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Old December 6 2011, 10:07 PM   #271
CaptainSarine
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Location: Lyon, France
Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

As promised, here is the new chapter. This one gave me a lot of trouble, thus the long delay. I think once you read it, you'll understand why. Ly'ana is one of my favourite characters and I didn't like putting her through this. At all. Still, the next chapters should come more quickly now that this one is out of the way!

Enjoy!


Chapter 20

Another alarm, another day. As Ly’ana swung her feet down from the bunk, the light blinding her as it always did, she suppressed a shiver. Not just another day. Not today.

Across the room, Leia Skywalker slid out of bed, avoiding Ly’ana’s eyes. Ly’ana knew that the other woman was afraid of what she might see there, unwilling to think about what was about to happen. Considering that Ly’ana was the one who had to go through it, though, she found it a little infuriating.

The least you could do is meet my eyes, she thought bitterly. I’m doing this for you.

As usual, the steady whir of the holocam followed her from the bed to the fresher and back. Today, the sound seemed to leave a dirty pall on Ly’ana’s skin. Always before she had steeled herself against the knowledge that the troopers were ogling her body, probably making some disgusting comment about her breasts or her legs. She hadn’t cared until today, but now she wondered whether she would ever be able to reclaim that feeling.

After using the fresher, she picked up the dirty jumpsuit and slipped it on. Leia continued to sleep in hers, refusing to give the troopers the satisfaction of seeing both of them. I know what you think about me, Ly’ana thought. Well, I hope you’re happy.

The two of them had been cell mates for three days now. In that time, Ly’ana had found herself dragged – against her will – further and further into the mad schemes of the Alliance prisoners held in the containment centre. The first morning after Leia’s incarceration, as they had entered the common area, the young human girl had let out a cry that had drawn the troopers down on them. Ly’ana had been forced to lie for her, claiming that she had stubbed her toe. It had earned her a slap on her behind from the trooper with the scar and a grateful glance from Leia.

Later, she had learned that the reason for Leia’s reaction had been the sight of the human male who had come to talk to Ly’ana on the day Leia arrived. Lance. Who, it turned out, was Lance Organa – Prince of Alderaan, Alliance leader and Leia’s fiancé.

Things had only become more complicated after that.

As Leia and Ly’ana stepped up to the door now, waiting for it to open, Ly’ana was surprised to feel Leia’s hand brush against hers. She glanced at the human woman, who smiled.

“Thank you. I- I don’t think I could do what…” She trailed off, unable to finish the sentence. Ly’ana felt a lump in her throat, but she forced it down with a few harsh swallows.

“Thank me once we’re out of here.”

The door slid open. As she had every day since her arrival in Internment Camp 12, Ly’ana stepped out, eyes unwavering as they studied the wall opposite. Footsteps echoed – the other prisoners taking their place, ready for inspection.

The crank of motors announcing the arrival of the two troopers responsible for their level sent flocks of anxious butterflies spiralling through Ly’ana’s belly. Unable to help herself, she glanced to her left, both anxious to see the familiar face and terrified that she would. He was there, though, the trooper with the scar on his face, the one who never missed an opportunity to leer at her or touch her or hit her. She was almost certain that he was the one who watched her through the camera.

Nausea threatened to overwhelm her and she swallowed back a rush of metallic saliva. Both troopers walked past the Rodian and Gungan females from the cell next to Leia and Ly’ana’s. Ly’ana could already see the one with the scar slowing his pace, a lazy smile twisting the scar on his cheek.

“Morning, tails.”

“Morning, officer.”

Scars gaped at her. In the weeks she had been imprisoned, Ly’ana had never once responded to his morning greetings. Today, not only had she answered, but she had done so with obvious intent, putting every ounce of seductive force she could into her voice. Ly’ana had been practicing for two days.

Ever since the secret meeting with Lance, Leia and the other Alliance members in the common area during the evening meal.

Scars’ green eyes lit up at her words and he stepped closer. Ly’ana could smell sweat and an overpowering cologne. Her eyes watered, but she batted her eyes to hide the tears and smiled.

“How are you this morning, officer?”

He grinned. “As well as I ever am after your little morning show,” he whispered, winking at her. Confirming what she had suspected. Pig.

“Oh, were you the one watching?” she simpered. She forced a giggle. “I had. No. Idea.”

