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The Promise.

Chapter Text

Luke squinted at the last remains of his Uncle and Aunt’s old homestead, a threadbare bag slung over his shoulder. A slow breeze picked up the sand at his feet, making it swirl lazily around him and the bases of the old, dilapidated moisture vaporators around the homestead. It was a wonder the Jawas hadn’t picked off every last one of them.

The ruins of the homestead would have squinted back at him through the glare of the Tatooine suns, had they been sentient.

Why, Uncle Owen? Aunt Beru? Luke thought, Why didn’t you tell me the truth about my Father?

Luke kicked the sand at his feet in frustration.

Old Ben had been the one to tell him that his father was a Jedi, after the abrupt deaths of his Aunt and Uncle. The old man had taken Luke in and helped him through his grief after that horrible day, helping to mold him into the young man he was now.

Ben had taught him so, so much.

And now he was gone. Dead. Lost to the desert, covered in sand with only a stone to mark his grave.

And he hadn’t been there to stop it.

If he had just gotten there in time to stop the raiders, to help Ben fight…

No , Luke thought, Ben wouldn’t want him to dwell on what-ifs. What had been done has been done, and no amount of wishful thinking could bring Ben back. Ben would want him to move on from his death, to let go, and to keep living his life.

The hardest part about all of it was accepting that, and abiding by Ben's wishes. How could he continue on with his life if Ben and his teachings were his life?

Even harder to accept, somehow, were Ben’s final words.

Why didn’t he tell me?

Luke’s world would never be the same, now that Ben was dead. Now that he knew the secret that Ben had kept from him for all these years.  And now, since everything tying him to this dustball was gone, Luke didn’t have a reason to stay on this force-forsaken planet any longer.

After all, why would he stay on Tatooine when he could travel into the greater galaxy and help others? Isn’t that what Jedi did, according to Ben’s tales? Wouldn’t Ben want him move on and learn to live on his own?

Outer Space was calling out to him, enticing him with the same promise that had led his father off of Tatooine and far, far away.

But even he knew that he wouldn’t be able to leave without saying goodbye.


Mos Eisley was as dismal and dusty as Luke remembered it to be.

He had been 10 when Ben had first taken him there, staring at the crowds of sentients with big blue eyes and holding onto Ben’s weathered hand like it was a lifeline. Luke had never been into a city before, and he soaked the experience in like a sponge.

Ben had looked at his wonder-filled expression, and had smiled that enigmatic smile of his. He had done that a lot, now that Luke thought about it.


Well Young Luke,” Ben had said to him, “If you think Mos Eisley is exciting, just wait until I tell you about Coruscant.”

“Coruscant?!”

Ben chuckled softly at his apprentice’s excitement. Although Anakin had always been good at hiding it, the glowing lights and behemoth-like buildings of Coruscant had always amazed him too.

Oh, Anakin.

There was so much of his father in Luke, but, yet, there was a lightness his father had never known to him, despite everything the young boy had already gone through in his short life.

“Well, as you do already know, young one, I used to live there.”

Luke looked up at him in wonder.

“Awesome! What was it like, Ben?”

Ben looked up and put his hand to his chin, deep in thought.

“Well… it was rather… noisy, I guess. Loud. Bright. Smelly. Although, if I were you Young Luke, I wouldn’t exactly trust my description. Coruscant’s probably changed quite a bit since I last was there.”

What Ben had meant to say went unspoken between the two of them. Coruscant, the capital world of the Republic, was now Imperial Center, the capital world of the Empire. The Empire that had killed Ben’s apprentice and his Jedi comrades. That had taken everything away from him.

“Still, Ben! That’s amazing!”

Ben chuckled at Luke’s excitement. Moments like these were the reason he felt content, despite everything that had happened to him.


The Cantina he walked into was as shady as ever.

As soon as Luke walked in, he was hit with the smells of illicit substances being smoked and the sound of smooth jizz, played live by the band in the corner. It was almost as if he had walked into a whole new world, but it was still undoubtedly Tatooine.

Luke scrunched his face at the assault of so many sensations.

It had been a while since he had been to a Cantina, and he’d never been to one alone.

“Mos Eisley is a hive of scum and villainy, Luke,” Ben had said, “You must always stay on your toes, lest one of this lot deems you fit to rob or assault.”

Luke’s chest seized up at the unwanted memory. He closed his eyes, unwilling to look weak in front of a crowd of hostile, criminally inclined sentients.

He took a deep breath. In and out, in and out, just like Ben had taught him to, years and years ago.

In...

and out.

"Luke. You need to let me go,"  he heard a familiar voice say, seemingly into the breeze. Yet, Luke knew that the owner of this voice had been permanently silenced.  

Luke's eyes snapped open, shocked. He looked around for the source of the voice, despite knowing exactly what he would find.

"Let me go, young Luke," The voice repeated.

No, no! H-how? You’re dead! I saw you die! Luke thought, shaking his head.

The voice continued to speak.

"You must leave, Luke. Do not let my death control your life. "

Luke took in a breath, and closed his eyes, waiting for the voice to stop. It seemed so real, yet he knew Ben was gone.

He took another deep breath, shifted his pack so that he could keep an eye on it, and headed for the nearest vacant seat.


Luke sipped at his drink idly, tired from his unexplained lapse earlier. Had he finally snapped? Had living truly alone for the past month finally gotten to him?

The voice sounded so real! Like Ben was right there, talking to me...

Maybe he just needed to meditate. After all, he hadn’t even been close to getting into a meditative state since Ben…

Luke took a sip of his drink and sighed, his bangs tickling the edge of his glass.

When he was younger and the scars of his Uncle and Aunt’s untimely death were still raw, Ben would tell him to get up, to move, to eventually make the pain of losing them soothe into a dull ache. Ben would convince him to do something else beside moping, somehow getting him to do even the littlest of things. And then, the smallest things, like a smile, a trip for groceries, and even meditation would make him feel better, would make the pain go away for a while.

But now, Luke was alone. Luke didn’t have Ben to help him process his grief.

And the pain of the old man’s death never seemed to go away.

Luke was through with this pain, through with hurting and moping. Through with just thinking of moving on, but not actually managing to get up and walk away.

"Let me go, Young Luke."  Ben's voice had told him, as tired and weary as it always was in life, yet somehow lighter that Luke remembered, like a weight had been lifted off of his shoulders. 

Wasn't letting go the Jedi Way? What Ben would want for him?

Luke was going to move on, or die trying. He was going to let go, and become the Jedi knight Ben had trained him to become.

"Do not let my death control your life."

He was going to find out the truth behind Ben’s last words, and settle Ben’s fight, once and for all.


Tatooine’s first sun had just just disappeared below the horizon when Luke had finished wrapping up his affairs and securing enough funds for passage off of the planet. After all, one couldn’t live with barely any money forever, as he had learned during his time with Old Ben. They would have to take up small jobs sometimes in order to get enough to survive, after all, being a Jedi didn’t exactly pay well if one was a Jedi in hiding.

It was finally time to leave this sandy old dustball for good.

Luke looked up at the sun, wistful. He had waited so long for this moment to happen, and yet, he felt as if he couldn’t get himself to leave now that it had come. Was it because everyone he had lost was here?

Well, almost everyone he had lost. There was one he had never known and never truly lost, but…

If Ben was right…

He had to go. He had to find him, and finally have the one thing he had never had, but had been so close to having twice, once with his uncle and once with Old Ben…

A Father.

