first place to look: find her and we could find Han. Can you send me the image of this woman? I asked Luke.
He didn't respond, instead filling my mind with a face: a fine-boned face with a small nose, full lips, and gentle cheekbones, framed by vividly red hair. But her most striking characteristic were her eyes – long-lashed green orbs that shone with a malevolent darkness. I had never seen her before, but I knew with the certainty of the Force that I would be seeing her again. I'll start looking I said to him.
Luke gave the mental equivalent of clearing his throat before saying Leia? I know this will be hard for you, but could you ask my...Darth Vader if he'll help? He seemed suddenly afraid, rushing to provide excuses for asking such a terrible thing of me: He has his own intelligence network, he has endless credits at his disposal, and he knows how to search for a Force-user. Leia, he could really speed things up. He –
I cut him off gently. Luke, he's my father too.
He stopped in shock, then an eruption of joy shot from him across our bond and hit me in the chest, showering me in his love. Somehow, I already knew he said after he got himself under control. I smiled – after all those years apart, we were together again.
I'll ask him I promised.
Both of us hung on, dreading the moment when we would have to separate, and we would be alone once again. Love you Luke and I said together, then swiftly cut the bond at the same time. I gasped and fell to my knees. Cold...so cold...alone...all alone. Being cut off from him hurt me so much, I was shaking. I don't know how long I lay there, unable to do anything, before I struggled to my feet and stumbled off to my master-father's office.
I must have looked terrible when I stumbled into the room, for my master-father immediately began exuding concern. He quickly helped me into a chair and gave me a stern command to rest before trying to tell him anything. I sat there, gasping, trying to regain control of myself. Finally, after a long period of simply trying to warm myself, I was able to stutter out that Luke had made contact with me through the Force. My father-master's reaction was nothing short of stunned. I knew he had questions, but I knew that once I stopped talking, I wouldn't be able to stop; I plowed on with Luke's story. When he heard about the red-headed woman, an almost audible 'click' echoed through his mind. He began to pace. When I showed him the image that Luke had given to me, he went to his desk and pulled out a simple black box – the box I had won when I made it through Jix's maze that first time. He wrapped a blanket around my shoulders and told me to carry the box and follow him. With that, he strode out the door. I hurried to catch up. As we walked through Raze – toward the hangar, I noted – my father-master barked an order into his comlink to have his shuttle ready. Soon, I could stand it no more:
"Who is this woman?" I asked him. "What's going on here?"
Without breaking stride, he said, "The woman you saw is known as Mara Jade, among other things. She is a professional assassin, at age twenty, no less. She is the best of the best, but unlike most assassins, she only serves one master." With a sinking feeling, I knew what was to come next. "The Emperor."
A flurry of emotions began to smother me. "What are we going to do?" I asked my father.
"Move quickly," he said and broke into a run. Without another word, I followed him.
Hi everybody! The next chapter cometh in the dark of night... :D
Thank you so much to all of you who submitted reviews!