Pain. So much kriffing pain!

Unlike anything he'd ever felt before.

Luke cracked his eyes open, breathing hard, his entire body aching and quivering in pain. Part of his training had been in drilling torture resistance tactics, of course, and at least on a minor level, they had experienced simulations of torture. Minor being the operative word there. Their enemies, they'd been told, would stop at nothing to get information about the Empire out of them.

At the time, Luke had never imagined those same tactics would one day be used against him. How he wished it'd stayed that way. So far, it had just been the Empire's favorite torture technique: Electrocution. He'd always wondered why...especially since training had gone into way more advanced methods of torture. But, after spending what felt like forever being constantly electrocuted between questions about the Princess, where the Rebellion was, etc. (Like he really .), he could see why so many prisoners cracked before they moved on to more advanced methods.

To say it was hell was a kriffing understatement.

The problem was, he didn't know the answers to any of their questions, with the exception of where the Princess was, and he wasn't about to divulge that information. He'd been trained by the Empire to resist torture methods like the Empire had-he wasn't about to give in easily. Soon enough, she'd be off the ship, and he'd legitimately not know where she was. Then he would probably be executed...but at least she'd be safe. He'd have done something to make up for his stupid role in this wretched Empire.

"Where is the princess?" The interrogator was calm, his voice never changing.

Luke huffed, shooting him a glare. "Long. Gone." Same thing he'd been saying since he'd been dragged into this cell and strapped to this damn chair. Just as before, the interrogator sighed in disappointment, as though Luke was some wayward child. Seconds later, electricity slammed into Luke again, and he was screaming, his throat raw and chaffing, tears involuntarily leaking from the corners of his eyes as his back arched…

Distantly, the sound of the door whooshed open, and someone said, "That's enough." A moment later, the pain was gone, and Luke slammed back down, drawing in gulping, painful breaths as his vision fought to clear.

He wished he'd blacked out. Standing in front of him in that stupid pristine uniform was none other than Grand Admiral Thrawn, looking Luke over with a mild interest that set him on edge. "Ensign Lars." He greeted, as though Luke had entered his office for a mission briefing. "It's good to see that the Empire's training against torture actually works. For now."

"I don't...have hide." Luke panted, mustering up the energy to glare at the man. The door, he noticed was still open behind him, and desperately Luke thought that if he could somehow get free of the bonds holding him…

"So you say." Thrawn agreed politely. "But, I'm not here about your rebel Princess. No, she will be found, one way or another, I assure you." He stepped closer, observing Luke as though he were an interesting test subject, not a traitorous turn coat. "Actually, I'm far more interested in your natural abilities with the Force."

Again, that word. He didn't know what it meant, and yet Thrawn seemed to think he had it. "I don't know what the hell you're talking about." Luke snapped. That, he was legitimately telling the truth on. He had no kriffing clue what this 'Force' was.

"I know you don't. Perhaps if you'd known, you might have succeeded in helping your princess. But, that's no longer important. The important thing is this: I need to decide what to do with you." Luke tried to keep the confusion from off his face, but Thrawn seemed to see it anyway. "The Force is what gives the Jedi their power. I assume you've heard of Jedi, yes?"

"Of course, but that's not…"

"I know that isn't you, Ensign Lars, but the point is, you have their power. It's a natural ability many would crave, if it wasn't banned by the Empire, of course." For the attempt the Jedi made on the Emperor's life. Of course. Everyone knew that.

"But, I'm not special." Luke said, earnestly this time. "Don't you think I'd notice if I had some crazy mystical power?"

"Perhaps." Thrawn conceded with a tilt of his head. "Perhaps not. If there really is nothing there, then there's nothing to hide, is there?" Luke was silent at that. Thrawn smiled softly. "Tell me Luke, about your parents."

Luke tensed. His parents? What did his parents have to do with anything? He thought about that prompting he'd had when he'd not give his real last name. To give the name of his aunt and uncle. "I lived with my aunt and uncle." He said, truthfully. That much could be proven by Imperial records. "I don't know who my parents are." Lie. He knew his father's name, and only because his uncle had slipped up and said it one day when he was about four. It was then that he'd taken on his true name: Skywalker. That was it. Nothing about his mother. No real details even about his father. Even if he did know, he didn't understand why that was important to Thrawn.

