Hi, again, everyone! Welcome back to the second look at this story involving Prince Luke Organa and Leia Skywalker. Today we're looking at the continuation of this story in Star Wars: The Story of Commander Leia Skywalker and Prince Luke Organa, which is what I've decided to call this story and the next one will be titled Star Wars: The Story of Jedi Knight Leia Skywalker and Prince Luke Organa, thanks to a review left by a guest. I don't know who this guest is that left that review, but I thank him for the idea. Now, for those who didn't read the last story, these stories are an Alternate Universe Star Wars story where Leia was sent to Tatooine, whilst Luke was sent to Alderaan. As such, Luke in this version is a bit smarter and determined, while Leia is more aggressive than Luke was, but is still willing to ultimately listen to reason. One thing I find that I have to address is that someone sent me a hate review saying that if I was going to bash George Lucas and Jar Jar Binks, they wouldn't read this story. You'd think I'd try to state the obvious that not a lot of people like Jar Jar, myself included, and I stick by that comment, but bashing Lucas? I know the man's not been on his A-Game since the 90's, but to his credit, and I have to admit, there are certain elements of the prequels that work. Some of these ideas I enjoyed were the ones like Palpatine's story of Darth Plagius, or the Yoda fighting scenes (c'mon, tell me who didn't cheer when they first saw that scene.) And I will say at least Anakin and Padme's relationship was a better love story than Twilight's. Or Amazing Spider-Man's for that matter. Now, torches and pitchforks down, people. Let me explain. At the very least, Lucas bothered to write scenes of Padme and Anakin doing a little something called INTERACTING. They actually talked to each other before taking the relationship to the next level and didn't rely on stalking. It wasn't good interaction, sure, but at least they actually TALKED to each other before going for a home-run. So take THAT Sony and Stephanie Myers! Rejected! Re-re-rejected! Ba-boom! *Aheam.* I feel like I've lost track of what I was doing…Oh, that's right. One last thing I'll say is that I decided to make this story and the next one long chapter instead of having multiple ones because I felt that would be an easier format for me this time around. So, that's just how it works for me, and I hope you won't mind. Anyways, let's pick up with our heroes. As always, I own NOTHING. This is for FAN-Purposes only, so PLEASE don't sue! Enjoy.
A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away…
EPISODE V: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK
After the destruction of the Death Star, the most feared battle station at their disposal, The Empire has declared martial law throughout the galaxy.
A thousand worlds have felt the oppressive hand of the Emperor as he attempts to crush the growing Rebellion.
As the Imperial grip of the tyranny tightens, Prince Luke Organa and a small band of freedom fighters have found a temporary refuge on the planet of Hoth for their operations until the Rebels can find a new way to strike against the Empire again…
Leia Skywalker was riding her tauntaun, when she noticed a strange object crash into the ground with a large explosion.
Taking out her macrobionoculars, she checked to see if she could tell what it was that had crashed, but got nothing. Activating the communication device on her arm, she contacted the base.
"Does anybody read me?" Leia asked, "Han?"
"Hey, sweetheart." Han's voice called, "How's it out there?"
"Cold." Leia responded, "I just saw something crash land here. I'm going in for a closer look."
"Copy that, Leia." Han responded, "See you soon."
Leia shut off her communication. It would be nice to have something to fight again. However, her determination that she had received since blowing up the Death Star was soon washed away when a giant monster suddenly appeared and knocked her off her tauntaun, sending her unconscious.
When Leia came to, she realized her feet were stuck in the ceiling. Groaning, she tried to remove her shoes, but found she was so tired she couldn't muster the courage to reach them. Taking note of her surroundings, she saw the horrible snow monster which she realized was feasting on her dead tauntaun's remains. That meant that she had to find a way out of here or else she'd end up as the next meal for the beast. Looking around, Leia suddenly noticed her trademark weapon stuck in the snow not far away from her arms. It was her lightsaber. Or more specifically, it was the lightsaber her father once wielded.
While she never knew him personally, she had been told her father was a Jedi Knight and her mother, a Royal Queen. Both were killed by a college of her father's called Darth Vader. Apparently, Vader was a Jedi once like her father was, but eventually, Vader betrayed the Jedi order and killed almost all the remaining Jedi save for Vader's own teacher, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Kenobi had told her some details before he died at the hands of Vader, but on a solo mission to Tatooine, Leia had uncovered some documents Ben had left behind for her which told accounts of some of his adventures including what had actually happened to her parents. The story went that shortly after the Empire rose to power, Vader sent a false message to Anakin Skywalker and his wife as they were unaware of what had happened since she was just born at the time the Jedi fell. Obi-Wan's records explained that Vader lured them to the volcanic planet of Mustafar saying he'd regroup and they'd plan to take down the Empire together. Ben had gotten wind of this, and when he heard where his friend and wife had gone to, rushed over as quickly as possible to save them, but was too late as he arrived just in time to see Vader cleave Leia's mother in half. Anakin fought bravely, but in the end, Vader bested him and decapitated her father as Obi-Wan was pinned down by fallen machinery and unable to do anything about it. Fortunately, the documents explained that Vader was too arrogant to make sure Ben was dead, and left allowing Ben just enough time to escape and retrieve her father's lightsaber which he later passed onto Leia when he revealed the secret of her family history to her.
Now the weapon was hers as Leia was trying to become a Jedi like her father was. Closing her eyes, Leia relaxed herself, allowing the Force to flow through her body. Soon, the lightsaber began shaking. Eventually, it flew into Leia's hand and she used it to cut the ice, freeing herself. She fell head-first into the snow, before getting back on her feet. It was then that she saw the creature had noticed her escape and was inches away from her. Acting quickly, Leia swung the lightsaber upwards, cutting the monster's hand off completely. With her foe incapacitated, Leia raced outside only to be met with the cold Hoth weather. She stumbled about and eventually fell down into a snow heap. Looking up, Leia tried crawling her way back, but her body was already numbing and everything was becoming still.
Then she heard a voice.
Leia looked up astonished. Standing before her was Ben Kenobi, looking the same as he did when he met her. Well, almost. Ben seemed to have this glowing blue arura around him, making Leia wonder if he was actually an illusion brought about by the cold.
It's alright, Leia. Ben assured. I'm not an illusion.
"Beeeen….." Leia moaned, trying to reach him.
Leia. Ben instructed, You will go to the Dagobah system. You will learn from Yoda. The Jedi Master who taught me. You must Leia. You are our only hope.
"Mmmm…..B-Bennnnnnnn….!" Leia moaned, as the vision disappeared. Leia's eyes were closing, but fortunately, she saw a pair of feet and a familiar voice call out to her.
"LEIA!" Han yelled, "LEIA! C'MON, SWEETHEART, SPEAK TO ME!"
"Dagobah…." Leia moaned, "Yoda….Ben….Dagobah….Yoda….Ben…."
"Dammit, farm girl! Don't do this to me!" Han said, shaking her.
Sighing, Han took her lightsaber and cut something open. Leia felt herself being picked up and then pushed inside some kind of squishy thing that somehow smelled worse on the inside than the outside. From there, Leia thought it was all some kind of blur. She had brief flashed of being surrounded by water, wearing an oxygen mask and being near-naked save for a tube which covered the area between her legs. From there, Leia truly awoke in some kind of hospital bed with See-Threepio standing over her.
"Oh, Mistress Leia!" Threepio declared, "Thank the maker you're all right!"
Threepio turned around and called out to the hallway.