Scars allowed his hand to come to rest on her hip. She felt his fingers tighten on her, nails digging in to her flesh. Turning a pained gasp into a moan, Ly’ana forced herself to lean in to him.

“I hear that you might be able to get a girl special privileges if she’s nice to you.”

It was one of Lance’s Alliance women who had told them, a Bothan from another cell block who had heard it from a human prisoner who shared her cell. Scars’ reputation amongst the female inmates was legendary – the last woman he had his eye on, another Twi’lek, had been given her own quarters near the trooper’s barracks, special food and three nights out a week. All she had to do in return was…

“You heard right,” Scars whispered, his hand easing up over her belly, over her jumpsuit. Ly’ana fought the urge to cringe. “Why? Do you think you could be… nice?”

Ly’ana knew that if she had to endure this for a moment longer, she would vomit. She had to complete these “negotiations” now. Burying the last shreds of her dignity, she reached down, grabbed his hand and lifted it to her breast.

“I can be very nice.”

Scars’ shocked expression gave way to one of pure lust. For an instant, Ly’ana was terrified that he was going to push her back into her quarters and have her right there and then. The moment passed, though, and Scars regained some kind of control over himself. Squeezing her breast one last time, he took a step back.

“I’ll send someone for you tonight. Be ready.”

“Oh, I will,” she said, holding his gaze.

Chuckling, Scars turned and joined the other trooper – who looked excited and jealous at the same time. They continued on with their checks, though neither one of them seemed to be particularly concentrated on what they were doing. Ly’ana returned her gaze to the wall, but she could feel the disgusted looks from the other prisoners. It’s not real, she wanted to scream. Couldn’t you tell it was all an act?

What was likely to happen that night, though, would not be an act.

***

The worse thing was that it had been Ly’ana’s idea.

After Leia recognised Lance, she had convinced Ly’ana to join her over by the ‘fresher pipes. They had been forced to wait until the evening meal, but the moment they reached them, Leia collapsed, sobbing, in Lance’s arms. Very quickly, the whole story had come out.

Leia Skywalker, pilot and Jedi Knight. Lance Organa, prince and diplomat. Padme Naberrie, Leia’s mother, ambassador and victim of the Empire. A scattered remnant of Alliance pilots hiding somewhere in the city above.

Talk had turned to how Leia had come to be in the Internment Camp. Ly’ana had been shocked to learn that the young woman had been kept as a personal prisoner by the Emperor himself. When Lance asked her how she had come to be moved, the young Jedi had broken down. Through her sobs, she had confessed: she had given the Emperor the location of the Jedi Temple.

“Are you sure?” Lance had asked, his expression stricken but his eyes full of compassion. “You said he was drugging you, maybe you imagined it.”

Leia had shaken her head. “I’m sure. I told him about Yavin, Lance. I… I didn’t want to but he… I thought I was…” She had covered her face in her hands.

The Alliance prisoners had seemed to lose what little composure they had, their shoulders slumping and their faces draining of colour. All except for Lance. Ly’ana had watched him straighten his back, determination flooding his features, and for the first time saw him as he must have been before his incarceration. As a prince.

“We’ll have to move up our schedule,” he had said.

While the others broke out in murmurs, Leia and Ly’ana had both frowned.

“What schedule?”

“For our escape,” he had said matter of factly. “We think we have found a way out of here, but have no idea how we might escape once we reached the surface. We’ve been trying to get a hold of a comm. system so that we can contact someone on the outside, maybe one of the Rogues who escaped Tarkin.”

“You think some of them got away?” Leia had asked.

“I’m sure of it. But so far, we haven’t been able to access a comm. system and-“

“Are you all out of your minds?” Ly’ana had demanded. All eyes had turned on her, but she had been too angry to care. “Escape? Do you know what they do to people who try to escape? When they catch you-“

“They won’t,” Lance had said. “There is a way out. Why else do you think we spend all our time here?”

Ly’ana had looked around and for the first time took in the ‘fresher pipes behind them. Although she had never studied them before, she did so now and realised how wide they were. Still, she had not been able to hold back a sardonic snort.

“You really think you’re going to be able to get in…”

She had trailed off as three of the prisoners twitched back the sides of their cloaks, revealing small knives. Another of them peeled back one of the metal plates on the nearest pipe.

