Wow! It's the last chapter of this story. The end gives away what the next one will be about. I thought it would be an interesting turn. The next one will be up in about a month… Well, when I get out of school. I've been spending so much time on this I've been neglecting my school work but that's okay. I can pass in school without trying, but at least I finished my research essay so I'm good although lord knows I should have studied more for my Spanish. This chapter just kind of wraps things up a bit, and leads us into the next story. Read, Enjoy, and Review.
When they got back to Yavin and Luke was out of his cockpit. His sister practically tackled him when she hugged him.
"Leia!" he said laughing and them they began to jump and spin around. Being with his sister made him feel complete, more whole than he had been on Tatooine by himself. Acting like siblings just came to them naturally.
"Luke," Han said and Luke hugged him. They both patted each other on the back.
"I knew you wouldn't leave," Luke said grinning at him. "I knew it."
"Well," Han said shrugged. "I wasn't going to let you take all the credit and get all the reward."
"So maybe there is more to you than money Solo."
The three friends turned around to see Alex standing behind them smiling. He turned to Luke.
"Good work son," he said putting his hand on his shoulder. "Your father is watching you somewhere very proudly. I know it."
He looked at Leia and added, "And you too. He always wanted a little girl."
Leia beamed as Alex began to walk away.
"Hey!" Han shouted. "What about me? I came back didn't I?"
Alex turned around and glared at Han. "I'm sure wherever Anakin Skywalker is, he's frowning very disapprovingly down at you, despite the fact that you just might be more than a pirate at heart."
Alex turned to go to his wife and Han shook his head.
"I just don't get it. What have I ever done to him?"
Luke and Leia shrugged. Alex was a bit of a mystery to all of them. He wasn't quite what he appeared, him nor his wife. Luke just couldn't shake the feeling there was more to both of them, like they were hiding something.
Luke looked back at his fighter where maintenance crew was lifting a fried Artoo out.
"Oh no," he whined. "Don't tell me-."
"Oh my!" Threepio exclaimed. "Artoo. Can you hear me? Say something!"
"Can you fix him?" Leia asked the mechanic.
He nodded. "We'll get to work right away."
"You must repair him! Sir, if any of my circuits or gears will help, I'll be happy to donate them," Threepio said following the mechanic.
"Thank goodness," Luke said in relief. "It wouldn't do good for me to be the one that kills an Artoo droid that been in our family for decades."
Leia nodded and put her arms around Han and Luke's shoulders. Then they put their arm around her.
"I'm starving," Luke said suddenly.
"I feel ya," Han said.
"Is that all men think about?" Leia asked rolling her eyes as they began to walk towards the cafeteria.
"Hey, you look like you could use a good mean yourself princess. I'm positive the death star doesn't serve gourmet cuisine to prisoners," Han shot.
From afar, Anakin and Padmé smiled at them.
"Looks like they'll be good friends now. Perfect," Anakin commented. "Trouble magnets, all three of them. This base will never be the same again."
"I wonder though," Padmé began.
"What?" Anakin asked.
"I just wonder if that's how Obi-Wan, you, and I would have been under less stressful and dire circumstances," Padmé suggested.
Anakin snorted. "As if rebelling against the empire and fighting the death star aren't stressful and dire."
"Not like that," Padmé said glaring at him. "I mean without all the restrictions of the jedi code and corrupt politics."
Anakin looked at them. There was Luke, the calm and somewhat reasonable one (or a least a little more reasonable than the other two. He'd never be anywhere near as reasonable as Obi-Wan. Luke had too much of Anakin and Padmé in him for that), then Leia, the politician you didn't want to cross, and Han the once who acted before thinking (But Anakin usually had the skill to do that. Han just acted with nothing to back him).
"I see your point," Anakin admitted. "That might have been us in a different lifetime."
It was only after the initial relief that the whole base had that the death star was destroyed and the planet they were on wouldn't be blown to bits that Luke realized exactly what blowing up the death star meant. He was now the hero of the rebellion. It amazed him. In only a few days he had gone from farm boy to hero. It had really been that quick. It wasn't like he had been part of the rebellion before and was already a respected comrade. He had just happened to come upon some droids and the next thing he knew, he was a hero. He would now be legend in the rebellion and the empire for years to come.
