Darkness Falls Chapter 4
Han looked up as the door to his cell opened and Ja'non came in. Han tried to stop himself from cringing, but he couldn't help it. This man had almost killed him twice now, during these torture shows he liked to put on.
The first time Leia had been there watching with a dark smile. It was then he had given up all hope of recovering the woman he had loved so deeply. He still held onto a small hope that maybe Luke or one of the others would somehow manage to break him out of here, but he doubted it would happen. From what he had heard the guards say, the rebellion was losing badly on all fronts and Luke had vanished. Most speculated that he was dead. Han hoped that wasn't the case. He wondered if his friend was planning something.
"Solo," Ja'non's cold crisp voice broke his contemplation.
"What now? Another session of torture?" Han asked, trying to keep his act of arrogance up.
"No, Leia wants to see you," Ja'non answered, as two guards dressed in black approached him.
This filled Han with complete terror. He had been shown some of the dark acts Leia had committed. The day before Ja'non had shown him the bodies of two guards, who had failed Leia. He had almost been sick at the sight of them.
Ja'non had just laughed at him, telling him that the galaxy had no hope. Leia and he were invincible. Han had managed to laugh at that, reminding Ja'non that the Emperor had once thought he was invincible and Luke and his father had taken care of him.
Ja'non had just stared coldly at him and then reminded Han of the fact that Vader was long dead and Luke might as well be. It was that slip that gave Han hope that Luke was alive and just waiting for the right time to strike. He just hoped Luke would find the courage to defeat Leia.
"Bring him," Ja'non said, breaking Han's train of thought again.
The guards grabbed him roughly and hauled him out of his cell and followed Ja'non to the waiting lift. Where one of Ja'non's Dark Jedi was waiting, they entered the lift and the Dark Jedi took Han from the guards, who bowed and then went back to their stations.
The lift arrived at the throne room and Han was dragged to the center and then dumped on the floor. He looked around, but saw no sign of Leia yet. He tried to stand, but was kicked in the back by Ja'non.
"You belong on your knees Solo, especially in the presence of your Empress," he sneered.
Han shook his head, wishing he had the strength to attack Ja'non and to wipe that smug look off his face, but he knew he would be down on his knees again before he reached him. A shadow in the corner caught his eye. He turned to see Leia walking towards them. The black dress she now wore had streaks of gold and silver on it. The look in her eyes, made Han wish he was dead, but Leia wouldn't let him die. She wanted him to suffer and so he did.
"So why am I here?" Han asked once again, trying to sound arrogant and unafraid.
Ja'non went to strike him again, but he halted when he noticed Leia shake her head. He looked down at Solo's pitiful form and then walked towards his Empress, embracing her just for Solo.
Han looked away in disgust and anger, wanting nothing more than a blaster so he could send his tormentor to hell.
"Han, I know you're trying to act strong, but give it up, you've been beaten," Leia told him smiling. There was no warmth to this smile and Han just stared at her defiantly.
"Maybe he'd like to hear the good news," Ja'non suggested coldly.
"We just destroyed the rebel base on Cloud City, we were told Wedge was injured badly. He may be dead," Leia said smiling, as she approached Han's still form.
"Don't believe you," Han said.
Leia's eyes went colder than they had been and she unleashed a Force bolt, knocking Han across the room. She hissed, "Don't ever think me a liar."
"Take him back to his cell and teach him some manners," Ja'non ordered Cyblek.
The Selonian bowed and grabbed Han and quickly dragged him out of the room. Leia and Ja'non smiled, both enjoyed Han's suffering.
Luke watched Mara try to block the remotes shots with the lightsaber. He was impressed, seeing as she had deflected nearly all of them.
She had decided if he wasn't going to teach her then she'd do it herself.
Luke knew the dangers that faced Mara if she tried to be a Jedi by herself, so he decided reluctantly that he would help, but he would not be her Master. Actually, he mused, he doubted anyone could be Mara's master. She was headstrong and had seemed to have quite a bit of strength in her.
"Try it with this," he suggested tossing her the old helmet he had once practiced in with Obi-wan.
Mara stared at it for a few seconds with a confused look, and then she turned to Luke for an explanation.
"I had to train with the blast plate down. Ben told me that my eyes and ears could deceive me, so I shouldn't trust them. He told me to reach out with my feelings. I suggest you do the same," he explained to her.
Mara nodded and then placed the helmet on her head, with the blast plate brought down. Inwardly she smiled. She had managed to get Luke to help her. Now all she had to do was keep him engaged in the activity and maybe then he would snap out of whatever despair he was in. Then he could help her fully in becoming a Jedi and then maybe they could help stop the Empire.
The remote stayed where it was, while Mara prepared herself and then began moving again as she activated her lightsaber. The first bolt struck her in the leg and she hissed in anger, but the next couple of bolts she blocked easily.
Luke was impressed. It was clear to him that she had a great deal of potential and could be a very powerful Jedi if taught properly. He sighed, knowing it was up to him to keep Mara from falling to the Dark Side. But how? He had failed Leia in this respect, so how could he teach Mara? Then it hit him. He could try and contact Ben or Yoda. They were going to a planet filled with Jedi and Sith temples and although it had been a while since either of his old Masters had manifested themselves to him it was worth a shot.
"Okay, I think that's enough for now," he told Mara, as she deflected another bolt.
"How did I do?" she asked as she deactivated her lightsaber and the remote once again went still.
"Better than I did," he told her truthfully.
Mara nodded and smiled happily at the fact that her first lesson had gone well. She didn't like failing things and this was important. She could feel it was, something told her that her becoming a Jedi was very important, she just didn't know why.
Lando watched, as the few ships to survive the attack on Cloud City came out of light speed. He knew Wedge had been hurt, but the last communication he had received had told him that he was okay and would live.
He noticed Artoo and C-3PO coming towards him, with Chewbacca close behind them. He wondered what they were thinking.
He missed Han. The few spies that had managed to survive on Coruscant had reported that he was alive, but there was no way to rescue him.
"Master Lando, the ships are requesting permission to land on the planet," C-3PO reported.
"Granted, make sure Wedge is taken to the hospital straight away," he told the golden droid.
C-3PO nodded and then headed back to the command deck to give the order. Artoo followed quietly behind. The small droid hadn't been very vocal since Luke had vanished. The reports from the Empire which said that he was dead didn't help the rebellion too much. The one thing he couldn't ignore was the fact, that if Luke was alive, he would have come and joined up with them, wouldn't he?