They’ve actually done it, she had thought. They’ve actually managed to find a way out of here.

“Unfortunately, getting up to the surface is only half of the trouble. We then need to find a way off Coruscant. Even with a comm system that would be difficult, but without one it is impossible.”

“There has to be a way,” Leia had said, the excitement obvious in her voice. “There has to be.”

“Only the guards have comm systems,” one of the other Alliance soldiers had said. “They never leave them unattended. The only way to get at one would be to…”

As the Alliance soldiers continued to talk, Ly’ana had felt a sick feeling deep in her gut. The only way to get at one would be to place yourself in a situation where one of the trooper’s would let his guard down. In his quarters. Although she had known that they weren’t, Ly’ana had not been able to shake the sensation that the Alliance soldiers were looking at her.

Don’t do it, Ly’ana. The voice in her head had been Han’s. You don’t owe them anything. Look out for yourself, keep your nose down and you can…

What? She had demanded, anger prickling her eyes. I can do what? Spend the rest of my life in here until one of the guards decides to take what I won’t give up willingly? End up beaten and bleeding out in some cell, or passed from one trooper to the next? This is a way out. I’m the only one who can do it.

The others had still been talking when she had stepped forward, debating the chances of trapping one of the troopers in the corridors between cell blocks. All of them looked up at her in surprise, Leia most of all.

“I’ll do it,” she had said, the words turning to ash in her mouth. “I’ll get you the comm.”

***

The rest of the day passed too quickly. Before she knew it, the siren rang announcing the end of the work shift. Ly’ana had hoped to have the time to return to her cell, but Scars was waiting for her. Grabbing her arm, he grinned at her.

“You’re coming with me, Tails.”

Ly’ana sensed Leia on the periphery of her vision. She forced a smile.

“I was hoping you would say that.”

Allowing Scars to lead her down the corridor, Ly’ana prayed to any gods who might be listening that he would be gentle.

***

Hours later, trying not to make a sound, Ly’ana rolled out of the bed, clutching her robe to her naked body. She paused as Scars coughed softly in his sleep. Eyes closed, she waited to see whether he would make any more noise. Moments later, he started breathing normally again. Ly’ana left her eyes closed for a moment more, fighting back tears. Once she had herself under control, she got to her feet and padded over to the desk.

She winced slightly, the bruises left by his pawing hands sending sharp darts of pain through her body. The memories left her feeling sick, but she pushed them away.

I had no choice, she reminded herself. I was the only one.

Reaching the desk, she dropped to her haunches, glancing back to make sure that Scars was still asleep. He had rolled on to his back, his scarred face relaxed, his mouth open and blowing little spit bubbles. She turned away, fighting off a desire to go back to the bed and push one of the pillows down on his face.

He had left his uniform strewn haphazardly on the desk and chair. Ly’ana rummaged through it until she felt the cool metal and plastic of the comm unit. Pulling it out from beneath a set of armour, Ly’ana checked it over, turning it this way and that to make sure that it was functional. Once she was sure, she wrapped her robe around her more tightly and walked over to the door out into the corridor.

Praying to any god who might be listening that the sound of the door opening wouldn’t wake him, Ly’ana pressed her hand against the panel. It swished open, casting a rectangle of artificial light on the floor.

Leia Skywalker stood on the other side. When she saw Ly’ana, her face crumbled slightly.

Don’t you dare! Don’t you dare feel pity for me. I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold it together if you do.

As if she had sensed Ly’ana’s thoughts, Leia steeled her own face to a neutral mask. “Did you get it?”

Ly’ana nodded, handing the comm unit over. “You know who to contact?”

“I think so,” Leia said. “Solo, you said. You’re sure he can help us?”

If anyone can. She had suggested they try to contact Han once the decision had been made that she would seduce the guard. With his contacts, he should be able to arrange their safe passage off the planet. She nodded. “You have the frequency?”

“Yes.”

“Then you’d better go. Remember, you have to have it back to me before morning.”

Leia hesitated. “Will… Are you going to be alright?”

Do I have a choice? “I’ll be fine. Get on with it.”

The young human looked at her for a moment longer and then shook herself. Squeezing Ly’ana’s hand, she turned and ran back down the corridor. Ly’ana watched her go and then stepped back into the guard’s room.

