Lina lay in bed when a sudden beep sounded. She immediately got up, knowing it was the seeker droid notifying them that it had a target. She shook Don, who was still sleeping next to her.
"Hey wake up! It's got a lock."
"I'll be there in a sec." Don said into his pillow.
Lina got up and checked the data pad for the update from the droid.
It had spotted someone entering the ship Rick had come to Coruscant in.
"Good." Don said coming up behind her and buttoning up his shirt, "lets go find him."
"I'll go alone. That way it will be less obvious."
After getting dressed, she gathered her blaster and put it in its holster. She kissed Don and headed toward the door.
Lando headed back to the Falcon for the chapux's toys that Han had forgotten and Tremor hadn't shut up about. So, not wanting his house torn apart as Tremor's own personal playpen, he volunteered to go back to the Falcon. Walking up the ramp, he went into the cargo bay and picked up one of the duffle bags that Han had brought with him. He checked to make sure there hadn't been any attempted break ins or problems with the ship while he was gone. Walking down the ramp, he locked the ship up and set the security precautions to full and walked out of the landing bay.
Lurking in the shadows, Lina stayed well behind the man who had accompanied Rick. Hiding her features with a black cloak, she stalked through the shadows and hidden crevices. The sporadic lights that flickered and threw shadows into crude figures hid her further from prying eyes. The part of the city they were in wasn't the greatest, so her hand never left her blaster.
Walking down the street, Lando felt as though someone was watching him. The darkness pressed closely and the shadows created unimaginable shapes. He heard no footsteps, which meant that whatever or whoever was following him was far enough away that he was unable to see or hear them. He was about to turn the corner when a pair of grimy hands reached out in front of him, making him jump back. Looking hard at the person, he found that it was an old man, haggard and thin.
"Credit for the hungry, sir?" the old man said, his voice rasping with every word.
"Uh...Sure, old man, here," he said pulling some credits out of his pocket, "Do you need any help?"
The old mans eyes went heavy and half way closed, "No," he said, "but for your kindness I will give you something in return. For years you will continue as you are; running your business and helping your friends when they're in need. A young woman I see, you shall be happy and in love with each other, though great is the danger you all shall face."
Slowly his eyes came back into focus, as if finally realizing his surroundings.
Bewildered, all Lando managed to say was, "Oh...ok. Thank you." He started to walk away but turning back around he said, "Look, are you sure there's no where I can take you?" But when he looked back down the old man was gone.
Suppressing a shiver, Lando turned and walked away quickly as if nothing had happened.
Lina kept on following the man who had taken Rick. She couldn't figure out why he had stopped but since he had, she had no other choice but to stay hidden in the shadows watching him. He appeared to be talking to someone but no one seemed to be around. Coming even closer, Lina crept toward the edge of the walkway, about to turn the corner when a hand grabbed hers. Startled, she looked down to see the old man's dirt covered hands on her pants.
"Get your grimy hands off me, old man," she told him sternly. "And if you're expecting me to give you money, think again. I don't give my money to filthy beggars," she spat. "You'd probably just spend it on ale anyway."
The old man looked taken aback. When he did not remove his hand, Lina kicked him in the ribs, harder than she meant. The man lost his breath and began to gasp. Lina laughed lightly and walked away.
As she did, the old man called from behind her, "Because of the coldness of your heart, you will be dealt with harshly. Your anger and vengeance will be your demise and mercy will never be shown you."
Lina laughed evilly as she walked away. She began to think about what he had said, and then remembered what she had been doing in the first place. She stopped and slipped back into the shadows.
After maneuvering through the many streets of Coruscant, Lando finally neared his building, located in the upper class section. He passed a few guards who immediately came to attention. Lando grinned and said with a chuckle, "As you were."
"If I may say so, sir." One of the soldiers began, after easing up his stance; "It's good to see you back."
Lando's grin grew wider. "It's good to be back."