Luke ran to the docks like a sandstorm was at his heels. He knew somehow that if he didn’t leave now, he might never.

He had made it halfway there when he had to stop for breath.

Man, I really shouldn’t have slacked so much on physical training after Ben’s…

It was much easier to think of the old man, now that he had made the conscious decision to let the old man go.

But that didn’t mean it wasn’t hard to do.

Luke sighed and picked up his bag, jostling it for good measure.

Now isn’t the time for these sorts of thoughts.

He slung his bag over his back and continued to run.

Chapter Text

The ship he had chosen to board was a dodgy old freighter, probably meant for smuggling cargo instead of bearing passengers. But it did the job, so Luke didn’t really mind. As long as it wasn’t too noisy to sleep in and wouldn’t break down in the middle of wild space, he was fine with it.

He was pretty sure he would be fine. The force had guided him to this ship, after all.

Either way, he still didn’t completely trust it.

After paying his fare, he settled down in a grimy corner and pulled the hood of his shawl over his head, obscuring his features and shielding his eyes from the ship’s interior lights.

Luke pulled his bag to his chest, curled up around it, and drifted to sleep.


The hot air bit at Luke’s skin, making his eyes water. He had never been subjected to such heat, even when he stood in the middle of the desert at high noon.

From the corner of his eye, he saw a light.

Come towards me , the light seemed to say to him, you must see this.

He went towards it.

And then he heard a voice.

“If you’re not with me, than you’re my enemy!”

A familiar voice responded to the yell, with eerie calmness only a Jedi could muster.

“Only a Sith Lord deals in absolutes. I will do what I must.”

Ben!

Luke ran towards the noise, eager to see the face of his dead master one last time.

“You will try!”

The hum of lightsabers became audible, and the sounds of a fierce duel.

Luke stopped running, and stared upon the sight he had happened upon.

There was an unconscious woman on the ground by a ship’s ramp, laying limply. Her belly was swollen with pregnancy, and she held it protectively.

He ran towards her, and knelt by her prone form.

“Ma’am. Ma’am! Are you alright?” He said, reaching down to gently shake her awake so he could help her.

But his hands went right through her.

Luke gasped and stepped away, reeling from his discovery.

What? What’s going on? He thought, staring at his shaking hands. The hands that could not help that woman, for some force-damned reason.

And Where’d Ben go?

The sound of lightsabers was still audible over the roar of the waves of lava, but just barely.

Luke ran towards it.


He could recognize Obi-Wan fighting the man who could have only been the owner of the other voice he had heard. Despite the fact that Obi-Wan looked years younger, he seemed almost as weary and haggard as he had been when Luke had known him.

Then Luke took a closer look at who he was dueling.

A tall man with blonde hair seemed to look straight past him, with enough hatred in his yellow eyes to melt the rock behind the young Jedi. Despite the fact that this man was obviously a Sith, he was fighting Ben with an eerily familiar lightsaber.

Blue. His father’s lightsaber was the same burning blue as the Tatooine skies he had grown up under, staring up at and wondering was beyond the horizon.

Blue. His father’s eyes were blue like his, not the sickly yellow of a Sith.

But the man dueling his former master so furiously was obviously Anakin Skywalker.


Why were they fighting?

Blow after blow, they traveled down the ramp, matching each other move by move. Their attacks were ferocious and desperate, reflecting the inner turmoil Luke could feel inside of them.

He felt sick just seeing it. Seeing these two men, who had been the best of friends, attack each other like wild animals, trying desperately to kill the other.

His feet seem to take him towards them without his consciousness controlling them, propelling him at them as fast as he could go.

“Stop!” He cried. “Stop fighting! Ben! Father!”

The two men didn’t appear to hear anything he was yelling at them, didn’t seem to realize how wrong this was, how much Luke wanted them to stop!

He ran in between them, intending to stop them by force.

Their Lightsabers went right through him as if he was an apparition, scaring him out of his trance.

This isn’t real, Luke thought, I’m dreaming!

Then he woke up.


Luke woke up shivering, but not just from his dream.

I’m pretty sure nothing should ever be this cold. What is wrong with the owners of this ship?

He curled in upon himself in order to conserve as much warmth as possible, but despite the fact that he was now warmer, something was still bothering him.

My dream!

Luke knew that he had had a dream, but he had no idea what it was about. So why was it bothering him so much?

 

“Only a Sith deals in absolutes!”

Ben. Ben was in it. And he was fighting someone. But who?

A familiar, yet foreign face emerged from his subconscious. While this man had Luke’s blonde hair and dimpled chin, his features were too angular to be his.

He had yellow eyes.

Yellow eyes…

Was it who Luke thought it could be?

A snapshot of his dream returned to him unbidden, supplying him with the image of that strange yet familiar man holding a lightsaber Luke knew like the back of his hand.

Ben, father… what did you do? What happened to you?

Chapter Text

After what seemed like forever, the ship finally started to go downward. Luke stood up and stretched, his muscles sore from staying in the same position for the better part of a day.

Then his stomach grumbled loudly enough to wake a dozing Krayt Dragon.

He heard a few giggles at his predicament, and blushed slightly, embarrassed.

Man, I should’ve really gotten something to eat instead of going back to sleep...

A set of footsteps approached him.

“Hey, kid,” a gruff voice said, “you want some food?”

A ration bar was shoved at him.

“The crew served some stuff earlier, but I grabbed too many bars for me to eat alone. You look a bit scrappy. Gotta eat while you can, eh?”

Luke smiled at the stranger, taking the bar from him.

“Thank you so much for the food, sir, but you probably need it more than I do,” Luke replied, handing the bar back to the man.

“Scrappy and polite, huh? Kiddo, I could hear your stomach rumble from across the ship. Take it,”

The man shoved the bar at Luke, accenting his statement.

Luke sighed in defeat before taking the bar from the man. He sat down and began unwrapping the bar, preparing to dig in. It wasn’t the tastiest thing he could’ve had, but he was too hungry to care.

“Thank you!” Luke said, his mouth full of food.

“You’re welcome,” the gruff man said, reaching out to ruffle Luke’s hair before stopping himself.

“Sorry about that, kid. You just remind me of my little boy. Take care of yourself, okay?”

The footsteps retreated.

Luke tore into his bar ravenously, finishing it in record time. His stomach turned in appreciation.

Don’t worry sir, I’ll take care of myself as best as I can.

He sat back down, and waited for the ship to approach land.


The doors of the ship opened, and Luke stepped into the greenest place he had ever seen.

And the coldest.

And he had thought the ship was freezing! Was every planet this cold?

He had a distinct feeling the answer was “Yes.” After all, how many times had he sensed Ben’s ire at Tatooine’s heat, since the old man was an off worlder?

Great.

Time to buy something warmer to wear!


“20 imperial credits? For this jacket?”

“Yeah,” the cashier replied, “gotta problem with that?”

“No, ma’am, I just don’t have any Imperial Credits. Got some Peggats and a few Wupiupi I can pay with…”

“Got some what now?”

“Money?”

The cashier rolled her eyes.

“Kid, whatever gibberish you just spouted? Peg-its and Wapoopy?”

“Peggats and Wapiupi, ma’am.”

“Whatever. What you have isn't real money to me. The only currency I’ve ever heard of is the Imperial Credit. Come back again when you can actually pay, got it?”

