A/N: Okay, who's excited? If you're not, let me give you a few reasons to be!
One, we are about to dive into the original trilogy that made Star Wars, yes that's right, Episodes IV-VI! If you read and loved the original Star Sword in which episodes II and III were covered, then I think this story will be doubly welcomed by your attention! It's an idea I've been concocting for some time, and I'm excited to finally have it under way!
Two, we will see how Yui operates separate from her parents in this fanfiction- that's right, the Black Swordsman and the Lightning Flash wil not be joining us as Jedi Knights in this adventure. I'm sure that this will cause some mixed feelings, but I've wanted to do a story with a young adult Yui finding her own way for some time, and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity.
Three, we're about to see exactly how strong Yui really is. In the first Star Sword, we touched on that subject from time to time, but now she'll really get to strut her stuff.
If you're not excited yet, then I dunno what will get you hyped! Maybe reading the story itself? Link, Start!
P.S. Be sure to check out the video that I made for this story- you can find the link to it on my profile page.
An Unexpected Hope
Luke Skywalker was in serious trouble. Without really knowing how, he had somehow greatly offended a criminal with a death warrant in a dozen systems, and said criminal now wanted to kill him. The man had thrown him into a table, where he lay now, stunned and winded. Well, I guess this would be the right ending to the worst day of my life, he thought dully as he looked up at his attacker with bleary eyes.
His uncle and aunt had been murdered earlier that day by Imperial Stormtroopers, he had learned that his father was killed in the Galactic Wars in which the Jedi Knights had been wiped out- and all for two droids. It was annoying in a way, he thought, how everything seemed to have just ripped out from under him, and he had no say in the matter.
He saw Ben begin to move in between him and his attacker, but someone beat him to it. His vision cleared just in time to make him wonder if he hadn't hit his head so hard that he wasn't hallucinating. A beautiful young woman his own age was standing between him and his attacker, speaking to him in perfect Huttese. She was average in height, her body looked like it had been generated by a holo-program, with slender legs and shapely hips matched by womanly curves that would turn heads anywhere she went. Her hair was smooth and shiny, jet-black in color, and her pale skin was without blemish, but her eyes were hidden from him, as he back was to him.
Her clothing was a mix of black and white, a sleeveless garb that had a cape on it that hid most of her form. But her arms were covered by separate sleeves that went up almost to her shoulders. Her boots looked like soft leather of some kind, nothing like what Luke had ever seen before. To sum it up, she almost appeared to be a divine being- certainly not someone who'd grown up on Tatooine.
"This one isn't worth your trouble," she was saying. "But if you hurt him, I may prove more than you can handle."
The alien laughed at her thinly veiled threat, and pointed the blaster at her face from point-blank range. At that distance, there was no way he could miss.
But the girl showed no signs of fear as she stared what was almost certain death in the face and said, "I will not give you another chance to put that down and go get your drinks somewhere else."
The man immediately pulled the trigger, intending to kill her on the spot. Instead, the gun backfired and exploded in his hand, causing him to howl in agony as the burnt flesh was pierced by the sharp metal. "I warned you," the girl said in Basic, in that same soft, calm voice she had been using during the whole confrontation.
The alien's friend roared angrily and rushed at the girl, who weaved under the vicious punch he threw, almost like a dance movement. Not bothering to issue a warning this time, the girl reached for something at her belt, and her next movement was just a blur. The girl appeared to grasp some kind of metal object that looked vaguely familiar to Luke before there was a thrumming sound and a flash of purple that severed the hand that had tried to strike her.
The alien's shriek was now one of pain like his comrade's, and he fell to the floor, cradling the stump of a limb. Luke looked up at the girl to see that the purple light was gone, and that there was no sign of the object she had used.
He was immediately captivated by her gray eyes, which shone with concern and gentleness. Then he remembered how quickly she had moved, and he eyed her warily as she knelt beside him with a concerned expression. "Are you all right?" she asked softly.
"Yeah…" he grunted as he tried to get up. She grabbed his arm and hauled him to his feet with surprising strength. "Thank you, uh…"
"My name is Yui," she said as Ben approached them with a frown on his face. "Yui Kirigaya. I'm here to help you and Master Obi-Wan Kenobi."
Luke looked askance at her. According to Ben, he hadn't used that name since before he had been born, and this girl clearly couldn't be any older than him. How could she possibly know that name? "Uh…" he said uncertainly.
"It's alright, Luke," the old man said as he came up to them. "We can trust this girl, for the time being, at least."
