There had been no warning, no slow build up of pressure. A shaft of pure terror and fear had filled him - a cry of a child, then just as suddenly it had stopped. So strong was this sensation that Vader had momentarily stumbled. His heart had stuttered and his breathing stilled until the nano machines kicked into action equalising his vital functions. But even that could not still the aftershock of his own emotions. Luke was in trouble. But the feeling had ended too abruptly, too quickly to have been voluntarily.
He let his feelings spread out, his mind almost deadlocked in fear and pain. Not Luke, please not his Luke, the only thing left he had of Padme’s. As usual despite his searching he could feel nothing but a slow steady warm force thrum almost a murmur was still there. Luke was alive, almost certainly unconscious perhaps seriously injured but alive and he was on Naboo. The feeling was too strong for anything else. But why such terror from his son, as a Jedi even only partly and slovenly trained he had better control of his emotions. Perhaps the terror was for his Princess. Yes yes that must be it he still could remember the acid fear taste in his mouth as he and Padme was lead to their deaths. Its seems his son was more similar to him than he thought. But still something about that Force cry resonated wrong it was almost like cry for help almost like it was directed for him. He needed to find Luke and quickly and if he could rescue the princess for his son then all the better.
“Captain ready your men for intensive covert intelligence operation. DS hackers and scanners to crack all mainframes and security cams within one standard day. And captain I want answers and I do not care how you achieve them”.
Capes swirling, Vader strode up the ramp. Naboo waited.
She had woken instantly and without movement, her breathing steady and slow. Not even a flicker of lashes had betrayed her consciousness. Her Sesai Teacher would have been proud. It was all part of the standard rebel officer training. – techniques in anti-interrogation, evasion and manipulation. Two sides to the coin that many found distasteful . Leia found these lessons all too easy, a childhood of being constantly on her guard and the strength of character needed to combat some of the less petty crimes against her, helped her easily cope with even the most vigorous Rebel training that had left many of her companions sobbing wrecks. It certainly served her well on the first Death Star, where pain and suffering seemed without end. There she had retreated deep into herself, hibernating her soul, her essence so well that even Vader, renowned interrogator was unable to penetrate more than surface thoughts. If she could survive Vader she could withstand anything. It was this thought more than anything that gave her the strength to reach deep within her for the calmness and serenity she would need.
Slowly she let her senses drift, smell, touch and sound. She was lying on her side – feet and hands securely but strangely softly bound with a stretchy type cloth. Her head nestled on a soft downy cushion smelling of rus and julips. A warm coverlet had been carefully tucked around her. She could faintly hear some rustling and faint even breathing, somebody else was observing her This was not standard procedure for Imperials and certainly she had never come across a merc who freshened a room with the fresh scent of creola meadows.
Surprisingly her heavy outer robes and shoes had been removed but the inner more personal dorma robes she still wore. The thick makeup from her face and brows had been cleansed, her face tingled as though it had been recently bathed and freshly brushed hair floated over her face as a soft breeze indicated a door opening.
Whispering, and soft muted words drifted to her ears but still too indistinct to make out. Leia pondered over her next cause of action. Had she been perhaps rescued while she was unconscious. Or was this some sort of ploy by imperial interrogators. Either way she gained nothing by continuing this act. She moved and groaned as though awaking. The voices stopped and footsteps neared her. A warm gentle hand felt her forehead and then almost without thought smoothed a lock of her hair behind her ear.
Leia opened her eyes, blinking delicately against the soft amber light. She let her eyes go soft and dewy as she smiled up at her captors still in shadows.
“He….Hello”, she croaked feebly, playing for all she was worth just a helpless lady.
“Here my child”, the warm hands came back, easing her semi upright and glass of cool sweet liquid flowed down her parched throat.
“Thank you”, she managed graciously “where, where am I … I cant remember how I got here? I think I was attacked, is this a hospital?”
She twisted, and then gasped as though in horror “Why am I tied up, who are you people…. Please please you are scaring me”, her voice quivering in sobs as she addressed the kinder of her captives.
The women sucked in her breath, her voice wavering “oohhh ohh child, I’m sorry please please do not be afraid. we mean you no harm please please believe me - look I will untie you, My security officer sometimes has more duty than sense”.
The other voice hissed a sharp command. “Madam I must protest, this course of action is unwise, it is still not certain….”.
“Hush, the child is afraid and that will not do. Continue your investigations by all means but let me deal with mine as I see fit”. The voice brooked no disagreement.
Leia almost grinned, the man so harangued, almost sounded like Han. She blinked in the dim light slowly making out the two figures. One was an elderly lady, her face lined with wrinkles and age, laughter lines crinkled at her eyes. The older man – stood rigid at attention, deferentially by her side. Grey hair streaked his hair and hard sharp eyes observed her every movement. This man was not to be taken lightly.
“Who are you people”, she whispered.
“Oh my child, my poor child”, the lady looked anxious, tears flowing down her cheeks, as she knelt, her hands gently embracing Leia’s.
“Leia I am your grandmother.”
And just like that Leia’s world exploded yet again. Her mind automatically realising the significance that they knew her identity, while she struggled with the enormity of that simple statement. She gazed in shock at the old women, her shoulders bent as she sobbed. Eyes watched her through a film of tears, soft brown eyes. Eyes that was in her reflection every day she looked in a mirror. But something else ….some other recognition told her the truth. This women was kin.
Leia shook her head, trembling she laid her hands on the womens cheek “Grandmother?”
The two women hugged each other, crying and laughing. An intimate moment and after a second the officer slowly and subtly withdrew from the room. Further investigation was not needed. Padme’s daughter had come home.