Dun-da-da! First chapter of the last story! Wow! Read, review! Please!!!


It wasn't the blinding sun reflected off almost white sand, or the withering heat that made her want to strip to her skin despite the multitude of people representing probably every star system from here to Broxant Sector, or even the buzzing that came from hundreds of different languages all spoken at the same time that convinced Lark she was on Tatooine. It was the distinctive smell that greeted her the instant she stepped out of their 'borrowed' ship and onto the rentable docking pad – the smell of garbage, fuel, hot animals and people, and heat. It nearly made Lark pass out. She breathed through her mouth until her sense of smell finally adjusted. Then she turned to her companion.

"Now what?"

Princess Leia looked around the crowded spaceport with her dark eyes and pushed a strand of her equally dark brown hair that had come loose from one of the two buns she had on either side of her head. Her gaze was calculating, but she also looked as lost as Lark felt. Neither had been to the planet before. Lark only knew a little Hutteese, though Leia was fluent in it, and both felt extremely small and unprotected.

"I'm not sure." Leia said after a pause. "We have to find Han first."

Lark nodded, thinking of Han, her friend and Leia's hopfully-more-than-friend, who had been frozen in carbonite thanks to the emperor and then put into the hands of a bounty hunter who had promptly handed him over to Jabba. That was probably where they should start.

"Bob said that Jabba's a pretty powerful figure here." She said. "He should be easy enough to find."

"It's not finding him I'm worried about." Leia said, her brown eyes still searching the crowd with a worried expression. "It's what we do when we find him."

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it." Lark said. "We're here, aren't we? We made it." It had been hard, but they'd managed to steal a small pod from their transport and turn course to Tatooine instead of rejoining the rebel alliance. They'd stopped at the first spaceport and sold their pod then used that money to get a small ship, no bigger than a jet actually, which they'd flown directly here. And now that they were here, Lark was sure they could figure something out. "Hey, it's not like we haven't been in tougher situations." She reminded Leia.

Leia smiled. "You're awfully optimistic, Lark. I'm just trying to be realistic."

"Leave that to Bob." Lark said, though her heart gave a painful twist as she thought of Bob, in the hands of Vader – per say. She wondered if he was still alive.


Bob was still alive, though at the moment he wondered if it wouldn't have been easier to simply have let Vader run him through. But the sith probably would've figured out some way to only capture him, and who knew what information Bob might have told under torture? No, for now he had a lot to be thankful for. He was a live, and safe – relatively – even if it was only temporary. He knew that he had to get out of here and soon. Before Vader discovered that he had faked turning to the dark side.

Right now Bob was focusing on sending his mind into a neutral state so Vader wouldn't read the light in him when they would be together in a little less than an hour. It was mentally and physically exhausting, but Bob was finally getting it. Or so he liked to think. His teacher, on the other hand, thought differently.

"You're leaking." An almost bored voice coming from a human whose form was lit by a faint blue light. Bob sighed, patched a few holes, and stretched the blank shield over his mind once more. It always made him feel numb and cold, but numb was better than dead. Or so he told himself.

"Better." Kitch said.

"How come you can feel me, but I can't feel you?" Bob asked.

"One of the mysteries of becoming one with the Force." Kitch waved his blue-lit hand vaguely in the air.

"Hmm." Bob didn't feel like talking about becoming one with the Force. It was a possibility that was all too real for him. "I'll tell you one thing: I didn't have this in mind when Han and I decided to give two humans and a couple of droids a ride to Aldreaan." He said. "Or when I told Jesse I wanted to become a Jedi."

"Tough." Kitch never had any sympathy, and Bob sighed inwardly. Lark or Leia would've listened. Even Luke might've been more compassionate than this ghost of a Jedi who for some reason or another had decided to help Bob. Not that Bob wasn't grateful for the help, but he missed his friends, especially Han and Lark. He wondered where they were.

"Thoughts like that are going to get you killed." Kitch said in a singsong voice.

Bob glared at him and readjusted his shield. Neutral mindsets didn't leave much room for moping, that was for sure.


"Gone!" Jesse felt like throwing himself on the floor and howling. He took a deep breath and held it until he could think of nothing but his need for air. Then he let it out as slowly as he could before finally giving oxygen to his grateful lungs. Now he could think clearly. Where was he? Oh yes.

!#$&! That's what he thought of this whole dratted adventure that was quickly growing old. First his daughter goes missing – his only daughter – along with the princess and his unofficial apprentice as well as the son of the Sith Lord's apprentice, then he leaves to rescue his daughter after an almost violent argument with his wife, only to find that his daughter is in love with the said son of a sith and has to stay with him instead of returning to safety, and now he returns to the rebel base to find that his wife has taken off to find him! Jesse gave up trying to calm himself by taking deep breaths and took out his lightsaber. He ran through several sequences before finding himself connected enough to the Force to think semi-rationally.

What was he to do? Going after Kimmy was the obvious choice, but where would he start to look for her? Where would she start to look for him? Jesse massaged his temples. How long had it been since he'd slept? That had been the start of his troubles, he realized. If he hadn't been so worried, he wouldn't have had nightmares, and if he hadn't had had nightmares, he wouldn't be some darn tired now, and if he hadn't been so tired he wouldn't have yelled at Kimmy. Jesse hesitated and then went to his quarters. It might be considered crazy and downright uncaring to sleep right now, but he knew what he needed more than anything was at least a couple hours of sleep before he would be in any frame to do anything. He used a sleep suggestion on himself through the Force and was out the instant his head touched his pillow, before he even pulled his boots off.


"No, he doesn't run through here anymore. Sorry." The clerk behind the counter looked anything but.

Kimmy ran a hand through her blonde hair that was light enough to disguise any grey hairs. She had only found one, but she was glad all the same. And thanks to lightsaber drills, she still fit into the clothes she wore before she had a daughter, one of the main reasons for her success in tracking down her quarry. She found that men were more willing to help an attractive woman rather than one that looked like she was the mother of a seventeen-year-old – which Kimmy was. But now it seemed her road had come to an end.

"Are you sure?" she leaned closer, her tone almost pleading. "It's really important."

"You can look at our records if you want – oh wait, you can't, it's against policy." Kimmy refrained from wrinkling her nose at the bad joke. "Last time he was here was almost four years ago."

"So you don't know where I could find him?"

"Oh well, you can look up the registry of his space vehicle and try to contact him, but that's not anywhere near my department." The clerk shrugged. "Sorry." This time he looked a little more earnest. Kimmy thanked him and walked away.

Of course she could've looked up his registry, but that would've involved an office a little too close to police for her comfort considering who she was and the last name of the person she was looking for. Kimmy sighed. Maybe she missed her guess. After all, if she couldn't find him, how could Jesse? But how many options did she have? Kimmy snorted. None. This was her best bet. And even if she didn't find Jesse with the person she was looking for, she would at lease have help. The only thing to do was keep looking.