Luke fought the urge to snap at the cashier and sighed.

“Will do,” he called out as he exited the store, “Thank you!”

The cashier ignored him.


Luke sat outside of an abandoned building, fed up.

This planet was horrible.

And he thought Tatooine was bad! Here, it was dusty, cold, and stormtroopers were everywhere. Luke had never seen so many stormtroopers in his life!

Well, he supposed, other people probably didn’t think it was too bad.

They probably like the weather and the Empire’s regulations, otherwise they wouldn’t be there, right? If they can deal with it, I can. At least for a little while.

That didn’t mean he liked it, though.

He couldn’t wait to leave Lothal.

And as soon as he had enough money, he was going to take the first ship he saw out of there.


He was walking to a possible job opportunity when he got his first look at the cruelties of the Empire.

Two stormtroopers were holding onto an Twi’lek man tightly enough to bruise while two Imperial officers heckled at him, throwing fruits at him and yelling slurs.

“Please!” the Twi’lek man, desperation lacing his voice, “I only want to sell my fruit! I don’t want to be in trouble!”

The skinnier of the two officers tutted at him.

“Oh, but you are in trouble! You have an outdated vendors License. And didn’t you hear? Our glorious Emperor decreed just last year that stupid aliens like you aren’t allowed to have licenses anymore! And it's our duty as Officers of the esteemed Imperial Army to enforce his majesty's rules!”

Luke bristled. He could feel the malicious glee coming off of the officer in waves, permeating the air with sickly darkness.

He clenched his fists and prepared to move when a hand stopped him.

“No,” a voice told him, “Don’t. You’ll only make it worse.”

He looked at the speaker, an old woman weary with age.

Like Ben.

“How?” he replied to her, confused.

“It will only make those officers come back, and hurt the shopkeepers even more. Especially the ones who aren't human. ”

“How often does this happen?”

“Every day, almost. Those poor shopkeepers, between Aresko and Grint and the street rats stealing from them, they’re run ragged.”

“Are Aresko and Grint the officers?”

“Yes, young man, they are.”

Luke looked back at the two officers. The Bulkier one had his boot on the prone form of the shopkeeper, and the skinny one was walking around him, smirking in triumph. Both officers were enjoying the sweet taste of the fruit the shopkeeper had been selling.

And the people on the streets just passed them by, chatting away and hurrying on like nothing had happened. Like no shopkeepers had been beaten and harassed just due to their species. They were all content as long as nothing happened to them.

Luke couldn’t take it anymore.

He’d seen enough.

And now he knew what he’d have to do.

He walked towards the two officers, calm and ready to act.


Luke had been cuffed by the stormtroopers and thrown into the cell unceremoniously, his bag taken from him. He had gone along willingly, not wishing to cause any more trouble than he already had.

Despite the fact that he knew he could have easily taken down Aresko, Grint, and the Stormtroopers within seconds.

And he probably should have when he could.

But then, he wouldn’t be honoring the Jedi way.

There is no emotion, there is peace...

Fighting was always the last resort, after all.

Speaking of fighting...

My lightsaber’s in my bag! What if they find it? Ugh, I’m so stupid!

“Your Lightsaber is your life, Luke,” Ben had told him often,   “Don’t ever, ever lose it.”

And then, if the old Jedi was in a cheery enough mood, he would regale him with the story of the time he and his father had been stuck in a Rancor nest during the Clone Wars, and his father had ended up losing his lightsaber and denying it in front of everyone. On even better days, Ben would gesture wildly,  and even try to imitate Anakin’s voice, but he’d almost always end up leaving to compose himself after only getting part of the way through the story.

Despite him always telling Luke to let go, he never seemed to be able to let go of his late apprentice.

Yellow eyes where blue should be, the clashing of two lightsabers, two men, once brothers, attacking each other like animals…

What happened to them?

Luke sighed, and pulled his knees to his chest.

He had to get out of this cell. And fast.

Chapter Text

Luke had been meditating in his cell for lack of anything else to do, after finishing his escape plan.

Now all he had to do was wait for his opportunity to execute it. He was ready and waiting to leave this stupid cell, and sick of meditating. 

"Just because it's necessary doesn't mean you have to enjoy it, Young Luke." Ben had told him one day, after he had been particularly stubborn about not wanting to meditate. Despite everything the Jedi Master was good at, he was horrible at making Meditation appeal to his apprentice. 

Luke smiled at that thought, and then stood up. 

His opportunity had finally come.

He had heard something happening outside of his cell and the guards outside of his cell moving towards the noise, probably to see what was going on.

Now.

During his time in the cell, Luke had used the Force to find the button that opened the door through the wall. Now, he used that knowledge to his advantage.

The door opened with a hiss, and Luke stepped out of his cell and back into freedom.

As soon as he was over the cell’s threshold, he ran to the nearest supply closet, opening it and looking for his bag. The Imperials would have either put it in there or in an office, from what Luke could guess.

For a government he was supposed to be fighting, he really didn’t know too much about them.

He would have to fix that, but it could wait until he got his lightsaber back.  

No, not here...

Luke ran to the next closet, opened the door to it, and checked the inside.

Ergh! Where could they have they put it? It can’t be too far from here!

“Hey!”

Luke made the mistake of looking towards the person, or rather Stormtrooper, who had just shouted.

And then he was being shot at by white-armored troops that couldn’t hit a womp rat even if they tried, from what Luke could see. If there were so many Stormtroopers on Lothal, why weren’t they better trained?

Ben had told him everything about his old troops, in case Luke had to face some of them in the near future. And these guys? They were seriously underwhelming. He had thought Stormtroopers to be better than these guys.

Quantity over quality, Luke supposed.

Their mistake.

He probably wouldn’t even need his Lightsaber to ward them off.

If he got it back.

Luke swerved and dodged, running down the corridor as fast as he could. He kept an eye out for supply closets and office doors, in hopes of finding his bag.

He had just outrun his pursuers when he spotted another door, well camouflaged into the wall.

There!

Luke opened the door, and saw his bag sitting innocently on one of the shelves. He called his bag to him with the Force, knowing that he had no time to go in and retrieve it, and ran just as he heard the sound of boots on a tiled floor.

More shots were fired in his direction.

Luke looked inside of his bag, making sure that nothing was missing.

Thank the force, they didn’t find it!

Luke smiled, relieved, and then realized just how much he had run.

He needed a break.

The stormtroopers weren’t even close to him now, due to the random turns he had taken in the hallways. A familiar tactic that Ben and his father had used against Battle Droids during the Clone Wars, which Ben had passed on to him.

And since they weren’t close to him, he could take a couple of seconds to rest.

Luke slowed, panting, and took his lightsaber out of his bag, finding comfort in the familiar grip in his hand. He sagged against the wall, winded from his run.

He turned the lightsaber around in his hand, surveying the familiar dents in it.

It was good to hold his father’s lightsaber once again.

It was all he had left of the man, after all.


Free, at last!

Luke calmly stepped out of the base, smiling, and then strolling away as if he had no care in the world. He pulled off the miniature helmet he had found, revelling in the sensation of fresh air across his face.

He had waited in a closet for the commotion to die down, bored out of his wits and impatient to leave. There was only so much of sitting in a small space alone one could take in one day.

But he didn't have to wait long to leave, at least.

He had learnt a lot about the Empire through the contents of that closet.

