I bet you are all shocked to see this! XD
In this chapter the poodoo hits the fan.
And another thing: the Emperor is known to twist words to his advantage. So he could lie and many people would be none the wiser.
Han sighed as he reentered the apartment he was sharing with Chewie and Ana. He was pleased. The Falcon was nearly completely fixed and that meant that they could be out of here soon. He was counting the minutes until he could be rid of the emotional princess and her annoying protocol droid; that was if they could find the blasted droid. Where could he be?
He shook his head at the thought. Here he was thinking of the droid as a he. Angel and Ani had a protocol droid named C-7PO; she reminded him a bit of 3PO now that he thought of it but not as bad. But then he never took her with him on the flights where he pulled crazy stunts.
Angel had loved those stunts and pulled a few of her own and sometimes even Ani joined them. What he wouldn't give to have either of them in exchange for 3PO. Especially Angel.
"Well?" Ana asked pointedly, jerking him out of his thoughts.
"Ship's almost finished. A couple more repairs and we'll be ready to leave," he informed her.
"Has Chewie found 3PO yet?" Ana asked slowly.
Han shook his head. "No, not yet he's still looking though. Luke would kill us if we left him behind." he said, sitting down. "For reasons I cannot fathom, he actually likes the blasted droid."
"We could always lie and say that he was lost on Hoth." Ana suggested half-heartedly as she also sat down.
"Won't work," Han said. "He'd sense the lie and then we would be in real trouble."
Ana sighed and leaned back.
Chewie was getting worried. He had been searching for 3PO for hours and didn't see or hear the stupid droid anywhere. He had even checked the scrap areas.
"Oh dear, I wonder where they could have gone?" a familiar voice worried behind him. Chewie paused and turned. There a short distance away was the wayward droid.
Chewie barked at the droid in irritation.
"Chewbacca! There you are!" The droid cried as it shuffled over to him.
Chewie nearly smiled with relief. He had found the wayward droid, and before they were delayed. It was then he noticed that the droid had been talking to a young woman who was now walking away.
He barked at her, asking her to wait but she continued on and disappeared around a corner.
Ana stood when Chewie came in with 3PO. 3PO was muttering something about his mistress and how she must be so worried about him. Ana wasn't worried about the droid at all. In fact she was worried about how Luke would have reacted if they hadn't found 3PO. Still, it was nice to know that the droid was loyal enough to be concerned about the worry he had put them all through.
She ignored 3PO's babbling about some woman that had once been his owner as Lando entered the apartment.
"Hello everyone, I was wondering if you all would care to join me for a meal before you go?" Lando asked. Ana nodded without looking at Han. She didn't care about what he thought; besides she was hungry and this food would be much better then what she had had with the Rebels. And Lando was a charming host. No match for Pter, of course, but at least he treated her with respect.
"I must find her!" 3PO wailed suddenly. "She's going to need me with a baby on the way." he continued to fret.
"The droid can stay here if something is wrong with it." Lando suggested. Ana nodded once again. She was fed up with his personality quirks.
With that everyone except 3PO left the apartment and followed Lando through the city. Lando talked a lot about how they were a small operation and weren't part of the Empire or part of the Mining Guild; apparently it was good for business.
"Aren't you worried that the Empire is going to learn about this 'little' operation and shut you down?" Han asked curiously.
"It's something that we all worry about and that's why I wanted you to stay; you know Imperial protocol and could help us dodge it." Lando said.
"Sorry but my old girlfriend would kill me: she's got many friends and connections in the Empire."
Chewie ruffed a question at Han.
"Girlfriend is a relative term. She's a female friend and we shared many of the same interests. Her Father's superior didn't like me though and thought that I was a bad influence on her." Han responded.
"I suppose it doesn't matter I found a way to keep the Empire out of here forever." Lando said as they stopped outside of a door and opened it. A figure all in black stood. Ana recognized the person immediately: Lord Vader. She ripped Han's blaster out of its holster and fired several shots at Lord Vader.
Lord Vader just raised his right hand and casually blocked the blaster bolts. Then he switched to the left hand and made a gesture with the right and the blaster flew out of her hand and into his.
"We would be honored if you would join us." Lord Vader said coldly. An armored bounty hunter stepped into her range of sight and the sound of armored legs reached her ears. She turned with everyone else to see a squad of storm troopers behind them.
Ana only had a few seconds to wonder where Lady Vader was before she appeared. Her brown eyes were filled anger and something else that Ana didn't want to think about before walking past them and standing near her father.
"I had no choice, they arrived right before you did." Lando apologized. "I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry too." Han said softly, sounding hurt, but his eyes were not on Lando. They entered the dining room and the door closed behind them.
Ana watched as Lord and Lady Vader sat down and gestured to them to do the same. She didn't dare to disobey, so she sat. Han followed suit, watching the bounty hunter the entire time.
She watched as both Vaders pulled their hoods further over their faces and removed the face veils. Then they picked up their forks and started to eat.
Ana glanced over and saw that Lando was eating as well, as if nothing was wrong. Even Han was slowly eating his food as though it was a common occurrence. At least Chewie was only sniffing the meat on his plate.
After a moment the bounty hunter joined them at the table. At a gesture from Lord Vader he removed his helmet and started to eat as well.
"You are going to want to eat." Lady Vader said coldly. "Even we don't know when your next meal will be."
Han sat in a room with the love of his life. He wanted nothing more than to grab her and kiss her, but he knew that was the wrong move. He could see from her mixed expression that she was furious at him, yet still hopeful that there was some explanation she could understand.
