Chapter 1

Aayla, now eighteen, came out of the wind and into the barely used hanger. She saw the total of twenty adult inhabitants in a meeting. Aayla looked back at the cold and snowy valley of Hoth. She closed the door with the press of a small button and pulled the hood off her head and the goggles off her face.

Her braid of brunette hair fell onto her back. She had similarly colored, almond-shaped eyes and angled cheek bones drawing a clean line to a pair of small, but full red lips. She began to make her way into the halls to go to her apartment.

Aayla stepped into her apartment to see a boy sitting on the couch. Her best friend Varick, now twenty, was sitting on the couch smiling up at his friend.

"Varick," Aayla began slipping her boots off, "I thought you were supposed to be getting ready to take the next cargo ship out of here."

"I was," Varick began standing up. "But I was reviewing my list of things to take and… something kept coming up when I asked myself what else I wanted to take."

"If you need to borrow anything, I'd be happy to—"

"It was you, Aayla," Varick smiled.

"Me?" Aayla asked in shock. "My parents would never let me go on a… a cargo ship…"

"Well, that's the thing," Varick began, "You remember that snow speeder we found—"

"That was a snow speeder," Aayla discouraged, "And besides that thing was about a thousand years old!" Out of the two friends, Varick was the dreamer, Aayla the rational one.

"Well, I fixed it up and went a little further… and there was an Imperial fighter that nobody has ever even known about," Varick told her excitedly.

"An Imperial Fighter?!" Aayla began, "You want to run around in an enemy ship that'll make us look like old imperialists?!"

"No… I just want to transfer out all the hardware into the snow speeder," Varick began, "It might work…" He didn't sound too believing in his own plan. They looked at each other and the laughter burst from both of them after a while.

"Might as well just ask my parents for their old cruiser…" Aayla laughed stepped over to the kitchen, "That might work just as well…"

"Aayla…" Varick began, "Maybe we could talk to your parents. They have connections…"

"My parents…" Aayla began, "They might help you… but not me… not unless they really trusted…" Aayla stopped in mid motion. The apartment door opened allowing two adults to step into the home. They smiled over to Varick and Aayla and sat on the couch.

"You would not believe how stubborn some people can be, Aayla," her mother began to speak about their meeting. Her face was lined with age and she did seem a little less radiant then she was eighteen years before but her beauty still shone through.

"Varick," Kyle greeted slapping his shoulder. He was equally lined, although he seemed to be a little fuller through the face and middle than his wife. "How are you? Getting ready for the next cargo ship, right?"

"Well, about that sir…" Varick began, "I was wondering…" Varick's words were drowned out by the booming voice of the man.

"I remember when I was your age… My passage into the world was relatively simple… I was Princess Leia's guard. She trusted me and asked me to join the Alliance. So I did." He smiled and shrugged simply, "Then it was an easy passage into the world."

"Dad," Aayla addressed, "Mom… can I maybe… go with Varick?"

"Go with him?" her mother began in shock. "But there's no sure place he's going to if he takes a cargo ship."

"Right," Aayla began, "That's why I was wondering if you might be able to ask one of your friends from back in the day… someone with a ship that we might be able to hitch a ride on to… Naboo or Coruscant."

"I—" her father stuttered. "You—" He seemed to be attempting to keep himself from yelling.

"Your father and I will have to talk about it," her mother stood and pulled on the wrist of her husband. After much yanking, she finally managed to pull the stunned man out of the small room and into their tiny bedroom. Aayla watched as the door slid closed with a swoosh. Aayla glanced over to Varick who smiled at her.

"What is she going to do?" her father's voice boomed through the wall. "She doesn't have any credits and we have barely anything to give her as it is!" A hush followed the loud and angry yells.

Varick put his hand on Aayla's shoulder, attempting to encourage her. Her parent's door slid open and out the two parents walked to sit on the couch. "Varick, Aayla," her mother spoke, "We need to talk to you." The two youth stepped over and sat across from the two adults.

"Where were you planning on going, Varick?" the deep voice of Aayla's father spoke.

"Well, I don't know exactly yet," Varick shrugged a little, "But I was kind of hoping to get to Coruscant or Bespin." He hadn't really put much thought into it. The two parents sighed and shook their heads inwardly; he didn't seem to be going anywhere really.

"Alright, alright," the man nodded and continued, "What were you planning on doing when you got there?"

"Um," Varick avoided eye contact, "I was hoping to become a starship mechanic."

"Okay," the man nodded again, "Bespin's probably the better place for that… especially since we know Lando well enough."
"Well enough," his wife chuckled shaking her head. "Honey, if you're on a first name basis with him, you know him more than well enough."

The man nodded and shrugged. Just because Lando and him had had a long discussion about practically everything, didn't mean they were close… right? "How would you support Aayla if she were to go with you?"

"Dad," Aayla began, "I think I'd want to support myself, thank you very much." Aayla regretted this when she saw the look on her mother's face behind her father.

"How would you support yourself then?"

"Um…" Aayla looked down and shrugged, "Maybe… Maybe I could be a teacher--!"

"The mediocre education we gave you here wouldn't be enough to qualify as a teacher," her mother said grimly.

"What if I sang?" Aayla asked. She did have a voice… she might make a good entertainer.

Her father furrowed his brow. "Perhaps that would work for you…" he began, "But you can't be dressing to minimum to get a hold of an audience." Aayla smiled because his words seemed to be positive for her leave, but her father's face hardened, "Not that that means we're letting you go with him!"

The grin was dashed from Aayla's face. She looked over to Varick who shrugged.

"We'll talk about it a little more, Aayla," the man spoke. He turned to Varick, "For now, we can get you a ride to Bespin and a possible job there as well."

Varick smiled and stood holding out his hand to shake the father. He smiled in return nodding to each "thank you" Varick got out as he back up to the door.

"Goodnight, Varick," Aayla waved as he stepped out the door.

"Aayla," the broad shoulders of the father did not turn as he spoke authoritatively, "Go to bed."

"But, Dad—"

"Bed!" he shouted, "Your mother and I have to talk about this whole thing…"

Aayla sighed and walked into the smallest room: her room. She undressed and laid herself down on the small bed. What if she did go with Varick? What if she did become a singer? A picture of her singing in a long white dress to a group of people who weren't really listening flashed in her imagination. Aayla imagined a home with Varick. Wait, with him? They weren't like that though… Aayla shrugged and continued to think. What about this Lando fellow? What would he be like? Would she meet any other rebellion heroes? Her eyes shut and her mind cleared.

What news of her going would the next day bring?