"Prince Luke, Sir!" He said, overjoyed, "She's up!"
It was then that Prince Luke Organa entered the room. Leia smiled, she had rescued the Prince on numerous occasions, but even for a Jedi-in-training, it was nice to have a charming prince check in on her every so often.
"Thank god, you're all right!" Luke said, throwing his arms around her and pulling her in for a hug, "I thought you were…"
"Shh." Leia smiled, placing a finger on his lips, "It's all right, Luke. I'm not going anywhere."
Luke smiled at her and then something extraordinary happened. Luke pulled Leia in for a kiss. Leia moaned passionately as she kissed him. Leia was unsure if it was Luke or Han she liked more, as while Luke was nice and regal, Han had a similar connection to her in that he never knew his true parents, but unlike Leia, he had nothing to go on. Yet, Leia and Luke shared a similar bond in that both their parents were killed by orders of the Empire. It seemed so confusing that…
Luke pulled away and Leia gasped to see Han with Chewbacca. She quickly pulled back, blushing about as red as Vader's lightsaber.
"What the hell is this, your highness?" Han demanded, "Hitting on my girlfriend?"
"I was just relieved to see her back is all!" Luke said defensively.
"Oh, yeah." Han said sarcastically, "I'm sure you were just waiting to get in there! I should've left to go back to Jabba instead of risking being recognized every day by Imperials…"
"Both of you shut up!" Leia yelled.
Both men stopped as all eyes fell on her. Sometimes, it was amazing how much these two could argue over her.
"Now," She explained, "I'm grateful you both care, but Luke; the Rebel Alliance still needs you so I don't think you can get attached yet. And Han, no offense, I like you too, but with me becoming a Jedi-in-training, I don't think I'm ready to commit either."
Both nodded understandingly. Han had become more convinced of Leia's power as time went on, and she certainly displayed more great feats now.
"That actually reminds me." Leia added, "Luke, when do you think I can be let out from this facility."
"A half-hour probably." Luke guessed, "Why?"
Leia looked at the ground regrettably.
"I had a vision." She explained, "From Ben. He wants me to go to the Dagobah system, and train to be a Jedi there from someone named Yoda."
Both men were silent.
"So…" Luke asked, trying to come to terms with what this meant, "You're leaving us?"
"No!" Leia declared, "I'm just…taking some time off. I promise I'll come back as soon as I can. But my vision told me that this Yoda would help me become a better Jedi."
Han and Luke looked at each other and sighed.
"All right." Han shrugged, "If you think it's worth the trip."
"I'm sure it will be." She said, looking at the two with a mischevious smile, "And I expect you two to be on your best behavior."
"Yes, 'Mom.'" Luke said with a grin. Han followed with a laugh and even Chewbacca gave a growl which sounded like a laugh. Han looked at Chewie amazed.
"What do you mean you'll be the one making sure of it?" He asked, shocked.
Leia giggled and rested her head down on the pillow. Once again, she seemed to drift off into a sleep. It was here when Leia sometimes experienced visions of the future. She didn't know how, but with Ben's old records, they apparently said that her father and Vader had both experienced such talents. It was usually uncommon for the Jedi to do such a thing, but in the case of herself, her father, and Vader, it was possible in the rarest of occasions.
In her dream, Leia saw herself battling with Darth Vader. She had previously fought him once and lost shortly after the battle of Yavin IV, just barely managing to get away with her life. However, since then, Leia's skills definitely increased and it was apparent from her dreams as she blocked Vader's attacks. Her Jedi skills had given her a sort-of sixth sense so she felt like she could predict Vader's moves before he made them. As Leia blocked, Vader eventually exposed a weakness and Leia sliced through his chest as Vader's top half slid off and down into a rushing river, with glaciers flowing down it. Leia felt a momentary victory over the man who killed every last ties to her family, and caused so many pointless deaths (even if it was a dream,) but then she heard a voice from inside the mask.
But it wasn't Vader's voice. It was her dead Uncle's voice.
"L…Leia…" Uncle Owen gasped, "Why…"
"Uncle Owen, No!" Leia screamed, trying to help him.
She watched as Vader's mask broke off revealing Uncle Owen inside, his eyes red and looking at Leia horrified.
"Why…why did you do this…?" He asked.
"Uncle Owen, please, I didn't mean to!" She begged.
"You're…you're just like…Vader…" Uncle Owen said.
With that, his body fell beneath the water. Leia tried to grab him, but he had fallen too far. Ignoring the freezing temperature, Leia dove in, and swam down only to find nothing. She had murdered her own Uncle.
Then the surroundings became even cooler. She could feel her body freezing and heard a mad howl of a cackle coming from behind her. Turning around, she was met with an elderly man who had horribly deformed and melted-like skin, using a walking cane to get near her.
"You see, my new Apprentice?" The man asked, "You are no different from me or Lord Vader. There is no 'Good' or 'Evil.' There is only darkness within anyone. Join me, and I will complete your training."
"No…" Leia argued as her thoughts were partially leading her another way.
"It is the only way…" The man responded.
"NO!" Leia screamed, grabbing her skull which seemed as if it were about to burst.
"You cannot run from the Dark Side forever." The man insisted.
"NO!" Leia screamed, shooting up in bed and suddenly becoming aware of a rumbling noise.
"LEIA!" A fellow female pilot called standing in the doorway, "Get up, Skywalker! We got Imps here!"
Leia's eyes grew wide.
"Imperials?!" She questioned, quickly sitting up feeling that her body was well restored enough to go into battle.
"Yeah!" The pilot nodded, "Now come on!"
Leia quickly went over to where her gear was stored and grabbed her flight suit and helmet. Quickly getting dressed, she followed her friend over to the Snowspeeders. Looking to the right, she noticed Chewbacca repairing the Falcon as Artoo was neaby.
"Artoo!" Leia called, as the little droid noticed her, "Get my X-Wing Ready!"
Artoo whistled and beeped as he sped off to repair her ship. Meanwhile, Leia decided to focus on the battle happening here and now, as she got in the pilot seat of a Snowspeeder while another man named Dack got in the gunner's seat.
"What happened while I was out?" Leia asked.
"Commander Solo found an Imperial Probe Droid near the base." Dack explained, as the cover for their ship closed over their heads, "He's currently with Prince Organa trying to orchestrate the evacuation of vital members and supplies. They tried waking you up, but apparently you must've been in some really deep sleep because you wouldn't wake up."
"Yeah." Leia sighed, as the ships took off. To her right was Wedge and Biggs, and to the left was one of the other female pilots and a Bothan.
As they sped off, Leia suddenly saw three giant AT-AT's approaching the base with a massive ground force of stormtrooper's headed towards the base. Part of Leia wanted to go back and help them, but instead she found herself gunning for the AT-AT's. Unfortunately, the laser blasts were unable to penetrate their foes vehicles, so Leia came up with another idea.
"Everyone!" She called, dodging a blast to her speeder. "Have your gunners use their harpoons and tow cables. Aim for the legs!"
"Read you loud and clear, Rouge Leader." Wedge replied, "This is Rouge Three going in!"
With that, Wedge's co-pilot released the harpoon tow cable around the AT-AT's legs as did Dack. The speeders looped themselves around while the third one missed and did a series of flips and spins confusing some of the AT-AT's remaining. Eventually, the two Snowspeeders released the cabals and the AT-AT stumbled over and into the snow head-first with a mighty crash.
Leia smiled, but then her joy fell as another AT-AT fired behind her, causing a huge explosion from the co-pilot's seat. And some lights and beeps to start going off.
