THIS A SEQUEL!
If you have not read it yet, go find A More Perfect Future, it is a time-travel fic with Luke and Leia. This is the beginning of the result to their travels. It is an AU.
DISCLAIMER: George is like the Emperor in Plaid. He just owns everything and can't shoot lightning (That we know).
A More Perfect Future: Rise of the Empire
Leia threw herself roughly into the copilot's seat, firmly ignoring the Captain. Oh how he got on her nerves!
"Hey, watch the upholstery," he shot at her, getting ready to pull the Hyperdrive lever to revert to Real Space.
"I'll do what I want," she shot back childishly. He snorted.
"Of course you will," he said, rolling his eyes. "Look, Your Worship-"
"Don't call me that."
"Do what you want to anything but my ship," he finished, ignoring her statement.
"Just fly the ship, Flyboy," she said, gesturing to the swirling tunnel. The ship gave a shudder as if on cue and reverted to realspace. "That wasn't supposed to happen, was it?"
"No," he said, checking over his instruments. "Hyperdrive is at full capacity-"
"That means nothing, Han," she said, ignoring the dirty look he shot her.
"Wait," he paused, staring at the scanner. "There's a gravity well. That's why we dropped."
"Then where is the ship?" she asked, looking out the viewport. "Shouldn't the Republic have closed off this flightpath if they were using gravity wells?"
"It's too large to be pirates," he commented. He kept his scanners on full power, urging them to stretch out and find the reason for the gravity well in seemingly empty space. "Can't you do that Force Mumbo Jumbo thing and find out something yourself?"
"The Force isn't some 'Mumbo-Jumbo'," she said icily. "And no, I can't. I'm not strong enough and don't you think I hadn't already tried that?"
"My apologies, Your Worshipfullness," he sniped back. "I think I got something on the scanner. A ship, coming in straight towards us. Corvette Cruiser."
"No," he said. "At least I don't think so. Unless they've modified their ship they shouldn't have weapons."
"And if they have?"
"We're unprepared," Han shrugged as if it were just another day on Alderaan.
"Fantastic," she rolled her eyes, and glanced back out the viewport. She peered closer, trying to see the odd object that lay beyond the incoming ship. "What is that?"
"What's what?" he asked, turning his attention out to the great blackness of space.
"That moon thing," she pointed. "There aren't any sub-planets out this far are there?"
"Not to my knowledge," he said. A small pinging interrupted their appraisal of the object.
"The Corvette is hailing us," Leia said, sharing a wary glance with Han. A small growl came from behind them and she glanced back at the shaggy form of Han's wookiee copilot, Chewbacca.
"'Bout time you got up here," Han mumbled to Chewie before gesturing towards the comm and Leia. "See if you can't find some diplomatic bantha fodder to negotiate with them. Leia narrowed her eyes but turned to the comm.
"Unidentified Ship," Leia greeted. "This is the Millennium Falcon, could we offer assistance?"
A jumble of voices came through the channel, all frantic and fighting.
"Senator Skywalker, is that you?" a voice patched through the rumble.
"Yes, who is this?" Leia replied, glancing nervously at Han.
"Prepare to receive transmission."
The voice cut off and immediately a data-transfer began, unloading a rather large file into the memory banks.
"Chewie, go see if you can get Artoo," Leia said, scanning through the already transferred pieces of the file. Chewie growled in acknowledgment and walked out of the cockpit.
"What is it?" Han asked, watching the Corvette in the distance.
"Some plans of a battle station of some sort," she said, shaking her head.
"No," she said. "And that's what worries me. Who ever has these is intending to use it for something big, but I don't know who would even have the funds for this."
"I don't like the feeling of this," Han mumbled, spinning the ship around and heading towards the place they'd entered the Gravity well.
"Han, what are you doing?" she screeched out, trying to find something in the darkness out side to orient herself.
"Taking you out of here," he said firmly.
"But we need to get this shipment to Yavin!" she cried out.
