Imperial confinement. (A Slight Disruption novella.) Han, Vader, PT&OT and EU.
Set between chapter fourteen (Encountering the Emperor and further developments,) and chapter fifteen (Imperial Entanglements,) this short story seeks to cover some of the missing five years between the two, and the life Han experienced as the foster son of Darth Vader.
Our story begins the day after the Empire's anniversary, Han is given permission by Vader to travel to Naboo to meet with Padmé's family and stay with them while Vader attends to other duties.
Accompanied by the young Imperial cadet, Crix Madine, and the aging Imperial General, Jan Dodonna, Han is welcomed on peaceful Naboo warmly.
But, being Han Solo, the young teen soon finds trouble in an unexpected form when a former Jedi asks for his help in the most unusual of circumstances.
Well here's a shocking surprise to my system, revisiting old friends is one thing, reviving the dead is another; and this novella is somewhere in between.
Honestly I thought I might offer the idea to someone else, but the concept came knocking and I've taken a break from Revelation of Fate for the time being. So, what better way than to offer some insight into Han's mid-to-late teenage years with the foster father from hell?
(On a side note, if anyone has an interest in writing something from the eight years between ASD and RoF, feel free to contact me about it.)
I hope you enjoy. :)
Disclaimer: I would try to own these characters, but as the great, little-green once said: "Do or do not, there is no try." So as I do not own Star Wars, I do not. (Wow...there's serious Zen going on...)
Chapter One: Oh, goodie...
Opening up one hazel eye, the teenage boy pulled the covers off of his tussled, brown haired head and rolled the aforementioned eye about the room; scoping out his austere surroundings with a bored eye before pulling the covers back over himself and groaning unhappily.
Wishing away all that had happened in the past four days had obviously been fruitless. The bedroom quarters he had been given by what used to be his foster father, were the same drab grey and black as the rest of the huge apartment. As cold and as distant as his foster father himself.
After a moment of regret, the boy swallowed hard and resolutely. What was it that Bail Organa used to say? If wishes were fishes and Hutts were overgrown slugs...no that's not it...wishes were fishes and...something about flying Duros?
Han Solo-Naberrie(...well now Vader as well,) pushed off the covers with an annoyed grunt. He couldn't remember the rest of the saying to convince himself to stay in bed, so he'd might as well get up and find some food...maybe some caf if he could sneak it, stim-tea if he couldn't.
The skinny, lanky teen threw his long legs over the side of the bed and pushed back his longish, light brown bangs from his half-lidded hazel eyes. Standing up and stretching, Han plodded over to the 'fresher, clad only in his grey sleep pants.
After finishing up what he had to do in the ensuite 'fresher, Han walked back into his room and found a t-shirt. Pulling on the plain white shirt, Solo looked over at his bedroom door and pursed his lips thoughtfully.
Should he risk heading out or would his breakfast be brought to him?
Han shrugged and walked over to the door panel, pressing it he stepped out into the ascetic apartment and looked around, there was no-one around. But there was a buzzing sound coming from the front entrance door.
Maybe it's breakfast? Solo thought hopefully as he pressed the buzzer beside the shiny silver entrance, immediately it swooped up and there was a serving droid with a hovering food tray.
Accompanying the droid was a tall young man, dressed as an Imperial Naval cadet; clean shaven and with reddish-blond hair cut military short. He actually smiled and Han was slightly taken back by how nice the older male appeared on first impression.
"Your highness?" The cadet invoked, sounding every bit as kindly as he looked. Han inclined his head and the cadet bowed his head. "Cadet Crix Madine, sir."
Han chuckled at the formality, "don't 'sir' me, Cadet. If you're here to baby-sit me you might as well know straight away I don't like formality, and if," he folded his arms and against the doorway.
"You're worried about the reaction of tall dark and scary,(aka my father, just refer to me as 'Prince' this and 'your highness' that when he's around. Otherwise, I'm just Han."
The teen offered his hand and the Cadet smiled broadly, shaking the offered hand.
"Please call me Crix. I didn't think you'd be so formal, us Corellians are not much for ceremony," Crix mentioned and Han mimicked the broad smile.
"I knew there was something I liked about you right away, Crix. And if you've brought a proper breakfast for me, I might just love you," Solo stepped aside and motioned the laughing Madine and the serving droid inside.
Madine sat down opposite his charge at the shining black dining table, as Han started piling breakfast foods onto his plate and diving into them with the gusto only a growing teenage boy could.