"DACK!" She screamed, before turning to her communications, "I'VE LOST DACK AND I'M GOING DOWN!"
With that, her Snowspeeder crashed head-first into the snow as she looked up to see one of the AT-AT legs approaching her. Quickly opening the cover she tried pulling Dack's body out, only to find he was stuck. Looking back she realized that the giant AT-AT's leg was not that far away from her and she had to move now. Sighing, she quickly grabbed the harpoon gun and her blaster, and rolled away and the giant foot crushed her Snowspeeder along with Dack's body. Leia would mourn his loss later, but for now she focused on the fact that the AT-AT was heading towards the shield generators that kept their base safe from the Empire. If that generator went, the rebellion would be doomed. Leia had to focus on the task at hand. Pushing herself off the ground, Leia quickly combined the items together to make a handheld harpoon gun. Leia had a knack for making things which she guessed also came from her late father's talent.
Finishing her product, Leia ran underneath the AT-AT, and fired upwards, hitting it underneath the body of the AT-AT. With that, Leia began pulling herself up as she activated her lightsaber, the weapon her father left her began to hum to life and she soon reached the end of the harpoon. Leia sliced open a hole underneath the behemoth, and threw a grenade from her utility belt into the hole she had made. Leia dropped down letting the Force guide her as she landed on her two feet, without breaking any bones. Leia then ran away as the AT-AT exploded and fell to the ground. Leia smiled softly, hoping it would buy Han and Luke enough time to escape (if they didn't fight over her of course.) But then she saw another AT-AT fire on the generators, blowing them up. Leia threw a fist in the snow softly cursing before she got up and began fighting through the massive forces of Stormtroopers, slicing as many as she could, though remembering to keep her mind focused as Ben had told her to so many years ago. Eventually, Leia got to the hangar and was relieved when she saw the Millennium Falcon take off, sensing Han, Luke, Chewbacca, and Threepio were already onboard. Smiling, she then noticed Artoo arriving with her X-Wing fighter.
"Thanks, Artoo." She smiled as she hopped in and took off. Artoo whistled and complained that Leia needed to go to the rendezvous point that the Rebellion was meeting at, but Leia ignored him.
"It's all right." She assured, "We're going to Dagobah. Obi-Wan told me we had to."
Artoo once again understandably complained, but Leia just nodded assuring.
"It's okay, Artoo." She assured, "This is all part of my Jedi training. I can feel that we have to go there."
Leia had to admit that although she didn't know that much of Dagobah, she would've hoped that it didn't sound as depressing as it did. As she descended, she couldn't see past the fog that seemed to envelop the entire area as she hit tree after tree causing Artoo to beep and whirr wildly and frantically. Eventually, their flight through hell came to a stop when Leia found his ship submerged in murky water. Leia groaned as she pushed herself out, utterly disgusted by the swamp she found herself in. Seeing as how she had no choice and she could 'feel' someone living nearby, Leia jumped into the substance feeling the hot and sticky substance cling close to her body. Leia felt as though someone had managed to mix Hutt slime with oil and then threw it all into this small body of water that her X-Wing was stuck in. As Artoo left the ship the little droid found itself falling into the water.
"Artoo!" Leia screamed, but sighed in relief when she saw a little antenna part of Artoo emerge from the swamp water.
Leia was just about to heave another sigh of relief when the antenna was suddenly dragged under the water, and Leia saw the body of a creature that reminded her of the one that had almost strangled and drowned her in the trash compactor onboard the first Death Star, only much bigger looking.
"ARTOO!" Leia screamed, readying her blaster.
To her shock, Artoo was shot out of the water a second later with a loud high-pitched wail before the droid hit a tree trunk and slid down. Leia raced over to her droid friend and inspected him. He looked a little cracked in some places, but he still seemed perfectly functioning.
"Oh, thank the Force." Leia sighed with relief.
A few hours later, Leia had managed to retrieve the rest of her belongings and was giving Artoo a mobile power charge. Leia felt something she couldn't describe about this place.
"You know, Artoo…" Leia pointed out, "This place almost seems familiar. Like I've been here before in some strange way. I feel like…"
"Being watched, are you?"
Leia spun around with her blaster to find a weird green little man sitting on a nearby tree trunk. He wore a robe similar to Obi-Wan's, and had large ears and white hair growing from the back of his head. He looked scared when Leia pointed her blaster at him, so Leia put it away.
"Away put your weapon!" The creature declared, "I mean you no harm. But I am wondering…why are you here? Perhaps help you, I can?"
"Uh…" Leia thought, not knowing how to respond, "I don't know, sir. We're looking for a great warrior…"
"A great warrior?" The creature chuckled, "Not many of those. One does not make a war great."
With that, he opened Leia's belongings and began helping himself to one of her food concentrate sticks.
"Hey!" Leia declared, angrily, "That was going to be my dinner!"
The little man spat out the contents, looking at her amazed.
"How you get so big eating food of this kind?" He asked, "Come, I take you to good food. Then, help you find your friend, I shall."
"Uh…thank you." Leia said politely, not wanting to upset the creature as he might know the lands better than she did, "But I'm not looking for a friend. I'm looking for a Jedi Master."
"Oh." The creature mused, "A Jedi Master. Different altogether. Yoda. You seek Yoda. I take you to him…come."
Leia looked at him amazed.
"You... you know him?" She asked.
"Know him, I do." The creature smiled, "Allow me a trinket, and take you to food and Yoda, I shall."
Leia sighed and rummaged through her bag before giving him a small portable power lamp. The creature giggled turning it on and off before nodding.
"Excellent." The creature chuckled, "Amuses me, this does. Follow me now. Take you to food and Yoda, I shall."
Leia felt oddly calm around the creature, but followed him nonetheless. Eventually, they came to a small makeshift home small enough for the creature to enter by walking through. Leia had to crawl in there and then sit in an area which was obviously not meant for someone of her size. Soon, the creature handed her a bowl of something that looked no better than the stuff her X-Wing was trapped inside. Nonetheless, she took a bit of it in a spoon. She was surprised that it wasn't as bad as she thought it was. It wasn't good like the actual food she brought, but at least it didn't make her gag.
"Why seek Yoda, do you?" The creature asked.
"I want to become a Jedi." Leia told him.
"Why wish to become a Jedi, do you?" The creature asked.
"Because of my father partly, I guess." Leia told him, "I want to become just as powerful as he was so I can bring order and balance to the galaxy."
"Oh." The creature said, "Powerful, your father was. Yes, a powerful Jedi he was."
"How could you know that?!" Leia demanded, "You don't know who I am…this is just a waste of time!"
"Hm." The creature said, "Wishes to restore peace she does. Yet impatient the girl is. Train her, I shall not."
It was then that Leia heard a familiar voice in her head.
Was I that different? The voice asked, Was her father?
"Ben…" Leia gasped.
She will learn patience, Yoda. Ben's voice assured, We've discussed this before.
"Yoda…" Leia realized.
Suddenly everything made sense. Much like how Ben had kept his identity hidden even when he first met Leia only three years ago, Yoda had taken precautions to keep his identity hidden as well.
"So much anger and confusion in her." Yoda sighed, "Much like her father."
"Yoda, forgive me." Leia said, bowing her head apologetically, "I did not realize the trick. I apologize, but I assure you I'm ready to learn to be a Jedi. Right, Ben?"
There was no response.
"Ben?" Leia asked.