"Not if it risks losing the Chancellor and Jedi Master's daughter," he shook his head. Chewie came back through the door, growling in annoyance at Han. "Calm down you big lump of fur. Something isn't right here!"
A horrible screeching noise sounded as a small one-manned ship flew past them.
"What is that?" Leia gasped, never having seen a ship like that before. It had a rounded cockpit and two hexagonal wings on either side.
"Nothing good," Han replied. The ship gave a shudder as it exited the gravity well and the navi-computer pinged in readiness. "Chewie, set in the coordinates for Tatooine."
"Tatooine?" Leia gasped. "Han, that's three days away from Yavin! That shipment is due tomorrow!"
"Once we touch down we'll comm them and let them know of the delay," Han nodded. Chewie growled in response to his successful coordinate input and Han immediately slammed the hyperdrive lever up and they shot into Hyperspace.
"A ship just made it to hyperspace, Captain," a young lieutenant announced as Captain Pellaeon scanned the space outside the large Star Destroyer the Chimaera.
"And of the Corvette?" he asked, glancing down at the officer.
"We have recovered it, sir," the officer answered. "It is in the docking bay now, and the crew is in custody."
"Good," Pellaeon nodded. "Inform Supreme Commander Thrawn of this news."
The officer nodded, spinning on his heel and crossing the bridge to the lower command room where Thrawn normally operated from.
Pellaeon returned his gaze back to the battle station to the side, it's large gravity well holding in all the orbiting ships. Part of Pellaeon was proud of the steadily growing Empire's success with such a massive project, but at the same time the thought of the station grew a certain amount of dread in his stomach. The sound of even but purposeful footsteps sounded behind him and he didn't move in recognition. He knew it was Thrawn. Only a chiss could exert that much power and control in something as simple as sound.
"Captain," Thrawn greeted as he came to a stop next to Pellaeon.
"Supreme Commander," Pellaeon returned. He glanced up at Thrawn's bluish profile, the man's glowing red eyes scanning the surrounding stars.
"Have our techs returned with a possible jump point yet?"
"No, sir," Pellaeon shook his head. "I'd wager only a minute more though. They are rather optimistic these days and tend to work faster."
"Good," Thrawn nodded. "We must capture that ship. Alert our friend Mr. Fett. He should be well suited for this job."
Pellaeon motioned to an ensign that was delivering data-pads to the various officers and the young man immediately walked forward, just shy of a jog.
"Yes," Pellaeon said with a smile. "Contact Bounty Hunter, Boba Fett and request a job: Tracking and returning of a live bounty."
"Of course," the ensign nodded, abandoning his previous job and darting towards communications.
Pellaeon and Thrawn only waited a minute more before the information regarding the jumped ship arrived to them. Thrawn scanned the data-pad, smirking lightly at the information held within.
"Ah, the Millennium Falcon," Thrawn said wistfully. "Do you know anything of it, Captain?"
"No, sir," Pellaeon shook his head.
"Shame, it is a beautiful ship," Thrawn nodded, and looked up at the stars. "A YT 1300 freighter, modified by various Captains since the Clone Wars, in fact. Best guess places it at a .5 past light speed."
"Sir, that's impossible," Pellaeon objected. "The forces generated by the jump would tear it apart."
"On a regular ship, maybe," Thrawn nodded. "But this is modified heavily, remember. Armored too, harder shields... It is quite beautiful. A work of art."
Pellaeon smiled inwardly at the Supreme Commander's love of all things art. It was a fascination of the Chiss, apparently, though according to Thrawn it gave him insight to a species. It hadn't failed him yet.
"The ship is owned to an ex-smuggler, actually," Thrawn continued. "Reformed to the New Republic after he was pulled out of Jabba's thumb. Not an easy feat when dealing with the Hutts.
"I'd wager that the Senator of Naboo was aboard that ship."
"Sir?" Pellaeon asked and Thrawn smiled and nodded.