“Where do you think you’re going?” The guard’s gruff tones sent shudders down Ly’ana’s spine. She turned slowly to see him sitting up in bed, pressing himself on his elbows, eyes bleary.

She forced a seductive smile and allowed the robe to fall to the floor. “Just trying to get your attention.”

He grinned.
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Old December 7 2011, 03:09 AM   #272
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

Damn, that is harsh, to say the least.

I can see why this gave you trouble.

Hopefully, now that we're past this part (at least, I hope we're past this part), you'll be able to work on things that will be easier for you to write.

I'm glad to see you back to writing, though.
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Old December 9 2011, 04:14 AM   #273
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

Wow that was a dark chapter and yeah I can understand how it would be difficult to get through, especially putting your favourite character through something like that. Things continue to get interesting.
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Old January 16 2012, 07:46 PM   #274
CaptainSarine
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

Sorry for the long delay again. My son started teething since I posted the last chapter, so lots of sleepless nights... Next chapter not completed yet, but I wanted to at least respond to your kind comments!

Nerys Ghemor wrote: View Post
Damn, that is harsh, to say the least.

I can see why this gave you trouble.

Hopefully, now that we're past this part (at least, I hope we're past this part), you'll be able to work on things that will be easier for you to write.

I'm glad to see you back to writing, though.
Yes, very harsh. Still, it was the way the story needed to go, so I went.

There'll obviously be some more fallout from this chapter, but nothing quite so direct. I was glad to be back to writing too! Just hope that once my son's teething calms down, I'll be able to get back to it a little more regularly!

Thanks again for the comment.



Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
Wow that was a dark chapter and yeah I can understand how it would be difficult to get through, especially putting your favourite character through something like that. Things continue to get interesting.
As I said to Nerys, the story needed to swerve in this direction in order to head towards the final destination I have in mind. I'm still determined to see this story finished and continued through my "versions" of ESB and ROTJ. Of course going by my prior record, that ending may not be until 2056. Any of you still be reading by then?

Thanks again for the comments!
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Old January 17 2012, 07:02 AM   #275
Admiral_Young
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

I'll be here until this is complete!
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Old June 10 2012, 12:47 PM   #276
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

Wow it's been five months since the last update! Hopefully the story isn't dead!
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Old June 11 2012, 03:00 PM   #277
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

No, not dead, still hibernating. I'm still working on it, in my spare time, which isn't very much! However, my son seems to have started sleeping a bit more during the night and I have some holidays coming up, so hopefully I'll have a bit more time then. I do have the next chapter in a relatively advanced state so you may get that in the next few weeks, again depending on time.

Thanks so much for continuing to post on here from time to time, I am so sorry this is taking so long!
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Old November 3 2012, 05:46 AM   #278
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

Thought I would request an update given the huge Star Wars news this past week. This needs to be completed! It's too good not to be.
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Old November 3 2012, 12:07 PM   #279
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

Hi Admiral! The announcement this weekend definitely gave me a boost to carry on with this. Unfortunately, the health problems with my son continue so my spare time is still quite short. Still, hopefully I'll be able to get something together in the next few weeks. No promises, though!
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Old November 5 2012, 09:42 PM   #280
CaptainSarine
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

Chapter 21

Coruscant’s underlevels seemed to suffer beneath the weight of the city above. Cracks erupted across duracrete walls, metal girders twisted out of shape, holographic signs bent until they were unrecognisable – everything pointed to structural flaws soon to drag the entire planet down into one massive sinkhole. And yet Coruscant had survived – almost unchanged – for centuries beyond count. These lower levels had survived invasion, war, economic catastrophe, the fall of a Republic and the rise of an Empire, without ever collapsing. In fact, they wore the scars of those events as badges of honour.

Han had never noticed how dingy these levels were. The few times he had delved down into the lower levels, it had been an adventure, a chance for him to spend some of his father’s money without worrying about who might be watching. Always he had had Ly’ana at his side, guiding him, helping him, protecting him.

Forcing his gait to a slow shuffle, Han rounded his shoulders and kept his eyes fixed on the ground. It seemed the safest way to avoid entanglements with the rough denizens of these lower levels. Those few who did notice them only gave them the slightest of curious glances. Otherwise, most seemed too interested in their own problems to pay attention to man or boy.

