Searching

The little girl stared out the window and traced raindrops down the glass. She watched lightning flash, illuminating the snow-capped Alderaanian mountains. Her mother, Queen Breha and her father, Bail were hosting a state dinner and she was left with only the servants and ladies in waiting to talk to. They were too busy for a six-year old. Leia slipped outside unnoticed to the terrace and stood in the rain, scanning the horizon. Her nightgown and cloak were soaked through but still she stared into the darkness.

Her mother's handmaiden, Reena, a short red-headed woman with plump cheeks, grasped her shoulders . Leia stood as if in a trance and did not move until Reena shook her gently.

"Princess—what are you doing outside? You're freezing."

Leia's brow furrowed and her eyes met the woman 's with a look of confusion. "I was looking for someone," she said softly.

Reena lifted her up and carried her inside. "Who were you looking for, Princess? You're parents are downstairs."

"I don't know." Leia had been looking for someone as long as she could remember. The palace staff would find her in closets, in corners, or walking through the palace gardens for years. She knew there was someone missing—someone she needed to find. She hoped that she could find them one day before something terrible happened.


The boy sat on the floor of the kitchen while his aunt cooked dinner and skimmed his toy skyhopper along the dusty kitchen table. "Can I go outside, Aunt Beru?" He looked at her with huge, pleading blue eyes. She smiled. "Alright, but it's dark so just outside for a look and then right back inside. " He nodded his head, shaggy blonde hair falling into his eyes and ran to the door. She watched him go, feeling a pang of sadness. He was growing so fast.

As long as he could remember, Luke had watched the stars. He spent hours dreaming of what adventures he might have traveling to distant systems. Tonight, he felt lonely when he looked up as if there was a part of him missing. He felt drawn toward a particular area of the sky. He stared up at it intently.

When his aunt came out to tell him it was time for dinner, he was still staring at that star.

Luke woke up the next morning feeling dizzy. When his aunt came in to check on him he told her, "I don't feel good."

"What's the matter, sweetheart?" Beru asked.

"Head hurts," he answered.

Beru brushed damp hair from his forehead. "You're burning up."

Luke sat up and vomited. Beru rubbed his back and fetched a damp cloth to clean him up. "Owen—come quickly. Luke's sick."

Owen shuffled into the bedroom looking more than a little irritated at being disturbed. "Yesterday he was working with me on the south vaporators. He never gets sick."

"He's got a fever, Owen. "

Owen crouched by the bed and placed a hand on his nephew's shoulder. Luke was struggling not to be sick again. He studied the dark circles under the boy's eyes and the skin drenched with sweat. "I'll take him to the clinic in Anchorhead."

Luke remembered doctors attaching fluid units to him and taking blood samples. They sent him home with medicine and instructions for him to stay in bed. The doctors couldn't find anything wrong with him. They dismissed the attack as a response to the heat. He didn't want to stay in bed. He had nightmares about someone in trouble. He didn't know the little girl, but she felt familiar and he was scared that something bad had happened to her.


Leia was very sick. She coughed loudly and tried to sit up so she could get out of bed. She was tired of staring at the blue-flowered canopy. Her mother placed a hand on her shoulder.

"Shhh, Leia. You need to rest." The queen's hair fell below her shoulders in dark waves.

Leia sighed. "When can I go outside?" She croaked the words through a scratchy throat.

"The doctor says you have pneumonia. You shouldn't have gone outside in the rain. You musn't do that again."

"Yes, mother." Leia whispered.

"Would you like me to tell you a story?" her mother asked in her softly accented voice.

Leia nodded her head in excitement.

Her mother tucked her in and began her favorite story. That night, she dreamed of a little boy with blonde hair.