"Ready, are you?" Yoda laughed, "What know you of ready? I have trained Jedi for 800 years…my own counsel. I'll keep on who is to be trained."
He poked Leia with his walking stick.
"To become a Jedi," Yoda explained, "Takes the deepest commitment. All her life, this one has looked away…to the horizon, to the sky, to the future, never her mind on what she was…what she was doing."
She will learn, Yoda. Ben's voice said, sounding so sure of what he said, We have come this far…
Leia remembered those words which Luke had once spoken which sent her on this path to freeing the galaxy from the Empire.
"Adventure…excitement…a Jedi craves not these things!" Yoda insisted.
Leia bowed her head once more, understanding what this all entitled for her to do.
"I know I'm reckless at times." Leia assured, "I admit it. But I've also learned a lot and I want to learn more. I won't fail you, and I won't be afraid."
Yoda only laughed at this.
"You will be." He giggled, "Oh, you will be."
Leia was exhausted. She felt as though she had been training for hours. Yoda had her doing all kinds of exercising from climbing and swinging across vines, to carrying him on her back as she ran, and even at one point balancing herself on one hand while Yoda stood on top of her foot. During this, Leia had somehow managed to move some small rocks with her mind and even Artoo to an extent, though this seemed excruciatingly difficult to her to maintain.
Finally, after running the gauntlet with Yoda on her back for the eighteenth time, Leia had to finally ask to stop and rest. As she did, Yoda dismounted from her backpack sack that she had been carrying him in. Leia was sweating so much that she had to remove her long sleeve shirt to reveal the tank-top she was wearing underneath which was already sweating from all the exercise. Still, with all the hell she had been through, the training seemed to show improvements on her body which had already developed some muscles along her once slender-figure. Though to Leia, it seemed like working on Tatooine was a walk in the park compared to the humid and murky environment that Dagobah was.
"Impressed, I am." Yoda noted, "Although not complete the training, last longer than I expected, you did. A brief moment, you have earned."
"Th-anks…" Leia panted.
Suddenly, the once humid air suddenly turned cold again and she noticed a cave nearby which seemed to be where the strange feeling was emanating from.
"Master Yoda…" Leia asked, "What's in there? It feels…cold."
Yoda looked and frowned.
"That cave is strong with the Dark Side." Yoda noted, "A place of evil, it is. Into it, you must go."
Leia looked back at the cave cautiously.
"What's in there?" She asked.
"Only what you take with you." Yoda replied.
Leia nodded and got up, putting her belt on which contained her lightsaber and blaster.
"Your weapons," Yoda pointed out, "Need them you will not."
Leia thought about it, but fastened the belt anyway. Walking inside, she felt even colder. It was as if the outside weather was blocked off by a force field of some kind. As she walked further into the cave, she pushed by some vines and then she heard it. The sound of a lightsaber lighting up.
Leia backed away as she saw the figure of Darth Vader standing there. For a moment, Leia was tempted to draw her lightsaber, but for some reason, she felt she didn't need to use it. After all, there was no way Darth Vader could get here and Yoda wouldn't tell her about it imminently. Besides, the last time she was near Vader, she felt a cold presence from him, but this sensation wasn't emanating from the figure standing before her. So as Vader drew his lightsaber down near her, Leia simply dodged out of the way.
It was then that Leia felt a throbbing sensation in her head. She felt as if her head was about to burst and she collapsed onto the ground as visions filled her mind.
There was a young man with short brown hair with some kind of ponytail hairstyle, holding a woman with dirty brown hair wearing Tatooine clothes that looked ravaged. Leia also noticed that the woman had two large impalement holes in her hands.
"A…Ani…?" The woman said, weakly, "Ani, is it you?"
"I'm here, Mom." The man named Ani said, "You're safe."
"Ani?" The mother said, stroking his cheek, "Oh, you look so handsome."
Leia could see the man was crying. It was understandable, his mother was dying, and he didn't want to lose her. But why was she seeing this?
Ani kissed his mother's hand as she stroked his hair.
"My son…" She said, almost in tears, "Oh, my grown-up son."
Ani shook his head, not wanting what was going to happen next.
"I'm so proud of you, Ani."
"I've missed you." Ani cried.
"Now I am complete." The woman assured him, "I love y…"
She began gasping as Ani shook her some more.
"Stay with me, Mom." Ani begged, "Everything…"
Leia couldn't help but feel like there was something…familiar about this man.
With that, the woman died, as the young man cried feeling defeated. Leia felt his pain and felt bad for him too. But there was just that feeling that she should know this person. But what was it.
Suddenly, the room changed and Leia found herself in a small dark room with some chairs that seemed like a meditation room. Sitting in a chair was Yoda, although he looked much younger, and he seemed to be in a state of meditation. Suddenly, another man entered who Leia did not recognize. He was dressed in the same clothes as Yoda, but he was a tall dark skinned man with no hair. He sat down on a chair and turned to face Yoda. He looked at Yoda as if expecting a response. Yoda sighed and looked at the newcomer.
"What is it?" The man asked.
Yoda gave another saddened sigh and looked back at the man.
"Pain. Suffering." Yoda declared, "Death I feel."
The man closed his eyes and frowned as Yoda nodded.
"Something terrible has happened." Yoda continued, as the man looked back at him, "Young Skywalker is in pain. Terrible pain."
Leia felt like this was a shock to her system. She was seeing images of the past. And from what she felt, that last thing she had viewed…that was her father.
But the woman he called 'Mom.' That was her grandmother on her father's side. Leia felt like her name was a curse and that death seemed to follow anyone named 'Skywalker' wherever they went. But why was she seeing this image of her grandmother dying and now this one of Yoda describing it to someone?
Suddenly the scenery changed again and Leia found herself on the planet of Naboo. She had been here on a mission for the Rebellion once or twice, but it seemed much more alive than when she remembered it. There was lush field, a beautiful sunset…
And then Leia saw her father again. He was a bit different as Leia quickly realized he had a new mechanical hand that kind of reminded her of See-Threepio's hand. However, what shocked her was the person who was also holding his hand. It was a beautiful woman who Leia sometimes saw in her dreams. She was dressed in some kind of white clothing which also covered her long curled brown hair, but she recognized the woman instantly. This was her mother. Her real mother.
She watched as they kissed together and felt a great happiness but as the scenery changed once more, that happiness changed to sadness. Leia now found herself inside a medical room with her mother on a birthing table crying. In front of her was a man with medium-length orange hair wearing the Jedi robes, as he stood with his back to Leia.
"Obi-Wan…" She cried, "There's still good in him. I know there…"
With that she died. Leia realized to her shock that this was Ben at a very young age standing before her. Curious, she went up to see his face…
And then the image shifted once more. She didn't understand where she was now. She appeared to be in some kind of torture room with imperials there. Then she saw who they were bringing in and gasped. Struggling in the grasp of two Stormtroopers was Han Solo.
"HAN!" She screamed, as Han was restrained into a gurney.
Then another door opened and Darth Vader entered. Leia watched as some small pig-like creatures worked some controls and Han was lowered until his body made contact with a laser. Han let out a horrible scream of pain as his body was hit with a shock. Leia felt so angry and then the image shifted to Luke being held in a cell with Chewbacca. Leia suddenly felt like this wasn't something that had already happened, but something that was going to happen. She wondered if that was the case, would there be any way for her to prevent this disaster? Would it be the right thing to do?
Suddenly, the door opened again and Darth Vader entered followed by more Stormtroopers. Chewie howled, but the troopers restrained him, as Leia watched a probe droid enter the room moving towards Luke who stood there unable to move most likely because of Vader.