Thank goodness for spare uniforms, and the comlink channels in spare helmets. By sitting in that closet and listening in, he was now able to understand a little bit of jargon the officers used. Without that understanding, his escape would’ve been much harder than it was.

When the time was right, Luke changed into the smallest uniform available to him, and got out of there as fast as he could.

And now, to steal a speeder, leave this base behind, and find a job. I'm still freezing, even in this uniform!

Luke put his helmet back on, and resumed walking.


A few hours later, Luke found himself in front of the seediest looking bar he could find, which wasn’t even the seediest place he had seen. Lothal had nothing on Tatooine.

Well, except for the fact that if he were on Tatooine, he would have at least been considered for a job already.

He would know. He’d been job-hunting both places.

Luke had been told at just about every place he had gone to that day in hope for some quick work that he “shouldn’t be working at such a young age, why didn’t he apply for the Imperial Academy instead?”

Which had really, really started to to annoy him.

At one place, he had gone in to ask and the owner had just told him “No,” before telling him to get out of his store and never come back again. It was rude of the shopkeeper, but it was better than being told to go home and apply for the academy for the millionth time.

Luke applauded the fact that the shopkeeper was honest with him, despite being put off by his rudeness.

Is everyone here so rude? At least on Tatooine, people pretend to be polite! And everyone there’s a criminal of some sort!

He looked up at the bar’s dilapidated sign, which blinked on and off again, broken.

Old Jho’s pit stop.

He hoped he had some luck here.


An automated chime sounded as he went through the bar’s door, signaling his entrance.

He was expecting something a lot more dilapidated, not the seemingly pristine interior he saw. It was relatively quiet, with the only noises around being the quiet drone of the radio and the soft chatter of the bar’s customers.

Luke walked up to the counter, and waved for a bartender.

An Ithorian bartender with a respirator responded to his signal, walking up while pouring a drink for another customer. He nodded, waiting for Luke to speak.

“Hello! Can I speak with the manager? I saw a sign on your door saying you had a job opening…” Luke said, trailing off.

“I’m the manager and owner, kid. Jho. Nice to meet you. ” The Ithorian replied, “Always good to see a new face around. You want the job, then?”

“Yes, sir! I already have some experience with pouring drinks and cleaning, if you need someone for that…”

“You don’t have to convince me to give you the job, kid. You’re the first person that’s come up to me asking for the job, and that sign’s been up a few weeks now. Take it.”

“Really?” Luke said, aghast. That had been the fastest he had ever received a job, even compared to some of the ones he had done on Tatooine.

And he had gotten it on the first try, too!

Luke smiled. He was right, he did have some luck here.

“Thank you so much, sir! I’ll do my best!”

“You’re welcome, kid. But if I don’t see you here at 0800 tomorrow, you’re fired immediately, got it?”

Luke nodded.

The bartender gave him the Ithorian version of a smile, and the shooed him off.

The young Jedi wondered how in the galaxy he was going to tell the bartender that he only needed to work there for a couple of days, and then was probably never going to go back to this cold, dismal planet again.

He turned away from the bar, stepping past a few tables crowded with patrons, and walked out of the shop.

Chapter Text

It had been a few days since Jho had given him a job at his bar, and now that Luke had finally all the money he needed…

It was time for him to go.

Poor Jho, Luke thought, I feel so bad for leaving him all alone here…

Old Jho had been great company for the past few days, regaling Luke with tales of his youth and making the young Jedi begin to change his perception of Lothal ever so slightly with his colorful descriptions of the grassy planet.

One of the many things Luke had come to know about the Ithorian over the past few days was that he loved his planet.

“I’ve been here all my life, lad." Jho had told him one day, as they were cleaning the bar. "While I understand why you wanna leave so bad, I can’t get myself to leave here, despite everything that’s changed. Maybe, one day, if I wait long enough, I’ll be able to see the Lothal I knew as a kid. And that’s why I’m staying. ”

Luke sighed, playing with the cuffs of his newly purchased jacket.

Don’t get too attached to him, Luke, you’re probably never going to see him again!

But that doesn’t mean I can’t remember him.


Luke sat waiting to board the first ship available off Lothal, keeping his bag close. Jho, after hearing of his departure, had told him that the docks were one of the places the local street rats targeted frequently, and he didn’t want to risk getting his Lightsaber nabbed ever again.

Luke shuddered inwardly at the thought of it.

“Now boarding Shuttle XT-45 to Garel, now boarding shuttle XT-45 for Garel.” An automated voice said over the intercom, startling Luke out of his reverie.

Oh, that’s my my flight!

He pressed his bag closer to his chest, and walked to the ship, standing in the line of sentients waiting to board.

All of a sudden, Luke felt someone crash into him from behind, throwing off his balance. Luke stumbled, but caught himself almost immediately after being hit thanks to years of honing his Jedi reflexes.

The person he had crashed into wasn’t so lucky, however.

“Oh man! So sorry about that…”

Luke turned around, about to tell the person that he had crashed into that it was fine, only to be stopped in his tracks by the stranger's eyes.

Blue eyes locked with blue, and suddenly, Luke was overcome by a strange feeling, like the Force...

Luke’s eyes widened, and he broke away from the kid’s intense stare.

What was that?

He cleared his throat, focusing back on the situation at hand.

“It’s perfectly fine!” Luke replied, “Really. No big deal.”

The stranger got up from the ground, brushing dust off of his orange jumpsuit, and smirked.

“Whatever you say, man,” Orange Jumpsuit kid replied, “There’s this evil little rustbucket of a droid chasing me around, and I really hope his owner isn’t boarding this ship, because that would not be good. At all. For anyone.”

The kid made a dramatic show of shivering at the thought of the Droid and his owner getting on the shuttle.

Luke smiled at the kid’s antics, amused.

Orange Jumpsuit kid smiled back at him, not noticing the unkempt looking astromech sneaking up behind him.

Luke cleared his throat to get his attention.

“Uh…” he stated, pointing behind the boy he was talking to, “there’s something behind you.”

Orange Jumpsuit looked over his shoulder, finally noticing the droid behind him.

“Oh Kriff!” he said, turning back quickly, surprised. “Gotta run!”

The kid ran off after giving Luke a mock salute, seemingly in a hurry to get the droid chasing him off his case. But Luke could feel otherwise.

There was something off about that kid.

And Luke knew that the Force wanted him to figure out what.


It was fairly full when Luke walked in, and he headed for the emptiest part of the ship he could see, settling down by a viewport.

The ship closed soon after a well-dressed woman sat down by the door, accompanied by an Aqualish companion. They were speaking quietly, barely heard over the noise of the engine.

Two droids rolled in after them, one protocol droid and one astromech droid. The Protocol droid was waving his chrome-plated arms around wildly and looking panicked, despite being a droid.

“Oh, Minister Tua! There you are!” The Protocol droid said, chattering on to the well-dressed lady. The astromech droid beeped at him, seemingly trying to get his fellow droid to shut up.

Luke tried not to laugh at the scenario unfolding in front of him, hiding his smile behind his hand. He was reminded a little bit of some of the stories Ben would tell him about his father’s droid, R2-D2, and the stunts he would pull back in the day.

“Hey. Blonde dude.”

Luke turned his head towards the person who had spoken to him.

Orange Jumpsuit guy was standing by his seat, awaiting a response from Luke.

