Chapter 12 Evacuation
"Come on." Leia tugged on Lark's arm until she followed her to the hangar as the rebel ships were landing.
Luke climbed out of his fighter, a roughish smile on his face, and was cheered by the
throng of ground crew and pilots as he climbed down. Leia rushed toward him and threw her arms around him.
"Luke! Luke! Luke!"
Lark waited patiently for her turn, but changed her mind as some familiar figures came into view.
"Liar." She pretended to smack Bob but hugged him instead.
There were several hugs and boisterous greetings exchanged when Luke and Leia noticed the newcomers.
"I knew you'd come back! I just knew it!" Luke said.
"Well, I wasn't gonna let you get all the credit and take all the reward." Han protested.
"I knew there was more to you than money." Lark said. Han didn't bother denying it.
"Oh, no!" Luke said, looking toward the ship.
The fried astro-droid known as Artoo-Detoo was lifted off the back of the fighter and carried off under the worried eyes of Threepio.
"Oh, my! Artoo! Can you hear me? Say something! You can repair him, can't you?"
"We'll get to work on him right away." The technician assured him.
"You must repair him! Sir, if any of my circuits or gears will help, I'll gladly donate them." Threepio nobly offered.
"He'll be all right." Luke assured him.
"He's tough." Lark added.
"So now what?" Luke asked.
"Get cleaned up." Lark gave them a playful shove towards the fresher and exchanged a conspiratorial grin with Leia. They had received reports about where the empire's troops were and it had been decided that there was just enough time for a short ceremony. Both girls had wanted it to be immediately for fear of Bob and Han leaving.
After the heroes emerged from the fresher - looking much neater - they entered the huge ruins of the main temple where hundreds of troops were lined up in neat rows. Banners flew and at the far end stood Leia, dressed completely in white as usual and with her hair wound in a braid around her head. Luke and the others, looking more than a little awkward and out of place, solemnly marched up the long aisle and knelt before Leia, who rose and placed a gold medallion around each of their necks. As they turned to face the audience, the assembled troops all bowed before them and then broke into cheers. Lark exchanged a grin with Kimmy.
But the moment couldn't last. As soon as they had walked back down the aisle, a voice came over the loudspeaker.
"All remaining personnel: please report to hangar. Repeat. All remaining personnel: please report to hangar."
"What's that about?" Bob asked.
"Evacuation." Lark said.
"But we won." Han protested.
"We destroyed the death star, but the empire still knows where we are. The sooner we're gone, the better." Lark explained.
"No time to relax." Han muttered as the remaining members of the rebellion flooded into the hangar.
> > > >
It was half an hour after the celebration, and the band of rebels were just about ready to leave before the Imperial Star Fleet arrived to blast the bantha poodo out of them. A dozen transports had done entered hyperspace for the planet Hoth, the location of their new base. Lark watched from the almost empty war room as the last dozen transports entered hyperspace, leaving her, her parents, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, Luke, and Bob to take the last few things and haul butt.
Luke returned from taking the last of the equipment to the ship and Bob had gone to get Jesse's ship prepped when the warning claxons went off. Lark looked with the others to see the cause; though she already knew the answer: The Imperial Star Fleet had arrived.
"Okay, you guys, lets get out of here while we still can." Han said as Chewie growled his agreement.
"Lark, go to the ship, your father and I will be there in a moment.'
Lark turned and walked off to the Jedi Marauder, an old ship her father had gotten years ago, probably before she was even born. However, half way there, she realized she had left her journal, the one she had started keeping a year ago after her and Leia had decided to each keep in case something happened to them while serving the fledgling rebellion. In it she had mentioned their next base at Hoth, and if the Imps found it, they would drop out of hyperspace in the mouth of the Empire. She turned and ran off, trying to get to her quarters as fast as possible to retrieve that journal.
Meanwhile, Jesse and Kimmy headed to their ship while the others headed for the Falcon. When they got to it, they didn't see Lark but decided she was using the 'fresher, so deciding to go before it was too late, they raised ship and headed for open space and freedom; they did not see the girl looking up with a panic-stricken face as they left her behind.
Lark wiped the tears from her eyes as she heard troops enter the base not far from her. She took off running, hoping there was something left in the hangar that she could fly.
> > > >
Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, entered the recently abandoned rebel base, knowing he would find no one. Over the course of several minutes, he made his way across the hanger bay, eyes and mind searching for anything that could tell him where the rebels had run off to. That was when he saw her: the same girl he had seen with the pink lightsaber on board the Death Star the day he killed Kenobi.
Now I'll find out who she is, where she learned to make and wield a lightsaber, and why she's so strong in the Force. And maybe she'll even reveal the location of some of the few Jedi who have escaped from me. With that thought, Lord Vader gave chase to his new prey.
> > > >
"Jesse, we have a problem."
"I'm a little busy here getting ready to dodge these fighters, can it wait a few minutes?" Jesse didn't look up from the control panel.
"It's about Lark?"
"What about her?"
"She's still on Yavin 4."
Jesse's head shot up at this, his eyes full of worry, and something Kimmy rarely saw, even when they had been padawans and then she still never saw it, even during Order 66. It was fear she saw.
"How do you know?"
"I have checked the entire ship and I didn't find her. I called the Millennium Falcon, and she's not there. I can sense her despair through the Force, and Bob never saw her come on board; he thought she was on the Falcon. She's still down there. Oh Jesse, what do we do? Our daughter is stranded." Kimmy bit back her own panic.
"I'm sorry Kimmy, but there's only one thing we can do now."
"You mean we're going to..."
Jesse was already on the comm talking to Han and Bob.
"Lark is still planetside, and we're going after her. Go ahead and get to the base. We'll meet you there. Jesse out."
