The Noghri agent Draka prostrated himself before the 3 dimensional figure of Darth Vader that was projected onto the small holocron display. Draka felt pride well up in himself, to be addressed by their Lord himself, his mission was clear, his orders implicit, he would not fail.
He growled low swearing his allegiance and loyalty, truly this would bring honour to his clan.
As a Noghri - the ultimate hunter, he found his new mission interesting, usually they were used as silent invisible assassins, chosen for the most secretive and dangerous assignments. This search, locate and detain operation would be more worthy of his teams hunter skills. To sweeten the operation they were to evade all imperial forces and at risk of their own lives they were to protect the target from all possible harm including self-inflicted intentions. Encrypted mission details were already being transmitted including tracker beacon identification frequencies.
“..use any means necessary but I want the princess unharmed and in your custody, I will arrive at the rendezvous point in 1 imperial day.” Darth Vader paused menacingly raising his finger “Do not fail me Draka.”
Darth Vader’s figure flickered and then disappeared. Draka looked around at his small team. They all looked at him expectantly their faces stoic but their nostrils flared and eyes sparkled as they caught the excitement of new hunt. A worthy hunt indeed.
Leia let her hand slide over a table, strange no dust, the apartment even smelled fresh. Somebody was maintaining this apartment to an almost fanatical extent. It was if it had been stuck in a time capsule. An old court dress faded now, lay discarded forlornly on the floor as though it had been thrown there in great haste. A cup its contents long evaporated sat on a low side table. Everywhere she looked she saw ghosts, she could almost picture her mother as she paced these floors heavily pregnant and awaiting news perhaps of her lover. The apartment had long been abandoned but she could taste the intense sadness and grief that still resided here. But still she had no answers, she had found an old box filled with silly things, things that perhaps meant something to her mother. Perhaps gifts, mementoes from her lover - a dried flower probably native to Naboo, some sand in a small glass bottle, a sparkling stone that twinkled in the light. She let her hand sift through the personal treasures. She fished out the Jade snippot from around her neck rubbing it softly, before laying it down beside the flower.
“R2 have you found anything?” Leia queried the droid who was whirling around the apartment chirping and trilling at this and that, clearly disapproving of their presence here. Strange how a droid could have so much personality.
R2 gave a long electronic sigh. Then trundled forward to a port hidden by the light switch, extended a long silver adapter, it whirled and rotated.
A human size hologram appeared on the floor, a hauntingly beautiful women appeared. She smiled, her hand caressing her pregnant swollen belly. Her face looked wan and strained.
“Mother,” Leia exclaimed.
The women, Padme her mother took no notice. Her message recorded decades ago for a man that never came. “Ani I am scared, terrible things are happening.” Padme held her breath as she clutched her belly, then let out a soft rueful laugh “The baby kicks, my time is close. Ani I fear that Chancellor Palpatine knows of us, there are droids watching the apartment, watching me. I fear he knows you are the father. I am scared Ani, scared at the way he looks at me. I can’t stay here.” Padme glanced up, her brow furrowing. The transmission ended, only to start up almost immediately. It was Padme again but this time she was dressed in a utility suit as she hurriedly strapped it on.
“Be quiet C3PO I know what I am doing, Ani, Obi Wan has been here, the Jedi temple has been destroyed all the Jedi’s killed. He said…he said,” she shook her head wildly as she burst into tears “no no I won’t believe it. Ani he’s your friend he can help us, he knows about the baby. Ani I am coming for you.” Padme held her hands over eyes as she sobbed before steeling herself. “My love come back to me, please nothing else matters just come back to me.”
Leia stood, her pale hand over her mouth, eyes wide as the transmission ended.
“Play it again.”
R2 gave a soft beep and then did as his mistress commanded.
Again and again Leia watched the transmission, her heart aching for her beautiful Mother. Tears brimming at her heart felt plea to her lover.
“My father, my father is Anakin Skywalker.” Leia was stunned it was the only explanation.
R2 gave a soft almost guilty beep.
Leia ignoring him paced the floor “That means … it means Luke is my brother, a twin? I am a daughter of a Jedi?”
She held up her palms looking at them in consternation. “I guess it must have skipped me.”
R2 gave a long mournful wail. Leia glanced down at this a growing suspicion germinating. “You knew, you knew my father was Anakin?”
R2 shuffled on his wheels before giving a soft apologetic beep.
“You knew all this time and you didn’t tell me the truth, does Luke know?”
R2 gave a negative beep. Leia whirled around “how could you not tell me, how could you, you are a droid, you served my parents, you serve me, how could you?”
R2 remained silent.
“Is … is my father alive?”
R2 gave a soft beep, and Leia gave a sharp indrawn breath. “He’s been badly injured though?”
“R2 where is he…. is he on Tatooine?”
R2 gave a long mournful trill, before whirling around. His actions clearly speaking his agitation. It was time to go.
“Fine but we will talk about this further, contact C3PO and get him to ready the ship. Save the transmission, I’m going to pack some of my mother’s possessions.”
As she was picking up the box, that she felt an uneasiness in her stomach, the hairs on her neck bristled. She suddenly had a very bad feeling. Following that thought came all the other times she had a bad feeling about things. She was a Jedi’s daughter after all.
“R2 we need to leave now.” She yelled and grabbed the box and almost ran to the door, her hand already drawing the small discreet blaster in her hand.
The glass window shattered, canisters of gas raining down through the aperture.
R2 squealed and trundled to the bedroom, knocking into Leia and letting her know by his urgent squeals and beeps to come with him. Coughing and spluttering she followed the droid into the bedroom. Slamming her hand against the controls to shut the door. What now they were trapped. And large window’s framed the Coruscant skyline. Perfect for the imperials to crash through.
R2 was already at an access port with a muted whirl, steel plates came slammed down over the windows and doors, the bed slid to the side and a hatchway popped open.
Leia cocked an eyebrow “Impressive”.
R2 gave an immodest chirp.
Leia grinned and peered down, her smile turning to a frown as she realised the dimensions of the hatch. “R2 you won’t fit in here.”
R2 beeped and trilled, his head whirling as he encouraged her to get moving. Biting her lip she started down the hatch “Luke’s going to kill me. R2 try and make it to a safe house.”
As soon as her head disappeared through the hatch. The bed slid back into place and R2 went to standing motionless by the bed. Trying to look innocent as possible. It didn’t take long, before the wall beside the door imploded, several pale grey skinned beings propelled themselves through the hole. Within seconds the room had been torn apart, the hatch under the bed located. With growls and chittering, three of them immediately disappeared down the hatch another two went through the apartment. R2 rolled forward stopping as the last grey looking alien showed his teeth growling he pointed a silver looking cylinder at the droid and R2 knew no more.
Leia ran full pelt down the streets, dragging a scarf around her head and drawing it over her face. She kept looking back surprised but pleased that so far she could see no signs of pursuit. No white imperials suits and no signs of any bounty hunters. They must have triggered some alarm despite R2 assurance that he had disarmed the system. She was only a few minutes hard run from the ship docks. What was she going to tell Luke, she lost his faithful droid, she was his sister and their mother was royalty.
Okay its been a long time, I really need to win the lottery so I can dedicate more time to this :-)
Enjoy and if you like let me know, your reviews they make my day, they make heart sing and make my fingers itchy to type more