“Yeah?” he responded, prompting Orange Jumpsuit for an answer.

Orange Jumpsuit looked over his shoulder in a display of nervousness that Luke somehow knew he didn’t actually feel.

“Can I sit here? Turns out that the evil droid from earlier is also on this flight, and he just keeps coming after me no matter where I sit...” he trailed off, awkward.

Then Luke heard a crash, and a whirring noise.

The orange astromech droid rolled down the isle, grumbling in binary. His domed top swiveled, making it seem as if he was looking for something.

Orange Jumpsuit kid paled at the sight of the old droid.

Luke sighed and patted the seat next to him, not totally convinced by the kid’s reasoning, but empathetic nonetheless. Droids could be rather nasty sometimes, after all. Otherwise, the Clone Wars would have never happened.

Orange Jumpsuit slid into the offered seat, shooting Luke a thankful smile.

Luke smiled back at him once again, and turned towards the window. He looked at Lothal’s bustling spaceport for the last time, and smiled slightly, thinking of the vast grasslands and the calming atmosphere in Old Jho’s shop.

“Nice place, huh?”

Luke turned and faced his seatmate, startled out of his thoughts.

“Yeah,” Luke responded, “Nice place.”

He turned back towards the window, hoping that Orange Jumpsuit guy would take that as a signal that he wanted to be left alone for a bit.

He seems nice so far, I guess...

But there’s definitely something off about him, his mind tacked on.

Besides, Luke wasn’t here to think about the weird kid with the orange jumpsuit anyway, he was here to get off of Lothal. Just as how Orange Jumpsuit probably was on the shuttle for his own reasons.

Jedi don’t usually form random attachments to people, Luke.

So then, what was the force trying to tell him, when he got that weird feeling from his staring contest with the Orange Jumpsuit kid?

He took a deep breath, and shook his weird train of thought off.

Instead of continuing to pursue his thoughts on the fellow teenager sitting next to him, he focused on the busy people he could see outside, hurrying to wherever they wanted to go, perfectly content with their twisted world and it’s twisted government, content with letting the Empire give power to men like Grint and Aresko, letting them stamp on those less powerful than them.

Despite his bad experience with the planet, he had learnt a lot about the Empire since he had arrived.

“Sentients,” the droid pilot at the front of the Shuttle said, “please prepare for takeoff.”

Goodbye forever, Lothal.

The volume of the ship’s engines began to grow, and the ship slowly began to rise off of the ground.

Luke leaned his head against the viewport and closed his eyes, hoping to finally nab a well needed nap.

Chapter Text

Almost as soon as Luke settled down to rest, his nap on the very comfortable chair he was sitting on was interrupted rudely by the indignant screeches of his seatmate.

“Will you cut it out, you dumb droid? You have plenty of room! Leave me alone!”

Luke turned toward his seatmate, curious and slightly worried.

“What’s going on?” he asked, only to be interrupted by the droid zapping the kid with the Orange jumpsuit.

“Ahh!”

Orange jumpsuit kid fell onto Luke’s lap, drained from the electricity.

“Hey, kids!” Luke heard the person sitting behind him, a man with a goatee, say, “Can’t you get that thing under control?”

Luke was about to respond to the man who had spoken to them, only for his seatmate to beat him there.

“Mind your own business, old man!” he said, springing out of his seat despite having just been shocked, only to be zapped again.

“Sorry about that sir,” Luke said, smiling sheepishly, “The droid’s not ours. Frankly, I don’t even know why he’s acting up.”

The man with the ponytail and the goatee smiled at him, in an enigmatic, knowing way that sort of reminded him of Ben for some reason.

“It’s fine, kid. But that droid should really get under control...”

The goateed man turned towards the droid piloting the ship.

“Hey pilot! Isn’t there anything against Droids being allowed in the passenger area?”

The pilot let out an automated sigh, and turned to the kid with the orange jumpsuit.

“I’m sorry sir, but your Astromech must proceed to the back of the craft.”

“Hey!” Orange jumpsuit interrupted, “If my Astromech has to move, then why don’t those 2 Astromechs have to?”

He pointed towards the Droids accompanying the well-dressed woman in the front.

He said earlier that the droid bugging him wasn’t his though, Luke thought.  What’s going on here?

“Astromech?” the protocol droid replied, “Me? I’ve never been so insulted in my life! I’ll have you know that I am a protocol droid, fluent in over 6 million - ”

“Pilot,” the well-dressed Minister said, “These two droids are with me. And I am on important Imperial business.”

“Sorry miss,” The pilot responded cooly, pulling his visor down, “but these are Imperial regulations.”

Luke heard snickers from across the ship. Unlike the other passengers, Luke hid his laughter, but couldn’t help the smirk that spread across his face. 

The two droids walked to the back of three craft, followed by the grumbling orange astromech soon after. Orange jumpsuit smirked triumphantly, before sitting back down. Yet, despite the fact that Orange Jumpsuit had just gotten the droid that harassed him to back off, Luke could feel that the triumphant aura he currently exuded wasn’t just because of that.

Something’s definitely going on here.


“Sentients, we are now approaching Garel,” The pilot said, turning back to the shuttle’s controls, “please stay seated as we jump out of hyperspace.”

Well, that sure was a fast trip, compared to getting off of Tatooine. And for what I had to pay for this ticket, too!

Beside him, Orange Jumpsuit yawned and stretched, tired out by the ride.

Soon after, Luke copied him, stretching his sore muscles as much as he could in the small space he had, before sitting back down.

“Phew,” Orange Jumpsuit said, “That was a wild ride.”

Luke chuckled.

“Yeah, it really was. Why was that droid after you anyway?”

Orange Jumpsuit paled a little and rubbed the back of his neck before answering.

“Uh… I may or may not have stolen something from his owner. Yeah. Stolen something.”

He smirked sheepishly.

Luke nodded along, pretending to believe him, but his suspicion grew even more.

Now, he was definitely sure the Force was nagging him. And that whatever it wanted him to know was important.


The shuttle began to go downward, taking Luke’s thoughts with it.

He was almost at his destination, and he still didn't know anything about it! After all, he hadn’t checked what Garel was even like before buying his ticket.

He had to see the planet he had ended up on, before they landed.  And he was seriously regretting not looking out the window when he traveled to Lothal. If he had done so, he would have avoided that whole situation. 

Luke turned towards the window, and then froze at the view.

Whoa!

The shuttle was hovering over the largest city he had ever seen, the buildings of which towered towards the sky and lit up the night like the bright stars in the Tatooine sky he had stared at so often as a kid, wishing to see what was beyond...

He was enchanted instantly.

“Pretty amazing, isn’t it?”

Orange Jumpsuit was leaning over his shoulder, also peering at the glittering cityscape below them. And despite his suspicious behavior, Luke couldn’t help but want to share his excitement.

“Yeah! I’ve never seen anything like it before, but, I haven’t really been around the galaxy too much…”

Orange Jumpsuit chuckled softly at his amusement, but didn’t do a good job of hiding his own.

“This your first time on Garel?”

Luke nodded, not turning away from the window.

He could hear Orange Jumpsuit shift behind him before he continued speaking.

“This isn’t my first time coming here, since my crew travels here sometimes, but I didn’t get a good look last time. Mind sharing for a moment?”

Luke nodded again and smiled, moving over to give him some room.

