Standard fanfic warning that wouldn't last ten seconds in a court of law. These aren't my characters. I'm just borrowing them for, um, typing practice. Yeah, that's it, typing practice. Originally published in Syzygy #2, back in 1987, edited slightly in 2010. Based on characters and situations created by George Lucas and expanded upon by Brian Daley. "News from Home" is copyright to the author, 1987. This copyright covers original material only and is not meant to infringe on the rights held by George Lucas, Lucasfilm, 20th Century-Fox, Brian Daley, National Public Radio, Alan Dean Foster, Del Rey Books, or any other parties.

News from Home

a missing scene from Star Wars: A New Hope

by Susan M. M.

It would be difficult, Darth Vader realized, to break Leia Organa. Despite her youth, she was a formidable opponent. As a royal princess and an imperial senator, she'd had free access to government secrets; accordingly, she had been trained to resist standard torture methods. Also, the girl was a Force-sensitive. Fortunately, she was unaware of her gift and untrained.

"Lord Vader?" There was a knock at the door, and a voice tentatively called his name.

"Enter," the Sithlord ordered.

Lord Vader's adjutant walked into the cabin. "The report on the Tattooine affair, my lord." The young imperial officer handed his master a computer tape. Darth Vader accepted it silently and dismissed the lieutenant with a gesture.

Lord Vader inserted the tape into his computer terminal and watched the words rush by on the screen. Stormtroopers had found a life-pod from the Tantaby IV on the outskirts of the Jundland Wastes, and had discovered 'droid plating near the pod. The 'droids had been traced to a herd of scavenging Jawas, who had, of course, been killed. Before his execution, the leader of the Jawas had revealed to whom he'd sold the 'droids. The new owners of the 'droids had been located and executed.

Darth Vader suddenly pressed the 'pause' button. He stared at two names he hadn't heard for twenty years. Owen Lars. Beru Lars. Both executed - painfully, callously - by his orders. His stepbrother and his wife. Dead.

Jedi breathing exercises helped Lord Vader quickly resume his calm demeanor. A Dark Lord of the Sith has no time for grief or family ties: he must belong completely to the Dark Side of the Force. Besides, what were the lives of two insignificant humans compared to the safety of the Empire? He removed the tape from the computer terminal. He could finish it later, after he interrogated Princess Leia. He didn't notice as his bionic hand half-crushed the fragile tape.

One of the lubricator tubes in his breathing mask must have been leaking. Darth Vader felt something damp roll down his cheek.


Author's Note: When I originally wrote this, back in '87 on a typewriter (remember what those are, gang?), Beru was Anakin's sister. I still think it's more believable and that the story works better with her as his sister than with Owen as his stepbrother, but in the interest of canonical accuracy, I updated it to match the events of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.