Still, Han was careful to keep Kiewan close. He had seen children, bedraggled and dirty, limping through the streets in little more than rags. Many seemed to work in the factories, their drab clothes thick with the stench of reclamation plants and grimy with ash. Others seemed to be kept for less honorable uses. Either way, Han had no intention of allowing anything to happen to the boy. He had made a promise to Byriam and a silent vow to Padme.

Glancing down at Kiewan, now, Han hoped that it wasn’t all too much for the boy. The garish signs, the grimy walls, the powerful stench of decay and excrement and effluent and spoiled produce combined in an assault on the senses. Han could not imagine Kiewan had much more experience of such places than he did, regardless of the fact that the boy was a padawan apprentice.

Still there was little he could do to shield the boy. From the seedy assortment of bars and casinos, to the cheap hotels and brothels, via the fighting pits and torture parlours, these lower levels were a harsh enough reality for anyone, Han included.

The two of them had been together ever since Byriam’s death. Han had done as she had asked, getting Kiewan to a safe place, renting a room in a hotel at ground level with most of his remaining credchips. As that small pile of creds diminished, they had gradually been forced to move further and further down.

Luckily, the lower down they went, the more chance Han believed he would have of finding someone who could get them off-world.

They made their first stop of the day at a cantina nestled between a brothel and a temple to some Outer Rim deity, where spacers came to relax while waiting for a job. Kiewan at his side, Han sidled up to the bar, forcing a smile as the burly Rodian barkeep turned to him.

“What d’you want?”

“I was wondering whether anyone had come in looking for Vykk Drago?”

Han had left a number of messages on public message boards under the alias, discreetly looking for pilots willing to get some cargo off Coruscant.

“No. You want something to drink?”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m sure. You want something to drink?”

“No, I just-“

“If you don’t want to drink, then frack off.”

Han scowled, looking down at Kiewan, who was staring around at the electic crowd of Rodians, Wookies, Sullustans, Trandoshans, Ergesh, Killik and Geonosians gathered in the cantina. “Watch your mouth, friend, there’s a kid here.”

“Do I look like I give a frack about your fracking kid, friend? Now get lost.”

Swallowing his pride, Han grabbed Kiewan around the arm and led him back out into the street. The boy looked up at him.

“What now?”

“I have some other places to check and then we can get back to the hotel, okay?”

Kiewan looked back at the cantina. “More places like that?”

“That’s where we’ll find a pilot to get us off world?”

“Back to my mom and dad?”

Han swallowed hard, the sight of Padme’s sightless brown eyes flashing before his eyes. Neither he nor Byriam had had the heart to tell Kiewan what had happened to Padme. He forced a smile now, praying to all the gods that the boy’s father was still alive. If the boy was all alone…

“Yeah, kid, back to your parents.”

Their second shop took them to an information broker. This time, Han left Kiewan stood by a holoscreen showing a swoop-race on some back of beyond dustball under Imperial control while he checked whether anyone had shown any interest in his job offer. No one had.

Cutting through a mess of alleys filled with unrecycled waste, Han and Kiewan arrived at the second cantina in their hunt, a dive calling itself the Angel of Jarmo. A holosculpture twirled on its roof, two and half metres of buxom bosoms and long pale legs barely hidden beneath a diaphonous white dress. Arms raised towards the heavens, the Angel peered down at Han and Kiewan with a come-hither pout on her face. Han blushed, hurrying Kiewan into the foul-smelling interior.

Spoiled ale, gene-modified spice and boiling cooling pipes filled the air with an unbelievable stink. The far side lost in shadows, the rest of the bar held circular tables and chairs, which appeared to have been reclaimed from the wreck of some ancient Imperial cruiser. Han led Kiewan over to the bar and asked again if anyone had left a message for Vykk Drago. He was turning to leave again when the barman’s response actually registered.

“What did you say?”

“Drago, right? Some guy came in an hour ago, looking for you.”

Han fought down a sudden surge of excitement. “Is he still here?”

“Somewhere in the back.” The barman waved a hand, not really looking at Han anymore. “Ask one of the girls for Car’das’ man.”