Orange Jumpsuit squeezed into the space Luke had cleared for him, and pressed his face to the cold plastisteel of the window.

“Whoa,” he said softly, mimicking Luke’s reaction from earlier, “if this is just Garel, then I can only imagine what Coruscant looks like!”

Orange Jumpsuit turned towards Luke and smiled toothily, and Luke smiled back, but his mind was elsewhere.

Coruscant… why did he say Coruscant, and not Imperial Center, like everyone else would these days?


The shuttle touched down smoothly, the door popping open as soon as it was securely on the ground. The droid pilot shut off, and the passengers began to stand and file off, one by one.

Luke got off the ship, and looked around the hangar, entranced.

Whoa! This is so clean! And where are the other ships? Are we in a separate hangar? I haven’t been in a port with separate hangars since I left Tatooine!

But, even though he was distracted by the hangar and the thoughts of what types of ships could even be in a place of nice, Luke still felt something nagging at him, like he was missing something.

What he failed to notice, however, was the Kid in the Orange Jumpsuit climbing up onto some crates, popping off a vent cover, and disappearing into the darkness of the port’s air vents.

Chapter Text

After looking at and examining the ships in a few of the hangars, Luke moved to the next open one, excited for the ships he was going to see inside. Even on the occasional day spent looking at ships with Ben at the Mos Eisley harbor, he had never seen any ships this new or this clean.

Guess Ben was right about ships off Tatooine, as usual. He usually is about this sort of stuff. I thought the ships he was referring to were a little bit spruced up compared to the ones at Mos Eisley, but I guess I was wrong.

And a good thing, too! Luke thought, taking another glance at one of the ships he had managed to sneak a look at. Most of the hangar doors were locked, and he had left those hangars alone due to common courtesy. But the ones that were left unlocked...

Why do people here leave their hangar doors open, anyway? If this were Tatooine, this ship would have been stolen already! And despite everything Ben had taught me about stealing for no reason, I would’ve probably been the one to take it!

If I could’ve figured out how to fly it...

He took one last, longing glance at the ship, and touched it for the last time, handling it as if his very touch wound break the ship.

And took a deep breath.

Luke stepped away from the ship before he had looked at it long enough to convince himself to steal it, and walked into the hallway.


Hangar 7.

Luke stood in front of the hangar door, not knowing exactly how he had gotten there, but somehow knowing that whatever was behind the door was important.

But what could possibly be there? A shipment of Lightsabers, or those Holocron things Ben talked about all the time? A ship belonging to a crew of Jedi survivors?

Nah, that probably won’t happen. The Emperor and Vader made sure of that years ago.

Luke sighed.

Why? Why, Ben, why?

Why didn’t you tell me the truth?

He sat down in front of the door, clutched his bag close to him, and sighed again for what seemed like the millionth time that night.

Luke was beginning to hope that whatever was coming would come after he had the chance to take a nap.

But that wasn’t the case.

All of a sudden, the lock turned green, and the door began to inch upwards. Luke made a split second decision to creep away from whoever was behind the door, in fear of  being spotted.

“Come on in guys,” a familiar voice said, “Hangar 7 is now open for business-”

Luke froze in his tracks.

What in the nine sith hells was he doing here?

The speaker stopped in the middle of his sentence, having realized Luke wasn’t the person he was supposed to be talking to.

Then he realized just who he was speaking with.

Luke looked towards the hallway, hoping for a quick escape.

“Wait, hold up. You’re not supposed to be here!”

Luke gestured to himself, perplexed by the recent turn of events, despite the suspicious behavior he had noticed earlier.

“Me?”

Orange Jumpsuit stepped out from the hangar he had just unlocked, and leaned on the doorframe.

“Yeah. You. Now would you kindly forget everything that happened here and leave, please?”


Luke put his hands up in a placating gesture, and backed away slowly. He could feel that despite Orange Jumpsuit kid’s scrawny looks, Orange Jumpsuit wasn’t one to be trifled with.

What he didn’t sense, however, was the bulk of the large sentient he crashed into.

“Oi, Spectre 6! What’s this?” A gruff voice bellowed from behind him.

A large, furry hand reached around from behind him and made it’s way around his neck. Luke, despite all of his training to react in situations like these, couldn’t get himself to move.

Then, a blaster was leveled at his head, seemingly from out of nowhere.

Luke looked up the barrel of the blaster and at its owner, a lithe figure clothed in the brightest armor he had ever seen.

“Yes, Spectre 6,” the woman with the blaster demanded, with her filtered voice. "Who is this?”

Is she wearing Mandalorian Armor? Wow, I’ve never seen any sets so brightly colored!

Luke had seen plenty of Mandalorian Armor on Tatooine, especially in Cantinas were Bounty Hunters hung out. But he had never seen any sets this complete.

Obi-Wan had pointed out Mandalorian Armor to him on one of their trips to Mos Eisley, telling him about his adventures on the planet of Mandalore during the Clone Wars. Despite the detail Ben told his stories in, Luke always knew that Obi-Wan was leaving something out of his stories about Mandalore. But he never knew just what.

And now, I guess I’ll never figure out, he thought bittersweetly.

Luke smiled at the woman in the Mandalorian Armor, hoping that he wouldn’t be shot where he stood. If what Obi-Wan said in his stories was true, it would be in character of her.

And from what he could tell from his travels so far, Obi-Wan was probably right.

“Oh, him!” Orange Jumpsuit exclaimed, “Yeah. I ran into him on the ship here, and -”

“We saw.” The being holding Luke’s neck said, squeezing slightly tighter to accentuate his statement.

“Of course you did, Zeb. You guys were sitting right in front of us,” Orange jumpsuit replied, smiling tightly. Luke wracked his brain, but then remembered seeing the top of a helmet with a bright pink paint job somewhere in front of him on the way to Garel.

Oh.

“But,” Orange Jumpsuit paused, looking to the side, “I really don’t know what he’s doing here.”

The being Luke supposed was named Zeb let go of Luke’s neck, and spun him around.

“So, kid,” Zeb said, squatting down to look Luke in the face. “What’re you doing out here?”

Chapter Text

“So, kid,” Zeb said, squatting down to look Luke in the face. “What’re you doing out here?”


 

Luke gulped, and then steeled himself. He was a Jedi, after all. He had been through worse things than this.

So why am I scared?

He cleared his throat before even thinking about answering Zeb’s question, not trusting himself to speak without accidentally saying something that would get himself killed or beaten up badly.

“Well, I was just checking out the ships in the harbor and then settled down for a nap by the hangar door, since I spent all my money on the ticket here…” Luke fizzled off, ashamed by his admission of being more broke than a homeless guy on Tatooine.

Zeb turned towards his armored companion.

“So, he’s basically useless. Shouldn’t we knock him out or something? Just so he doesn’t tattle.”

The Mandalorian shook her head, putting her blaster back in it’s holster on her thigh.

Well that’s surprising. I’d think she’d be all for it, judging by the blaster that was just by my head...

“If we knock him out,” she said, “We’ll just give him more of a reason to talk. And we don’t want that.”

That explains it.

“So,” Spectre 6 said from his spot by the wall, smoothing down his already unwrinkled orange pants. “What do we do with him?”

“Take him with us. Spectres 1 and 2 will know what to do with him, and if worst comes to worst, we’ll just give him to the Empire.”