"The family that helped him out were the Skywalker's," Thrawn explained. "Rather popular story within the Holo-Tabloids awhile back. I'm surprised you missed it. But, yes, Solo, the smuggler, has been in the debt of the Skywalker's for many years now."
"Why were they out here then?" Pellaeon asked, knowing that they were actually within the middle of one of the more unpopular hyperspace lanes.
"Do you know where the Jedi Temple is, Captain?"
"No one does," Thrawn smiled. "Except those allowed by the Jedi. And no one else."
"And Senator Skywalker is the daughter of a Jedi," Pellaeon connected the dots.
"Yes," Thrawn nodded. "As soon as Fett is contacted, let him know the bounty is Senator Skywalker, alive. 50,000 credits. Republic or Imperial, his choice."
"Yes, sir," Pellaeon nodded, leaving the bridge and following the path the ensign had taken just a few minutes ago.
"I win again, Skywalker," Mara snicker, pointing her violet blade down at Luke Skywalker's neck for a moment before withdrawing it back into her hilt. She hooked the lightsaber onto her belt before reaching out a hand and helping Luke to his feet.
"What was that move there at the end?" Luke questioned, thinking of the spinning kick that had simultaneously disarmed him and knocked him off balance.
"A kick," she shrugged. "Maybe I'll teach it to you sometime."
"Yeah," Luke snorted. "After you get tired of besting me with it."
She laughed and grabbed a towel out of her bag, blotting off the sweat on her face and leaning back against the bench. Luke opened his water bottle and squirted the water into his mouth, sighing as the cool liquid immediately lowered his body temperature.
"You coming over for dinner tonight?" Luke asked, repacking his belongings.
"Yeah," she sighed. "Dad doesn't get back from Alderaan until tomorrow anyway and I'd rather skip a temple meal with Horn if I could."
Luke laughed. "Corran still teasing you about that duel the other day?"
"Yes!" she cried out angrily. "He caught me off guard!"
"Oh my," Luke sighed dramatically, teasing her. "The great Mara Organa Jade, caught off guard?"
"Shut up, Skywalker," she hissed, reaching up to grab the tie in her hair to release her pony-tail. "What's your mom cooking anyway?"
"Bantha Stew since Leia's off delivering supplies to Yavin," Luke answered. They exited the gym and fell into the thick Coruscanti walkway.
"Han with her?"
"Dad won't trust anyone else," Luke laughed. "Why, you jealous?"
"Of Solo?" she scoffed. "I'd rather date one of the Rogues."
"Hey, you do know I'm an unofficial member of that squadron you know?" Luke asked, pretending to be offended.
"Why do you think I said it?" she asked, flashing her standard grin, before twisting around and walking in front of him. He rolled his eyes and kept walking.
"You should really watch it, Jade, you know that?" Luke threatened, shaking his head.
"Or what?" she asked. "You'll let me beat you again? Cause honestly, if that's the punishment I'd never watch what I say."
"You're worse than Han sometimes," Luke rolled his eyes, stopping in front of a tall, chrome colored building and punching in the security access code.
The door buzzed and they entered, nodding to the few Republic Security guards stationed around the lobby before entering the lift to take them up.
"So, Skywalker," Mara said, leaning back against the lift wall and crossing her arms across her chest. "Tell me, do you let all the girls you fight best you like that or am I just special?"
Before Luke could respond, the doors opened to his Parent's apartment and Mara darted through them.
"Mara!" he called out as she ran down the hallway and into the 'fresher. He let out a groan of annoyance and headed towards the kitchen. The smells of his and his father's favorite stew cooking filtered through the air and the scent made Luke's stomach rumble happily. He lifted up the lid slightly and peered in but jumped mildly as his mother's voice cut through the air.
"You better not spoil your dinner," she chastised. Luke blushed and released the lid guiltily much to his mother's pleasure.
"Sorry, Mom," he said weakly and she just shook her head and laughed lightly.
