Title: Elusive Peace
Author: Deja Vu
Summary: Luke is enslaved by Jabba the Hutt, but he knows he is meant to live a better life, and he must find a way to be free. But peace is always elusive.
Rating: Mild language, some violence, some blood, a few semi-graphic descriptions of torture.
Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars (or Lincoln's Gettysburg address, which a later part took some inspiration from), but this story is mine.
Major Characters: Luke, Vader, Mara, Obi-Wan, and others.
Author's Notes: The idea of Luke as Jabba's slave is somewhat similar to one of SkyJade's stories, but I started writing this before I read it. Still, a nod to her for the idea, regardless. Also, note that this story was created by combining two plot bunnies, which means that Part 1 is a rather different beast from the following parts...So, sorry about that. =/ Also, I've taken a little liberty with bits of the SW timeline.
Author's Thanks: Thanks to for their good quote database and to the Wookieepedia for its awesome Star Wars database. Many, many thanks to Moy for her wonderful beta reading of chapters 1 and 2! Big thanks to Kitt for helping me come up with a band name (a parallel of Trout Fishing in America) and for extensive help (meaning major but wonderful revisions) on chapters one through three—she had excellent ideas and really helped out a lot (particularly with chapter 3—the lovely craziness there you can thank her for). And many thanks to Phantom Jedi for beta-reading the whole thing (for all she looked at, of course, but especially for her great suggestions concerning the ends of chapters 8 and 19).



CHAPTER 1: Worthless

"I can't believe there's still slavery in the galaxy." Padmé Amidala, The Phantom Menace



He was worthless.

That was something Jabba's brutal Head of Slavery had to continually remind him.

He was only kept around until he became strong and skillful, so that Jabba the Hutt could sell him for a healthy sum...

He could still remember the day vividly...

The day his guardians had been murdered.


It was a cold, barren Tatooine night.

A young boy was standing in the door that led down to the pit of his family's homestead. His aunt and uncle were sleeping soundly, but something—he wasn't sure what—had woken him. And so he had come outside to look up at the stars.

But the stars could not comfort him. There was something unsettling about the night's silence, and he shivered and hugged his arms to himself. That's when he heard it—the telltale hum of a landspeeder racing across the dunes. He frowned, wondering what anyone would be doing outside at this time of night, and kept his gaze fixed forward. Finally, he saw the approaching vehicle. Dust billowed up behind it in a cloud, and a few grains of sand glistened in the starlight.

He blinked, trying to make out the occupants of the speeder. He could first only see that there were two figures inside. As the landspeeder came closer, he realized that it contained a human male and a tall alien figure.

His heart was pounding, and his feet were frozen in fear. He had seen these two before.

The human was Dypsnea, a man with dark and scruffy hair—but what he remembered most was the man's face. With a permanent sneer etched onto it, his was a face that brought to mind the stone idols created by primitive civilizations surrounded by misfortunes.

Pelisse was the name of Dypsnea's alien companion. He was a horned biped with glinting fangs, and Luke had been haunted by nightmares about him ever since the first time they had come. These two were dangerous, and Luke realized they must be after his uncle again.

The landspeeder had stopped, and they were jumping out of it. They had spotted him.

Somehow, he managed to move his feet. He turned and fled down the stairs to warn his aunt and uncle. On the fourth to last step, he tripped.

The air was knocked out of him as he hit the ground hard. With great effort, he brought a shaky hand up to cup his bleeding mouth. He'd hit his teeth on the last step.

He struggled to stand, but he was in pain from having the air knocked out of him. He only made it a few steps forward before he felt a hairy hand grab him, digging into his skin with painfully sharp claws. He wasn't even able to cry out—Pelisse had stuffed an old rag in his mouth.

The alien placed him down on the ground. Dypsnea crouched beside him. "Move a muscle from this spot," the human breathed next to his ear, "and I'll kill you. If you even so much as sneeze, I'll kill you."

Tears streaking down his face, Luke nodded. Dypsnea moved toward the door that would lead him to Owen and Beru Lars and gestured Pelisse forward. The alien disappeared inside, and Dypsnea followed.

Luke was staring up at the stars wide-eyed when he heard the screams. A lone, dark desert beetle scuttled by his arm, the single neutral witness to the startled shrieks and final death-cries of two human beings. Luke, the non-neutral witness, turned over onto his side and sobbed into the uncaring ground.

The two assassins finally returned. The rag had fallen out of Luke's mouth, and he was no longer even trying to be quiet. Pelisse jerked him to his feet and tucked him under his right arm. Luke struggled to get free, but he was unable to make the alien release his strong grip. Every twitch of Luke's just seemed to make the alien tighten his hold.

The beetle that had been beside Luke was still moving around, but, with a small crunch which signified that Dypsnea's scuffed boot had found a target, even that last witness was gone.

The peace of the night was once again broken as the two partners started their speeder and sped away. Their next stop was Jabba's Palace. After an encounter with Jabba's gatekeeper droid and his majordomo, the assassins dragged Luke into the Hutt's throne room.