"So, Organa," Vader declared, "Are you ready to divulge any information, or shall I be forced to probe your mind once more? I should warn you that the Empire has upgraded our probe droids since you last faced one."
"NO!" Leia screamed.
With that, the visions vanished and Leia found herself back in the cave. She walked outside to be met by Yoda who looked at her curiously.
"Strange this is." Yoda explained, "Used your weapons, you did not. Conquered your fear, did you. Yet something else ails you."
"Master Yoda." Leia explained, "I saw something in there. Visions of the past and future. I saw my friends, they were being tortured and dying."
Yoda sighed and looked away.
"I have to save them." Leia said.
"No." Yoda declared, "Not ready yet, are you."
"But Master Yoda…" Leia begged, "I've succeeded in the cave lesson. I feel stronger with the force now."
"No." Yoda repeated, "Not ready yet, are you. Train more, you must."
Leia shook her head.
"I can't ignore it." She replied.
"Then show me what you have learned." Yoda declared, "See if your skills have increased, we shall."
Leia nodded and walked over to where the X-Wing had crashed into. By now, the ship was almost completely sunken in the water. Leia doubted that she'd be able to lift it, but she knew her friends were probably counting on her. For some reason she couldn't explain, the visions were urging her to go to where she thought they were at. A place called Cloud City.
Leia took a deep breath. She had managed to move some stuff during her training, but this was bigger. Desperately, she outstretched her hand and began to feel the force within her. Slowly, the X-Wing began to rise, only to have it fall into the water. Leia felt exhausted but she couldn't give up. Not when her friends needed her.
"Rest, you must." Yoda insisted.
"No." Leia said, struggling back on her feet, "I can do this…"
With that, Leia calmed her mind. She remembered how Obi-Wan once told her that the Force ran through everything. Focusing, Leia began to get in touch with her surroundings. She felt the source of everything around her. Yoda, the trees, the rocks, and finally, she felt the place right between the land and the ship. Focusing on there, Leia stretched a hand out and calmed herself. Suddenly, Leia's X-Wing rose from the water (much to Yoda's small surprise,) and floated over until it reached the land. When she felt the ship was safe, Leia opened her eyes and smiled. The ship was safe and now she could pack to get ready to go.
Luke Organa had to admit he was impressed with Han's 'friend,' Lando Calrissian. When they realized during their escape from Hoth that the Millennium Falcon would not be able to outrun the Imperial Ships due to the hyperdrive being damaged, Han came up with a brilliant maneuver in which he lured the TIE Fighters through an asteroid field before hiding in a cave. Unfortunately, that cave turned out to be a giant space slug and soon they were on the run from the Star Destroyers once more. Han then showed another fine piloting skill in which he rushed a Star Destroyer and flew close enough to scare the bridge so that he could use the distraction to hide while attached to the ship, making them think that the Falcon had either jumped to hyperspace or cloaked. It was then that Han came up with the idea to see Lando, who was an old gambling friend and con-artist now in charge of running a mining operation on the planet known as Bespin.
Luke's first impression of Lando was that he seemed like a nice guy, if not a bit full of himself. Maybe even more than Han was if that were possible. Regardless, Lando showed an old friendship for Han despite the fact that as it turned out, Han actually won the Millennium Falcon from Lando in a game many years ago. Lando gave them the best rooms that the city he was the administrator of could offer along with new clothes. Luke was happy but wished Leia was here. He knew she was probably out on Dagobah training to be a Jedi, but he hoped she was fine.
"Hey, your highness." Han asked.
Luke turned to face him.
"Look." Han said, "I need to talk to ya, about Leia."
Luke raised an eyebrow as Han spoke.
"Do you love her?" He asked, "It's alright if you do, I'm sure I can find some other girl who'll love me, but I have to know."
Luke felt conflicted. He knew Leia knew Han longer than he did, and she had a greater attachment to Han as a result. Yet, as much as Luke loved her as well (both romantically for her beauty and professionally for the number of times she had helped save the Rebel Alliance as well as Luke himself,) Luke didn't feel that close of a connection as he should've.
He looked at his smuggler friend and smiled.
"Han…" He began.
Before he could finish, Chewbacca entered carrying different pieces of Threepio which were taken apart and stored in a box.
"Chewie! What the hell happened to Threepio?!" Han demanded, as he and Luke went over to inspect Threepio's current state.
Chewbacca gave a soft roar as Han looked at him confused.
"WHAT?!" Han demanded.
"What?" Luke asked confused, "What is it?!"
"Chewie says he found the parts in a junk pile!" Han declared, "And he also says that those parts were to be recycled before he stepped in there."
Suddenly, Luke felt very cold for some reason. He felt as though there was just something that felt wrong with the area he was in, and that they shouldn't stay in Cloud City for much longer.
"Han…" Luke said, "Why don't we just go to see if the ship is ready and leave?"
"Why?" Han asked.
"I don't know." Luke said, "I just have a bad feeling. It's as if Threepio's current state is a sign of things to come."
"Look," Han assured, "I'm sure this is all just some big misunderstanding, your highness. I'm sure Threepio must've touched something that made him fall apart and people just mistook him for garbage is all."
Luke was about to argue again, when the doors opened and Lando stepped in.
"Am I interrupting anything?" He asked.
"No." Luke lied, standing in front of the box with Threepio's parts.
"Okay." Lando nodded, "I was just about to invite you for a little refreshments."
"Alright." Han said, as they exited, with Luke making sure that he walked in a way that would allow his body to block Threepio from Lando until they were outside, at which point, Luke coughed to get his attention as the door closed behind them.
"Say, Lando?" Luke asked, "How did you manage to keep this place running so perfectly?"
"Yeah." Han added, "Aren't you afraid that the Empire will someday learn of your little operation and shut you down?"
"Ah." Lando chuckled, "This is a free station, not even part of the mining guild. Besides, the Empire's always been a danger, looming over everything we've built here, like a shadow."
"Well, we know a pretty face you'd enjoy who could kick their imperial behinds all the way to the Tatooine suns." Han cracked.
"Thank you, Han." Lando said, with appreciation.
"Just bear in mind that she's deciding between me and the Prince here." Han noted, "But there's no reason why she wouldn't be attracted to you as well."
"Thanks, I really appreciate the offer." Lando assured as they reached a door, "But I've already made a deal with someone else that'll keep the Empire out of here forever."
With that, he opened the door. Luke felt the strange feeling again and tried to warn Han. But it was too late. The doors opened revealing a dinner table where at the end sat Darth Vader, and a bounty hunter named Boba Fett who the two recognized as the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy. They actually heard that Leia had crossed paths with him when she went on her own solo mission to Tatooine to try and discover anything at Ben Kenobi's home that he might have left behind. Leia had only managed to retrieve information regarding the deaths of her parents, as well as some ideas of where to hone her skills for a while, and a journal that Obi-Wan had made describing his decision to try and do good on Tatooine while in hiding from the Galactic Empire before Boba entered and temporarily blinded her. Fortunately, Leia connection to the force helped her to fight off Fett and eventually escaped with said belongings.
Vader rose from the table as Han quickly took his blaster and tried to shoot him. He remembered Leia had managed to get a few shots off on him during their escape from the first Death Star and figured he could do the same. Unfortunately, Vader seemed to have gotten better since then and simply held his hand up which blocked all the shots fired from Han's blaster. After a few more deflecting with the force, Vader used his power so that Han's blaster flew out of his hand and into Vader's.
