Part 1: Disappearance
By SJ and Tatiana 09-05-00/13-04-01
Suggested and co-written with Tatiana (email@example.com)
Disclaimers: Nothing in the Star Wars Universe belong to me; everything belongs
to George Lucas. I'm only writing stories for fun.
See my homepage for more details.
IMPORTANT Note about the story's copyrights: All the rights related to the basic idea of Mon Mothma's scheme and the ensuing alliance between Luke and Vader belong to Tatiana, and so do Vader's personality and the Sathed history. The rest of the story is a fusing of our imaginations since we've passed the story back and forth between ourselves :)
Special thanks to my shy, secret beta-reader and best friend, Adrianne, for her help with the final editing of my new stories. Thanks for giving me some of your precious time, my friend :)
One month after Bespin
Coruscant, Imperial Center
In a conference room which was far from any prying eyes, Vader was meeting
the Emperor as well as a plethora of high-ranking officers.
Ever since he had come back from Bespin, he had remained on Coruscant. At
first, his unusual behavior had puzzled the higher rankings of the Imperial
government, but at the moment, his reasons were all too clear to the admirals
and moffs who were present in the meeting hall.
The Emperor was losing his sanity.
"A Death Star... Oh, yess... The death of those rebellious
hissed and smiled at the men who were in the large, gray, cold conference
"Our last victory caused them great losses, my Master," Vader's
up, as emotionless as a steel wall. "The Rebellion will soon be crushed."
"Master... Yes, your Master I am, Vader," the despot nodded in
"I am the master of all the Empire, and I will soon be the Master of Death
The Emperor smiled again then laughed. The laugh, however, was loud and
it chilled to the bone the men who were sitting at the conference table; the
Dark Lord, for his part, remained undisturbed.
"Yes... The Master of the Death itself..." Palpatine half-whispered
as if he had
just been through a moment of great clarity--- "My star must be constructed!"
he suddenly snapped as if he meant to wake up his audience. He somewhat managed
to since the gathered men, except Vader, startled at his sudden, high pitch of
voice. "With it in my hands, those rebellious planets will be little more than
bits of dust before me. "
"As you wish, my Master," Vader bowed obediently.
"Begin the construction at once!" the other repeated, as if Vader
"The works will begin as soon as this order is signed," the dark
him as he produced a data pad and an electronic stylus.
The Emperor looked at it and saw an order for the construction of the lethal
weapon which he had just envisioned. He signed it.
While he was doing so, an aide in a violet robe came inside the room and bowed.
"Your Highness, lord Karder has arrived and is requesting an audience."
"Very well, take him to the small council room. I'm finished here."
Palpatine stood up; the nine other men were immediately on there feet,
at attention. Not paying them any attention, the Emperor left the conference
hall, leaving a heavy silence of bemusement and confusion in his wake.
Perhaps five minutes later, the silence was broken.
"Lord Satal Karder?" Moff Jerjerrod inquired nervously.
"He is the best specialist of cerebral illness in the whole
"Awful," a general grimaced in disgust.
"Master Targen" Vader said, suddenly sounding slightly tired.
The five Moffs and three generals signed the data pad which had just been
by the Emperor.
The text's title was "Testament and My Last Will".
Once everybody present had signed the document, Vader made it clear to the
present men that this little procedure had to remain a secret from anybody who
hadn't been present to this meeting.
Otherwise, he warned them, their quiet take over wouldn't come to work and
Empire would be doomed thanks to the Emperor's folly.
2 years later:
It was now two years since the events of Bespin and the ensuing rescue of Han
The fight against the Empire was still going on, but, strangely enough, Luke
the unusual feeling that the Empire was not willing to participate anymore.
Lately, the only fights which had been reported had been when his rebel comrades
themselves had engaged the Imperials.
Otherwise, they had been and were still left alone.
In fact, throughout the last year-and-a-half, only five Imperial attacks had
been recorded and each one of them had been the answer to the destruction of
Imperial military bases.
No new zones of influence were gained or lost for either part.
In short, Luke reflected seriously, an awkward calm was now reigning on the
However, he had the feeling that it was the calm before the storm, a feeling
that was shared by his sister and her boyfriend. The three of them simply knew
that something was not right anymore, but, he pondered yet again... what could
As he tried for the hundredth time to come up with a possible answer, he
reminded himself that the last time that he had seen his secret sister, she had
seemed to know a bit more about the situation than they did, but she hadn't been
ready to share her hindsight with him.
