by Valerie Vancollie

"What's this?" Luke Skywalker asked as he looked at the projected holo-image of the girl.

"Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope," she said before she looked behind her and then leaned forward.

There was a slight bit of static before the message started over again.

"Help me Obi-Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope."

"Oh nothing Sir," See-Threepio replied after talking to Artoo. "Just some old data."

"Who is she?" Luke asked curiously. "She's beautiful."

"I'm not quite sure Sir, she was a passenger on our last voyage, a person of some importance," Threepio stated.

"Is there anymore to this message?"

Threepio turned to Artoo who quickly let out a series of whistles and beeps.

"He says the restraining bolt is short-circuiting his recording skills, he suggests that if you remove it he might be able to play back the entire message," Threepio translated.

"Well..." Luke started, but was cut off as his aunt called.

"Luke, supper."

"Coming Aunt Beru," Luke replied before turning back to the droids. "Maybe later."

With this Luke left the garage and headed for the house leaving Artoo and Threepio all alone. Artoo beeped worriedly as he watched Luke go.

"What?" Threepio asked. "What secret mission? What are you talking about?"

Artoo swiveled his dome around and whistled frantically as he tried to explain what he needed to do.

"You what?!" Threepio exclaimed astonished. "Master Luke is your rightful master now, I'm not going to help you run away from him."

Artoo just continued whistling and beeping, trying to persuade his counterpart of what he had to do.

"No," Threepio stated firmly. "I'm not going to do what you want. Who knows what they'll do to us if we get caught, they'll melt us down!"

The next day,

Luke looked up from fixing the moisture vaporator as he heard the distinct sound of a dewback. As he looked around he saw several greenish shapes approaching from the south. He immediately grabbed his view scanners and looked towards the south. What he saw made him jump to his feet in surprise.

Storm troopers! But why? He had never in all of his life heard nor seen storm troopers leave Anchorhead, they just didn't come out here. Luke instantly knew something was wrong, and since they were heading in his direction he ran to his landspeeder and headed home, leaving his tools where they were.

Owen Lars looked up as his nephew rushed up in the landspeeder, sending dust in all directions. Owen coughed and silently swore to himself, the boy was too wild and reckless. He never took responsibility for his actions. Well he'd better have a damn good excuse for this, he was supposed to be out on the south ridge repairing the vaporators.

As soon as the landspeeder came to a stop Luke jumped out and headed for his uncle.

"Uncle Owen!" he shouted as he neared his uncle. "Uncle Owen."

"Well?" Owen demanded as Luke approached. "You'd better have a good reason for being here, or else you won't be seeing you friends this afternoon."

Luke just nodded his head as his uncle gave him this lecture.

"Storm troopers," he finally said. "There are storm troopers on dewbacks heading in this direction."

"What?" Owen asked paling visibly.

"There are storm troopers heading in this direction," Luke repeated confused by his uncle's reaction. Sure he had expected his uncle to be upset, but he looked like he'd just seen a ghost.

"Go inside and tell your aunt," Owen ordered. "Then get the rifles."

"What?" Luke asked. "The rifles? Why..."

"Don't ask questions," Owen snapped as he stepped past Luke. "Just do it!"

Then Owen Lars ran up to the highest point and took out his own viewing scanners. Then he looked towards that south, and sure enough, there were storm troopers heading in their direction.

'Damn,' he thought. 'Could they be after Luke? Or is this just some check? Who are you trying to fool? They haven't left Anchorehead in years, if they're not after Luke then what are they doing here?'

"Aunt Beru!" Luke called out as he entered the house. "Aunt Beru!"

"Shhhh!" Beru warned as she came out of the kitchen. "You'll anger your uncle. Now what is it?"

"There are storm troopers heading this way, Uncle Owen told me to get the rifles and tell you," Luke replied still confused.

"S...storm troopers?" Beru replied as she too paled.

"What?" Luke asked getting even more confused. "What is it? Is there something I'm missing here?"