"I already knew that from your file." Thrawn waved it off. "You know more about your parents than you're telling me." Those glowing red eyes narrowed. "If there's nothing to hide, then just tell me."

Luke frowned, trying to find any reason Thrawn should or would care. He couldn't find any. Hell, he still wasn't even sure why he was keeping quiet about his real last name. He hadn't before on Tatooine. Why did it matter now? He opened his mouth…

No, Luke! You mustn't tell them anything!

Luke was startled by the voice in his head, and his mouth promptly shut. He blinked, rapidly, looking around the room for the source. Thrawn and the interrogator didn't seem to have heard fact, they seemed puzzled by Luke's sudden change in mood.

"Well, Ensign Lars?" Thrawn asked, an eyebrow raising just slightly.

Again, Luke opened his mouth…. Under no circumstance are you to tell them your last name! Thank the Force you didn't in the first place… Luke closed his mouth, blinking rapidly. The voice...sounded familiar. Somehow. Luke couldn't place it though…

"I don't know anything about my parents." Luke managed to say through numb lips. He didn't understand it, but...maybe he was going crazy. That's what happened to people when they started hearing voices, right?

Thrawn didn't even look disappointed. "You leave me no choice then, Ensign Lars." He stepped aside, revealing the open doorway, and the droid that waited behind him.

Luke's heart dropped into his stomach as the circular black droid floated towards him, a needle outstretched. He knew what that was. He'd read up on it in the Academy. He was all too familiar…

A torture droid.

"I told you, I don't know anything about them!" Luke pleaded, straining backwards, only to hit the cold metal of the table as the droid drew closer.

"You're lying." Thrawn said cooly as the droid pierced Luke's skin, injecting fluid that seared through Luke's veins hotter than the twin suns on Tatooine. Amplification drugs, Luke's frantic mind thought, as he began to squirm.

"I told you. You will tell me what it is you're hiding, and whatever that answer is, it will determine what I decide to do with you." Thrawn nodded to the interrogator. "Begin."

"Wai-" Luke was cut off as the electricity slammed into him again, and this time the agony was so powerful that he thought his entire body was ripping in two. Vaguely, he was aware of screaming, of pleading, of crying for help. He thought he heard Thrawn's voice responding...but nothing made sense anymore. The entire battle, the entire galaxy….the very sense of Luke's being was lost in an abyss of swirling, splitting darkness.

I'm so sorry, Luke, And the voice in his head, that stupid voice that demanded that he stay silent, was the only clear thing keeping him tethered to reality. If I had known...Force if your damn father would just listen….

It didn't even make sense. It kept rambling, and Luke lost track of what it was trying to tell him. But, when the pain stopped and his body was trembling with lingering spasms, he felt himself slowly coming back to half awareness. Thrawn was a blurry outline.

"I ask again...Who were your parents, Ensign Lars?" The question was calm. As if he hadn't just put him through an incredible, almost indescribable amount of pain.

"Go…" Luke barely rasped from between numb lips, "To...Hell…"

A pause. "Again."

Electricity dug it's tendrils back into every fiber of Luke's being, and he was screaming again, endless in his agony…

I'm so, so sorry Luke, The voice kept pleading, Just hold on…

That was too kriffing easy, Anakin thought sullenly, as he sat quietly at the Dejarik table on the Falcon, staring at the game board engraved into it. Across from him sat Threepio and Artoo, the blue and white domed droid beeping mournfully, echoing his master's mood. The escape from the Death Star….the TIE fighters who had pursued...there had been too few of them. Too easy to pick off with Han manning the turrets on the Falcon while Chewbacca flew the ship. If he had been in charge of apprehending them, he would have sent so many ships out, the Falcon would have been overwhelmed and would either be forced to surrender, or be eliminated.