"We'd be honored if you would join us." Vader said, as Stormtroopers showed up to flank them.
Han looked at Lando with hate and malice. Lando actually looked hurt himself by this turn of events.
"I'm sorry, friend." Lando apologized, "They arrived shortly before the both of you did."
After retrieving her belongings, Leia had packed as quickly as possible and now she was ready to go. She was just removing some of the swamp materials that had stuck to her X-Wing as Yoda had just been standing there looking very sad. Leia finished and was about to load Artoo, when she heard a familiar voice.
Leia turned to see Ben standing before her again. He looked just the same as he had on Hoth wearing the clothes he had worn at the time of his death, only now his body was glowing with some kind of blue aura.
Leia. Ben said, You must listen to Yoda. You're not yet ready to face Vader. You feel the Force, but you don't know how to control all of it yet, nor are you aware of how to fight someone who has spent years learning and is more than masterful in using those ways.
"Yes, yes!" Yoda declared, "Listen to Obi-Wan, you should."
"I don't care." Leia sighed, "I can't let Han and Luke die like that. I promise that once I deal with this, I'll return to finish my training."
Leia. Obi-Wan said sternly, Only a fully-trained Jedi Knight will conquer Vader and his Emperor. If you choose the quick path, Vader will be able to convert you to the dark side easily. I don't wish to lose you as I lost Vader.
Leia sighed and looked at Ben feeling so sure of herself.
"I'm sorry, Ben." Leia apologized, "But I can't sacrifice Han and Luke."
With that, she got Artoo into the X-Wing.
Leia. Ben told her, If you feel this is something you must do, bear in mind that you must do it alone. I will not be able to help you against Vader. Use the Force for defense, and never give in to hate, anger, or fear. They lead the way to the Dark Side.
"I'll remember, Ben." She promised, "And I'll be back. I give you my word on that."
With that, she took off and headed for Bespin, the planet she remembered from her vision. As she did, Yoda and Ben watched from bellow.
She is still reckless, Yoda. Ben sighed, Things are going to get worse I fear. But that girl was our only hope.
"No." Yoda assured, "There is another."
Vader looked at the machinery before him. He had promised Emperor Palpatine, his master, that he would return the daughter of Anakin Skywalker to him unharmed. She was strong with the force and Vader saw the potential that if she could be turned, she would indeed make a powerful ally. Obi-Wan was wise to hide her from him, but eventually he discovered the truth and would now take great pleasure in finally capturing her.
This machine in the heart of Cloud City would do just the trick for Vader. It was a carbon freezing facility which Vader planned to use on Skywalker and then bring her to the Emperor to complete her training.
"Lord Vader." A stormtrooper announced, "The X-Wing class ship you've had is monitoring is now approaching."
"Good." Vader announced, "Allow Skywalker to land. We'll be ready for her shortly."
He turned to Lando.
"This facility is crude, Calrissian." Vader pointed out, "But it should meet my needs."
"We only use this place for carbon freezing." Lando pointed out, "If you put her through that…it might kill her."
"I do not wish the Emperor's prize to be damaged…" Vader assured, "We'll test it first. Bring in Solo."
Soon, Han was brought in along with Organa and the Wookie who were both in chains along with their friend.
"What if Solo doesn't survive, Lord Vader?" Boba Fett asked, "Beyond what you're paying, he's worth a lot to me."
"The Empire will compensate for the loss." Vader assured, turning to Han.
"Put him in the chamber." Vader demanded.
"NO!" Luke yelled.
Chewbacca growled in anger as he got in front of his smuggling friend, but Han suddenly yelled something that surprised everyone.
"Chewie, Luke, No!" Han declared, "It's all right. I'll go in."
"Han, what are you doing?!" Luke asked, turning to Vader, "Vader, please! If it's a rebel leader you want, take me instead!"
"The Empire still has plans for you, Organa." Vader assured, "You will be meeting him shortly when I take you to be held in a facility…"
"Wait!" Lando declared, "That wasn't part of the deal…!"
He felt a brief constraint around his throat.
"I am altering the deal." Vader replied, "Pray I don't alter it any further."
With that, he released Lando as Han turned to Luke and Chewie.
"Luke, Chewbacca." Han told them, "I'm going to need the both of you to look after Leia. If you can find me, that's great. But just let her know…let her know I love her, okay? I'll be doing this to keep you guys safe and hopefully she'll be fine as well."
Luke nodded understandingly.
"I'll tell her you love her, Han." Luke assured.
"I know you will, your highness." Han smiled.
With that, the Stormtroopers brought him over to the freezing platform. Everyone watched with horror as Han was lowered into the freezing chamber and then was sprayed with some kind of substance. Eventually, Chewbacca turned around so See-Threepio could see.
"They're encasing him in carbonite!" Threepio declared, "It's a high-quality alloy, much better than my own. He should be quite-perfectly protected…if he survives the freezing process."
Soon, a giant claw reached into where Han disappeared to. It grabbed something and pulled up revealing a block of some kind. The little workers who had been operating the machine pushed it down revealing Han fused into the metal. He seemed to have his face caught between a scream and a cry and his hands held up as if he were trying to escape the freezing process.
Land checked his friend and gave a soft sigh of relief.
"He's alive." He pointed out, "And in perfect hibernation."
"Then Solo is all yours, bounty hunter." Vader told Fett, "Take him to Jabba the Hutt if that is what you wish."
He turned to Lando.
"And now that we are certain it preserves without killing, reset the chamber for Skywalker."
As the workers made the preparations, Vader motioned to some Stormtroopers who motioned for Lando and the others to move as Boba Fett set Han's frozen form on a hover slab and began to have him moved back to his ship. Once they were out of view of Vader, Lando began secretly pressing some buttons on his wrist band.
Leia didn't like this current set-up at all. She had felt something was wrong the moment she set foot on this Cloud City, and it wasn't just because everyone was missing from what should've been a populated city. No, Leia knew Vader was here. The strange cold chill was present, but she was confident that if she couldn't survive him, she'd at least try to help her friends and fend him off long enough to get away.
Leia had her small blaster out for the moment, as the chill didn't feel like Vader was close yet. She wanted to play it safe and not have to use her lightsaber until she was absolutely sure she'd need it. Artoo stuck close by to her and whistled quietly.
"I know, Artoo." Leia responded trying to sound as quiet as possible, "Something just doesn't seem right."
Looking up, she gasped when she saw two people she recognized along with a couple of Stormtroopers whom she wouldn't know since they all looked alike. One of these people she knew was Boba Fett whom she remembered once tried to kidnap her when she had retrieved some of Ben's belongings, but the other she recognized despite him being literally frozen in some kind of carbonite holding.
"HAN!" Leia cried out, before realizing what she had done.
With her position given away, Leia rolled back, firing off a couple of shots while trying to hit Fett. Unfortunately, her shots just seemed to miss Fett repeatedly as the troopers managed to haul Han away. Leia was about to give chase when she heard someone else she knew by heart.
Leia turned to see Luke struggling as he, and Chewbacca (who had See-Threepio's scattered pieces in a bag on his back,) being escorted away by some more troopers and another person she didn't recognize wearing a blue suit and cape of some sort, with black boots.
"LEIA!" The former Prince of Alderaan screamed, as the group was shoved into an elevator, "GET OUT OF HERE! IT'S A…"
With that, the doors were shut. Leia suddenly felt the familiar cold chill again. Leia walked over to another door as Artoo followed but soon the doors shut, locking Artoo out. Eventually, Leia found herself in some kind of facility that was lit orange and had a giant machine at the top over a circular pit. There were also some stairs and platforms that most likely led to other parts of the facility.