He sighed as he turned in his bed again. The rebel leaders were having a ceremony to reward him and Han tomorrow. Alex might have gotten a commemoration if it weren't for the fact that he went and had his own side battle with Darth Pesinoé when she was already down for the count since her wing was done. Dodonna had given him a stern talking to for that, and for switching com frequency (Alex insisted that wasn't his fault. He was willing to take responsibility for the things he had done, but he had not changed the com frequency.)
Alex hadn't cared though. He didn't need a medal for reward. The rebellion was safe and that was reward enough.
Luke didn't see the point of the ceremony himself. Sure he was a hero to the rebellion but there were millions of people in the galaxy who hated him and not because they were loyal to the empire. How many men had died on that station? How many people had now lost a brother, a son, a husband, who were just trying to make a living for themselves and their families? It made him sick to think about.
A knock on his door caught his attention. Who would be coming for him this late?
"Luke," Leia's soft voice came through the door. "Are you awake? Are you alright?"
Luke went and opened the door to let her in. He smiled at her and sat on the bed. Leia didn't turn on the light, even though it was dark. She just sat next to him and put her chin in her hands with her elbows resting on her thighs. She looked at him.
"Are you alright?" she asked again.
"I'm fine Leia," he said.
"Then why are you still awake? I know you're practically exhausted after everything that's happened," she said.
"It's nothing," he lied. "I'm just thinking. What about you?"
"What about me?"
"Why are you awake?"
Leia smiled, and Luke felt her amusement through their bond.
"I can place the blame for that on you," she said honestly.
Luke frowned as looked at her, temporarily forgetting his troubles.
"Me? I didn't keep you awake. You were in your room."
"I could feel that you were disturbed by something and because you were bothered, I was bothered," she explained.
"Sorry," Luke said softly. "I keep forgetting you can feel things through our bond. Maybe we can learn to control it better so we don't mirror each other's moods and feelings so much."
"Maybe," Leia replied and then grabbed her brother's hand. "What's wrong?"
Luke sighed. He should have known she'd ask.
"I don't know to be honest. This is all just a lot to take in. I've gone from farm boy to war hero in a matter of days," he said.
Leia tilted her head to get a view of his face and then shook her head.
"That's not it. There's something else. I can feel it," she muttered
Luke crossed his arms. "I was just thinking about how I destroyed the death star. I mean, it's great it's gone and it can no longer threaten anyone, but it just bothered me the lives that are now on my hands from blowing that thing up you know?" he asked.
Leia blinked. "What are you saying?"
Luke turned to her as he tried to find a way to say it. "I mean, there were more than just officers working on behalf of the empire on that thing. There were men and woman with simple jobs like cooking, cleaning, taking out trash, stuff like that. Were all their lives necessary sacrifices for the good of the entire galaxy? I mean they were working in the Empire, yes. But their biggest crime was trying to make a way for their families. They meant no harm. They didn't have any part in what that thing could do," he said.
Leia nodded, getting the point. She could feel Luke's disturbance about this. She hadn't really thought about it until he said it.
"I don't really know," Leia said honestly. "They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time I guess… I hope that didn't sound harsh but that's the only way I could see it. Maybe…"
Luke looked at his sister. She obviously had something else to say.
"What?" he asked.
"I don't know much about the force, but I know everything happens for a reason, and that when things happen, they only happen because the force wills it to be. If you weren't meant to destroy that station Luke, I don't think it would have happened. There are risks and sacrifices that come with everything, even lives. Who knows? We may be sacrificing ourselves one day. Everything has a price to pay. You can't blame yourself Luke, especially when in destroying thousands of people's live you saved billions and trillions more. We can only hope that we're forgiven and move on," Leia said reaching over and wrapping her arms around him.
Luke understood what she meant. Everything came with a price, especially war. There were always casualties on both side, always someone who lost a family member or even their entire families. It was something that couldn't be avoided.