"Were you successful in your search?" The other soldier asked.
"Yes, in fact, we were, but I hope you can keep that bit of information quiet." The soldiers nodded.
Lina wondered what exactly the man's search was. Perhaps it has something to do with Rick. She brought her attention back to the conversation.
"If you'll excuse me."
"Oh, yes sir, General Calrissian, sir."
Lina rolled her eyes. Some of those military people are real suck-ups. At least she got some pertinent information from the soldiers. Calrissian...that name sounded familiar, but she couldn't quite place a finger on it.
She continued to follow Calrissian to a large building. After walking through the door, a droid instantly greeted him. Calrissian walked through the main passage and entered a turbolift. Lina got in the same lift.
He grinned flirtatiously at her. "I haven't seen you around. Though must admit, I haven't been back in a while."
She looked up at him through her eyelashes, "I just moved here."
His grin grew, "Is it your fist time on Coruscant?" When she nodded he continued to talk, "Maybe you'd like me to show you around sometime?"
She thought about his offer. He was a nice looking man. If only I wasn't here because of Rick. She decided she would play along anyway, and maybe she'd get some information out of him. She flashed him one of her best smiles. "I'd like that."
He held out his hand. "I'm Lando Calrissian, by the way."
She shook it ... very slowly. "I'm..." She paused. Should I tell him my real name? No, 'cause then I might have to kill him and you never know, if I have to kill Rick ... I should at least keep my options open.
"Mariah. I'm from Corellia." She said quickly, gaining the
Corellian accent she had often practiced. She gave no last name, just in case.
"I have a friend from Corellia. Han Solo. Perhaps you've heard of him?"
She put a quizzical look on her face, as if she was thinking, "Nope, although there are lots of people on Corellia."
A puzzled look appeared on Lando's face, then quickly disappeared,
"Well, maybe you can meet him some time. I'm in room 6422, by the way." He grinned again, "come by anytime."
She smiled suggestively, "I'm sure I will."
He exited the turbo lift and began walking toward the end of the hall. As the lift's doors closed, he waved at her. She waved back.
When the doors were securely closed, she took out her comlink and contacted Don.
Lando entered his apartment with Tremor's toys. Trem was already at the door and began jumping on him. Lando hardly notice, he was thinking of Mariah.
/It is odd that she's never heard of Han. Everyone on Corellia's heard of him one way or another, either of his exploits with the Rebellion or smuggling or even his swoop racing days. Almost everyone in the galaxy knew of Han. Usually when I mention that I'm friends with Han, the ladies get all excited./
He finally noticed Trem and dropped a toy on the ground for him while he stood there, still thinking. The chapux ran into Han's room.
And it was strange how she suddenly spoke in a Corellian accent. I'm also surprised she didn't recognize me. Most people... He shrugged off that thought.
Before he could complete his thought, he heard Han's voice.
"Uh...Lando, he doesn't like this one."
Lando shoved the box into Han's arms. "Well, then you pick his toy."
Han set the box on the floor and began picking through the toys and showing them to Trem.
"You want this one?" Han asked the animal in a strange voice that
Lando had never heard him use before. "No? Okay, next one." He showed him another, "How about this one? No? Fine." Lando rolled his eyes at the ridiculous sight. He was too tired to laugh, though at any other time he wouldn't have been able to stop. The choosing of the toy process continued, until finally Trem and Han agreed on the squeaky asteroid. When Han threw it, Trem went ballistic.
"He likes asteroids almost as much as you do," Lando murmured. Han looked over at him confused.
"'Nother time," said Lando with a wave of his hand. "I really wanna go to sleep." Lando sauntered into his room and went to bed.
Leia woke up early that morning, anxious to see Han. Getting up, she got dressed and found Greg waiting for her in the living room watching the New Republic News.
"Good Morning," he said, glancing at her, "there's some caf in the kitchen, if you want some."
