AUTHOR: Mara Jade
SUMMARY: Sam's all alone in a Galaxy Far, Far, Away…
SPOILERS: Probably eventually most episodes, and incorporating tidbits of new seasons if any spoilers inspire me as this will end up in the future.
WORD COUNT: 123, 857
FILE SIZE: 115mb
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the revised version (as of 24th March 2005), taking into account the comments of the oh-so-many wonderful, wonderful, wonderful reviewers. I was so astounded by the response that I got and I cannot thank you enough!
Particular thanks go to Dietcokechic, Pokey1984. Feonixfyre and Heartnut for their constructive criticisms at the very end.
There is one person without whom this would never have happened and so much, much Kudos to her for putting up with me all the way through and beta'ing and for inspiring me to finally give into the plot bunnies that started it. So, three cheers for Binksbabe!
Chapters 28 and 29 are the only ones with anything much more than cosmetic changes in them.
DISCLAIMER: The characters mentioned in this story are the property of ShowTime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa'uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and back story are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. The 'Kalix' belong to Timothy Zahn. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author.
Sam looked up; she had the uncanny feeling that some one was watching her, someone without her best intentions in mind. She looked surreptitiously out of the corner of her eye, trying to identify who, or what, it was. Without turning her head or making it obvious that she was looking, she spotted the person in question. The short, fat, greasy-looking man that was headed her way was leering and weaving drunkenly, crashing into several other patrons and leaving a trail of angry, weapon-bearing beings.
Flicking her eyes back to the bar in front of her and her almost finished Corellian Ale, she reached down and made sure the safety clip on her holster was undone before draining the last of her drink.
She didn't even flinch when an unshaven, grease-lined face was thrust into her field of vision and resisted the urge to gag when a wave of rancid breath washed over her.
"Hey there, how 'bout I buy you another?" he said, leaning on the counter in what he assumed was an inviting pose.
"No, thanks; I was just leaving," she told him, calmly putting her glass back down.
"No, I think you're gonna sit here and keep me company a little while longer, lady," he replied, clutching at her left arm. Rolling her eyes, her arm darted down and pulled out her blaster and, in one smooth motion, she pointed right between his eyes, faster than the unctuous man could blink.
The man stood there, jaws wobbling and eyes crossing as he tried to comprehend the DL-44 that was now pressed into the oily skin of his forehead.
Sam could practically see the cogs whirring as the man weighed up the pro's and con's of trying to…woo…someone who was obviously trigger happy.
"You're right; I think I'll just, uh, go now…" he said, his bravado obliterated, before gently easing away from the business end of the weapon.
Glancing at her wrist chrono, Sam decided she'd have another ale and then head out into the murky streets of Nar Shadaa, the smugglers' moon.
She didn't look up when the server droid delivered her drink but took the cold glass in her hands, pointedly ignoring the dirty tide marks that ran the length of it. She stared morosely at her hands, eyes tracing the hundreds of thin, white scars that crossed her hands, a constant reminder of three years spent in the dark, painstakingly packing ebony Glitterstim threads, lining them up minutely so that the crystals that edged them wouldn't grind it into a powder, and trying to stop those same crystals from slicing her hands open every ten minutes.
She shifted on her stool, uncomfortable of the direction that her thoughts had taken her, the weight of her blaster against her thigh now a comfort to her.
She thought, once again, of the friends and family that had been left when Shivrall Telk had taken her, along with a group of natives, through the Stargate and had then forced them to work in the Glitterstim processing plant on some forsaken rock that they called a planet. She'd been unable to escape – the atmosphere outside the factory was rancid and volatile and no one could have survived.
She was brought suddenly out of her musings when someone sat on the stool next to her. She bit back a sigh, hoping they were just going to sit and drink and not bother her.
She spared him a glance and was surprised to see that he didn't look like any of the usual suspects that frequented the cantinas on the moon. Sandy haired and quite small, he nevertheless had a look of quiet power about him that suggested he could handle himself perfectly well.
"Not what you expected?" he asked, much to her surprise and without turning to look at her. When she didn't reply, he turned to look at her, revealing startling blue eyes and a slightly weathered face that looked vaguely familiar.
"Uh, not exactly," she replied, at a loss for words. He remained silent for a few moments, only speaking to thank the droid for delivering his hot chocolate and Sam returned to her morose contemplation of her glass.
"Looks like you made an enemy," he suddenly commented, a touch of concern filtering into his voice.
"Oh, for crying out loud!" Sam muttered, reaching once more for her blaster and fishing out a few credits to pay for her drinks as she did so.
The spurned man and two of his friends were heading towards them, intent-full leers on their faces.
But before she could get her blaster more than halfway out of its holster, a tall man and a Wookie stepped out in front of her. The man had his arms crossed and a blaster - much like her own - in easy reach in a thigh holster.
The three would-be assailants stopped in their tracks, the leers falling from their faces. They looked up at the towering column of angry fur that made up the Wookie and seemed to shrink slightly. The Wookie roared once, the meaning obviously lost on the men, but crystal clear to Sam, who had been working with a group of Wookies for the last year, after being sold by Telk.
It involved dismemberment with a blunt eating implement if they so much as looked at her – Sam – again.
The three men got the gist, however, and were retreating even as the tall man translated.
Sam stared for a moment before shaking her head slightly and throwing the credits onto the counter. Re-securing her blaster in its holster, she nodded at the sandy-haired man and threw a word of thanks at the Wookie and his companion.
The sandy-haired man, the tall man, and the Wookie stood together and watched the short-haired blonde leave, her form-fitting black pants and navy top helping her to blend into the night, her knee-high militaristic boots making no sound as she marched off into the streets.