"Tell me, Han, that you are spying on the Rebels for the Empire," she finally said in a pleading tone.
"That would be a lie Angel." He told her softly. "I left the Empire; I ran away."
She glared at him. "So you betrayed me? For what? Another girl?" Angel demanded. Han wanted laugh at the thought of him leaving the love of his life for another girl. Ana was pretty and a nice enough girl but Angel had strong personality and wasn't afraid of getting her hands literally or metaphorically dirty. He would never, could never love another.
"It's not like that Angel, pl-" A slap cut him off before he could explain that he thought of Ana as a little sister.
"Do not call me that!" She spat. She spun on her heel and headed for the door. "You can torture him now," she told told whoever was on the other side.
Han gasped when the person walked in: Lord Vader. Han knew that he was in trouble. He had promised long ago that if Han ever hurt his little girl he would not be forgiving.
Luke was halfway to his destination when he sensed his friends' pain in the Force. He was furious that Lord Vader would hurt the innocent to get to him. Soon he and R2 would arrive and make the Darth Lord of the Sith pay for all the lives he had ruined or cut short.
He swore to the Force he would put an end to the Sith, whatever it took.
Ana shivered as stormtroopers practically threw her into a small room where Han was already moaning on the floor.
He turned and looked at her. "Ana, Boba Fett is going to be taking me to Jabba the Hutt. I have no idea what he's going to do to me so I need you give that crate filled with holos of my girlfriend to Luke," he whispered.
"Why do you want him to have them?" she asked, puzzled.
"Because he needs to know the truth."
"The truth about what?" Ana demanded, but before she could say more, the door slid open and Chewbacca was gently escorted in, followed shortly by Lando. She fumed, but never had a chance to ask again.
Chewie couldn't believe that Lord Vader was after Luke alone, but at the same time it made sense. Luke was not only the Rebel that destroyed the Death Star but the son of the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker as well. Luke was a dangerous enemy to the Empire because he was all of those and a Jedi in training besides. No one could be sure what he could accomplish.
At the moment Chewie was carrying 3PO in a sling on his back into a room that was filled with equipment and steam. "You didn't have to detach my legs!" 3PO wailed. "I could have walked!" The droid complained.
Chewie growled at the droid to be quiet. With the droid acting so oddly, he had detached his legs so they could move faster if they had a chance to escape. He would have been just as happy to leave the stupid droid elsewhere, but he had to be prepared. Just because the Vaders were after Luke didn't mean that the rest of them would be released if they caught him.
They were led down a set of stairs to wait as Lord and Lady Vader made their grand entrance across the room. Chewie glared at them in anger. They wanted to capture Luke and do only the Force knew what to him. He hoped that Master Yoda was still alive and not only teaching Luke but keeping him safely away from Sith traps.
Suddenly he realized where they were: a carbon freezing chamber. Since there were no goods waiting to be frozen, he could think of only one reason why they would be here: someone was going to get frozen in carbonite. This facility was out of date by decades; at least thirty standard years; if not more. Even if it had been designed for freezing living life forms, he wouldn't want to trust his life to it working properly.
It couldn't be him or they wouldn't have let him carry 3PO. That left only Princess Ana and Han.
"Put him in." Lord Vader ordered and storm troopers advanced on Han. Chewie roared and swiped at the troopers. He knew it was useless, but Han was his friend.
"Chewie stop!" Han yelled and Chewie found himself stopping. Storm Troopers quickly advanced and slapped binders on his wrists to secure them. Chewie moaned a complaint. He could have taken a few of them down with him. "Chewie, listen to me; you must get Ana back to Pter." Han said. Chewie ruffed that he would. He did not like it, but he understood. His friend needed him to survive to protect the princess and warn Luke and the Rebels.
He watched as the troopers dragged Han toward his doom, only to be stopped by Lady Vader. "Any last words?" she nearly demanded.
"The Starman and the Moon Goddess," Han said gently.
There was a brief silence before Lady Vader slapped Han so hard that his entire upper body moved. She then Force Pushed him into the carbon freezing pit and flicked her fingers at the controls.
A short time later the slab containing Han rose up and the Ugnaughts pushed the slab onto the floor plating.
Ana jerked at the slamming sound but Lady Vader didn't even react. In fact her eyes blazed with anger.
Chewie watched as Lando walked over and checked the status of the controls. "He's alive and in perfect hibernation," he reported, sounding relieved.
Lady Vader turned to Boba Fett. "Get him out of my sight!" she snapped before stalking away. Chewie wondered at that moment what Han had done to Lady Vader to garner such hatred. They couldn't have known each other before. Perhaps Han had said something in the torture sessions?
Lady Vader stalked through the corridors of Cloud City in a rage. How dare he profess that he still loved her after what he did to her?! It couldn't be true. Not after he lied to her, betrayed her, and joined the Rebels.
Maybe time with her family on Naboo would ease her pain and anger. They would tell her that he never loved her and that she shouldn't feel bad about freezing him in carbonite. Then she could return with a clear head and crush the Rebels as they deserved.
She made her way down the docking platform to where her private ship was docked and boarded it.
As she broke through the atmosphere she noticed an incoming X-Wing. She moved closer and performed a barrel roll in it's direction. The pilot jerked his fighter away and she smiled. Turning back to her navicomputer she punched in the coordinates for Naboo.
Angel seems to be in a bad mood. :p
The next chapter has a little over 700 words and that's part of the beginning and the tail end of the chapter.
And I forgot to ask when the next chapter of Dark Angel Chronicles would be ready. It might be and I could send Bryg a quick text and find out.
Either way please let me know what you all think! :)