"Force Leia," he said. "I'm about to have a breakdown over one battle. What will it be like for the rest of this war? This certainly won't be the last time I have to take innocent lives in the name of the greater good of the galaxy."
"I'll be here for you Luke," replied Leia softly. "And somewhere out there our parents are watching down on us, here for both of us."
Something then came to Luke's mind that helped ease his feelings on the matter.
"I wonder how our parents did it Leia?" Luke asked and before she could answer he went on. "They were secretly married. Our mother was probably alone most of her pregnancy ("She was a senator too," Leia added), while our dad was fighting in the biggest war, a civil war, the galaxy had seen in hundreds of years. They both made lots of sacrifices and I'm sure they had to take lives."
Leia shrugged. "I can't imagine. Must have been hard on them. I guess their only consolation was that they were trying to make the galaxy a safer place for billions of people… and us," she added thoughtfully. "But if they could do it, so can we. Their deaths won't be in vain."
Luke nodded. "You're right. We'll fight for this in their name. We'll restore peace and freedom to the galaxy."
"So his son and his daughter are with him," Sidous said to Pesinoé
Pesinoé frowned. "I believe that's what I said," she snapped not in any mood to deal with her master's calculative and manipulative game. She was already in a sour mood. She had lost two of her ladies, the death star was gone, and she had to take responsibility for the most humiliating defeat in the history of the empire because she had killed Tarkin. To say the least, she had a bad day indeed.
Sidious glared at her. This was the price he paid for having a female apprentice. She was far too outspoken, especially when she knew there wasn't a thing he could do about it from a hologram.
"I will deal with your insolence at a later time," he said deliberately.
Pesinoé didn't reply. It wasn't the first time she had been in trouble with the emperor and it wouldn't be the last. He'd never punish her too badly. She was his right hand man and the most competent help he had in the empire. She looked at her prosthetic crystal studded arm. It seemed like she would have to get it fixed again when she did go see the emperor. He always managed to short circuit it when he punished her.
"They were a threat before, but now that they're together, they're even more of a threat now," Palpatine said tapping his fingers.
"I will dispose of them quickly," she said starting to turn away without him formally dismissing her.
"Wait," he said to her.
Pesinoé turned back around on her heal as she regarded her master. Something told her she wouldn't like this.
Sidious pondered the Skywalkers. Three of them… The possibilities were endless. They were the most powerful force beings in the galaxy no doubt. Once the Skywalker twins learned to use the force, all three of them together would be an unstoppable force to be reckoned with and therefore be the downfall of the empire.
Sidious knew of course that Anakin Skywalker couldn't be turned and if he did he would never reach his full potential because of his attachment to that woman. But his twins, particularly his son, would make a powerful ally. Skywalker's son would be easy prey with the potential of his father, except without a woman holding him down, keeping him grounded. Yes… If his father would not turn then the son would and perhaps he'd be even more loyal and much less insolent and demanding to him than his current apprentice. No doubt she would want two more women to train in replacement of the ladies she had lost.
"Master," Pesinoé said cutting off his thoughts.
"You will kill Anakin Skywalker and his daughter, but you will bring the son to me," he said.
Pesinoé hid her surprise. "Why?"
"Skywalker's son will make a powerful ally. You will bring him to me and I will turn him."
"As a hand perhaps?" Pesinoé asked carefully. She didn't like where this was going.
"Do you trust in my judgment Pesinoé?" Sidious asked.
Pesinoé nodded slowly. "Of course Master."
"Then do it," he said and ended the transmission.
Pesinoé stalked out the room in an even worse mood than before. She went in her room to meditate. Sure she had told her master she trusted him, but treachery and betrayal was the way of the sith. Naturally, there was a lot of doubt.
She needed to know what her master had planned. From the sound of it, he was seeking to replace her. Pesinoé couldn't say she was surprised. Her master had probably been through more apprentices than any sith master ever had been. Unfortunately for him, she was much smarter than his former apprentices, and she didn't plan on making his list of ex-apprentices ever.
It was time for her to become the master. It was time for her to take her place on top, as empress of the galaxy. She would be Sidious' last apprentice.
