This takes place shortly after the first chapter of Dark Angel.


Bail Organa sat in his office trying to work but failing.

Leia's funeral was two days ago and he couldn't stop thinking about it. Part of him hoped that the mysterious woman hadn't been holding Leia in her arms when she took the plunge but everything pointed to the fact that Leia had been there and that she had fallen to her death.

Suddenly the door to his office opened and one of his aides, Meeka, stood there. "I very sorry but there is a man and several droids here to see you," she reported.

"Send him in." Bail said, standing up. He was curious. Who had come to visit and what did they want?

A minute later the door opened again and a rather tall man with blond hair came in with analyst droids.

Fear gripped Bail's heart for a moment. A sense of foreboding filled him.

"Viceroy, I am Ric Joi of Reca" The man, Ric Joi. said. Bail nodded. Reca was a planet not too far from Alderaan.

"Our office received an alert two days ago. A missing woman was tagged as dead and we need to confirm her identity." Ric said simply.

Bail watched as Ric reached into a pouch and produced a holodisk.

"A day before you brought home the girl you and your wife were going to adopt, a woman named Kira Stardust was in a speeder accident. She and her infant daughter were rushed to the hospital. According to the medical records the baby died of injuries. It also stated that the mother was not to see the body. Kira refused to believe she had lost her beloved daughter, since she had just given birth to the child a few days before. Said daughter was the only thing she had left of her husband, who had died in a terrorist attack.

"On the day you and your wife were publicly displaying the infant you were in the process of adopting, an on-duty nurse assigned to Kira's room reported that she grew agitated when the child was displayed. She starting pointing to the screen and screaming: 'they have my baby'.

"The next day some people came to speak to her and after that she was released from the hospital. She disappeared after that and we put an alert out for her." Ric finished.

Ric activated the disc and Bail watched in horror as the abductor appeared in the air. Now, at least, he knew why the woman had tried to steal poor Leia.

"Tell me Viceroy, is there any reason that your ship stopped on Reca that day?"

Bail's blood froze in his veins. This man was implying that he had abducted this woman's child. "Our ship needed to refuel." Bail answered. It was the truth; they had needed to refuel and Reca had been the best place to stop and refuel without much trouble.

"According to the logs of the refueling station you had enough to get to Alderaan." Ric said. "To make matters more suspicious one of your officers was seen purchasing items for an infant that was only days old while your ship was being refueled and you were there for some time before moving on. Long enough to have been given Leah Mayra Stardust and to have bribed the whole staff of the hospital to keep their mouths shut and lie to Kira Stardust."

Bail stood, livid that someone was suggesting such a thing and fearful that the secret would be discovered.

"I did not abduct that woman's child. The child my wife and I were in the middle of adopting was a war orphan. We decided to refuel early because with everything unsettled by the war it would have been a tragedy to lose my wife and child because we ran out of fuel trying to evade some criminal when we were nearly home. Besides why would I need to abduct someone else's child?" he demanded. "I have the money and the standing to adopt legally. I have no need of child abduction to get myself a daughter."

Ric Joi deactivated the hologram. "I've seen people like you: rich and powerful. If you can't have what most beings have then you simply take it from others," Ric hissed, angry. "It wouldn't be the first time that the House of Organa has abducted another's child."

Bail sighed. It was an old story. Over a thousand years ago the House of Organa tried to adopt a child only to discover that not only were the child's parents still alive but that the child had been abducted. According to the rumors, the parents told the king and queen that if the Royal Family took another one of their descendants that Alderaan would be destroyed. Personally Bail didn't believe in such nonsense but you never knew sometimes.

"Besides," Ric said moving slightly. "You never registered the soon-to-be-princess's DNA. I find that rather curious, don't you? It would have been quickly flagged this close to Reca if she was the missing child. And little Leah Mayra Stardust's body wasn't in the morgue and it hadn't been cremated or sent to a funeral planner, so you do the math, Viceroy. If you add everything up, the case against you is pretty solid."

Bail felt trapped and he didn't like the feeling. He had no doubt that he could prove his innocence, but he was less certain that he could do so without giving away Leia's true identity and giving the Emperor the excuse to remove him from power and elevate a puppet in his place. And at the worst, the Emperor might look further and discover that Leia was not an only child. It would be disastrous. "I would never take another's child from them. Not while both parents were alive." Bail said as calmly as he could. He told himself it wasn't a lie, though he knew that if Anakin was still alive, after what he did, he would not have turned over an innocent child to such a monster.

"Kira Stardust's husband was killed during the war." Ric said coldly. "She was a refugee from the Outer Rim brought to Reca. She was a talented mechanic and could read people quite well. Besides Viceroy just because one parent is dead, it does not mean that a child should be taken from the surviving parent." Ric said coldly.

Silence fell for several moments. Bail could see that nothing but solid evidence would shake Ric Joi from his conviction and he had no intention of making things worse by continuing to protest and perhaps say more than was safe to share.

"I will discover if that baby died or not. If yes, then I will find out where her body is and if she is still alive, I will find out who took her and make him pay to the full extent of the law." Ric whispered softly.

Bail watched with some trepidation as the man and the droids left his office. Ric Joi was too driven. If he searched for the truth hard enough, he just might find it. And if he did discover the truth, he might report it to the Empire.

He would have to risk it. Legally, there was nothing he could do to stop him and if he took him out by illegal means, it would only draw further attention to the situation. Still, he knew there would be a lot of sleepless nights ahead.


There will be more on this later