He cut the line and grabbed the controls, yanking the ship around, and hit the throttles and they rocketed on the stars, afraid they'd be too late.
> > > >
Lark kept running up the sides of the Great Temple, sensing that danger was nearby. Since there hadn't been a single solitary ship left in the hangar, she decided her best chance would be to hide, then steal an Imperial shuttle, and then run away and get back to her parents, as impossible as it sounded. She looked over her shoulders to see if anyone was after her, and as she turned her head back around, ran into something hard, getting knocked back and almost tripping. She looked up to see the Sith Lord Darth Vader looking at her, his crimson blade ignited and ready for the kill.
"Who are you young one?"
"None of your business." Lark reflected that that probably wasn't the best thing to say, but she didn't think anything she could say at the moment would help her. Her lightsaber jumped to her hand, the pink blade ignited and held in a defensive position.
"And who taught you how to build and use a lightsaber?" The Sith lord asked.
"None of your business." she repeated, remembering all too vividly how easily he'd killed Obi-Wan.
"Let's see, you look familiar, as if I've known you before, and yet you're to young to be a surviving Jedi, even a youngling, so I'll ask you again; who are you?"
"And I'll tell you again, it's none of your business." And with that, Vader lunged, and the fight was on.
As the fight wore on, it became apparent to Vader that a surviving Jedi, one that had been alive when he had attacked the Jedi Temple all of those years ago, had taught this girl.
The fighting style seems very familiar, as do her movements. Interesting, most interesting. Nevertheless, she will not best me. It's time I end this once and for all. The lightsaber of a Jedi should make up to my master for the destruction of the Death Star.
Vader reached out with the Force and chocked Lark, causing the lightsaber to fall from her hands as she crumpled to the ground. Vader raised his blade high, and as he started to come down for the kill...
"Stop right there Vader!"
That voice. I know that voice...
Vader turned to see two figures standing behind him, each holding a metal cylinder in their hands. Lark didn't think she'd ever seen a more beautiful sight.
"Hello, Jesse, Kimmy, I thought you were dead." he said, ignoring the ghosts of the past that flew up before him. He'd managed to become an expert at that over the years.
"As you can see we're not, Vader. Or maybe we should call you Anakin Skywalker." Jesse said calmly. He wanted to see if anything left of the kid he'd known on Tatooine was left.
"That name no longer has any meaning for me. I am Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith."
"Anakin, your mother and Qui-Gon would be ashamed of you. And on top of betraying the Jedi, you killed your former master, Obi-Wan." The Sith's emotions were tightly sealed, making it impossible for Jesse to detect anything.
"Enough. I have three Jedi to kill."
"Then I guess it's time we finish what we started on Mustafar, 18 years ago."
A bar of turquiose energy appeared in Jesse's hand, while at the same time his wife and best friend produced an identical bar, this one emerald. They somersaulted, landing to meet Vader face on. Lark watched in awe as her parents fought the most evil villain in the galaxy. But then she remembered...
As Lark kept watching, her parents fought Vader to the side of the steps, and then, while her mother's green blade locked with Vader's, her father used a Force-push to throw Vader over the side. Lark got up, grabbing her lightsaber along the way, and rushed to join her parents. The two looked at her as they deactivated their blades. Her father pulled out his comlink and signaled for Bob to come in and pick them up. Then he turned his look on her, and in that instant, she remember they day, when she was twelve, she had discovered to lightsabers in a lock box in their room. She had used the Force to unlock them and her father had caught her playing with them. That was when she had learned they belonged to Mace Windu and Shaak Ti, her parent's two Jedi Masters. She shivered.
"Why weren't you on the ship like we told you Lark?" he asked as they hurried away. The sound of storm troopers approaching echoed nearby.
"I left my journal in my quarters."
"Journals can be replaced."
"But this talked about the rebel base moving from Yavin to Hoth. If the Imps had found it, the Alliance would have been walking into a trap, and I couldn't let that happen."
"Jesse, leave her alone. She did the right thing; she did what her father would have done."
He went silent for a minute before answering.
"And you wouldn't have?" he asked with a smile on his face. He grabbed Lark.
"Come here you."
He started ruffling her hair, which he had done often when she was little. When he let go, her face turned serious again.
"Vader...you called him 'Anakin Skywalker'. That's the same last name as Luke. Are they brothers or something?"
"Honey, if we tell you, do you swear not to tell Luke ?" Her mother asked, looking as serious as she had ever been as Jesse lifted the Marauder off once more.
"Darth Vader used to be a Jedi. He turned on and slaughtered the Jedi Order, becoming Darth Vader. He married Senator Padme Amidala while an apprentice, and eventually had two children, Luke, who went to stay with his Aunt and Uncle Lars on Tatooine, and Leia, who was adopted by Padme's close friend, Senator Bail Organa. But you must not tell either of them, not even Leia or your journal. Not until they're ready. Do you understand?"
"I do." Lark said, still absorbing the shock of it all.
Just then, Bob arrived in the cockpit. His look told Lark he was glad she was ok, and as they reached hyperspace, Darth Vader climbed back onto the steps.
So, they survived the purge. Now I'll have to take them out, and soon.
However, the part where Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight and all around good guy still lived, though little as it was, wondered if that would be easy, or if it would even be possible. Regardless, things were about to get interesting, that was for sure.
The end... for now. WIzardJedi wrorte pretty much all of this chapter (I love co-writers), so if you don't like it, don't complain to me (kidding). Thanks to all my reviewers: DarthNexus9000, salrianna, Emerald Tiara, and G-Anakin13. Sorry for the long time it took to get this chapter up, and stay tuned for the sequel.