"You sure that's why we're here, kid?" said the tall man.
"Yes, I'm not sure just how yet, but she's important in the future; that's why the Force sent me here," the sandy-haired man replied.
The Wookie whined a comment at them.
"The fur-ball's got a point. Why are we just sat here, wondering? Let's go," replied the tall man, heading after Sam, his two companions following.
Sam walked out into the night, trying not to breathe too deeply in the polluted air. Glancing left and right, she stepped out into the flow of beings, both human – the predominant species of this galaxy, or so she'd been told – and dozens of species of aliens.
She followed the walkway, heading back to her lodgings and wondering idly what had prompted her to go out tonight; it wasn't something that she usually did.
After Telk had sold her, and a few others to her current 'master' – Terrell - she had been allowed a little more freedom, though she had a slave implant in her that meant that if she tried to get away, her head, and those of all the workers on her team would explode quite spectacularly. Terrell could get more humans easily enough, though apparently not from Telk any more.
Terrell had picked out a set of the healthiest from the Spice workers and had set them to work with a Wookie Task Force to carry out jobs for him, mostly mechanical jobs that required both the strength of the Wookies and the dexterity of the humans.
Sam became suddenly aware that she was being followed. Carefully maneuvering herself so that her tails wouldn't realise they had been found out, she looked behind herself, instantly seeing and recognising the three 'helpers' from the cantina…they stood out like a sore thumb.
Taking stock of her surroundings, she ducked into an alley and drew her blaster. Setting it to stun – she wanted to find out why they were following her – she made her way down the alley. About 50 metres down, where no one else followed, she turned and aimed, half hidden behind a garbage compacter and waited.
It wasn't long before the stalkers turned the corner and she reacted immediately, squeezing off a bolt of red energy at each of them – three at the larger, more resilient Wookie.
To her amazement, the smaller, sandy haired man who had led the three onto the alley, activated a small silver cylinder, which sprouted a bright green energy blade, which he used to deftly deflect all five bolts of energy.
Sam stared at them in shock, blaster still held ready as they steadily advanced on her. The smaller man, in a show of trust and openness, shut down his energy weapon.
"We don't want to hurt you," said the smaller man. "I'm Luke Skywalker. This is Han Solo." He gestured the taller man, who nodded at her. "And this is Chewbacca." The large Wookie whined a greeting at her.
That explains why they look familiar, Sam thought, eyeing them warily and still not lowering her weapon. Their faces are plastered over all the TV – Holovid units everywhere. A few more pieces of information fell into place as she dredged up memories of the scant few holo-news programs she'd watched. "Only a Jedi can handle a Lightsaber!" She remembered one of the Wookies – Dentralla – telling her once.
"What do you want?" She asked somewhat gruffly, finally lowering her weapon, though not putting it away.
"I just want to try something, a test of sorts," he explained, calmly stepping forwards.
"What kind of test?"
"A Force test."
Sam gave him a blank look. "A what?" Luke Skywalker smiled at her and stopped right in front of her, the Wookie a foot or so behind him. Sam, re-assured that her instincts weren't screaming at her to run, finally holstered her blaster and nodded to him.
He stood in front of her, a shade smaller than she was.
"Just relax," he told her, taking a deep breath and closing his eyes. Sam stared at him, puzzled for a moment, but relaxed and closed her own eyes, wondering briefly why she trusted him so much. She felt a negligible sensation in her mind but ignored it.
Maybe it's because he reminds me of Daniel a little, she thought before reprimanding herself for letting her thoughts take her that way. She opened her eyes when she heard a rush of wind, a thump and two grunts – one Wookie and the other human.
She stared in shock to see Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca lying in a heap together more than twenty feet away.
She darted over to help the grinning Han Solo as he tried to pull both friends to their feet at the same time.
"Guess your Force didn't tell you that one was coming, huh kid?"
Luke shot a withering glare at Han and massaged his ribs before looking to Sam.
"You have a powerful Force potential," he told her with a boyish grin. "How would you like to come and train at the academy?" he asked her.
Sam grinned momentarily before the smile was transformed into an almighty frown and a look of anguish. "I can't," she told them. "Sorry." She turned and walked off, stalking angrily away from them and cursing under her breath, moving into the flow of beings.
"Anger leads to the dark side," Luke reprimanded her as he caught up with her.
"Look," she said, whirling to face him in the middle of the pedestrian crowded street. "I said I can't, now could you just leave me alone!" she was nearly yelling, and he could sense the pain in her.
"Why not?" he asked, calmly, some part of his mind alert to the presence of the beings that parted to swirl around them. Sam knew this as well and grabbed his arm, pulling him back into the alley that they had only just vacated, much to the surprise of Han and Chewbacca. Sam turned to face him, suppressing the pain and disappointment that she felt. I could have gotten out of this hellhole; I could have done something useful! she thought bitterly.
"You really want to know why?" Luke nodded, still calm and Sam reached up and pulled down the collar of her navy jacket, exposing the flesh just above her left collarbone.
The black tank top she wore underneath the jacket was just visible as she revealed a scar that looked oddly like a bullet hole just above the slightly too-visible collarbone. "This is why. I'm a slave. I don't own my life, I can't chose where it goes, and I can't choose what I do with it. If I leave, I will die, and so will the other slaves - innocent people – so just drop it, would you?"
Leaving a stunned Luke, Han, and Chewie in her wake, she stormed off. If she had thought about it any great detail, she would have realised how much her experiences over the last four years, in a harsh world full of ruthless criminals - who were unafraid to kill - had changed her.