Title: Unforgiven

Author: Darth Tim

Summary: Following the defeat of the Rebels at Yavin, a small band

of soldiers, led by a tactically brilliant woman with a mysterious

past, continues the fight. A revelation from Lord Vader's past will

change the fate of the Galaxy - forever.

A/N: I know I had this story on here for awhile, and then it died.but perhaps it's fitting, since this story features a character called "the Phoenix," that it should rise again from the ashes. Over time I've decided to rework major elements of the story and here is the beginning of the rewritten version.

A/N #2: Speculation regarding events in Episodes 2/3 are connected with my own version of that timeline, (Duel of the Fates and upcoming sequel) currently being written, rather than with AOTC.

A/N #3: Oh - this is dark, and angsty. If you want happily-ever after, run - NOW! If you want a story about tragedy, remorse, regret, and redemption, then by all means stay and feel free to drop me some feedback.

You have been warned.

Disclaimer: I'm not the bearded guy with the flannel, George Lucas,

who owns this stuff. I'm just a broke college student/scribbler who

likes to play in a sandbox far, far away.

***

Prologue:
In the periphery of Lord Vader's vision, the walls of the Death

Star's main trench rushed by with blinding speed, though Vader's

focus was entirely on his target. The lone Rebel X-wing skidded and

jinked in a desperate attempt to throw off its pursuer's aim.

"The Force is strong with this one. I'll take him myself," Vader

ordered his two wingmen.

The Rebel was good, he was forced to concede, if out of nothing else

than professionalism. But, like the rest of them, he was doomed to

fail.

Another young boy from some obscure planet, strapping himself into a

fighter with misbegotten romantic notions of youthful idealism. Such

foolishness, Vader knew, was the well from which this accursed

Rebellion drew its strength. He had once been similarly mistaken.

Such a waste.

But Vader did not truly feel pity, he had encased his soul in an

armored shell even more impenetrable than the one which held what

remained of his body. He continued to close on the dodging fighter,

and finally his targeting sensor indicated a positive lock.

He pressed the firing button, releasing a flurry of shots from the

TIE's twin blaster cannon. The X-wing, already crippled,

disintegrated, flinging its wreckage against the trench walls.

***

Seconds later, Han Solo reverted to realspace just as he watched, in

horror, as eight laser beams converged from the perimeter of the

Death Star's firing dish, the huge composite main beam lancing out

toward Yavin 4.

The moon glowed momentarily, then vanished in a gigantic explosion.

Han and Chewbacca stared in open-mouthed horror at the scene. They

had seen what the huge battle station had done to Alderaan, but to

actually witness the Death Star in action was something else

entirely.

Chewbacca growled with rage. Coming to his senses, Han Solo saw a

formation of TIE fighters rapidly approaching his position. Still

shaken, he attempted to regain his composure. He could reflect

later, but first he had to get out alive.

"Yeah, I know. Told 'em it was a damned suicide mission. We'd better

get the hell out of here. Calculate a hyperjump vector!"

Chewie growled again.

"It doesn't matter *where,*" Han snapped, "Just get us out of here!"

Just before the fighters could close within range, the Falcon

disappeared into hyperspace.

Han Solo had arrived too late.

***