Leia suddenly felt the chill even greater, and her thoughts were confirmed when she heard the familiar deep breathing noise as Darth Vader suddenly appeared before her. Leia had tried to face him once before when she and her friends had liberated some slaves of the Empire under the cover of Han being a negotiator from Jabba the Hutt. Back then, Leia barely managed to escape alive but now she felt that she was more experienced for the fight.
"The Force is with you, young Skywalker." Vader told her, "But you are not a Jedi yet."
Leia put her blaster away and took out her father's lightsaber. She watched as Vader activated his and she turned her own on. The two took a brief moment to breathe and then the battle was joined.
Luke and Chewbacca were continuing to be led out by Lando and the Stormtroopers when a group of Cloud City security guards surrounded them. Lando cracked a small smile as the Stormtroopers gave over their weapons, clearly outnumbered.
"Put this bunch in the security tower." Lando ordered, "Quietly. No one must know."
"What's going on?" Luke asked, as Lando released his cuffs.
"Let's just say I'm trying to correct a big mistake." Lando explained, removing Chewbacca's cuffs.
However, Chewbacca instantly grabbed him by the throat, taking Lando by surprise.
"I…" Lando wheezed, "I had no choice…! But…there's still a chance to… save Han! We can stop… Fett if we…hurry…."
Luke had heard enough. He knew Leia would never forgive him if he didn't try to save Han, and Solo had proven himself time and time again to be a great ally to the Rebellion and a good friend personally.
"Chewie!" Luke ordered, "Let him go!"
Chewbacca groaned but did as Luke asked.
"Make sure you keep your eyes on him as we move." Luke told him.
"I feel I'm making another big mistake…" Lando muttered under his breath as they ran to try and stop Fett, with only See-Threepio noticing Artoo was now following the group.
Leia thought she was half-crazy to take on Vader as she brought her lightsaber down forward only for Vader to block her. Vader seemed as if he wasn't even breaking a sweat, while Leia was running out of ideas for fighting him.
It was understandable. After all, Vader had once been a powerful Jedi himself before betraying the order, the republic, and Leia's family. That and his apparent added knowledge of the dark side seemed to make him more than a match for Leia. However, Leia was certain that she had a surprise or two for him. Just so long as Vader didn't have one of those precognitions of Leia's strategy, she felt she had an idea of how to beat him.
Leia could tell what Vader was trying to do though. She recognized some of the materials as those used for carbon freezing. Someone had tried to do something similar once at some point in her life (and failed,) but Leia recognized the necessary materials needed for the freezing process. So she was going to trick Vader and then spring a trap of her own.
"The fear does not reach you." Vader pointed out, as they locked sabers again with Vader putting pressure on her, "You've learned more than I anticipated."
"You'll find I'm full of surprises!" Leia retorted, managing to crack a smile.
"As am I!" Vader shot back, making a slashing motion and forcing Leia down the steps of the freezing chamber.
Leia's plan was almost ready, but she was going to have to use split-second timing and a lot of luck to pull her plan off. Leia briefly got back up, but then she heard the sound of Vader leaping down and rolled in front of him. With that done, Leia took this brief moment to grab a nearby crate with the force and fling it at him. Vader slashed through the crate, so Leia concentrated and picked up four more sending them flying at him as she charged straight at the Sith who had taken so much from her and everyone she knew. Bringing her lightsaber down, Leia locked with Vader again. She waited for Vader to seem like he was gaining an advantage over her before she kicked at his knees and Vader stumbled down into the pit behind him.
So long, Vader. Leia thought as she tried to activate the machine's lever with the force.
However, much to her shock, the machine wouldn't budge. At first, Leia thought she was doing something wrong, but then she heard the breathing noise and the sound of the platform being brought upwards as she realized Vader was halting the freezing process by bringing the platform back up.
"Impressive." Vader replied, "Obi-Wan has taught you well. You've controlled your fear…now, release your anger!"
"Never." Leia said, defiantly as she recalled what Ben told her.
Keeping her mind focused and in check, Leia once again clashed with Vader as they fought their way through one of the upper platforms and into one of the other rooms.
Luke opened the door to the landing platform where the Slave 1 was. Much to his horror, Boba had finished loading Han onboard and was already entering. Luke was usually a great shot, but his blasts unfortunately just seemed to miss Boba completely as he entered his ship and took off until he was fully gone.
Luke swore under his breath. He didn't know where Fett was taking Han to, other than that Jabba would receive Han's body. Seeing as how nobody knew where Jabba was at the moment, it could take months to a year before they found him again. Deciding that with the place now being packed with Stormtroopers, the only best option was to get to the Falcon and escape to regroup with the rebellion. Luke only hoped Leia would be able to survive her encounter with Darth Vader this time around.
"Come on." Luke said, determined, "Let's go."
The fight between Vader and Leia had continued into a reactor room. The two had been trading Lightsaber blows for a while, and now Vader decided for a different approach.
Using the force, Vader brought a giant tank-like structure towards Leia. Leia quickly caught it with the force, but she was already beginning to feel the strain from trying to hold it where it was. It felt her head would snap at any second, so she tried to think of a distraction and a way to get rid of the object at the same time.
Looking behind her, Leia noticed a giant glass window with a nearby walkway. It looked a bit far, but Leia figured there was a chance she could make it. So with a great deal of might, Leia threw the object back towards the window, breaking the glass. Vader might've been surprised because he instantly tried to hold on to a series of nearby wires as Leia allowed herself to be sucked out. As she fell, she felt so light-headed, but fortunately, she managed to grab the walkway with one hand and somehow pull herself onto solid ground. Leia took a number of deep breaths as she realized how lucky she was. Ben was right. She couldn't beat Vader and now her best chance was to escape.
Crawling over to the hallway area, Leia opened a door…
Only to find Vader waiting for her with his lightsaber ready. Leia quickly activated her own and began to block a series of quick blows from Vader's lightsaber. It was getting relentless and Leia felt she desperately needed to take a breather, but tried to keep herself upright and ready for anything. Leia ducked underneath a hard swing from Vader and managed to slice Vader's right shoulder with her lightsaber. A brief moment of victory swept her body, but Vader then gave a hard swing again as she ducked down as his blow managed to cut off another nearby small structure in half. Leia popped up and blocked again. Vader brought her saber around in a circular motion and pulled back. Leia was about to take his opportunity to swing for his head when Vader made the first move. Leia was unable to dodge and instead Vader's lightsaber cut her right hand clean off. Leia howled in pain as the hand, still clutching her father's lightsaber, disappeared into the darkness bellow. Leia felt powerless now and backed up as if hoping that Vader would leave her to die. If not, she could always take the easier way out.
"Leia…" Vader called, "You have no idea of your full potential. You have only begun to discover your true power. Join me, and I will complete your training."
"Nnnnooo…" Leia moaned, clutching the cooling tank at the end of the walkway, "I'll never join you!"
Vader simply turned off his lightsaber and looked at her.
"Leia..." Vader called, "Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father, did he?"
"He told me enough!" Leia screamed, "He told me you killed him and my mother."
"Lies." Vader said, "Your mother was a figure of beauty and a wife who I cared for every day. Obi-Wan simply turned her against me.
Leia looked shocked.
"Your wife?!" Leia asked, "But..."