In fact, he admitted, she had looked jumpy as of late, as if she were
by a great secret which she couldn't share with any living soul.
He slightly pouted his lips at that; didn't he just know how that felt, he
himself sardonically. He had been living like that ever since Bespin...
constantly dreading the moment when he would have to reveal the fact that Vader
was his father... When he would have to face his friends' scorn and disgust.
Up to now, they hadn't questioned him, and Vader hadn't chased him for quite
while either. While it was strange, it also allowed him to be at peace for a
Now, he thought glumly, he could only hope that his inner peace would last
as long as the galactic imitation of peace would.
As for his sister, he reflected, getting back on his initial track of
she had never pried him too much about his secret, so he decided that he would
return the favor.
He wouldn't pry her for information either.
As he thought about her though, about seeing her again, he admitted to
that he couldn't wait for her to return from her mission; he really missed her
all of a sudden.
Forcing down his sorrow and strangely foreboding feelings, he pushed away
his chosen bay window and headed for his x-wing. He was due for a patrol.
'Cold. Darkness. Pain, sharp and clear. A scream, so loud that it tore lungs
apart, yet was soundless.
"Please, please, please, anybody! Please..."'
"Leia?!!" Luke gasped in horror as he jerked awake. He had dreamed
and--- no, not dreamed, he corrected himself as he remembered the details of his
sister's presence in his mind. It had been an undirected scream of despair
coming from a Force-sensitive mind--- his sister's mind!! 'Sith do I have a
'very' bad feeling about this,' he thought as he instantly, almost reflexively
jumped to his feet. He now 'knew' that his sister was in horrible trouble and
that she needed his help.
Not caring at all if he were only wearing his pajama pants or his full
Luke ran out of his quarters and barreled down the deserted corridors as fast as
could; his direction was the Falcon and his friends.
"Han!" he called the moment that he was aboard the ship.
As if also sensing that something amiss, the smuggler was instantly awake and
the hatch of his quarters.
"Leia's in trouble," Luke explained grimly.
After a very short discussion with Han and Chewie about his dream, the two
gave themselves five minutes to get dressed before meeting just outside the High
Command meeting room.
Five minutes later, Luke had barely rejoined Han that the other almost plowed
through the doors of the high command room thanks to his hasty pace. Luke was
right on his heels.
"Where's Leia?" the smuggler demanded immediately.
As if waiting for them, Mon Mothma, Admiral Madine and Admiral Ackbar were
sitting at the meeting room despite the late hour of the night; they calmly
gazed at them and Luke understood that they knew had somehow heard about his
"I'm afraid that Princess Leia is missing, Captain Solo," Mon
Mothma, leader of
the Rebel Alliance, explained soothingly. "We unfortunately don't know where
she is, nor what exactly happened. The last we heard from her team, they
were under attack---"
"Let me and Luke go after her," Han interrupted seriously.
"The Empire is
probably behind this."
"I'm sorry, but it is impossible," Mon Mothma answered calmly.
"We need both
of you here to help us bring about our New Republic."
"What? And just abandon Leia?" Han gaped in disbelief.
"No way." Luke rejoined, speaking up for the first time since he
had walked in.
"Leia has never given up on any of us; I'm not about to abandon her."
"May I remind you, Jedi Skywalker," Admiral Madine cut in,
"that Princess Leia
has gone to great length to convince us of your trustworthiness as a Jedi
Knight. It would be most unfortunate if you were to prove her wrong with
any rash action."
"But I can't sit here and wait when my best friend is in danger,"
earnestly with the harsh officer.
"You don't know that," Mothma interjected.
"I do know it, Madam," Luke stated adamantly. "Even now, I can
feel that she
needs us, that she is alive and in torment."
For a long moment, the matriarch gazed long and hard at him, as if pondering
truth of his words.
Han interrupted the moment. "The Hell with it, I'm going. I'm not bound
promise or anything, and ain't anybody who's gonna stop me from finding Leia,"
he stated defiantly.
"General!" Admiral Ackbar called in rebuke.
Han threw his general insignia on the table. "Independent Captain
he corrected him. "Come on, Luke. Let's leave this gang of bureaucrats
to their games."
He turned on his heels, his frustration clear to anyone who was watching him.