Luke remained calm on the outside, but shuddered internally. He could barely stand one day in an Imperial Prison, how would he be able to deal with more? The Empire wasn't stupid enough to make it easy for him to escape twice!

Then the Mandalorian girl turned towards him.

“If you don’t cooperate with us, however, I won’t hesitate to shoot next time. Got it?”

Luke nodded. Something in him told that it was best to cooperate with these people.

Is this what the Force was supposed to be leading him to?

Zeb gestured towards him with his head, and then told Orange Jumpsuit kid to take him to their ship.

Orange Jumpsuit Kid sighed.

“Ugh. Fine.”

He went over to Luke, and held his wrists behind his back.

“Let’s get this over with.”


The kid in the orange jumpsuit dragged Luke into the hangar, his companions following them at his heels. The Mandalorian had whipped out her pistol again, but instead of holding it at Luke’s head, she held it ready at her side.

Zeb stood right behind Luke and Orange Jumpsuit, just in case Luke wasn’t as harmless or useless as they thought he was and Orange Jumpsuit needed backup.

Like I’d do anything at this point. It’s not like I have anywhere else to go!

Luke sighed again. He seemed to be sighing a lot the past hour.

Man, if I sigh any more, I’ll turn into Obi-Wan! He always seemed to be sighing about one thing I did or another…

...Or something my father did years ago.

Despite how much he loved Ben, Luke had been angry at how focused Ben was focused on his father, even believing Ben would rather focus his father than him.

Thoughts like that lead to the dark side, Luke.

Then he figured out why Obi-Wan had done so.

He didn’t want me to become my father , and did his best to try to keep me from sharing his fate . And now I never will be able to thank him for doing that. Or apologize for being wrong. 

I'm so sorry, Ben...

“Hey!” Orange Jumpsuit said, interrupting his thoughts, “Can't you back up just a little bit, Zeb? Pretty sure there isn’t anything else behind me that could smell that bad besides you, anyway.”

Zeb growled.

“Kid, if you have anything more to say about me smelling bad, I will gladly use whatever’s in those crates over there. And then bye-bye you.”

“Sure, Zeb. And then you’ll have to deal with Kanan.”

“Suit yourself, squirt. I’m pretty sure Kanan’ll side with me on this one.”

Who’s Kanan?

“Hey! He’d definitely side with me.”

“No he wouldn’t.”

“Yes he would!”

“No.”

“Yes!”

“No way.”

“Yuh huh!”

Judging by the way the Mandalorian was shaking her head, this was a frequent occurrence among them.

Luke stifled a giggle.

“Hey, kid!” Zeb grumbled, glaring at him. “What’s so funny, huh?”

Luke just smiled and shook his head, all traces of his earlier thoughts gone. 


The Corellian Freighter in front of him was one of the prettiest ships he had ever laid eyes upon.

Scratch that, it was the prettiest ship he had ever seen. It definitely beat that other Corellian freighter he had seen once back at Mos Eisley at least 10 to 1.

Force, that was one ugly ship. But at least I didn’t have to defend myself it’s copilot!

That was one more thing he never thanked Ben for: saving him from defending himself against an angry Wookie for making a snide comment about how ugly his ship with the power of negotiation.

What did that corellian pilot I fought.... Han or whatever his name was. What’d he say that scrap heap was called again? The Millennium Hawk or something?

Oh well, he thought, That guy’s ship was nothing compared to this.

He had only noticed that he had stopped in front of the ship when Orange Jumpsuit bumped into him.

“She’s awesome, isn’t she?”

Luke smiled softly.

“Yeah,” he replied, still in awe at the ship sitting in front of him. “She really is.”

He admired the ship, which still managed to look perfectly pristine despite the dents and scratches on its exterior.

“What it’s name?”

The Ghost.”

“Oh.”

Luke looked back up at the ship, absorbing its sleek appearance again.

“Huh. The name fits.”

“Definitely. Ya know, If you like what you see here, just wait ‘till you go in! Spectre 2 likes to keep it as pristine as she can in there, which really isn’t possible with Chopper on board...”

“Chopper?”

“Our droid. You’ve met him already.”

Luke could only come up with one option as to what droid Chopper could be.

“Oh, that droid! Wait, so if he belongs to you, then why was he after you back on Garel?”

And why take a transport here when you have a perfectly nice ship?

“Nuh uh uh,” Orange Jumpsuit said, waving his finger accusingly and then putting it to his lips, “Can’t tell you. It’s against the rules.”

He winked, and then smirked.

And then they heard the sound of blaster bolts.

Chapter Text

The sounds of blasterfire and yelling had interrupted Luke and Orange Jumpsuit's conversation, causing Orange Jumpsuit hurry Luke into the Ghost’s cargo hold, while he went out and helped his crewmates handle the disturbance.

“We’ll continue this chat later, blondie. See ya.”

One mock salute and a smirk later, Luke was left alone in an unfamiliar ship to contemplate the absurdity of his day.

Huh. Orange Jumpsuit guy was right. It is clean in here!

Luke smiled, thinking about his antics. It had only been a day since he had met him, and yet, during that day, Luke had come to be amused by his strange quirks.

They are what led me here, after all. If this is where I’m supposed to go...

Luke sat down against an old shipping crate, and let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding.

And then prepared for a long awaited nap.

It had been a long, long night.


After what seemed like forever, the ramp finally shut. In the meantime, however, Luke hadn’t gotten any chance to sleep.

Why is it that every time I try to take a nap, I’m interrupted?

The mandalorian girl and Zeb ran onto the deck, pushing along some crates. Behind them walked Orange Jumpsuit guy, who was coaxing along a couple of droids.

“Why do I always have to be on hostage duty? Can’t you guys get Zeb to do it, for once?”

Hostages?

Then Luke looked a little closer at the droids behind Orange Jumpsuit.

Oh, it’s those two droids from earlier! Well, at least I won’t be lonely down here…

The ship jerked, and then began to rise.

And despite his situation, Luke couldn’t get himself to regret going with it.


Once again, Luke couldn’t get himself to sleep. But this time, it wasn’t because of blasterfire.

It was because his fellow hostages wouldn’t be quiet.

“No, it’s your fault we’re stuck in the hands of criminals, you overweight glob of grease!” The golden protocol droid said. The two droids had been in the same argument for the entirety of the ride, for lack of anything else to talk about.

Luke was beginning to get a little tired of them, but since Orange Jumpsuit guy had gone up to the cockpit, he couldn’t get him to get them to shut up.

The astromech replied with a trilling beep, which Luke had heard a few of the nastier droids on Tatooine say occasionally.

“How rude!”

C3PO accented his statement by aiming a kick at his droid companion, which earned him an angry beep.

Luke took a deep breath in. Being angry would do him no good now.

After all, what would Ben say if he was? And only at two dumb droids anyway?

Calm down, Luke. Blowing up at random droids isn’t worth it.

Luke breathed out.

“Excuse me,” he ended up saying to his companions, “but will you please quiet down just a bit? I’m trying to nap.”

“Oh, dear!” the Protocol droid said, “I apologize for interrupting your rest, Master…”

“Luke. Just Luke. I’m not anyone’s master.”

The astromech droid let out a curious beep.

“Don’t act like that! Might I remind you that this is all your fault?”

Luke sighed. He just knew this wasn't going to go anywhere.

The gold-plated droid turned his attention back towards him.

“Well, sir, since you so kindly introduced yourself, I am C3PO, human cyborg relations, and my counterpart is R2D2. I apologize for his antics.”