Leading Kiewan by the hand – and trying not to hurry too much – Han headed into the depths of the interior, the smell intensifying as the lights dimmed. Catching the eye of a passing Rodian barmaid, he asked for Car’das’ man as he had been told and was directed to a booth right at the back of the cantina, where a man sat alone.

Han took in the high class clothes – white shirt laced in the front, cape thrown over the table – and the carefully groomed beard and moustache, and thought the barman must have made a mistake. He was about to turn back when the man looked up and saw them.

“Vykk Drago, I presume?”

Taken by surprise, Han could only nod.

“Please join me.” Sliding into the booth – and trying to avoid putting his hand on the various sticky stains that marred the leather – Han pulled Kiewan with him. The man smiled at the boy, though Han saw a flicker of surprise in his eyes. It was gone by the time he looked back and locked eyes with Han.

“Talon Karrde, at your service,” the man said, nodding his head. “I’m a pilot in the employ of a… businessman with certain interests here on Coruscant. I understand you are looking for someone willing to make a… cargo run.”

Han nodded. “Me and the boy. Off planet. No questions asked.”

“Ah, the inevitable difficulty. No questions asked. A queer request, especially when the cargo is only passengers.”

Gritting his teeth, Han said, “Payment won’t be an issue, I can…”

Karrde waved a hand. “No, I’m sure payment would not be an issue for the Crown Prince of Corellia. Mr. Drago.”

The stirrings of unease he had felt since sliding into the booth exploded into full blown paranoia. Gripping Kiewan’s hand, he stood. “You’ve got the wrong guy. Looks like I do too.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure about that, Mr. Drago,” Karrde said, but Han wasn’t listening. Keeping a tight hold of Kiewan’s hand, he half dragged him between the tables, ignoring the boy’s moans of pain. Only once they were out and a few blocks away from the cantina did he allow himself to relieve the pressure. Kiewan snatched his hand back, glaring up at Han as they stepped off the main street and into a small alley.

“What did you do that for?”

Fighting back the urge to snap at the boy, he shook his head. “I’m sorry, kid. I just needed you to follow me. Quickly.”

“I don’t see why. That man knew who you are. He could have helped us get to my parents.”

He knew who you are. That was the problem. How could this Karrde possibly have figured out who he was? He had been careful. He was sure that he-

A beeping pierced the silence in the alleyway, sending Han’s pulse racing. His blaster was almost out of its holster before he realised that it was the comm unit at his belt. No one had tried to contact him since he fled the embassy. Han hadn’t even been sure it was still working. Who could it be?

Motioning for Kiewan to stay quiet, Han pulled the comm unit off his belt and raised it to his ear. Activating it, he tried a tentative, “Hello.”

“Is this Prince Solo?”

A male voice. Han tried to work out whether it could be the same as the man he had just left in the cantina, but he didn’t think so. The intonation was too sharp, the accent too Core. Imperial? Why contact him, now, though?

“Who is this?”

“I don’t have a lot of time.” Han recognised the same tension in this man’s voice as must be in his own. “My name is Lance Organa, I was a member of the Galactic Alliance negotiating team and I am currently incarcerated in an Imperial Internment Camp somewhere in the lower levels. I was given your name and your comm access code and told to contact you. We need your help, Prince Solo. You may be our only hope.”

Han’s mind whirled. Organa? Internment Camp? What the frack was going on? Of course, he remembered Organa. But he was dead, along with the rest of the Alliance representatives. Along with Padme. And her daughter.

“Prince Solo? Are you there?”

In his mind’s eye, Padme’s bore into his, trying to pass on a silent message. Help my children. Anger flared in Han’s gut and he had to fight not to crush the comm unit against the wall. “I don’t know what kind of sick game you are playing, friend, but you’re not going to trick me. So why don’t you tell your Imperial handler that-“

“Oh by the Force!” A female voice cut him off. He heard the sounds of static over the line, like someone trying to seize the comm unit from someone else. “Prince Solo, this is Jedi Leia Skywalker. We met briefly. I trust you recognise my voice?”

It certainly sounded like her. Kiewan seemed to agree. His eyes wide, he was jumping up and down. Han quelled him with a gaze, concentrating on the comm unit. It couldn’t be. The entire holo net had been buzzing with the news that the entire Alliance contingent had been killed by order of the Emperor. If he still had some of them alive, surely he would be parading them through court, putting them on trial…

“Prince Solo, we don’t have time. We are here in this Internment Camp with your assistant. Ly’ana? She told us to contact you.”