"Master Kenobi?" the girl asked, her eyes wide as she looked the old man up and down.
"Keep your voice down, child," Ben said in a lowered tone. "There are too many unfriendly ears here. I have questions, and I can sense yours as well, but they must wait. Still, I will not ignore a Jedi seeking me out."
"A Je-" Luke started to ask before Ben put hand over his mouth.
"Patience, Luke," Ben said firmly. The boy nodded his understanding and Ben took his hand down.
"Luke Skywalker?" Yui asked quietly. "That's you, right?"
"Yeah, but… how do you know my name?" he asked.
"I'll explain later," Yui replied, still keeping her voice. Aware of the eyes on them, she said, "Right now, all you need to know about me as that I'm here to help. And this place isn't safe- we need to get out and find someone name Leia."
Ben looked sharply at the girl when she mentioned that name. His senses were still telling him that this girl had been trained in the ways of the Jedi, but how did she know about their mission? R2 would have never told anyone, even if he had to shut himself down permanently to avoid having the information extracted. Was she able to sense Luke's thoughts that clearly?
"Do you have something I can see that will validate your allegiance?" Ben asked cautiously. His instincts were telling him to trust this girl, but one could never be too careful.
Yui looked at him with her kind gray eyes and said, "Master, I know this is strange and confusing, but you must believe that I am a friend and I only want to help you. Do you have somewhere that we talk in private?"
"We were about to purchase passage for ourselves on a smuggler's ship," Ben answered, putting aside his doubt for now. He sensed no ill will from this Yui girl, so he would have to rely on that for now. "Come with us and remain silent if you want to learn more about our goals."
"Yes, Master," she said obediently as they headed over to a table in the back. But Ben sensed her eagerness almost as though it were surging from her, though he could not tell what could possibly cause her to be so excited… Excited and relieved?
They sat down at the table without a word, waiting for the man to make introductions. They didn't have to wait long. The handsome man in the black vest leaned forward slightly as he said, "I'm Captain Han Solo. Chewbacca says you're looking for a ship to get you out of here." He used a slight jerk of his head to indicate a massive wookiee sitting next to him.
Yui jerked with surprise, but said nothing, causing both Ben and Luke to wonder at her reaction. However, Ben knew that they had more important things to worry about right now. "We are," he nodded. "If it's a fast ship."
"A fast ship?" Han scoffed, almost sounding insulted. "You're telling me you've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?"
"Should I have?" Ben asked skeptically.
"It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs," Hand bragged with a broad grin. "She's a Corellian Freighter, low on luxury, high on evasion. She's outrun Imperials for breakfast and other bounty hunters for exercise."
"Sounds impressive," Ben said neutrally.
"So, what's the cargo?" Han asked leaning back, assured that he'd sold his merchandise.
"Passage for two droids, the boy and girl, myself…" Ben leaned in a little bit as he added in a lower tone, "And no questions asked."
Han grinned lazily as he said, "Well, that's the real catch, then, isn't it?" Luke had a sinking feeling in his gut as Han added, "And it's gonna cost you something extra." He paused and said flatly, "Ten thousand, all in advance."
Luke was scandalized. "Ten thousand?!" he sputtered. "We could almost buy our own ship for that!"
"Yeah, but who's gonna fly it kid?" Han said as he leaned forward to look Luke in the eye. "You?" His tone was challenging, and Luke hated it.
"You bet I could, I'm not such a bad pilot myself," he snapped. Turning to Ben, he said, "Why do have to sit here and listen to-"
Ben held up a hand for silence before turning back to Han and saying, "We can pay you two thousand now…" Han went to walk away, but Ben quickly added, "Plus fifteen when we reach Alderaan." Han stopped cold and looked at the old man with a curious eye.
"Seventeen, huh?" he said. Ben nodded once. Han returned the gesture slowly as he said, "All right, looks like you guys have got yourselves a ship. Meet me in docking bay ninety-four in half an hour. Chewie and I'll have the ship ready by then."
"Nintey-four," Ben nodded.
Han jerked his chin behind them and said, "Looks like you guys have been attracting some attention." The two men and girl looked back as unobtrusively as they could to see a few Stormtroopers questioning the bartender, who was pointing in their direction.
"Thank you," the girl said quietly as they made a stealthy exit.
By the time the troopers made it to Han and Chewbacca, they were nowhere to be found, nor would anyone say anything to the troopers present.
Luke quickly sold his speeder to fund their trip to Alderaan, and the group made their way to the docking bay that Han had told them about. As they walked, Yui said, "We're being followed."
