Search for the Past

Come on. You're almost there.

Leia felt herself floating in the same warm ocean she was in before awakening in the temple garden. She inhaled deeply to absorb everything it offered her spirit. There was no sense of gravity to orient herself. There was a feeling of being wrapped in a warm comfortable blanket. With each breath, it gently pressed itself against her until her body had absorbed all of it.

Keep going. You can make it.

The unidentifiable voice continued encouraging her. With one final heave from the Force, as if in childbirth, Leia felt bubbles slide up her body. The tickling sensation caused her to jerk suddenly. Subdued voices began to assault her ears. Leia moved her head from side to side as she tried to wake up. The voices grew louder as she struggled to fight off paralysis. She took another breath (through her mouth, she noticed) and released a muffled scream.

Another sudden jerk caused Leia's eyes to snap open. She found herself floating in a clear liquid with a breathing apparatus in her mouth. She instantly realized she was in a bacta tank. There were four blurred figures on the outside. Two of them appeared human, while the other two were Noghri. Leia blinked as her vision gradually began to clear. She felt both humans shower her with excitement and relief, verbally and through the Force. She knew they were Jacen and Jaina by their psychic touches. Leia watched Jaina leave the room, probably to retrieve someone, then looked back to Jacen when he tapped on the glass. Though she couldn't clearly hear him, she watched his lips move.

Where were you? Jacen thought to his mother.

You wouldn't believe me if I told you, she thought back.


Leia took another sip of her steaming hot tea before turning back to her datapad. It was almost done downloading information from what was left of the historical archives on Coruscant, along with other archives on other planets. She did not turn around when a hand fell against her shoulder. She merely acknowledged it with a tip of her head.

"How long do you plan to go through all this?" Han asked as he leaned over the back of her chair. "You've already spent two hours rummaging through this stuff."

"Will another few hours make a difference?"

Han shrugged. "It will to me. I thought we had plans for today."

"We still do."

"What exactly are you looking for?" Han leaned over her to catch a glimpse of what she was reading.

"Any and everything pertaining to my father, even if it's just war or Jedi history." She reached for her tea again. "It's not as easy as it used to be, considering the Yuuzhan Vong destroyed most technology they got their hands on. Some of what I'm getting still exists only because heretics protected it during the occupation."

"Why the sudden interest?"

Leia blew steam from the cup. "Why not? I've wasted enough time avoiding it. I have a lot of catching up to do."

"I know," Han said before realizing that he was revealing his agreement with her comments.

"I want to know the truth about where I came from," she added. "From every angle. There's nothing wrong with that."

"Well, why don't you have someone help you with this stuff? Then I'll have more time to kidnap you."

"I do. Half of it is being sent to Luke." She took a sip. "I just wish I could find something on this Chosen One business. It's driving me crazy, and I haven't the slightest idea what I'm looking for."

"I noticed. Since the accident, this whole Anakin Skywalker deal has become your obsession. It's not healthy. Especially for me. Did your accident leave you brain damaged or something?"

"Han!" Leia turned in her chair to glare at him, though she knew he said it strictly in jest. "This is serious. To me, at least."

Han held his hands up as if to fend off a strike. "I know, I know, Your Highnessness."

Leia gave Han the familiar glare that phrase always caused her make. "Anakin Skywalker said a lot of things that got me thinking, that's all. He answered some of my questions, but left me with many more. I just don't want to go to the grave without trying to find the answers. I owe him that much. Or rather, I owe it to myself."

Leia lifted the datapad as if to get a better look at it. "There's a lot of stuff here related to the Clone Wars."

"Well, Luke did say your father was a hero of the war."

"Yes," she said in a faraway voice, "and now I think I know why. I hadn't realized how much trouble a single person could get himself into. My father made quite a reputation for himself in the war, and all in his early twenties. There is too much to go through in one sitting."

Han placed his other hand against her other shoulder. "Then take a break."

"I will, I will," she assured him. "I just wish I could find something about that Chosen One mess he refused to tell me for some reason."

"Maybe that was the point. Something he made up to keep you interested enough to bother doing all of this."

Leia shook her head. "I doubt that. Even so, it would have been unnecessary. I would have been doing this anyway. I'm sure he was telling the truth about being some Chosen One."

"Maybe he was chosen to be your father," Han offered, "especially considering the spiritual significance twins have for the Yuuzhan Vong. Maybe there's something to that."

Leia tapped her fingers against the table. "Maybe," she said, "but I won't take that for granted."

"Fair enough," Han said as he tugged on her arm. "Can you take a break now? It's lonely outdoors."

"In a minute." Leia quickly scanned over the section she was working on, then marked it to continue later. "Okay. Let's go."

Leia let Han pick her up and carry her over his shoulder. "Come on," he said with the smile of a scoundrel. "You and I have our own time to make up for."