Not mine. AU.
'Leia...? Is everything alright?'
'Must something be wrong for me to place a holocall to my little brother?'
'We don't know who's older, and you can call me anytime, Sis, but we spoke at length less than a cycle ago, so something must have prompted this call.'
Luke didn't bother to point out that he could see the tension around his twin's mouth and eyes.
'I recieved a subpeona from a court on Naboo today.'
'Naboo? That's in the Chomell Sector, less than a parsec inside the rim from the Arkanis sector.'
She gave a little smile at Luke's offhand knowlege. Naboo was close to Tatooine, so she wasn't surprised.
'Indeed. Have you ever been there?'
'No, but I thought about it as a kid. Have you?'
'As a Junior Senator. It was a beautiful planet, with a temperate climate and lots of natrual life. Naboo also holds the dubious distinction of being home planet to Palpatine, but that didn't hamper his atrocities there when they didn't fall in line with his Empire immediately. They treated with the New Republic as soon as we officially chartered on Coruscant.'
Luke waited for Leia to continue, but she seemed distracted, lost somewhere between anger and sadness. His curiosity and impatience got the better of him.
'You got a subpoena from there?'
He hadn't asked why she was calling him about this, but she picked upon the unspoken question. Leia's eyes hardened.
'The subpoena is for both or either of us to appear before Naboo's Supreme Court next month re some disputed property. I guess it was easier to send it to my office on Coruscant than to find you.'
'Does't diplomatic immunity apply to this kind of thing? Prevent us having to appear in person?'
'It might, but the political fall out of claiming it in this situation is not worth the trouble.'
Luke could hear her dismay seeping into her voice now too.
'The subpoena came in a Diplomatic packet from Naboo's Queen, along with a datacard from a law firm. The firm claims they represented Vader in the matter originally, and they're offering us their services now.'
She gave him a moment for all of the information to sink in.
'One of us has to go.'
'Okay.' Luke answered slowly. 'Do we have any more information?'
'Only that the matter will be heard in closed chambers at the court house in the Lake District on Naboo in 35 standard days, four hours after local sunrise. I don't want to use Delanee and Sons. I tried to contact an old friend on Naboo for advice, but...'
A hint of hurt confusion leaked into her voice as she trailed off, but she quickly composed herself.
'Her assistant claimed there was a conflict of interest, and because of the pending court case she couldn't take my call... He took everything from us in life, Luke, even each other. He's still taking now in death? How are we to answer for whatever it is that he did on Naboo?'
'It'll be alright Leia. I'll go, and put things right as fairly as I can. Do you have any other contacts on the planet?'
'Outside the old diplomatic corps, no. I don't like the idea of going into this with only Vader's lawyers' perspective. I don't care that they're locally reputable.'
'I'll call in a favor for a good local legal contact,'
'Delanee and Sons, you say? On Naboo?'
Luke could see Mara squinting at the information terminal of her com unit.
'Yeah, what do you have on them?'
'They're an established firm, fourth generation. They specialize in real estate and male rights and are generally reputable, but about a year ago they got embroiled in a political scandal. The firm was accused of collaboration with Lord Vader and the Empire, and charged before a local tribunal. They were eventually cleared of misconduct.'
'What was the case about?'
'I'm not sure...'
'The charges were never read in open court. When the case was called Chief Justice Eirtae closed the courtroom. A week later the case was called again, but the firm was simply cleared of all charges. The charge against Lord Vader's estate was dismissed without prejudice, something about the case being outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal. What I can tell you is that the other cases they heard were about misappropriated property.'
'The Emperor used to punish his rivals and reward his sycophants by taking property from the former and handing it over to the latter. The pretext was usually tax fraud or eminent domain. He did this to a number of the noble families on Naboo. In nearly all the cases this tribunal ruled in favor of the original owners, and control of the assets was restored to them.'
'I wonder what Vader's case was about?'
'With what we have so far I can only conclude that Vader had some sort of legitimate claim to a disputed property on Naboo. I don't think we can get any further without more info. What do you want to do?'
'I guess I have to call that law firm. At least they are already familiar with the case, and we can always get alternate representation after that,'
'Milord Skywalker, it would be our honor to represent you and Milady Deputy Chief of State in this matter.'
Luke chose to let the odd form of address go as a cultural idiosyncrasy. The Delanee and Sons senior partner to whom he now spoke appeared to be in his sixties.
'What exactly is this 'matter'? We can't form any opinions or decide on representation without more details.'
'It concerns property rights to an estate villa called Varykino. Will MiLady be attending the hearing as well?'
'The subpoena said either,'
'Indeed it did. You'll do just as well for the hearing, Milord, but it would be best if Milady can be contacted directly for her opinion, should that become neccessary.'
'Why is that?'
'It is Nabooan custom, Milord, enshrined in the laws of heritance that apply to properties like this one. The opinion of the female sibling is given greater weight.'
Luke digested that for a moment, recalling the 'male rights' specialization of the firm, and realising those services might be quite needed on Naboo. He decided to move on to Mara and Leia's other observation.
'Why is the hearing being held so far from the Capital?'
'The villa is located in that District. The supporting documents for the case are held in non-portable forms there, and the information is too sensitive to be copied and couriered to Theed.'
Luke waited but Mr Delanee's expression was expecting a response from him.
'This is a secure line, Mr Delanee, and your receptionist verified my identity before he put the call through. Is there nothing more you can tell me?'
The old man's expression softened oddly. Though his tone was kind when he spoke again he did not divulge more specifics. He gave a single nod that looked more like a bow.
'Milord Skywalker, the issues surrounding this case are... extremely personal to the surviving members of both estates, and not suitable for discussion via holocom. Once you have perused the documents on Naboo you will understand. Delanee and Sons will continue to represent the interests of Lord Vader's Estate in accordance with his prior directives and Nabooan law until further instructions are recieved from heirs. Should you chose alternate legal counsel we will co-operate fully with them.'
Luke stared at the old lawyer briefly, but he felt was warned by what had not been said, as by what was. There was nothing but to investigate the matter personally on Naboo, or send a trusted agent in his instead.