"Just go get the rifles like your uncle told you to," Beru ordered.

Luke just nodded, knowing that whatever was going was serious, as he had never heard his aunt speak that sternly before. For a few moments after Luke left the room Beru just stood still, hoping that the storm troopers weren't after Luke. Then Owen entered the room.

"Owen," Beru exclaimed. "What's going on? Are they....are they after Luke?"

"Beru, when's the last time storm troopers left Anchorhead?" Owen replied just as Luke returned with the laser rifles.

Beru just nodded her head as she watched Luke. It wasn't his fault that his father had turned bad, it just wasn't fair that he would pay the price for it. And although Beru didn't understand the Force, light side nor dark side, she had seen what the dark side had done to Anakin Skywalker and she didn't want to see that happen to Luke.

Luke handed one of the rifles to his uncle as his eyes darted from his uncle to his aunt. He knew there was something they weren't telling him, but he knew better then to ask questions about that at the moment.

"Now what?" he asked.

"We see what they want," Owen replied as he glanced at his wife.

He could send Luke to Ben, but he didn't trust his half-brother, besides the storm troopers would see the dust the speeder caused and go after it. It was better to keep Luke with him where he could take care of the boy and make sure that he didn't get into any trouble.

"Come on," he said gesturing for Luke to follow him. "They'll be here any minute now."

"Owen--" Beru began.

"Not now," Owen replied knowing what she was going to say.

Luke looked at his aunt and uncle in confusion.

"Do as your uncle says," Beru finally said.

Nodding his head Luke followed his uncle out of the house to greet the arriving troopers.

"Owen Lars?" the Commander demanded as he approached Luke and his uncle.

"Yes," Owen replied.

"Where are the droids you bought from the jawas yesterday?" the Commander demanded.

"The droids?" Owen repeated astonished, maybe this wasn't about Luke after all.

If so then it was a good thing he hadn't sent Luke to Ben, then man would only have lied to Luke and filled his head with foolish ideals.

"Where are they?" the Commander demanded.

"Luke, what did you do with the droids?" Owen asked turning to the boy at his side.

"I...they're in the garage," Luke replied looking at the storm troopers.

They had gone to the Imperial Academy, which was exactly what he had always wanted to do; go to the Academy and get off of Tatooine. Suppressing a sigh Luke turned around and followed his uncle as he lead the storm troopers to the garage.

As they entered the garage Luke saw Threepio activate himself moments before Artoo started to whistle and swivel his dome. If Luke hadn't known any better he would have thought that the small, blue, droid was frightened or worried.

"Master Luke," Threepio said as his noticed Luke. "Artoo says--"

"Silence," Owen ordered gesturing his rifle towards the droid.

Threepio took one look at the rifle and seemed to decide that whatever Artoo had to say wasn't important enough to get himself blaster, Artoo on the other hand kept whistling.

"You too," Owen stated turning to Artoo.

Immediately Artoo stopped whistling and Owen turned to the storm troopers.

"Are those the droids you're looking for?" he asked nervously.

"Yes," the Commander replied.

"You may have them," Owen stated and noticed Luke start at the statement.

Luke probably thought that he was out of his mind letting the droids go, but he wanted the storm troopers out of here as fast as possible before one of them did start to take an interest in Luke.

"No," the Commander replied. "We'll take them."

At this one of the storm troopers behind the Commander raised his blaster and fired, instantly killing Owen as the blaster bolt hit him full in the chest. Startled Luke looked at his uncle's dead corpse before he turned around and raised his blaster. But it was too late, before Luke could even level his blaster with any of the storm troopers, a second trooper fired killing Luke before he realized what had happened.

Sitting in his home in the Dune Sea Obi-Wan, Ben, Kenobi looked up from the drink he was drinking as he felt the last thing he had ever hoped to feel: the death cry Luke Skywalker unconsciously sent through the Force.

I would like any and all comments on my story.

May 1999