Sorry its been so longEXECUTOR
“Continue your search discreetly Draka, it is unlikely that the princess will be so foolish as to return to her ship but if she should do so arrange a welcoming committee. I will be there in one imperial hour.” Darth Vader paused before adding ominously “Do not underestimate your quarry again Draka.”
Switching off the com, he turned to survey the mass of information he was filtering through. His daughter had lived a far more colourful life than he had previously appreciated. Or perhaps he admitted to himself it was that now he was now looking at her escapades from a father’s perspective. What was currently raising his ire however was the rebel mission his son had planned to liberate that no good Captain Solo. He had viewed the holo’s previously and had admired how much his son had grown in the force. His son’s agility, focus and concentration was most impressive. Now however reviewing the clips he became aware of just how pivotal and dangerous Leia’s role had been. He had spent some time ranting and berating at his reckless son, cursing the worthless Han solo and if Leia had not killed Jabba he would have been planning to have a very private meeting with Jabba. His stomach had turned as he had watched as Jabba had mauled and touched his scantily clad daughter. A few training droids and an unfortunate messenger droid had borne the brunt of his anger and still it coiled and writhed inside him desiring an outlet. Vader felt what was left of his burnt lips stretch in a parody of a smile perhaps he should contact the emperor now; he could hardly have cause for concern that his apprentice was treading the light side of the force. CORUSCANT
Leia hurried along the neglected gangways, trying to compose herself, whilst her heart hammered like a Bantha, she had been compromised there could be no other explanation. Earlier as she approached the docking station her hairs had risen on her neck, she had hesitated for a few seconds as the sick cold feeling intensified in her belly, remembering all the times she had experienced it previously, she had abruptly veered away jumping multiple layers in a fool hardy rush to get away from danger. An hour of hard running had found her in the lower levels of coruscant.
Stupid Stupid she berated herself she was in the heart of enemy territory with a bounty of over a million credits on her head and she thought she could just saunter in, take what she needed and get away with it. She started listing in her head everything she had done wrong, all the risks she had taken. Where was the ice princess now she told herself furiously? She had always been so calm and composed under threat even against the worst scum like Jabba to Darth Vader himself. Now she was falling apart in an emotional mess, she had lost her mother’s ship, Luke’s droids and was in danger of ending up as an imperial prisoner again. Buck up she chided her inner self get a grip and start planning.
First she needed safe shelter, then away off this accursed corrupt planet and then only then would she think about what she had discovered. She was a Jedi’s daughter, Luke was her brother and her father the greatest Jedi of all time was still alive.
But first safety, she couldn’t use any of the usual safe houses, many had been compromised previously. And she had no desire to approach any of dignitaries she knew when she had been a Alderan diplomat, if they had stayed in Coruscant their loyalties would have to be in question. The emperor had ways of twisting and corrupting people, and those that did not bend, he had his assassins despatch them.
They had called the lower levels of Coruscant, the beggar lanes, where the lowest of the low lived, worked and ultimately died. Only the very desperate resided here and she could feel the eyes of the many as she passed by. Assessing her, evaluating her vulnerability, her worth. There was little in the way of imperial presence here and she felt a shiver of fear deep in her belly, the panic of the hunted.
She closed her eyes, and breathed out on a sigh ‘Luke I need you’
and then without thought she whispered ‘father’.
In that one word all the feelings of pain, the loneliness and fear. And then a miracle, a feeling of warmth and love so strong she almost stumbled. She paused, eyes wide as she stood letting the emotion flood her body. As suddenly as it had appeared it was gone, she straightened, her eyes narrowed, the sense of danger increased but Leia smiled she was her father’s daughter the man without fear. The greatest Jedi who had ever lived. Let the scum come she was more than a match for them. And now she had a plan, not only to get her off this accursed planet but one that may bring help that the rebellion desperately needed.
She hurried along a small diminutive figure, but she radiated confidence and strength. A moment later as if by fate she caught a sky taxi dropping off a client. Jumping in she requested the cargo docks.
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The man scowled at her, too old to be swayed by a young pretty lady, he stood his ground as he spat on the ground.
“Lady I told you, we are a cargo ship, we don’t take no passengers.”
Leia narrowed her eyes, before smiling calmly. She was a diplomat she played the game well this man was no match for her.
“If you are a cargo ship with no amenities for paying passengers then I am paying far too much”, she replied reasonably. “I would be no problem captain, and the 300 credits would be your easiest make this year.”
“Lady, nobody wants to go to Tatooine.” The captain looked up into the Coruscant sky in exasperation.
“I do.” Leia paused and then pushed all her persuasive talents, lowering her voice, leaning forward as she whispered in his ear “300 captain, enough to replace that patched up inverter. Captain it is a wise choice.”