"Alright, thank you," she said, going into the kitchen. Coming out again, she sat down across from Greg. He motioned for her to come sit next to him. She hesitated, only slightly, which Greg did not notice, then sat down. He casually put his arm around her and kissed her on the forehead.
"So, what do you want to do today?" he asked.
She grimaced. "Actually, I have to run some errands today. I was hoping you could watch the twins." She hated lying to him, but it had to be done.
"Sure, I'd love to," he replied, then paused. "Besides, I'll get all the time I want with you after the wedding," he said playfully.
She smiled at him, despite her discomfort. "Thanks, Greg."
"Well, what are fiancés for?" he teased.
"I don't know when I'll be back, probably late afternoon."
"Okay. That's fine. I'll take them to a holo cartoon or something.
What are you up to?"
"Oh, you know..."
"Yeah, that's right." Oh, how she hated to lie to him, but he'd know soon enough.
"Well, good luck!" He kissed her smoothly.
She smiled at him as she left. Walking out the door, Leia took a speeder to Lando's apartment, daring to hope it was truly Han that they found. When the speeder stopped at the designated area, Leia's stomach lurched, as she grew more nervous. Walking to the building, she took a turbo lift up to Lando's apartment. Waling up to the door, Leia hesitated before ringing the bell. Taking a deep breath, she palmed the doorbell.
As soon as it rang, running and barking could be heard coming towards the door.
Barking? Lando doesn't have any animals.
She heard him through the door. "Trem, shut up!" The door opened and Lando appeared, rather angry. "Hi, could you hang on a minute?"
She nodded, though wished she could burst in to see Han.
"Hey! Get him, will you?" Lando yelled over his shoulder. She watched him block a chapux from jumping on her.
Leia watched as a man walked quickly toward Lando and grabbed the animal by the collar.
"Come on, Trem! Come here!" As he began began to pull Trem away, he looked up at Lando, "Sorry about that." He looked over to Leia and she froze. Their gazes locked, eyes looking deep into each other's soul.
"Han." Leia whispered at the same moment Han said her name. Tears began to swell in her eyes as overwhelming relief rushed over her. She felt as though she would collapse any second.
"Can I come in?" she said, hoping Lando could hear her. Lando quickly came to her side and helped her inside and to the repulsar chair.
Han quickly put Tremor into his room and came back out. He was about to sit back down in the repulsar chair but Leia had occupied that seat, so he sat next to Lando in the old worn out repulsar couch. Leia looked as though she was about to have a breakdown, though Han had to admit, she was still beautiful. There was silence until Lando finally broke it, "I think I'll leave you two alone." He exited just as Chewie entered. He walked over to Leia and hugged her lightly.
Chewie howled, saying that he had to go check on the Falcon. Han watched all of this in silence. After Chewie left, Han and Leia didn't speak or make any eye contact.
All of a sudden, Leia spoke, "I missed you, Han." She raised her head and looked at him. He was looking at her.
"I missed you, too, Leia," Han answered to both their surprise, but deep down he knew that it was true. A big chunk of him had been missing and now it was seemed to be back. "I'm sorry. I can't remember a lot. I really only remember images ... of you, of Luke, of Chewie."
"What kind of images?"
"I remember..." He paused, "… Luke was next to me, walking down a long aisle with soldiers in uniform lining it."
Leia smiled at the memory. "Oh, that was the ceremony, after the Battle of Yavin. You helped Luke destroy the first Death Star. So, you were both given a medal, much to your disliking." She laughed, "It took me a long time to finally convince you to go. You were just going to take your money and leave."
Han chuckled, "Yeah, well, at the time, that was all that mattered." It had slipped out so easily, Han knew immediately he must have felt that way once; it was foreign to him now.
There was an awkward moment of silence. This time it was Han who broke it.
"I know this is probably a bad thing to ask, but what is a 'death star'?"
Leia laughed, "This is going to be a long day."