A New Hope Will Emerge

A Star Wars fanfiction by Andrew J. Talon

DISCLAIMER: This is a non-profit fan-based work of prose. Star Wars is the property of Lucasfilm Ltd. and Disney. Please support the official release.

Set after "The Empire Strikes Back" but before "Return of the Jedi".

Luke Skywalker had gotten his hand cut off, lost his best friend to a bounty hunter, and he'd learned his dad was the second biggest monster in the galaxy. He'd also lost his X-Wing.

So yeah. Overall, this was a terrible week. It was at least looking a bit better, after his medical droid told him that the rest of Rogue Squadron was coming to see him. Hopefully that meant he could leave the medical frigate in the Rebel Fleet soon. The sterilized recycled air and bland nutrition packs alone were enough to drive a man mad, but his droid's insistence on making absurd comments had him wishing for his lightsaber. Even getting a private berth wasn't good, because it just left him more isolated.

He turned his new cyborg hand in front of his face, studying the artificial skin. It was a very good artificial hand, at least: He could tell the mods he would need to make would be minimal.

"I advise against any strenuous activity involving sensitive parts of your anatomy," the medical droid suggested. Luke flushed.

"What do you think I do with this hand?!" He demanded. The droid stared back, its emotionless gaze giving nothing away. Luke couldn't help but think it would be smiling though. He sighed, as the first of his squadmates shuffled into the medical bay. Derek "Hobbie" Klivian walked up to the right side of his squadron commander's bed, while Wedge Antilles took the left. Wes Janson and Tycho Celchu stood at the foot of the bed, Wes already playing with the leftovers of Luke's lunch.

After the rather tense greetings, it was Hobbie would addressed the Bantha in the room.

"Hey, look on the bright side Skipper. Most people who fought Vader one on one ended up about a foot shorter," he pointed out. Luke shrugged, unable to keep himself from smiling just a bit. The tension in the room dropped significantly among the pilots at least.

"There's that," Luke admitted. Wedge nodded, crossing his arms.

"Seriously... That was crazy! I mean, I get that you're like a Jedi and all but your dad didn't do THAT crazy of shit," Wedge said earnestly. Tycho snorted, as Wedge looked over at him in bewilderment.

"You have read about the Clone Wars, right Wedge?" Tycho asked. "Skywalker and crazy might as well go together!"

Luke nodded, as Wedge rubbed the back of his head. Wedge wasn't the student of history the former Imperial pilot was. Nor did he have that personal connection Luke had.

"Yeah, my Dad basically grew up doing crazy," Luke said, staring off into the distance. Those words. Those terrible words. Everything he'd ever known and heard about his father felt twisted in a funhouse mirror.

No… I am your father…

"Ah... Boss? You okay?" Wes snapped his fingers in front of Luke's eyes. Luke blinked rapidly, and shook his head. His squadmates all stared at him intently. He shut his eyes. That tension from before was still there. It was stronger, and hidden… And not familiar.

"I'm… Fine," he lied. "I just need some rest."

"Are you sure, Skipper?" Wes asked plaintively. The older pilots stayed silent, but the same question was on their minds. He didn't need the Force to tell that. The Force was telling him that there was someone else here though. Someone hidden. Luke nodded again, sucking in a deep breath.

"I need a bit, guys," he said, with utter finality. "To sort this out."

His squadron mates slowly filtered out, a few uncertain goodbyes and encouraging words tossed back at him. The droid departed after, off to see to other patients. The hatch to the cabin slid shut behind it with a hiss, and the lights dimmed. Luke focused on staying calm. The Force warned him he wasn't alone, but the presence wasn't inherently threatening. Still...

"Who's there?" Luke demanded. A cloaked figure emerged from a maintenance hatch, dropping down and landing with grace on the deck. They stood up and stared at Luke, and he sensed this visitor was strong in the Force. They must have been with how they were probing his mental defenses.

"You sensed me. Impressive," said the figure in a woman's voice. Luke narrowed his eyes.

"It's not hard to sense you," he retorted. The figure was silent for a moment, before she resumed speaking.

"Heard you faced Vader. You gave a report on the encounter to the Alliance High Command. I'm pretty sure you left a few things out."

Luke was silent, glaring defiantly. The figure continued.

"He tempted you to the Darkside, didn't he?" She asked. Luke slowly nodded.

"He asked me to join him, yes. That was in the report," he said. The figure nodded.

"He said something else. Something you're not sure of. Something you can't believe, but are afraid that it's true."

Luke grimaced, his artificial hand closing into a tight fist. "... Yes," he responded tightly.

The figure sighed softly.

"He told you... He was your father, didn't he?" She said it almost pityingly.

Luke tensed up. He licked his lips.

"How do you know?" Luke asked, trying to remain neutral but failing in his shuddering tone. The figure pulled off her hood, revealing a beautiful, older Torgruta woman with deep blue eyes.

"Because I was his apprentice. When he was Anakin Skywalker," she said simply. Luke blinked in disbelief, his jaw dropping.

"You were…?"

"Yes," the woman said. She sat next to Luke in the visitor's chair, smiling gently. "You know me as Fulcrum. My real name? Is Ahsoka Tano. It's nice to meet you at last…"

To be continued...