“Yes, yes it is a wise choice, very well you can berth in the cooks quarters, we leave immediately.”
Leia hid her smirk until the captain turned away, and then with a grin she hustled after him. The force was with her and it felt good. PADME APARTMENT
Vader surveyed the damage, regretting in his haste that he had not informed the Noghri to limit the collateral damage. A glint at his feet that pierced his visor instrumentation had him bending, retrieving a small jappor snippet pendant. His leathered gauntleted glove closing on it fiercely.
He turned to look at the deactivated droid, “Leave us, continue your search reporting on my private com.“ The Noghri bowed in unison and then melted away.
With a casual flick of his fingers, a switch on the retraining bolt was disabled and with a flurry of furious shrill whines and squeals R2 activated. His head swivelled this way and that way until it came to stop on Vader. Silence as they surveyed each other and then R2 let out a cautious beep.
“You know who I once was.” It was not a question. R2 let out a long resigned warble.
Silence reigned in the apartment as the two old friends surveyed each other, one droid, one part man part machine. Then on litany of squeals and beeps the R2 unit let out what sounded surprising like a scold.
Vader was strangely calm as he accepted the plucky droids rebuke “Enough my old friend, now tell me what my daughter was doing here.” Possession and need resonated in every syllable.
R2 gave a disapproving grumbling squeal before rolling forward to the com socket. Extending his adapter it whirled backwards and forwards yet again.
Darth Vader rocked back as Padme’s holographic image appeared in front of him. Decades has past, she was dust in her tomb and yet the sight of her could still fill him with terrible terrible longing.“Ani I need to leave Coruscant, I fear we are in danger, terrible things are happening.” Padme held her breath as she clutched her belly, then let out a soft rueful laugh “The baby kicks my love, 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. Her face awash with both anguish and determination.
“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 …even…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.”
Darth Vader mighty lord of Sith, fell to his knees as he listened to a message he had never received. R2 gave a soft trill of enquiry.
“Play it again.” He rasped.
R2 played it again and again as Vader caught in his dead wife’s memory demanded it. Torturing himself with every word, every syllable.
Finally he strode to look out at the Coruscant skyline. “R2 delete it.” Taking out a com device from his belt. He remained motionless as his personal Guard entered the apartment.
“Take the droid to my quarters on the Executor with the other droid. Deactivate them and leave the restraining bolts on.”
“Lieutenant, contact my adjutant and inform him this mess is to be cleared up by sundown.”
“Yes Sir, Sir should I contact intelligence to start investigation?”
“No Lieutenant, leave this to me.”
The soldiers departed with a sharp salute, carrying the bulky droid. Their groans as they manoeuvred the droid onto a transporter floating to Vader on the wind.
All this time, he had blamed her, as much as he despaired at her death. His one consolation, his excuse was in the end she had turned from him, betrayed him. And now this the greatest betrayal of all was from him. She had remained true to him, despite everything she had heard from Obwan she had believed in him. He could see Obwan slipping unseen onto her ship, Obwan knew her, knew she would run to him. There was no anger now, just deep sadness for a mistakes so many mistakes that could never be put right.
In that moment that pivotally moment in the chancellery office he had made a choice but in reality he was a puppet and the puppet master was still controlling him. Threatening his family yet again. The Emperor must die, and he needed Luke to join with him to destroy him. Only together with Luke embracing the dark side could they destroy Palpatine. And Leia he would keep safe. He would not fail her.‘FATHER’
He stilled as the force carried her plea to him, she was scared, desperate and alone. Helpless to resist he closed his eyes and reaching to the part that was still Anakin, he answered her remembering all his love for Padme, their happiness at her pregnancy and sent it back.
For a split moment in time he basked in the tenuous force link with his daughter, until almost with a snap it broke. Her force powers too untrained and recent too maintain the link.
Perhaps he should of increased his fear to the point she would have made easy prey to the Noghri, but he found to his surprise his instinctive reaction was to nurture and protect, it both surprised and worried him.
Flicking out his com he tuned to Raka, “She’s in the lower section on the North Quadrant.”‘Ani, come back to me’,
a ghostly hand on his face.
“Padme?” There was no answer, he shivered and he took one final look around, there was only ghosts left here. He would not return again, Anakin was dead.
Please Review as always xx
But I also have a favour to ask, many years ago I read a very angsty but wonderful story where Vader searching for Luke, captured her sister (she wasn’t Leia) I Think her name was Lucrindra or something like that. He recognises she is force adept but she escapes (shes a bit of a hard arse) she knows Luke is her brother though Luke doesn’t. And stays with him. She gets captured by Vader again and well lots of wonderful drama. Been searching for ages looking for this but can’t find it. If you know it can you copy the link into the review bit