Luke briefly bowed his head in deference before he followed him.
He walked silently besides Han, all the way to the Falcon. All of a sudden,
both knew better than to talk in the open about their real plans. However, it
was clear to them both that the High Command would not keep either of them
from looking for Leia.
Once inside the Falcon, Luke spoke up.
"I'm going to look for her too, Han," he stated seriously.
"I've already begun
what they call a Jedi search; I'll just keep my eyes open for my sister while
I'm at it," he smirked conspiratorially.
As he did so, he saw a mental flash of when he and Leia had told Han about
twin ship. It had been after Luke had had to explain why Leia and he seemed to
share too many odd similarities and even seemed more linked than Solo and Leia
were through their love.
Han and Chewie had never betrayed their secret, he remembered from his
he knew that he could trust them with 'any' secret.
"There ain't nobody alive who's gonna keep me from saving her,"
Solo growled in
"Okay, but you know how you have a way with people," the young Jedi
warned him. "just try to be a bit more tactful about that one."
Han gave him his lopsided, self-confident grin. "Hey, it's me."
Throughout the following weeks, both Luke and Han began their secret
investigation. Since Luke was supposedly looking for other Jedi warriors, the
High Command hadn't even tried to make him change his mind about leaving.
However, he quickly admitted that looking for other Force sensitives was
somewhat easier than finding traces of his secret sister.
Although he knew that she wasn't dead, he felt as if she had completely
disappeared from the galaxy.
Taking a moment of respite from his intensive search, the young Jedi sighed
rested his elbows on the top of his cantina table. He took another swig of his
Three weeks now... three weeks since he'd felt his sister's pain from across
galaxy... then nothing.
And if he couldn't feel her anymore, then it could only mean that she was d---
No, he placated himself, he couldn't give up. Not on his life. He simply
searching in the right places...
Sighing in frustration, he looked around the tavern he was in. Things
didn't change much from one bar to the other, he reflected wryly. As usual, he
was surrounded by the same ragtag assembly of smugglers, outlaws, and honest
citizens who had gome there to forget their problems.
As his gaze roamed across the crowded room, he found it drawn toward a man
was flipping a coin as if it were a great prize. Luke frowned as he felt a
sudden guidance through the Force; he took a closer look at the man. The Force
was trying to tell him something, he realized, but what?...
Then, before he had focused, he saw an enhanced image of the coin.
He was instantly on his feet and on his way toward the other. The two men
noticed his approach but dismissed him as being inconsequential--- until his
hand shot out and caught the coin while it was flipping in the air.
"Hey, who do you think you are?" the other asked, more than a little upset.
Luke glared at him, wordlessly warning the other that he had better not
threaten him. The other seemed to understand him; he subsided. With this
threat was dealt with, Luke turned his attention to the coin.
It was Leia's lucky charm all right, he identified. Unlike the other pieces
credit, it was one of the last pieces from Alderaan as well as unique one. It
had escaped the destruction of the planet because Leia had been carrying it in
her pocket as a lucky charm at the time. It had also been the only coin ever
forged with two metals.
'A special gift from a loving father to a beloved daughter,' she had told him
when she had shown it to him for the first time... after the battle of Yavin.
He turned toward the man who was still glaring at him.
"Where have you found this?" he inquired seriously, almost threateningly.
"None of your business, Kiddo. Give it back or I'll take it back."
Luke stared the man down. "That coin belongs to a very dear friend of
Either you tell me where you got it, or I'll assume that you are behind her
disappearance and I'll bring you in."
The other seemed to consider; meanwhile, his friend tried to take hold of his
weapon but a sharp look from Luke discouraged him.
"None of that," he warned him. "Keep your hands where I can
see them." He
turned back toward his quarry. "Where?"
The other grumbled unintelligibly until he shrugged in frustration. "Oh,
what the heck. One of the pilots over there had a bet with me. He lost."
Luke turned in the indicated direction, aware that the man wasn't lying.
"Thank you," he told him before he returned to his table.
Unlike his first approach though, he kept a low profile as he studied the
The first thing he noticed was that they were pirates, not smugglers, the
second, that they were quite inebriated; it would make tailing them easier, he
It was late at night when they finally decided to leave the bar. He himself
had left the bar a few hours ago to take position in the streets near the bar.
When they came out; he discreetly followed them.
Their destination soon became obvious: the spaceport.