"So you sense it as well?" Ben asked.
"Yes, Master," Yui nodded.
"You have an unusually strong connection to the Force for someone your age," Ben said thoughtfully. "And I know that you could not have possibly been present for traditional training. How did you come to know the Force?"
"I had a great teacher," Yui replied evenly. "Once we're on our way to Alderaan, I will explain my story in full detail, Master. I will tell you how I knew how to find you and about Anakin's son."
Ben looked over at her in surprise- she clearly knew more than he had originally thought, but there was no time to question her right now. He was committed, and he would just to trust in the Force that the gamble he was taking would be worth it.
"By the way," Luke said as they approached a non-descript home. "I never said thanks for saving me back at the bar… So thanks, Yui."
"It was my pleasure," she replied with a charming smile. "I'm glad to finally meet you, Luke."
"Finally?" he asked.
"Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself," she said ruefully. "I'll explain later."
"I hope so," he grumbled. "I've had enough mysteries today to last a lifetime."
Once they had collected the droids Ben had mentioned during the meeting with Han, whom Yui also seemed to recognize somehow, they made a beeline straight for the docking bay where the ship was supposed to be waiting. Yui kept throwing unobtrusive glances over her shoulder until Ben said, "If we look like we're afraid of being followed, we'll only attract more attention."
"True, but a lot of people in this spaceport are on the run from someone or other," Yui replied. "One more suspicious-looking person won't make that much of a difference."
"Still, I'd rather not take chances," Ben said. "Leave the enemy's detection to me."
"Yes, Master," Yui nodded.
Fortunately, they reached the Millennium Falcon without incident. Unfortunately, the sight of the freighter made Luke do a double-take. "What a piece of junk!" he couldn't help but cry out. The ship looked like a result of the trash compactors on Raxus Prime, clunky and rough. He looked at Ben, totally scandalized, to which he shrugged noncommittally.
"Hey, she may not look pretty, but she's got it where it counts, kid," Han said with a sharp gleam in his eye, despite his friendly grin. "Now if you don't mind, let's all get on board, I've got a ship to launch."
With Luke grumbling, Ben led the boy on board, but Yui stayed outside for just a moment longer. "You said this ship made the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs?" she asked quietly.
"You doubt it?" Han smirked.
"No," Yui grinned back. "But if you rerouted the sublight engines' auxiliary power directly to the hyperdrive, you could have done it in ten, maybe nine parsecs."
"Hey, I think I know what I'm doing with my own ship," Han said, that same smile still stuck on his face.
"Okay," Yui shrugged as she moved to walk up the ramp to the ship's interior. "But make sure you know how to install the routers without a compressor, or else you'll blow up in the middle of hyperspace." Then she was gone inside.
Han scoffed at her, then turned to see Chewbacca approaching with the last of his tools, done with his repairs. In a low voice, he said, "Hey, Chewie? Make a note to pick up some new routers when we next go to Corellia."
The wookie let out a grunt of acknowledgement and moved inside the ship. Han reached up to finish attaching a part to the ship's exterior when Yui rushed outside, her cloak off and holding what looked like a long metal stick. Except that this stick in particular had many intricate patterns carved into it, and one hole on either end of it, almost like a large blaster barrel. Was it a weapon of some kind?
He got his answer when a squad of Stormtroopers dashed into the docking bay and opened fire almost immediately. Yui whirled her stick, and suddenly there were two glowing bars of purple light, one sprouting from each end of the stick.
To Han's amazement, she moved incredibly fast, intercepting the blasterfire that the soldiers sent her way with her staff, and sending the bolts back at the shooters, hitting them in their arms and legs, but not their vital areas. The whole fight lasted less than a minute, and Yui ended it in a strange manner.
Once all but two of the troopers were down, she deactivated her staff and outstretched her hands while closing her eyes. Suddenly, the two Stormtroopers stopped firing their blasters, and slammed into one another with shocking force, almost like two puppets when the master causes them to tangle in combat.
Yui opened her eyes and turned to Han as she said, "We need to get out of here. There are more on the way, and they're bringing heavier guns."
"How did you do that?!" he asked as he followed her up the ramp.
"I thought that part of the deal was no questions asked," Yui shot back as she headed towards the cockpit. "We need to be off of Tatooine, now."
"This better be worth it," Han muttered as he settled into the captain's seat.
"Seventeen thousand is worth quite a bit, even for a pirate," Luke said snidely. "Just do your job and get us out of here." He took a seat behind Chewbacca while Ben sat behind Han. Yui stood in the entrance to the cockpit, grasping the entrance tightly, as if afraid of something.
