Nobody was really surprised when it happened, not really, not on the subconscious level where savage things grow. As the news spread across the galaxy, those who had been, and those who had known people from Alderaan, mourned deeply. For Princess Leia Organa, it was the darkest moment of her young life so far.
As Leia was thrown back into her small, dark cell on the detention block after the destruction of her home, her thoughts were focused on her father. There were so many things left unsaid. So many things left unresolved. Leia mourned, but shed no tears. She wouldn't let them know they had broken her. She kept up her steely exterior and mourned silently, on the inside. Her heart was broken, and her spirit was close to it, the only thing keeping her together was the hope that somehow General Kenobi would get the message she had stored inside the astromech droid.
Leia lay on the hard surface of the bunk, her back aching, proving she was still alive. As she lay, replaying scenes of her life with her father over and over, she found herself dwelling on one particular moment. Leia felt waves of guilt as she realized she had never really forgiven her father for his deception.
She closed her eyes, and remembered being at home.
She was twelve years old, and had been sitting in her father's office going over his old records from years ago in the Senate. It was fascinating, she remembered, all the procedures and the structure of the old Republic. She had been watching an old holo of the Senate proceedings when Palpatine had declared himself Emperor. It had been chilling. The man's voice was so cold, so devoid of any emotion. Leia had been shocked at the response within the Senate chamber as Palpatine declared himself ruler. That was when she had seen it.
It was quick, and if Leia had blinked or looked away she would have missed it entirely. It was a scan of the crowd, and there had been a quick shot of her father, sitting in a pod with a beautiful young woman. Leia had frozen the holo on the scene. The woman was leaned over, her chin resting in her hand. Her eyes looked so sad, yet so familiar.
That was when her father, her hero, had come into the room. Leia had turned, asking about the woman in the holo. Her father had obligingly looked, and Leia had watched as his face drained of color, his expression one of fear. He had snatched the holo from Leia and without another word left the room.
Leia had sat in confused silence, her hands poised as if she still held the holopad. Slowly she had dropped her hands and stood from the chair. She had searched the entire quarters, not finding her father anywhere. Leia had then ventured outside, where she found her father sitting on one of the old stone benches in their gardens. He had been crying.
Leia had been in shock. She had rushed to his side and sat next to him wrapping her arms around him. He had resisted for a moment, but then returned her embrace.
Leia opened her eyes to the dark cell. The pain of reliving the moment almost more than she could bear. But she had to do it, for her father and for herself.
Leia remembered every word her father had said that day, because they had been like icicles piercing her heart.
"Leia, remember that I love you, and I chose you," her father had said, releasing Liea from his grip.
Leia had been confused. "What do you mean, you chose me?" she had asked.
"Leia…" his voice had caught in his throat. "Your mother and I, we adopted you. This woman in the picture, she is your real mother. Your birth mother. She died shortly after you were born,"
Leia had stared at her father like he was speaking a different language.
"You're…you're not my real father?" she had asked finally, unsure of how to take this new information.
"No," her father had gripped her shoulders tightly at this point, leaving bruises, Leia remembered. "But I love you as if you were mine, I love you more even."
He had spoken emphatically and Leia had wanted to believe him. But something had happened inside her. For what was the first time she could remember, she had felt anger and betrayal from her beloved father.
Leia had stood suddenly, pulling herself free from her father's grip and snatching the holo back from him. This time it had been Leia who had stalked away angry and upset, hearing her father calling her name behind her.
Leia, unable to take the pain in her back any longer, sat upright on the hard slab of durasteel. It could hardly be called a bunk. She hung her feet over the edge. She breathed in and out several times, hearing the stormtroopers parading up and down the corridor outside her cell. She wondered fleetingly if this General Obi-Wan Kenobi had known her real mother.
Leia had retreated to her bedroom, her sanctuary. She had stood in the doorway for a long while, staring at the holo's she had hanging all around her, from the mercy missions she had gone with her father on, the celebrations, her graduation from school, her mother…Leia had thrown herself on her bed and buried her face in her pillow. She hadn't wanted to cry, but the tears threatened.
Leia had lifted her head, looking around the room. There had been no one there.
It was a soft voice, a voice full of pain, suffering and such sadness as Leia had never known.
Suddenly Leia had a vision. The woman in the holo, her mother, was lying in a white gown, her eyes full of tears, but her voice full of love. "Leia," she had said, calling her name. She was looking right at Leia. She was so beautiful, Leia remembered thinking.
Leia had tried to speak, but as she did the vision faded…and Leia had found herself back in her bedroom on Alderaan.
She had stayed in her room the rest of that day. The next morning her father had treated her as if nothing had happened. Leia had wanted to ask more questions about her mother. What had been her name? Where had she come from? Who had been her real father? But she had known these questions would hurt her father, so she kept them inside.
At night she would take out the holo and stare at the only evidence of her true mother, her real mother.
Leia raised her head. That holo had died with her planet, and her father. Now she would never know the truth. And for that, Leia felt even more devastated.
She lay back down on her side, using her right arm as a pillow. She would just rest her eyes for a minute…
Awhile later she was awakened by the sound of her cell door opening. Leaning up on her elbow she measured with her eyes the trooper standing before her. These men in white didn't intimidate her.
"Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?" She found herself asking.
And you know what happens next…