'Those guys wouldn't try to fly in their state, would they?', he wondered
uneasily, suddenly worried about the safety of the inhabitants of the city. He
made a note to incapacitate their ship if they showed any sign of lifting off.
Careful to remain out of sight, he watched them as they boarded a large ship,
which was bearing the same weird symbol than the one he'd seen on the arm of one
of the pirates.
Feeling his hopes sore as he understood that he had finally found a link to
sister's kidnappers, he reached out to search for her presence.
Seconds later, he reintegrated his senses, somewhat disappointed. She wasn't
anywhere nearby, but he could feel that he was on the right track.
He decided to take a look inside and see which information they had in their
logs about Leia's location.
The ship was naturally guarded but for a Jedi, he knew that it would be easy
slip past their sleeping defenses. Focusing his senses on himself, he skulked
closer to the berthed ship. Slowly, he approached them from the shadows of the
nearby ships, then silently walked toward the boarding ramp.
By the time that he had reached it, the guards were nodding off sleepily.
With a little Force-enticement, they kept doing it while he slipped aboard
Once inside, he hugged the walls, his blaster in his hand and set on stun.
'Pirates,' he thought in rare disgust as he looked around himself.
There were bodies slumped in every room he passed by, their capacity to
alcohol obviously ignored by what served as brains in their heads. Of course,
he conceded, alcohol was probably the least damageable drug that they had taken
He finally reached the cockpit--- where a pirate was snoring loudly, his
body sprawled in the pilot's chair. Luke took a moment to put this one
under a veil so as to not awaken him during his search, then called up the
navcomp readings and prepared himself for a long struggle with login and
To his pleasant surprise, he discovered that the computer was still
The Force was obviously with him tonight, he reflected while he set to work. He
had had about one chance in a million to find it still logged in, for even the
craziest fool in the galaxy who cared about his survival would not leave a comp
But then again, perhaps the pilot 'was' the craziest fool in the galaxy, he
thought with a smirk.
The list finally opened without any other difficulty. His first discovery was
that the pirates had been to many places, both inside and outside the known-
territories; they called themselves the Massacres.
He had finished to study this information and was wondering what to check
when he felt a renewed tug in the Force; he began to call up directories.
He was waiting for them to come up when a sound came from the opened
He whirled around, his weapon ready to bear on any bypasser---- only to discover
that the source of the sound was merely a small rodent which had decided to pay
a visit to the bridge during the night.
Letting out a breath of relief, Luke refocused on the loading computer.
However, having learnt his lesson about being careless, he made sure to keep his
senses alert to sense danger if it came nearby.
The directories finally came up on the screen.
'Interesting,' he thought as he leaned closer. They weren't only independent,
but were also for hire.
He called up the list of their contracts.
The Force was still with him, he smiled. Most were identified, Leia's
-- so he had been right, he thought in sudden aggression and worry. They 'had'
hurt his sister.
Keeping himself from even looking at the nearby pirate to glare hatefully at
him, he asked for the details of this contract to find out who was after his
sister. Unfortunately, that's where the Force stopped helping him.
He only found a bank-account number.
Carefully memorizing it for further use, he turned off the computer and made
way out of the ship.
As he walked down the main corridor, Luke kept himself on a tight 'leash' and
reminded himself that killing those cruel men and aliens wouldn't be worthy of a
Jedi, but he had to admit that he would feel damn good about doing it this one
They had attacked his sister's ship, he wanted to remind the Force; they had
captured her and brought her somewhere, probably outside the galaxy.
And to do what? he wondered as he gazed in his back and inside the ship that
had just exited. What had they possibly done to his princess? And why?
While he and his sister were both known for their heroics, they had long
gone down in the most wanted list. In fact, the Empire had completely stopped
hunting them down almost two years ago.
So if the Empire wasn't after them, he pondered, then who? He and his sister
didn't have that many enemies... and especially not Leia.
It was another story for him since he was a Jedi Knight now, but Leia...
And yet, those pirates had taken a contract on her. Why?, he asked the unseen
Why her and not him?..
As he hid once again in the surrounding shadows near the main engines of the
ship, he reflexively drew his lightsaber and slashed at the engine pods. They
would live some more, he thought at the pirates, but they would not be going
anywhere soon either.
By the time that the sleepy guards had woken up enough to attack him, he was
To be Continued in Part 2: Truce
Had fun? Hope so :)
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