But, it had been easy to escape. Far too easy. Which told him that whoever was in charge wanted them alive-and followed. Good, he thought sourly as he brought up his metal hand to stare at it. If the Rebellion could give him an opportunity to blow up that stupid space station, he'd gladly do it. The Empire wouldn't know what hit them. They likely weren't expecting a Jedi on the Rebellion's side, much less The Chosen One. He'd bring them down...and avenge Obi-Wan's death.

The thought made him clench his fist with rage-which quickly seeped into intense sorrow, and he lowered his mechanohand back to the table. Revenge wasn't the Jedi way. Yes, he knew this, but...Obi-Wan was really gone this time. He could feel it. Unlike the first time, when he'd been tricked into thinking Obi-Wan had been killed...he could feel it in every fiber of his soul. He could feel it in the Force. And, it tore him apart.

Yes, Palpatine would pay. He couldn't believe he'd ever trusted the man, couldn't….

He jumped a little when something soft and heavy was suddenly draped over his shoulders. He looked up, startled, calling to the Force for defence...and calmed immediately when he met the intense brown eyes of Leia. She had just finished speaking with her mother, it seemed-She had also taken time to get rid of the cursed TIE fighter uniform and was now wearing one of Padme's white jumpsuits, her dark mahogany hair, so like Padme's, pulled into matching spiral buns on either side of her head. For a moment, Anakin was struck dumb by just how much Leia looked like Padme in that outfit. They could have been twins, except for a few minor differences. When their eyes met, she smiled sadly. "May I sit with you?" She asked hesitantly, as if she were afraid he'd tell her off for coming to him.

Anakin nodded and scooted over so that she could sit beside him, staring at his daughter as she sat with him. He did not miss the fact that while he'd lost Obi-Wan, he'd gained a daughter. An adult daughter, who hadn't been raised by him or his wife, and who had just lost her adopted parents.

And her whole planet.

"I'm sorry." She said softly, not looking up at him. "I didn't know Ben as well as you did, but...he was kind to me. Whenever he visited Al...Alderaan." The hesitation on saying her planet's name was the only glimpse of her sorrow he could detect. He couldn't even feel it through the Force...but then, even sitting next to her, her presence was almost...totally hidden. Obi-Wan had to have taught her well how to hide herself in the Force.

And, being his daughter, she'd obviously mastered the skill well. Very well.

And yet, he knew she grieved. How could she not? But, here she was, comforting him, saying nothing of her own pain. Likely, she was compartmentalizing everything, just as her mother did when there were things that needed to be done. He wished...he wished he had that skill. But, he didn't, and Leia seemed to have picked up on that.

But, Leia was his daughter, too. While physically they were about the same age, he was still her father. Unlike before, he could afford to take a moment to grieve. He had for his mother. He had for Ahsoka when she'd left. But he was needed, not as a Jedi, but for the first time as a father. If my mother were here, he wondered, what would she do? What would she say?

He took a deep breath. "Thank you." He said, earnestly. "He was a good friend. A brother, and a mentor. He was and will always be important to our family." She looked up at that, her eyes wary. "But, I want to know what I can do for you. I'm not the only one who lost someone today."

Leia's eyebrows furrowed, and her lower lip trembled slightly, but her voice was calm, clear when she said, "There will be time to mourn later. Right now, we need to focus on getting those Death Star plans to the Rebellion, analyze them, and then blow up that battle station before they can blow us up."

"I know." Anakin replied solemnly, nodding his head. "You're very much your mother's child when it comes to dealing with loss. I...don't handle it well." He admitted quietly, trying not to think of the Tuskens he'd slaughtered after his mother's death. "But, when it is time for mourning...just know you're not alone, Leia. Don't bottle it up inside, because if you do, eventually you'll explode. And, being Force sensitive, the consequences could be...dire."

Leia stared at him for a long moment, contemplating his words, taking him in, deciding. "I'll take that into consideration." She finally said, her gaze intent on his own. "Thank you."

"Of course." He said, earnestly. "Now. You know they're tracking us, right?"

"That's exactly what I told your smuggler friend. He doesn't seem to believe anyone put a tracker on us, the stubborn Nerf Herder..." Leia rolled her eyes. "Padme is still arguing with him."