Ly! Ly was there? In an Internment Camp? Anger flared again. “Put her on.”

“I can’t do that. Trust me, she has put a lot on the line to allow us to get through to you.”

Han didn’t like the sound of that. Before he could ask her what she meant, though, Leia pressed on.

“We are trapped down here, Prince Solo, but we may have found a way out. The problem is, once we are out, we have no way off the planet. We need your help with that.”

“My help? Listen, sister, I can’t even get myself off this rock, let alone you. I don’t have access to any kind of ship. The Empire revoked my clearances, my codes, my papers. Everything that might allow me to get off planet. I can’t even contact my father.” Not that it would do any good, he thought. Not if what they’ve been saying about Corellia is true. “It can’t be done.”

There was a moment of silence. Then Leia’s voice, again. “You have to find a way. We will be back in contact in two days with a time and a place. If you’re there, maybe we can all get out of here together. If you’re not… On your head be it.”

The comm unit died.

On your head be it. Han closed his eyes, struggling against the urge to scream. He had been finding it difficult enough to handle the responsibility of getting Kiewan offworld. Now he had the lives of who knew how many Alliance sympathisers – and Ly’ana – cradled in the palms of his hands. And all he wanted was to go home.

Tiny fingers slipped into his palm. Han looked down at Kiewan.

“It’ll be alright. We can help them.”

There was so much hope and certainty in those brown eyes that Han felt his throat clench. If Kiewan could put so much faith in him – if Ly’ana could tell these people that he could do it – maybe it was about time he believed them.

Rolling his shoulders, he breathed out, trying to let all of his fears and uncertainty flow out at the same time. He was a Prince of Corellia. It was about time he started acting like one.

“Come on,” he said, squeezing Kiewan’s hand. “Let’s go.”

“Where are we going?” the young Padawan asked him as they stepped back onto the street.

“We’re going to buy us a way off this rock.”

I just hope Karrde is still there.
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Old November 6 2012, 05:13 PM   #281
Nerys Ghemor
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

Excellent! Finally there's some chance of everything coming together! Of course in this universe that could be only an illusion, but either way I'm glad to see another section of this.
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Old November 6 2012, 06:48 PM   #282
Count Zero
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

Hey, it's back. Very well written chapter, as usual. And quite exciting. I'm looking forward to how this will play out.
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Old November 6 2012, 10:29 PM   #283
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

Nerys Dukat wrote: View Post
Excellent! Finally there's some chance of everything coming together! Of course in this universe that could be only an illusion, but either way I'm glad to see another section of this.
Hi Nerys! Yes, slowly the different storylines are going to start coming together leading towards the end. There's still a little bit of story to go, though! As you said, there are lots of things that can go badly! I'm feeling a little bit more rested at the moment, so hopefully be able to get some more chapters up in the next few weeks. No promises, though!

Count Pony wrote: View Post
Hey, it's back. Very well written chapter, as usual. And quite exciting. I'm looking forward to how this will play out.
Thanks a lot Count Pony! As I said above, hoping to have some more coming in the next few weeks as the different elements start coming together and build towards the finale. Thanks for the comment!
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Old November 8 2012, 06:30 AM   #284
Admiral_Young
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

Excellent. I'm so happy you're back! Talon Karrde!!!! I am wondering who his employer his that has an interest in Courscant? Thrawn? Or someone else? Han is slowly being put into a position to be the hero we all know he can be it seems.
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Old November 16 2012, 08:16 PM   #285
CaptainSarine
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Re: SW AU - A Glimmer of Hope

Admiral_Young wrote: View Post
Excellent. I'm so happy you're back! Talon Karrde!!!! I am wondering who his employer his that has an interest in Courscant? Thrawn? Or someone else? Han is slowly being put into a position to be the hero we all know he can be it seems.
Thanks! Good to be back. You'll be happy to know that I have been able to keep up the momentum so far and should have a new chapter up by the end of next week!

Karrde is introduced at the beginning of the chapter as being Car'das' man, so he is still working for Jorj Card'as, set up in the EU as Karrde's first employer and benefactor. As to who Car'das is working for...

Han will have a role to play, definitely. Whether he will live up to that role... We shall see.
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