Her eyes suddenly widened with fear for the only explanation.
"No..." Leia said, trying to deny the only reason, "you can't be..."
"Yes, Leia." Vader nodded, "I am your father."
With that, Leia's heart sank and she felt like she had been punched right in the stomach. Her body somehow felt more cold and numb, even without the presence of the man offering her a chance to join him. This couldn't be right. And yet...deep down, she felt this man spoke the truth.
"No.." She argue, "That's not true...THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!"
"Search your feelings." Vader begged, "You know this to be true."
"NOOOOOOOOO!" Leia screamed in pain and sadness, "No..."
It was true. Her father was the person she hated more than anything. The one who took so many loved ones and friends away. Her father was alive, but he was a monster, whom she could never forgive for all the crimes he committed against her and her friends. The visions finally made sense now, and Leia felt to her horror that if Vader was her father, that implied that he had killed his own wife, Leia's own mother, as well. There seemed to be no escape now. No chance that she could beat him or that she even wanted to anymore. Part of her was ready to submit. And then she thought of Luke. Of Han. Chewie. Artoo. Threepio. The Rebels.
"Leia..." Vader urged, "Join me, and together, we can be a family and rule this galaxy."
Leia looked up defiantly and smirked.
"I already have a family." She told him.
With that, she let go and dropped farther and farther away from Vader. She could see Vader watching her fall from above until she dropped out of site completely. Leia felt light-headed again, and so very weak, but she focused herself and aimed her body for an exhaust vent and slid down there. She let the vent's shape do the rest, sliding down with her body. She remembered the same feeling she had on the first Death Star, when she and the others had dove into the garbage chute. She hated that feeling then, and she especially was not having a good feeling about anything after the revelation.
Finally, Leia stopped sliding. Taking a minute to catch her breath, Leia pressed herself up with her one good arm remaining, but then her relief was replaced with fear when the ground beneath her opened up and she found herself falling again. This time however, Leia found herself hanging by her feet on an electronic weather vane, staring into the clouds bellow her which spelled certain death for her. She had only one chance. She had to try and reach out with the Force. It was difficult seeing as how all the blood had been going to her head now.
"Ben…" She groaned weakly, "Ben…"
She felt the vane groan and realized there was only one other person she could depend on now. The same person who once depended on her a few years ago.
"Luke…" She whispered, "Luke…"
The Millennium Falcon…
Luke was watching as Lando and Chewie were already busy at work flying the ship out of here. There were TIE Fighters behind them, and this would probably be their only chance for escape. Lando didn't like the idea of leaving Cloud City behind, but he had broken enough laws already and there was nowhere else to go. Besides, he had realized what he did to Han was wrong, and wanted to try and redeem himself now. Luke only hoped that Leia.
Suddenly, Luke felt an unnerving feeling. He could suddenly see Leia in tremendous pain, dangling on a weather vane.
"Leia…" Luke breathed, before turning to Lando, "Lando, turn us around! We have to go back!"
"What?!" Lando demanded as Chewie roared in agreement, "Are you crazy?! What about those TIE Fighters?!"
"No arguments!" Luke warned, "That's a command! I know where Leia is!"
Lando groaned as the Falcon went up and then spun back to the city as Luke pointed them in the direction. He could then see Leia looking exactly as she did in his vision, and apparently missing her right hand.
"Be ready to catch her!" Luke ordered.
"On it." Lando said, as Chewie took the main controls. The ship hovered above her as Lando caught the young training Jedi before she fell. Leia was brought in to see Luke who hugged her tightly.
"Leia what happened?!" He demanded.
"V-Vader…" She said weakly, "Ben…Ben…why didn't you tell me?"
Luke assumed Leia was too weak to talk for the moment and instead put her down on the bench next to the chessboard with a blanket over her. Running back to the front, he could see Lando was getting ready to go to hyperspace. Unfortunately, there was a giant Star Destroyer close nearby.
"Punch it!" Lando declared.
He hit the lightspeed, but nothing happened.
"What?!" He demanded, "No! No, this can't be happening!"
Chewbacca roared in anger and went back to fix the problem as Luke and Lando tried to maneuver around the Star Destroyer.
"I hope that this works soon." Luke said, "If they use the tractor beam, we're finished!"
Suddenly, he could hear Artoo screaming from the back and the ship went into hyperspace.
Luke was slightly relieved. They had lost so much, but now they could get to work on reclaiming what the Empire took from them.
Luke watched as Leia observed the finishing construction of her new hand. She would never feel the same warm touch again, even though her outer hand had been reconstructed to appear similar to it. The insides, were a series of circuits that attached to her nerves to react the same, as demonstrated by the medical droid poking her fingers resulting in her hand twitching and her feeling a small sense of pain. It wasn't the same as what she might've felt had she still had her hand, but it was still there.
Right now, they were with the Rebellion as Lando and Chewbacca setting off to find where Jabba the Hutt was located currently so they could rescue Han. When Luke told Leia, the young Jedi wept. Though she claimed it was for loosing Han and his final declaration of love for her, Luke had a feeling that there was something else Leia was keeping from him.
See-Threepio walked up to her, as Leia smiled. The droid had apparently been blasted to pieces on Bespin, but fortunately Artoo managed to repair him and now the droid was just as good as new. Leia was relieved to know that not everyone she knew had been taken by the Empire.
"Mistress Leia," Threepio declared, "It's Lando on the comlink."
Leia smiled as she listened in.
"Leia?" Lando asked, "Chewie and I are ready for take-off."
"Good luck." Leia smiled, "I'll see you on Tatooine."
"And don't worry." Lando assured, "We'll find Han."
Chewbacca roared in agreement as the medical droid finished making the repairs and Leia stood next to Luke.
"Someday," Luke explained, "You're going to tell me what happened."
"I might." Leia said, still feeling that despair over the revelation Vader had told her in their duel.
"Or you could explain now." Luke suggested, "Leia, I'm your friend. I won't try and steal you from Han, but I have to know what happened to you in there."
"Vader told me something I didn't want to hear." She said, trying to be as cryptic as Ben would, "I don't want to say anything beyond that."
Luke nodded. He decided he wouldn't push Leia any further in that question but instead decided to give her some advice.
"Next time," He told her, "Don't fight him so quickly."
"I won't." Leia assured, "I'm going to train harder now, Luke. And when the time comes, I'll truly be ready for him this time."
Though Leia spoke with full determination, her mind seemed conflicted. Could she really have the strength to kill her own father? If Vader really was Anakin Skywalker, then she wondered if Anakin truly had murdered his own wife. Perhaps the vision of her mother dying implied that Anakin had killed her, but her mother seemed to believe that there was still good within him. Could that be the case? Could a monster as cruel as Vader still have a small flame of good in his body that perhaps even he didn't know about? And if that was the case, could that flame be reignited to make Vader good again?
These questions and more haunted Leia's mind, but she would find out in due time. For now, all she could do was train harder and wait to hear from Lando and Chewie. She felt Luke put his arm around her and smiled softly. It was going to be another long adventure, but she would endure just as she had for the past few years since joining the rebellion.
She watched as the Falcon took off.
"Good luck my friends." She whispered. "May the force be with you."
To be concluded…
Cue Back to the Future II Ending theme. So there you go. Part II (or V) is done, so be back soon for Part III (or VI in this case), to see the final part in this alternate trilogy. Hope you enjoyed. Reviews and comments are appreciated! As always, I own NOTHING. This is for FAN-Purposes only so PLEASE don't sue! Take care!