A/N: Hey all, Eversotd here. So, this is my first hand at a Star Wars fic; so I hope you like, and I'd appreciate your reviews so I know how I'm doing. I've got two other fics as well; one Avengers fic and one Aladdin fic. Give them a peek if you feel so inclined. Well; that's it—oh no flames in the reviews plz; thorough, yes; flames, no. Well, let's get started!
Star Wars Ep. IV AU: Ch. 1 Pursuit
Tatooine: three years after Empire Day
The Lars' homestead was charred; smoke billowed into the air as two bodies lay smoldering near one of the doors, reduced to blacked skeletons. The pirates hadn't expected them to be so resistant; who knew the older couple would put up a fight? Well, the 'fight' so called hadn't lasted long and now what meager possessions they had were being loaded into the lethally curved star-cruiser parked nearby.
There were five of them total; two men, a Rodian, a Wookie and woman. The woman kept watch, her hand flexing on her large blaster as she scoured the sand-scape with her dark eyes.
"Hey!" one of the men called, "look what I found!" He came ambling up out of one of the roundish buildings, dragging a small bundle next to him. The woman started when she heard it squeal.
"It's a kid," the man announced; she rolled her eyes.
"Really? And here I thought it was Jabba the Hutt."
The man blinked. "Good thinking, Lerla. We can sell 'im for a good price."
Lerla rolled her eyes again. "That's why you'll never be captain; you never think."
The man stared blankly at her. She sighed. "Jabba's a cheapskate; we'd not get more than 500 credits for the kid; we can get double that on Kessel."
The man nodded. "Good thinking."
"One of us has to."
The man snorted and handed the kid over to her. Lerla gave him a once over. He was about three, with fair skin and tousle of bright blonde hair.
She had to admit, hardened pirate or not, he was kind of adorable.
She sighed again; she must be going soft.
"C'mon people," she yelled, "while the suns are up!" They had other homesteads to hit, after all.
14 years later, over Tatooine
Leia felt the cruiser shake as their pursuers landed another shot. Her blockade runner wouldn't last much longer, she knew.
Her small hands tightened around the disk holding the Death Star plans. The full weight of the moment settled on her; if she failed to get the schematics to the Alliance, they were finished.
Them: and the entire galaxy with them.
She couldn't fail.
Captain Antilles found her. "Princess; they'll be able to get a tracking beam on us in moments," he said grimly. "Let me get you to an escape pod. If we launch enough of them, they might assume our ship merely short-circuited from all this blaster fire."
Escape pod. An idea lit in her mind.
"No, Captain," she said firmly, "keep evading them; as long as possible," she rested a hand on his shoulder, "you've just given me an idea."
His face brightened hopefully. He nodded, "As you wish, Your Highness." With that, he hurried away.
Leia headed down the corridor, opposite as she heard the clunking of his boots as he raced to do her bidding.
Captain Antilles; she knew she'd keep such a loyal officer around forever.
And then she felt the ship shake again and heard the main reactor shut down.
"This is madness!" 3-PO exclaimed as Artoo and he tried to locate someplace safe. Well, he was looking for a safe place to hide; he was sensible after all. Artoo, who knew what that little droid was seeking out?
Artoo whistled; his dome moving back and forth.
"What do you mean, you wonder where she is? Where who is?"
Artoo replied; and Threepio felt the ship shudder again. He only half heard his counterpart as he said, "There'll be no escape for the Princess this time." All the previous times perhaps; with her wit and diplomatic immunity and charms, she had eluded Imperial detainment more times than should have been allowed—even Darth Vader, on more than one occasion…but now?
No; not this time. Her luck had run out.
Threepio turned to tell Artoo they should find the nearest hanger; there would be plenty of hiding places amongst the crates…but Artoo was gone.
Obi-Wan Kenobi loved to meditate; in his younger years, he hadn't longed for action as some of the other Padawans had; no, he was a diplomat at heart, even earning the nickname "The Negotiator," during the Clone Wars. But, even now, his face lined with wrinkles, his hair bleached white with time and stress, meditation was a calm, sweet haven, where he knew real peace.
Qui-Gon Jinn, his former mentor, often visited him in his solitude; it was reassuring when the apparition of his Master came. Obi-Wan didn't truly understand why he had been called away to help the Jedi Underground 14 years ago—the time Luke was taken.
Obi-Wan sighed despondently; he had failed in his charge. He had promised Padmé on her deathbed he would watch over her son; he had assured Master Yoda the same of Luke-
"I will take the boy and watch over him."