Anakin's lips twitched at that, and his eyes twinkled with mirth. "I don't envy him." He said, "But, unfortunately, this means we won't have much time to come up with a sound battle strategy."

"I know." Good, he thought, satisfied. She may have been a near rubber stamp of Padme, but she'd already calculated multiple risks. She was a warrior, just as he was, and he had a feeling she was formidable. "You were a general for the Republic in the Clone Wars." It wasn't a question, rather more of a statement. Bail or Obi-Wan might have told her some things.

"Yes." Anakin replied, nodding again. "I was the Hero-With-No-Fear, according to the holoreports in all the tabloids."

"Well, I hope you live up to that title in a ship. Do you fly?" So, they hadn't told her that much about him then.

"Does he fly?" Padme's voice suddenly said, and they turned to find her entering the room. She'd gotten rid of her stormtrooper armor and was wearing her normal clothes again. She sounded amused, though it was diminished by the sorrow she obviously felt from losing Obi-Wan too. "Leia, your father was and is literally the best pilot the galaxy has ever seen." Anakin's chest swelled with pride at those words, and he grinned his first real grin since they'd left the Death Star. "Whatever you need him to do, he'll do it."

At this, Leia raised an eyebrow. "Good," she said, "Because I've got plans for you…"

Silence was golden.

At least, that's what he'd always heard growing up. Right now, it was just unnerving.

Luke's world had gone quiet. The screaming had stopped. Thankfully. The pain had faded to a dull throbbing ache that permeated throughout his entire body. He shakily drew in breath, letting it out slowly each time, the sound echoing in his brain. He was alone, still strapped to that cursed table, the lights too bright overhead, causing a headache to pound through his head. It was much too warm in there for his comfort, and his body was coated in a thick sheen of sweat. His mouth was dry, his lips cracked. He wanted nothing more than to just...sleep.

He hadn't told them anything. It was the only victory he could claim. Anytime he'd been tempted to try, that voice in his head had demanded that he keep silent. Why, it didn't say. Even though Thrawn's voice still bounced around in his throbbing head, even though his muscles still twitched and seized at phantom shocks...he had kept silent. He wasn't sure how, but he'd done it. When Thrawn had announced it was time for a break, he couldn't even feel grateful for it. He was certain he'd come back, after all, and it would just get worse when he did. Honestly, he didn't understand why giving up his name was so damn important anyway. But, with Thrawn gone, the voice had disappeared, too, and Luke was left wondering if he truly had gone crazy.

Not that that would improve his situation any if he had.

Unable to sleep, strapped to a table, Luke had nothing better to do than wonder, groggily, whose voice it was in his head. It wasn't his own, he was definitely sure of that. He couldn't really place it. Yet, it was familiar to him. Perhaps it had something to do with that Force thing Thrawn had insisted he had? Whatever the kriff it was. Maybe he would tell Thrawn he was right and that he was hearing things. Then, maybe Thrawn would decide what to do with him, and he wouldn't have to suffer anymore.

He almost snorted, but didn't have the energy.

It was stupid, of course. The Empire didn't work that way. They were harsh on Rebels-they were even worse on turncoats.

The door suddenly hissed open again, and Luke lolled his head up to find the blurry outline of the blue-skinned Thrawn entering the room, a data pad in his hands. Luke frowned-was that...triumph in the older man's expression? "I hope you had a good rest, Ensign Lars." Thrawn replied, ever polite...yet this time there was an edge to his voice that hadn't been there before. "I've come to inform you that I've decided what to do with you."

Luke's frown deepened even further at hearing this. "But...I haven't…" his speech was slurred. It was hard to get the words out because his swollen tongue felt stuck to the roof of his mouth.

"I know you didn't." Thrawn replied, but then he held up his data pad. "Or, in a way, you actually did."

What did you tell him?! The voice was back, now sounding panicked. Luke flinched at the loudness of the voice, and wondered if it was afraid that he was going to die. Strange. He himself wasn't afraid of it. Not anymore. He was beyond caring. Death would be preferable to another round of Thrawn's torture tactics, truthfully.

