A/N: For Level Two of the 12 Days of Christmas Challenge at Caesar's Palace.
"You wish to engage me in a battle of wits?" Thrawn can't quite stop himself from smiling at the challenge. Does this little boy in a mask even know who he's going up against? Only one of the greatest military minds of all time, that's who. "For the prisoner?"
The boy across from him gives a slight nod, his entire figure swallowed up by old-fashioned robes that cover all of his face except for his mouth. Thrawn thinks of the Emperor and has to stifle a grimace. At least this cloaked figure doesn't smell like a nursing home.
"To the death?"
There's no hiding his smile now. "I accept."
The boy reaches out a surprisingly slender arm to set out two teacups, and again Thrawn wonders just how he was able to best his Mandalorian. "Have you heard of iocane powder?"
"But of course," Thrawn says. "It is a poison that is colorless, odorless, flavorless, and otherwise indetectable to any known means." He lifts the cup closest to himself and examines it in the light before setting it down. "I presume you will place the powder in one of the cups and I will have to deduce its location before we drink. One of us will be right, and one of us will be dead."
"Turn around, please," the boy requests, circling a finger in the air, and Thrawn allows himself a private smirk before he acquiesces. A moment later, he hears, "It is ready."
Thrawn turns back to see the two teacups, seemingly identical. With a quirk of his lips, the boy asks, "Where is the poison?"
Thrawn steeples his fingers and looks at the arrangement of cups before him. The boy is far too sure of himself, not even twitching at the prospect of his eminent demise, which leads to only one conclusion. "They are both poisoned."
The boy inclines his head. "They warned me you were smart."
"That is not a confirmation." His fingers find the edge of the blaster hidden at his side.
Beyond the edges of the hood, the boy's lips curl into a grin. "On the contrary, my friend. You're very smart. But-"
There is a burst of light, and his blaster bolt ricochets back from the boy's chest. Inconceivable! is Thrawn's last thought before it strikes him.
"-you can't outthink a Jedi." The youth shuts off the lightsaber and turns to the captive. "Hey, farm boy, wake up. We've got some escaping to do."
"You took your time," Luke says mildly. "But I appreciate the rescue."
She pushes back her hood and mask to reveal long red hair and eyes that glitter green when she leans down to untie his blindfold. "We'd better hurry. I hear there are rodents of unusual size up ahead."
"That's not a very nice thing to say about Han and Chewie!" he objects. "After all they've done for us..."
Mara rolls her eyes. "We can argue about this later. Come on, up you go."
He lets her take his hand and help him up, grinning all the while. "As you wish."