"Watch it boy, or I'm sending you out the airlock," Han snapped as they rose up out of the hangar and accelerated up out of the planet's atmosphere. They were safe from the ground troops now. Unfortunately, the way out of Tatooine's space was blocked by three Star Destroyers.
"That's a problem," Luke said, eyes wide.
"Not for me, I've got a few tricks that'll hold 'em off until we can make the jump to hyperspace," Han grinned. "This is where the fun begins."
"The main guns on the Star Destroyers that are just below the command deck," Yui said suddenly. "They have nothing behind them, because that's where the bomber ships take off, separate from strike fighters."
"So what?" Han growled.
"Blow up the guns, and we can fly right through them," Yui answered as the warships opened fire on the freighter.
"Are you crazy?!" Luke asked her.
"Kid's right, we'd never make that," Han shook his head. "Too many cannons pointed at us, we'd never make it. Not to mention, tractor beams."
"They won't fire on their own ships, so we'd actually have less laserfire to deal with," Yui countered. "They wouldn't risk a tractor beam, either. It runs the risk of scrambling their comrades' computers if they can't secure a lock on us. And if this ship is as good as you say it is, those turrets won't be accurate enough to hit us. I've flown up against these things before, so trust me- they're easy enough to circumnavigate."
Afeter a moment, Han grinned back at Yui and said, "I like this kid. Chewie, we're doing it. Go for the one on the left. Alderaan's hyperspace lane is right past it." When Chewbacca let out a series of growls that sounded like a challenge, Han shot back, "If you wanna try getting past them all at once by going up and over, get your own ship!" Chewbacca subsided, but he still growled out one last protest that Han ignored.
"I hope you know what you're doing," Luke said as he looked up at Yui.
"Don't worry, Luke," Ben said calmly. "The Force will guide us."
Everything went exactly as Yui planned it. Han aimed the Falcon straight at the leftmost Star Destroyer and shot at the largest of the turbolasers, rupturing their batteries and causing them to explode, crippling the weapons and opening a nice big hole for the little freighter to fly through. As soon as they got close to the warship, the other two Destroyers ceased firing out of fear of hitting their comrades, making it even easier for them to escape through the new opening.
As soon as they cleared through the smoke and flame, Han told everyone to buckle in and made the jump to hyperspace. The three passengers and droids did so by sitting in the back room, where there was some sparse decorations, but more secure seating than up front.
Once the acceleration had completed, Han said over the speaker system, "All right, we're in the clear, and we'll be at Alderaan in a few hours." Everyone heaved a sigh of relief, and unstrapped themselves from their chairs.
Luke turned to Yui with wide eyes and asked, "How did you know that was gonna work? I've never seen anything like it before!"
"I didn't actually pull it off," Yui shrugged. "Han did all the flying. I just went off of past experiences and knowledge of the ship's schematics."
"Speaking of past experiences…" Ben said as he looked Yui closely in the eye. "I think it's time you told us who you are and where you're from, Miss Kirigaya."
Yui looked at the kindly old man and nodded once. "I think now would be a good time, yes," she agreed. "I'll start at the beginning, then. Though I'll warn you in advance, some of what I say is going to sound crazy."
"After today, I'd believe just about anything," Luke said, eager to finally get some answers.
"Okay, would you believe me if I told you that Master Kenobi is the one that trained me in the ways of the Jedi, and that I was once close enough to your father to call him 'Uncle?" A long, profound silence greeted her declaration, and she sighed heavily. It was going to be a long flight, she sensed.
Kirito: Hey, wait a second!
Asuna: At the end of the final chapter of Star Sword, you showed Anakin half-dead in our virtual home! What happened to him and us? How did Yui get to Tatooine? And why is there an Empire at all?! We killed Palpatine!
Mataras: Actually, Masters Yoda and Obi-Wan did that.
Mataras: All right, all right! Take a chill pill, I have it in hand. Everyone just has to wait until next chapter for answers.
Kirito: Cliffhangers already?!
Mataras: Do you even have to ask?
Asuna: Well, when's the next chapter?
Mataras: Once I've finished the Slayer of Aincrad story.
Kirito: Which will take how long...?
Mataras: Three more chapters, or about a month in other words.
Asuna/Kirito: A month?!
Asuna: Why would you start this story so far in advance?!
Mataras: It's May the Fourth! How could I not?!
Kirito: Anyone ever tell you that you might be a sadist for making your readers wait so long?
Mataras: You wouldn't be the first.