As she meditated on this seeking confirmation of what Sidious planned to do, she felt a nudge in the force.
Odd, she thought getting deeper into her meditation to find out what it was. When she final found what is was, it shocked her. It was a fragile and undeveloped bond to someone. She tapped into it and then pulled back. The connection had been brief but it was enough to startle her out her meditative trance.
"What?" she said in disbelief. "It isn't possible. The force wouldn't mock me like that."
But the more she thought about it, the more she could believe it. It made a little sense in an ironic haunting kind of way. She tapped back into the force and found the bond again.
"Could it be…?" she muttered and projected one word to through the bond. That was all the bond could handle anyway.
Leia shot up out of bed. The feeling of something invading her mind had jolted her to awareness. But just as sudden as quick as the feeling came, it went away. She looked around the room a little spooked.
Next to her Luke woke up. She had stayed with him thinking perhaps her presence would settle him, and they both could get some sleep. Now it appeared she was the culprit this time.
"Leia," he said. "What's wrong? You look like you've seen a ghost or something."
'It was close,' Leia thought but pushed it out her mind.
"Nothing. Just a cramp. I'm fine," she said grateful she hadn't gone back to her room. Without Luke's comforting presence she probably would have awaken the entire base with the scream that had earlier died in her throat when she remembered Luke was there.
"You sure?" he asked dozing off again.
Leia nodded and lay back down. It was probably nothing to be worried about, probably just her mind playing tricks on her.
Well, this is to be continued of course. How'd you like the ending? I thought it would be an interesting twist. Here's your sneak peak of… well, it's the sneak peak. I haven't figured out a title yet. I'll post it in my profile when I do.
"You got your clearance to leave," Leia reminded.
"We'll all leave as soon as you're on your ship dear," Padmé said firmly. There was no way she was leaving the base before her child did.
"They're right your highness," Threepio said. "You must take the last transport. It's our only hope."
Leia began to protest and Anakin was ready to fight her when the entire base shook. Leia paled. Anakin looked at her. Apparently, she had felt the same thing he had.
"It's the bad woman," Leia muttered as she turned white and began to tremble.
"Leia," Anakin said and rushed to steady her. Padmé made a face that told him he had seen her look this way before, but it had apparently been a while.
"Imperial troops have entered the base!" was said over the loud speaker.
"Come on," Han said grabbing Leia's arm. "We've got to go."
Anakin started to help guide Leia out when Padmé went over to the control board.
"Take Leia," he said to Han and went to grab Padmé.
"Give the evacuation code signal and get to your transports!" she said to the remaining controllers.
"Come on!" Anakin said pulling Padmé away. "Leia's already gone with Han and Threepio."
Padmé nodded. and they followed the same way Han had taken Leia seconds earlier. It didn't take long to catch up with them seeing as Leia was barely walking and a cave in was blocking the way. Han was putting away his com and turning around.
"Where are we going?" Padmé asked.
"The Falcon!" Han said.
"Wait!" Leia said getting hold of herself. "Where's Luke?"
Anakin searched the force and was relieved to feel Luke. "He's fine. He'll get away. Don't worry about him. We have to get out of here. I sense something ominous. It's not exactly clear but it's got something to do with-."
Anakin stopped as he crashed into Padme who had crashed in Han and Threepio.
"Why did you stop?" Anakin asked as Han pointed to Leia who had stopped frozen in fear as Han tried to get her to keep going. But the girl was refusing to walk by the intersecting tunnel.
"Leia," Padmé said urgently trying to snap the girl out her trance. She had seen this before. "What is it?"
"The bad woman," Anakin said gravely, and Padmé gasped.
"She's been having those nightmares again?" Padmé asked recognizing Leia's behavior. "She's here."
Anakin nodded. "It's-."
"Well it looks like this is going to be much easier than I thought," a voice drawled. "Long time, no see master." The voice said mockingly.
I hope you liked it. It still has a few nicks in it. I know this much though, it's going to be longer that this one. I'm looking at about fourteen chapters, maybe fifteen. I'll see. Hope you enjoyed. Review please!