When Luke said nothing, Thrawn tapped his holopad and opened an image before turning it to face Luke. Luke peered down at it, trying to make out the almost illegible, familiar scribbles… "Do you recognize this?" Luke shook his head, genuinely puzzled. "They're what few records remain of the pathetic schooling you received on Tatooine. Most of the schools on Tatooine are more than lacking at best, primitive at worst. Most teachers and schools don't bother keeping schooling records. It's not unique to Tatooine, of course-many Outer Rim planets are just as spotty with the education of their young. But, your Grade Eleven teacher-Adela Finch. She was quite good at keeping records of all of her students, especially her best ones."

Oh Force, no… The voice whispered. Luke was still slow on putting the pieces together, likely from the drug still making its way through his body. He didn't understand why Thrawn had gone through the trouble of asking for something that Luke had done years ago.

"I'm sure you're still dizzy from the effects of the drug, so I'll tell you what it is. It's an attendance roll, with grade markings and notes." Thrawn explained patiently. "According to Ms. Finch, you were registered in school under the name of Luke Lars, but she scratched out the last name of Lars and wrote Skywalker above it."


Now he was understanding. The voice in his head was cursing loudly and colorfully - and in languages he didn't even recognize - but Luke just stared at Thrawn, remaining silent. He remembered that day in class-just like every first day in every class he'd had growing up. The teacher would call him Luke Lars, and Luke would politely ask that they call him by his father's last name: Skywalker. It had been the stubborn insistence of a hard-headed boy who wanted nothing more than to have a connection to his long lost father. A stupid hope that if his father were somehow alive still, he'd find him, just based on that name. Now, he was found out-but not by his father. I appreciate the love you have for your father, Luke, but did you have to be so kriffing public about it?! The voice was groaning. Luke might have rolled his eyes at the voice, if he hadn't still been majorly confused about why both Thrawn and the voice seemed to think this was a big deal.

"So what?" Luke asked slowly, the words like cotton in his mouth, perplexity clearly evident in his expression. "'s just a name."

"But, that's where you're wrong, Ensign." Thrawn smiled, evidently pleased he'd won this little round. "Don't you know who your father was?"

Lie, Luke. Lie through your teeth! But, Luke didn't need to lie. He knew what Uncle Owen had told him. "He was just a pilot on a cargo ship. During the Clone Wars. He...went missing."

That seemed to amuse Thrawn. "You really don't know, do you?" Luke opened his mouth to protest, because it was the truth-why would his uncle lie about something so boring? "Your father was not a pilot on a mere cargo ship, Ensign. Your father was one of the most powerful Jedi to ever live."

The words...Luke understood them, but...he didn't comprehend them. "No….that's...impossible." Luke rasped, and yet from the groaning in his head from that stupid voice, he knew it to be the truth.

"Believe me, it is entirely possible. I met him myself, once." Thrawn tucked the data pad away. "He was a great leader. Brave. Honorable, even, if a little rash. Now that I know who your father is, I can't help but see the remarkable resemblance you bear to him."

"But...that would mean…"

"That your father was a traitor to the Empire, and that he was killed in the Jedi purge? Yes. It would." The words hit him like a punch to the gut, and he couldn't breathe. So, his uncle was right. His father...his father was truly dead. And, whatever his father had Luke was in trouble for it.

Big trouble.

"So...what, are you going to kill me? For things my father did?" Luke didn't even have the energy to sound defiant. Rather, he felt...defeated.

Thrawn studied him for a moment, as if he were still looking at the Jedi he had once met years ago, not the broken down boy who was strapped to a table, helpless before him. "No." Thrawn replied calmly. "There is someone who would very much like to meet you."

Oh Kriff. That didn't sound good.

Luke swallowed, thickly. He had a very bad feeling about this…

Oh no, Luke got left behind and now he's off to see a certain someone! (Ok when I typed that the song "We're off to the the Wizard" from Wizard of Oz popped in my head and now I'm snorting thanks brain). I liked how the reviews predicted he'd get saved...nah. lol not yet at least.