"Your father chose me out of the ranks because not only am I Corellian, but I'm top of the flight classes," Crix informed Han mildly, taking the offered cup of caf from the serving droid as Solo looked up, his cheeks swollen with food which he quickly chewed and swallowed to reply.
"Mmm, that sounds like him." Han picked up a glass of sweet-juice and pointed at Crix with the decanter. "Don't worry about me holding you back either. I've got top marks from the Alderaan University flight programs, apparently I'm a natural. A natural what they wouldn't say, probably natural pain in the butt."
Crix laughed at the raised eyebrow expression on the younger Corellian's face. "So you've been living on Alderaan?" Madine queried, Han nodded and the cadet grabbed a flatcake from the pile in the middle of the table. "What was it like living in the sugar castle?"
Solo munched on a dewback strip, "not much different from any other home. I had Bail to go to for advice, just like any other father. I lived with Bail's daughter, Leia; and the Organa sisters and their offspring," he sighed, reaching for the bowl of sweetened cereal. "I miss them like crazy."
Crix inclined his head as he poured syrup on the flatcake. "Your father said that I would accompany you on visits from time to time, and that the Grand Duchess Remon might visit here with Prince Organa and his daughter," Madine licked a stray drop of syrup off his finger as he put back down the bottle. "Then there are your foster mother's parents."
Han stopped mid-way to lifting his spoonful of cereal to his mouth and dropped it back into the bowl. "Of course. A trump card for the Emperor on his home planet," he rubbed his temples. "I've never met them...my foster grandparents, I mean, before. I've only been to Naboo once, to see my mother's grave."
Madine pulled out a silvery holo-disk from his right breast pocket, "well, then I've got a surprise for you, Han," he tossed the holo-disk across the table and Han caught it easily with his right hand.
As Solo touched the side of the disk, a bust hologram of Darth Vader, sans helmet, shimmered to life.
"Han, son. I regret I'm not able to tell you this in person, but the Emperor has sent me on a top-secret mission." Vader folded his leather-clad arms. "I'm sorry I've had to depart so soon after we have been reunited, and there is much for us to catch up on. But I serve the Emperor, try to understand that and we will not quarrel."
Solo furrowed his brow. Force, I miss Anakin. Zett was right, I can't stand this puppet walking around with his face...
"However," Lord Vader continued. "I have made arrangements for you in my absence. Cadet Madine will be your escort, and you will travel under the responsibility of General Jan Dodonna and your personal Imperial Shuttle, Amorilliam, to Naboo. Your Grandparents are awaiting your arrival."
Han looked suspicious and wished he could have bickered face-to-face with his foster-father about being sent to Naboo as a pretty piece of propaganda.
"And there is no need to be suspicious," Vader's hologram suddenly voiced, almost making his foster-son jump. "I know you miss your mother, your pain might be eased by spending time with her family. Your Aunt has two nieces who should be around your age."
The Sith Lord once known as Anakin Skywalker narrowed his eyes, Han wasn't Force strong, but he had learnt long ago how to read people's faces. He knew his foster-father was thinking of Padmé.
"Behave yourself, son." Vader said mildly after a silent moment. "Remember, you are now a Prince of the Empire, you have a responsibility to represent the Emperor in an official capacity on Naboo. I will hear reports, and I will contact you personally in a week's time. We will discuss any problems face-to-face."
Han grimaced, "oh, goodie..." he muttered to himself as the hologram of Lord Vader shifted slightly and looked deadly serious as he pointed a finger.
"Make sure to behave yourself. Farewell...Han."
The hologram fuzzed out and Solo tossed the holo-disk onto the table in front of him, the slivery object clanged against the half-empty glass of sweet-juice as it landed. Han rubbed his mouth, "so, the General Dodonna is going to accompany us?"
Crix nodded as he polished off the last of his flatcake and reached for another. "One and the same. You're the ward of Lord Vader, Han, you're too important to trust to just any commanding officer," he tossed the flatcake onto the plate in front of him. "General Dodonna is a nice man, too nice for the Imperial ranks really. But he's such a seasoned, well-renowned officer, that he is trusted implicitly.
Solo pushed back his long bangs and nodded. "That's fine. " He said simply, picking back up his cereal spoon. "So what my father said, the shuttle Amorilliam, it's mine?"
Crix smirked, "technically, but that doesn't mean you get to customize her," he apologised .
Han almost pouted in response as he shovelled a spoonful of cereal into his mouth and Madine laughed at the expression on the young prince's youthful features.
Just a quick first chapter of a short story. Trust me, epicness stays out of this one because I have a lot of work to do on this story's follow up. So patience is good, the next chapter will be up as soon as it's ready. :)