"How was your workout?" she asked, passing him and opening the cooler-unit to pull out fresh fruits for dinner.
"Fine," he sighed, settling on a glass of blue milk. "Mara used some weird kick thing that completely threw me off."
Padme laughed. "She holding it over your head?"
"Does Tatooine have two suns?" Luke countered and his mother smirked. She shook her head and pulled him into a hug, playing with the ends of his Padawan braid.
"You look just like your father with this thing in," she said nostalgically.
"I know," Luke rolled his eyes. "You tell me that all the time. I've had this thing for eight years, Mom!"
"I know," Padme nodded. "But it doesn't negate that it's the truth. Now, go yell at Mara to hurry up. You smell like wet Shaak."
Luke gave a chuckle before abandoning his milk and heading down the hall to hurry Mara up.
Padme laughed as the loud voices trickled into the kitchen. Those two were so alike it was startling sometimes to her. They seemed at times closer than Luke and Leia were. Another pang of nostalgia came about her as she realized two other twins were the same way. It didn't escape Padme's notice at how alike her children could be at times to the two twins she'd known so long ago.
The thought fell to the side as warm, secure arms wrapped around her middle, and a face brushed at her let down hair by her neck.
"Whatcha thinking about?" Anakin asked easily, having sensed his wife's emotions the moment he crossed the threshold.
"Nothing of recent importance," Padme shook her head and tilted her chin for a kiss. Anakin's lips met hers for a moment before a grunt interrupted them.
"Gods, you guys are worse than some of the kids at the Temple," Mara said disgustedly and grabbed Luke's milk off the counter and finishing it off in one swig.
"Someday you'll have this, Mara," Padme teased and waved the knife she was holding between her and Anakin. "Then we'll get to mock you."
Mara rolled her eyes and mumbled out a non-commital response.
Padme shook her head lightly and returned to her fruits as Anakin released his hold on her.
"How'd sparring go, Mara?" Anakin asked, levitating a shurra fruit into his hand over his wife's shoulder, ignoring her huff of annoyance and biting into it.
"You're son needs to learn how to implement standard combat into his fighting tactics," she answered firmly. "He'd be fine battling a number of Jedi who also ignore that piece of knowledge, but not against someone that mixes styles."
"I'm sure you could teach him," Padme responded, glancing at the red headed girl.
"Great," Mara snorted. "I get the joy of teaching someone two years older than me something he should have learned from Obi-Wan."
"Age has nothing to do with it and you know it," Anakin replied. "You are one of the most talented fighters in the Order, regardless of age. You'll probably be able to take the trials with Luke."
"If Master Tano will allow it," Mara rolled her eyes. "She is way too overprotective."
Anakin chuckled. "I was the same way about Obi-Wan's teachings. You'll come to appreciate the extra time spent under Ahsoka's watch soon enough."
"If she listens to her," Luke chuckled, rounding the corner and flicking Mara's Padawan braid. She narrowed her eyes at Luke.
"I probably listen to my Master more than you do yours."
"And it rains on Tatooine," Luke snorted. "Dinner almost ready? I'm starved."
"Just like your father," Padme shook her head yet again, ignoring the chuckle from her husband.
If you are coming straight from my other fic, Welcome! And thanks for sticking with me. This one isn't looking to be as long as the last (17 chapters) but this is the second of four for this series. I'll be only loosely following the OT, but alot of this will incorporate elements from the Thrawn trilogy. If you haven't read that, no sweat, everything will be explained and I promise not to give away too much. I do encourage you to read it if you have a chance. Timothy Zahn is like a Fanfic God. Okay, but seriously, he's awesome.
This one will have more of the characters we know and love as well, as you might have guessed from Han and Mara's presence.
As a reminder, the Jedi Temple is now on Yavin, Padme is Chancellor as Bail's term has already passed, Han no longer works for the Hutts, and Luke and Mara have those annoying Padawan braids for the time being. That should give you a kick off point.
As always, Reviews are loved and appreciated!