Jabba was calmly smoking a hookah pipe. He looked down at his guests with his bulbous eyes, and Dypsnea and Pelissa nodded their heads as a gesture of respect. Luke, however, did not even look at the crimelord.

[How did it go?] Jabba questioned them in Huttese.

The protocol droid near him translated everything he said, so there was a delay in response from the pair of assassins.

Dypsnea replied in Basic: "Very well, Your Excellency. We paid them back for the debt they owed you and brought back this boy as a prize for you."

Luke was quiet. He wanted nothing more than to punch the life out of his two captors. He still couldn't believe what they had done...

[His name?] he heard Jabba inquire. The Hutt picked up a Klatooine paddy frog from the aquarium to the left of his dais and plopped it into his mouth.

After the protocol droid imparted the question, Luke replied for himself, though it was not with an actual answer but with a sniffled question. "What'd they ever d-do to y-you?" he asked, finally looking at the immense figure before him. Tears were shining in his eyes, and his chin was trembling.

Jabba gave a deep laugh. [They owed me interest on a loan, boy.]

As the droid translated, Luke suddenly found himself distracted by a strange creature in a cage hanging above Jabba. "Wh-what's that?" he asked, pointing upward. His sobs had quieted at the sight of the furry lizard.

[You are a curious boy,] the Hutt chuckled. [That is an ysalamir, a creature which prevents Jedi from giving me any problems. There are a few in this room, you will notice...Now, tell me, boy, what is your name?]

After listening to the translation, Luke held his head up high. He was proud of his name. "Luke. Luke Skywalker."

A Kowakian monkey-lizard sitting on Jabba's dais laughed, "Ohh, Luke Skywalker. Eh-ha-ha-ha."

Jabba's already huge mouth widened slightly in surprise. [Skywalker?] he echoed. [Like the podracer? Hmm...Perhaps you may be of use to me. Guards! Take him to the slave quarters, and make sure he gets fitted with a transmitter in the morning,] Jabba ordered with a gesture of his hand.

Two Gamorreans stepped forward and grabbed Luke by his arms, lifting him into the air. Luke started yelling and kicking, but the thick-skinned guards ignored his attempts, though one grunted upon being hit by a foot on the nose.

[Our payment?] hissed Pelisse in his native tongue.

Jabba's droid translated the question.

[Ah, yes,] Jabba chortled, the monkey-lizard laughing along with him. Then he pushed a button on his hookah pipe. The grate in front of him disappeared from beneath his two guests' feet.

[You demanded a terrible price for such a simple task,] the Hutt said calmly, [and I refuse to be taken advantage of. Ho ho ho.]

Dypsnea fell quickly, not having expected this turn of events. Pelisse, however, leaped to try to reach safety. He managed to get a tentative hold on the edge of the floor with his massive paws. Jabba's guests and lackeys crowded around to see the spectacle, and a chuckling Rodian smashed Pelisse's right paw with the butt of a blaster rifle. Snarling, the assassin let go, holding his right hand in his left, realizing his mistake too late as he fell down into the pit.

The excited piglike guards who had grabbed the boy let him loose and joined the crowd around the grate, distracted by the thought of violence. The frightened child's eyes flickered around nervously, and, seeing the possibility of escape in front of him, he began to sneak out of Jabba's court, heading toward the entrance. He stepped tentatively forward—

—and froze as a black gloved hand gripped his shoulder.

"What do you think you're doing?" a low, sinister voice whispered in Luke's ear.

The nine-year old boy jumped several inches into the air, scared out of his wits. The spindly hand tightened its grip and twisted him around.

"You will ssspeak when ssspoken to!" hissed the dark figure before Luke. The being was clad in tight black clothes, and he radiated anger and annoyance. He had orange-speckled eyes, but if it hadn't been for the forked tongue that flicked quickly in and out, Luke might have mistaken him for an elderly, decaying man.

"L-looking around," Luke whimpered out at last.

Again, the tongue came out, testing the air. "Yesss, likely ssstorry." He grabbed Luke's shoulder again, and this time claws dug into the poor boy through the humanoid's gloves.

Luke yelped, only to have the fingers tighten their grip. He was maneuvered back over to the grate, where Luke's captor eagerly watched with the rest of Jabba's court. The frightened boy was firmly held in the humanoid's grip.

The huge transparisteel door inside the pit had just opened, and Jabba's newest beast ambled out. It seemed laughable, with huge black, teary-looking eyes, long floppy ears, a velvety nose, long whiskers, huge hindlegs that looked way too big even for its five-meter tall owner, stubby webbed forepaws, and a short, fluffy tail. In fact, some of Jabba's patrons did chuckle, but they did so lightly under their breath.

Somehow, Luke knew the creature was dangerous, and he did not laugh. Instead, he peered through the gate with morbid curiosity. He knew he was about to see his guardians' murderers be killed. Was this justice?

