A Hand is Dealt and a Deal Struck
Disclaimer: I own nothing that pertains to Battlestar Galactica or Star Wars. This is merely a fan fiction work.
It was cold
Much too cold to stay warm, even with meditating. Then again, meditating on one's feet with a literal blizzard blowing in your face after a near death encounter with a carnivorous Wampa didn't help much either. It was dark, Hoth's temperature at night would plummet dangerously. Even with his environmental suit on, it wouldn't stay off the cold for long, the icy cold was beginning to chill his bones now.
He collapsed, his body straining to keep itself warm, it was tired and it needed rest. Gasping the icy cold air and bits of snow, Luke forced himself up, and stumbled onwards. After a few steps, his legs gave way. The young Jedi could not walk any further. His body slowly was covered with ice and snow, his body striving to keep itself alive. For how many hours he had laid there, covered in ice and snow, the planet slowly swallowing him up, no one knew, least of all himself.
It was then in his cold delirious state he dreamt of his old friend and briefly teacher of Jedi Ways, Ben Kenobi.
'You must go to Degobah.'
'There you will learn from Yoda, the Jedi Master who instructed me.'
Slowly, the ghost faded away, leaving him calling for his old friend.
A figure walked towards him, the sound of servos just a pitch lower than the whistling cold wind of Hoth. Just before Luke passed out, he matched eyes with the figure's single red one. Darkness obscured his vision, as the figure's only eye swept over him, back and forth.
Luke closed his eyes in what he felt was his last.
The figure watched the Jedi slumber in his ever growing cold body. It hesitated for but a moment, before pulling the human into it's arms, and trudging away into the blizzard.
Leia stood, waiting. It had been six hours since Solo's venture into the far reaches of Hoth, far from base. The familiar sound of a tauntaun panting reached her ears as a pale Han Solo stripped off his ice-encrusted face. The slouched back of failure seemed unfamiliar to her. The smuggler shook his head, upon reaching her eyes.
To her surprise, she did not feel her hope ebb away. Turning away, she made her way back to the command center.
"Inner vent number seventeen damaged, Units sixty-five and forty eight on the way...line in line soldiers walk, one by one, two by two, a bakers dozen will fall...energy pylon twelve online, rerouting power back to sector four...end of line."
A figure opened his eyes and breathed.
Nearly instantly, he thrashed about, his body expelling the oxygen-giving liquid from his lungs. The naked figure of Luke Skywalker propelled itself forwards as he sat up. Coughing and spluttering, he tried to make sense of his surroundings. This was not the icy surface of Hoth. There was no snow, no ice, no cold winds. He looked down at himself.
A thick cloudy clear substance dripped all over his body, covering his whole upper body with a thin film of the stuff. It tasted like old plasboard from a packaging box as he realized, spitting out the remains of the stuff within his mouth.
A low drone of voices seemed to be everywhere, whispering over and over, song-like. He was in a room full of vats of the same thick liquid he was in, each one empty. The vats held a vaguely organic look to them despite the metal sheen. The room was dark, with only a few red and yellow lights flickering. The only light came from the vats, whose contents were illuminated by some unknown means. Slowly, Luke removed himself from the tub, stumbling as he looked for a way out.
A door presented itself as it hissed open, a low glow illuminating a long hallway with a door at the end. Seeing no other choice, he ambled on. As soon as he entered, the door hissed shut, and lights turned on. Steam and hot water bombarded him removing the film of goo from his body and cleaning his body. As he walked on, the bombardment stopped as a thick feeling of vibrations covered his body, The sonic bath ended itself as he reached the end of the hall way. The door hissed open, and he found himself in a sleek but generally bland hall way. Simple arches and a path of illuminated squares flickered on, leading a path somewhere.
Still trying to discern at to where or what he was in, he reached with the Force as he taught himself to do. Hundreds of foreign minds whispered to each other, but a bright one that attracted attention caught his mind's eye.
''Sector four re-pressurized. Children reborn every moment. Unknown probe detected on long range sensors. End of line..."
His legs moved without his consent as he moved from hallway to hallway, from door past door.
"Recharge compressors. Increase output to fifty percent. Replacing internal auto-processors four through nineteen. I have seen what will come to pass. End of line."
In his unseeing run to reach that bright voice, he felt himself restrained.
Cold hands had gripped his arms, forcing him out of the trance-like daze he was in. He stared into the eyes of a machine.
The red eye stared right back at him, before a cold monotone voice spoke, "You were supposed to follow the path shown to you."
Luke swallowed audibly, his eyes gaining focus as he looked, truly looked, at the figure. He had remembered that single red eye, the same one he had seen before he had passed out. Instinctively, he reached out, but stopped himself before he went into that trance again.
The one who saved him was quite obviously a droid. An extremely ancient one at that, resembling old Republic war droids from the past. The droid was at least two meters tall, sleekly built and humanoid. Thin spindly fingers formed delicate claws at the and of each arm. A thin triangular grill was the source of the voice, with a thin sliver of transparisteel showing it's ever roving photoreceptor.
"I...I am," he managed for a moment.