And he hadn't. Yes, Qui-Gon had told him to leave Luke's side, to venture to the Outer Rim where a remnant of Jedi had survived Order 66; he had helped them form what was now called the Jedi Underground…but it didn't alleviate the feeling of horror when he had returned—
The Lars' Homestead was in ruin; Beru and Owen's bodies charred to the bones.
He had failed. Luke was gone; not dead, he was certain of that…but still gone.
And he had not the slightest idea where.
The worst of it was, Qui-Gon had forbid him to seek out the boy: his charge. Qui-Gon had assured him all was proceeding according to the will of the Force…but Obi-Wan hated no longer being able to watch over Padmé and Anakin's only child.
Anakin, who was like his brother-his son even. How much Luke had looked like him: the same hair; same eyes. Obi-Wan couldn't hold back the grin.
That would have pleased Anakin to no end, he was certain.
Loneliness weighed on him then; seemed to gnaw through his skin to settle in his stomach.
It had been 17 years now, since he had lost his surrogate brother and his good friend Padmé-Anakin's wife.
"You're with him! You brought him here to kill me!"
He had so desperately, in that moment, wanted to cry out to Anakin: "No! Padme would never betray you; and neither would I! We're here to save you, to bring you back!"
But he hadn't. He had feared.
Feared that if he showed any sentiment, he wouldn't be able to do what he must; feared that he would fail the Jedi Order, Yoda, the galaxy…everyone; lives beyond count, if he hadn't frantically held to his resolve.
If he hadn't forced himself to forget Anakin was his brother; his son; his friend. That he was no longer Anakin…but Darth Vader.
"Send me to kill the Emperor," he had begged Yoda, "I cannot kill Anakin."
And he hadn't been able. The galaxy had fallen to the Sith—because he and Yoda hadn't been able to destroy them.
"You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you."
Obi-Wan opened his eyes and rubbed his temples with a sigh. His meditations didn't always plunge him into the past; but every so often they did.
He wondered why Anakin would come to mind now.
And then he felt the ripple in the Force…Vader.
Vader was here. Had Obi-Wan been found? Had an Inquisitor discovered him? Obi-Wan had sensed no dark siders near in some time; people usually only came to Tatooine to hide-
Or buy or sell slaves.
Oh, Luke, I hope that wasn't your fate.
Obi-Wan kept his thoughts quiet, but allowed them to discreetly reach towards Vader's presence; good, the dark lord hadn't detected him then. He wondered why Vader would travel here; this world held nothing but tormenting memories for him. So…why?
Oh, no. Obi-Wan caught the presence of the reason: Leia. No; Vader was after her then.
Obi-Wan rose and made his way out of his secluded home and let the Force guide his eyes up into the twilit sky.
He could make out two small lights that were most definitely not stars. Vader's Dreadnaught…and the Princess's cruiser.
He had to do something- especially as he had good reason to guess he was what drew Leia here.
When the Committee of 3,000's leaders met to discuss a rebellion against the Empire, Queen Breha had been pregnant with Leia. Obi-Wan recalled the promise he made to Bail, Leia's father, just after he had looked into their baby's future for them.
"Your daughter will be a great diplomat, like you Bail. If she ever needs me, I promise, I will do all I can for her."
And of course he had told Bail where Leia could locate him if need be. He rushed back into the house. He had to gather supplies-
Qui-Gon's apparition was waiting for him once he passed through the doorway.
"You saw the ships?"
Obi-Wan nodded. "I did, Master. I'll collect my things-"
"You'll wait first."
Obi-Wan couldn't help but blink. "Wait?"
Qui-Gon somberly nodded. "Princess Leia has sent her two droids to the planet's surface in a pod; the astromech is holding the schematics for the super-weapon that was first being designed at the start of the Clone Wars."
Obi-Wan nodded; he remembered the whispers of the super-weapon during his imprisonment on Geonosis. "And I am to collect them?"
Qui-Gon nodded. "Then find transport for you all off Tatooine. Bring the plans to Garm Bel-Iblis; he'll have specialists ready to discern a weakness in this super-weapon."
Obi-Wan gestured, "But what about Leia?"
Qui-Gon actually smiled. "Rescue for her is being purchased as we speak."
Another nod. "Indeed," and Qui-Gon grinned in a way that convinced Kenobi he was not telling all he knew—per usual. "All is coming together, my old Padawan; you'll see."
A/N: OK, well, that's all for now, hope you like! Let me know what you think! ***New note: so sorry about the delay in updating; I wanted to fix a few things that were wrong with this chapter before adding another—plus other things got in the way. I'll be adding Ch. 2 either today or tomorrow! Thx for being patient!