Sneering, Dypsnea laughed at the creature insanely. It looked down at him with sad eyes. Then, quick as lightning, Dypsnea was snatched up off the ground, dangling above the Qprayveeta in an enormous, clawed paw. The beast opened its mouth in a snarl, revealing rows of glistening white teeth. As quickly as he was grabbed from the ground, he was swallowed up, the creature not even bothering to chew.

Luke took in a deep breath. One of the murderers had been killed.

Pelisse was smarter than his partner, and his eyes darted around in a search for a weapon. His quick surveillance failing, the alien flattened himself against the wall in hopes that the creature's clumsy paws wouldn't be able to peel him off.

His hope wasn't too far off the mark, but, since the creature couldn't pick him up, it started to smack its oversized paws against Pelisse. Pelisse swiped at him with his own claws, and the beast rumbled in pain. Its black eyes started looking less teary and more vicious, and it lowered his head and rammed against the other again and again.

Pelisse eventually crumpled under the Qprayveeta's assault, falling into unconsciousness. Raising its head, the beast let out a loud and triumphant war cry. It turned back to its prey, and it didn't take long for Pelisse to meet the same fate as his partner.

Luke's eyes were as round as Tatooine's twin suns; he was horrified by what he had just witnessed. All he wanted to do was go back home with his aunt and uncle and sleep in his warm, comfortable bed.

He clenched his small fists. He didn't want to believe that they were dead and that he was in a strange place full of battle-ready barbarians. Yes, it had to all be just a very long nightmare, he told himself...And yet, he knew it wasn't a dream.

At least, he told himself, his aunt and uncle's killers had gotten what they deserved. They did deserve death, didn't they?

Now that the entertainment was over, the hostile humanoid turned his orange-speckled eyes back to Luke. "Follow me," he hissed.

Complying silently, Luke trailed along behind the cloaked figure, concentrating on not crying. His uncle had always told him that big boys didn't cry. He had done far too much of that today.

Luke was led back to a dark, dank room where he was given a loincloth and told to put it on. He wasn't thrilled at the idea of stripping his clothes in front of the other—his aunt had taught him that modesty was in all cases a virtue—but he was even less thrilled at the thought of having it done for him.

After Luke was done changing, the humanoid nodded in approval and then gestured for him to follow once again. He was taken to another room that was even damper, but it was bigger than the first. Several people who looked like dancers and slaves were scattered about. Some of them were sleeping with unpleasant facial expressions, as if they were trapped in nightmares they could never escape.

The cloaked creature barked out an order to a redheaded woman, a slender human who was dressed in a skimpy purple outfit that surprisingly seemed to suit her. She nodded and pulled the boy aside, squatting beside him. Seeing that she was taking care of him, Luke's humanoid captor disappeared back into the halls.

"Hi there, sweetie," the woman cooed. "What's your name, honey?"

Sniffling, Luke wiped his nose with his hand and then answered softly, "Luke."

"Jabba calls me Pateesa, but you can call me Delana." She smiled at him reassuringly.

Luke gave a small smile in return, even though it was one of the last things he wanted to do. But soon his resolve broke, and his lip trembled. "I want my aunt..."

Delana made a quiet "Aww," and then told him, "Well, darling, I'm sure your aunt's in a better place...For now, I'm going to help take care of you. Don't worry, things will be okay." She hoped they would be, but she doubted it. She hated when Jabba had little ones brought in; all too often, she knew, he'd had their parents or guardians killed—it wasn't enough for Jabba that they be made to suffer as slaves. Few of the children survived for long, and those that did had a bleak future ahead of them.

She always tried to keep an eye out for them, but death and degeneration were usually unavoidable. And yet, she thought, as she looked at the boy in front of her, she had a feeling that maybe this once it would be different. She certainly prayed it would. The kid had a cute, innocent face; wide, pretty blue eyes; and what seemed to be a kind disposition. She hoped it would last. Many children went crazy in Jabba's place before they had even been there for half a year.

"P-promise?" The sapphire eyes looked up into her brown ones for an affirmation.

She hated to get his hopes up, but the words came out before she could stop them. "I promise. Now, it's bedtime for you." Delana escorted Luke to a small, uncomfortable-looking pallet on the floor. "I know it's not much for someone who's used to sleeping in a real bed, but it'll have to do..."

Luke nodded, getting down onto the dirty pallet. He rested there for a moment before looking up with sleepy eyes. "G'night..." Absentmindedly, as if it were a tradition he went through every night, he added, "Love you..."

Delana winced. He probably wouldn't even like her for long. But there was nothing she could do about it other than make his life as comfortable as she could. She was Head Dancer, but all that really meant was that she kept the other dancers in line and Jabba was less likely to try to feed her to one of his pets. He generally preferred non-human dancers, but for some reason he felt something close to admiration for Delana, possibly because she was no-nonsense in her dealings with him. Still, even with her small amount of power, there wasn't much she could do for the boy, but she would try...She was always trying.

She only hoped that he didn't end up hating her the next day. A slave transmitter would be surgically placed inside his body to ensure that he never escaped. If he tried, he would be blown to pieces. The knowledge of that was usually enough to drain all the hopes out of people.