The droid made a slight motion with it's head, akin to rolling it's eyes and pushed him away. Before the door hissed shut, he caught a glimpse of a frail young woman within a vat, similar to the one he can woken up in, only this was within a large room with many cables of types and kinds filling the outer edges of the pool.
Luke was led from the room to a small room, where he saw the shredded remains of his environmental suit and coat. A small neat line of his belongings were stacked on a simple metal table.
"Get dressed," said the droid.
He pulled on a shirt, pants, and even socks and shoes that appeared to have been tailored to fit his size exactly. He eyed the droid warily, but it made no motion to stop him from attaching his lightsaber and blaster to his holsters. As soon as he was dressed, it had placed a plate of unfamiliar food and drink down on a table.
Suddenly realizing just how hungry he was, Luke dug in. Some sort of yellow noodles and a meat sauce drizzled all over it, it was totally unfamiliar, but very delicious. A simple glass of some sort of pulpy tangy juice served proved just as good.
Finishing his plate, he sighed, belly full. The droid stood nearby, watching him with that ever roving dot of red light.
"You saved me."
Luke said it as a statement, not a question.
It's eye stopped moving, for a second, before continuing, "Yes. You walked near our sensor array, tripping the intruder alarm. You were freezing to death. Our medical facilities were capable of restoring your body to full efficiency."
"Thank you. For that, and all that you have done," the Jedi said gratefully, "May I ask a question?"
"Who are you?"
"We have no need of a name. Cylons do not require such trivial things."
"Well, the thing is," started Luke urgently, "I need to get back to my friends."
The Cylon droid looked carefully at him before tilting it's head. "Your people. ?"
"Here?" Asked Luke slightly surprised, "We're hiding from a powerful enemy."
It continued staring at him. It finally looked away, "We will be frank with you, human. We must have answers, and you will provide them. Firstly, what is your name?"
"Luke. Luke Skywalker."
"Your people, are they refugees?"
"What are they?"
"We're freedom fighters. We're resisting a power called the Galactic Empire, who oppresses non-humans."
"So you say."
Silence stretched as the young Jedi and the droid eyed each other. For some time, nothing was said. Then the room trembled. Luke tensed as the Cylon droid looked up, it's hands flexing. "Long and short range sensors have detected numerous large transports landing nearby. Fighter craft have been detected. They do not appear to have the same configuration as the ones within your base. The Hybrids have chosen to believe you."
"The Empire! They must have sent a probe-"
The Cylon was leaving the room. Luke abandoned the remains of his meal and hurried to catch up with the droid.
"The Hybrid detected a highly encrypted transmission approximately several kilometers from our current position from your base of operations. It is agreed by consensus that it is likely to be this Empire you have spoken of," said the Cylon as it strode into a turbolift.
"I never mentioned Echo Base to you," said Luke, as he rushed in after the droid. The Cylon looked down at him for a moment before the lift stopped and opened.
"I was reactivated after detecting your people's presence on this planet. The Hyrbrids have been monitoring your transmissions and chatter for as as your hyperwave transceivers came online," said the Cylon as it strode into a bright room with holograms flickering about, showing visuals of AT-ATs slowly walking out of their huge transports. Shuttles ferried speeders and snowtroopers into the flatlands. The hologram came from a bright crystal set into the middle of three tall consoles filled with streaming water. Numerous water falls and other water filled consoles littered the room.
The cylon placed it's metallic fingers into the stream, where it glowed red, then a variety of ever-shifting colors. Holograms burst from the crystal, including a large screen showing the distinctive outlines of several Imperial Star Destroyers, and a large flagship that could only be the Executor, Darth Vader's personal flagship and of the Super Star Destroyer class; one of the most powerful starships in existence. Shuttles and transports ferried walkers and troops down, while swarms of TIE Fighters escorted them. The screen splintered, with one remaining, showing three ships leaving Echo Base. Two blurry shapes resembling T-65 X-Wings and a GR-75 flew high into the sky, clearing the stratosphere in minutes. They went through the shimmering shield before Echo Base's ground based Ion Cannon fired a burst of shots.
The three burst shot impacted into an immense Imperial Star Destroyer, shorting out it's city-sized computer systems, it began to slow down and drift, engine units and many lights flickering about. No turbolaser shots were fired. The three ships swept past them and hurried away, imperial fighter giving chase only for the rebel craft to disappear into hyperspace.
"I have to get back," gasped Luke as he turned to the robotic machine pleadingly, "I have to help them."
The Cylon regarded him for a moment as the AT-ATs and their escorts began their trek to the Rebel Base. Reds crowded about at the overhead view of Echo Base, while blues slowly made their way though the rocky overpass.
"I will confer with the Hybrids..." It said to him, one metal claw in the pool of water.
A moment later it spoke again, "The Hybrids will open communications with your people. In exchange for our help, we wish compensation. Technology. Materials. Information."
He knew it was rash decision, but if it meant the safety of the Rebellion, and by extension his friends, then it'd be worth it. The Alliance had enough technology to give away easily. Information they could part with, depending on what these Cylons wanted.
"Agreed," said Luke breathlessly.