C3PO? R2D2? These two were the droids Obi-Wan had spoken so highly of?

Well, I guess he forgot to mention how annoying they were… as well as a few other things I should have known!

“Say…”Luke inquired, “Did you ever know an Obi-Wan Kenobi at one point or another?”

The astromech immediately peeped up, beeping out a storm, but C3PO only looked towards his companion confusedly.

“What Kenobi? I’ve never belonged to any Kenobi's! Or Skywalker’s! We belong to Senator Bail Organa of Alderaan, and you know it! ”

Bail Organa? Who’s that? The name sounds a little familiar...

“Well, then how did you end up with Minister Tua, if she isn’t your...caretaker?”

R2D2 let out a few urgent beeps, turning his domed head towards his companion.

“No, I’m not giving him whatever crazy message you want me to give him!”

“Huh?” Luke turned towards the astromech. “What do you want to tell me?”

Luke guessed that if C3PO were human, he probably would have sighed. He knew he would’ve.

“Well, R2D2 here wants me to tell you that we’re apparently supposed to be on a secret mission of some sort...”

“A Secret Mission?”

“See, I told you he wouldn’t believe you!”

“No, no, I do! I’m just wondering… if it’s a secret mission, then why are you telling me about it?”

R2D2 swiveled his head towards Luke, and then let out a few solemn beeps.

“R2D2 says it’s because you’re a Skywalker, Master Luke. Therefore, you’re allowed to know.”

Luke suddenly found the floor rather interesting.

Was it still right for him to use his father’s name, after all that he had done?

When he wasn’t even there for me?

“Oh,” he ended up saying, before smiling up at his companions.

"Well, it's nice to know you guys consider me trustworthy. Thank you."


Orange Jumpsuit guy seemed to show up at the most random times. And occasionally, the most inconvenient.

“Hey, blondie! The boss wants to meet you.”

Chapter Text

Luke followed Orange Jumpsuit guy up to meet his boss, walking with him through the interior of the Ghost and towards the cockpit. They went through a hallway full of bunk rooms and a well-worn yet clean living room, Orange Jumpsuit guy pointing out the sights all the while.

“And that’s the sabacc table - but you probably knew that just looking at it. Sorry about the mess in here - we were in a bit of a hurry today and Spectre Two didn’t get time to clean, between this and everything else. And here’s the door to the cockpit! I’m gonna pop in real quick and then let you in, okay?”

Luke nodded, and Orange Jumpsuit kid walked through the door, and into the cockpit.

He was still wrapping his head around the talk he had had with C3PO and R2D2.

What’s their secret mission, though? And who is it from?

And why did he care? Their mission wasn’t his business, even if R2D2 had decided to tell him about it.

And only because I’m a Skywalker.

Because I’m his son.

Luke sighed.

The door opened.

“Alright blondie, you can come on in now. They’re ready to meet you.”

They? I thought I was just meeting the boss!

And indeed, after focusing a bit, he did sense more than one presence in the cockpit, some more powerful than others.

Well, I guess I finally get to meet everyone then...

Orange Jumpsuit turned back into the cockpit, gesturing for Luke to follow him.

And Luke followed him in.


Luke stepped into the cockpit after Orange Jumpsuit guy, the door sliding shut behind him. Orange jumpsuit proceeded to hop onto a chair and relax, while Luke stopped and looked around.

To the right of the cockpit, behind Orange Jumpsuit and the mandalorian girl, was the man with the goatee that Orange Jumpsuit guy had yelled when the droid was going after him on the way to Garel.

He was shocked by his appearance, but then he remembered that Orange Jumpsuit guy and the other two crew members he had already met were on the ship to Garel too.

Seriously, is there anyone on that ship who wasn’t some sort of terrorist with a mission? Not counting me, of course.

Huh, that sort of sounds like something Ben would say here! I wonder what he’d think of all this...

He smiled at the thought. It would definitely wouldn’t phase him at all, being held hostage by a band of ruffians. After all, he had fought in the Clone Wars, and been in worse situations.

He'd probably think I'm overreacting to everything. And he's probably right, but still...

Beside goatee man and behind Zeb was a friendly looking Twi-lek woman, wearing pilot’s gear. She smiled softly from the pilot’s seat and gave him a tiny wave.

Near the back skulked the old orange droid that had been chasing Orange Jumpsuit back on the ship, who glomped out a few low beeps and then proceeded to poke Orange Jumpsuit Guy in the thigh once again.

“Hey! Haven’t I have been victimized enough for one day?”

The droid poked him again.

“Chopper,” the pilot said, somehow managing to sound authoritative and gentle at the same time, “Lay off of him, at least for a little while. We have guests.”

Chopper let out a few sad beeps, and then returned to his skulking.

Luke caught Orange Jumpsuit Guy’s eyes. In return, Orange Jumpsuit gave him a smirk, and then nodded at him encouragingly.

He smiled back at him.

Then, he turned back to the front and finally began to speak.

“Hey. Nice to meet everyone.” He said, breaking the silence, “So, what’s going on here that I don’t already know about?”


Goatee man spoke first.

“Spectre 6,” he said, turning towards Orange Jumpsuit, “Just how much did you tell him about us?”

“Hey! Kanan! I didn’t tell him that much, really! Blondie here just figured most of it out.”

So that’s the Kanan mentioned earlier by Zeb and Orange Jumpsuit!

“Most of what out?”

“Uh…” Luke interrupted, “Well sir, I did manage to figure out that you went on that transport to Garel in order to get information about what was in that hangar, or something of that sort. Does that count?”

Goatee man chuckled a little, probably at Luke’s awkwardness.

“Close enough, kid. Close enough. So what’s your name?”

“Luke, sir.”

“Luke, huh. Do you have a last name?”

Should I tell them what it is?

No, no it’s too risky. Kanan and the Twi’lek lady seem old enough to recognize my last name in a heartbeat. And maybe even Zeb, now that I think about it...

“Uh… well, I don’t really have one.”

“Really.”

“Yeah.”

Kanan sighed, clearly not believing him, but considerate enough not to argue.

“Alright, Luke No-Last-Name, here’s what we were doing on Garel, since Spectre 6 finds you trustworthy, despite his habit for oversharing. Well…”


 “So you went on the ship to figure out where those crates were?”

“Yeah, just about.” Orange Jumpsuit guy answered. “How about you, Blondie? Why were you there?”

Why is he still calling me Blondie, even though he knows my name? Ah, oh well. It’s not like I really mind it...

“Uh… well, I just wanted to get off of Lothal, to be honest.”

“What? But Lothal is great!”

“Well, it is cold, wet, and full of stormtroopers, so I’m going to have to disagree with you there.”

Orange Jumpsuit guy shifted in his seat to face Luke.

“You have a point, blondie, but to me, it’s still home. So I gotta put up with it anyway, you know?”

Luke knew all too well. After all, he still missed Tatooine, even though he hated it there.

“Yeah,” he said solemnly, “I understand what you mean.”

The ship shuddered slightly, and the windshield’s view changed from the blue spirals of Hyperspace to a view of a planet that could only be one place, judging by the amount of green and brown on it.

Kriff.

Why did it have to be Lothal, of all places?

Chapter Text

 The Ghost touched down softly on a grassy plain, surrounded all around by stone mounds. As soon as the ramp opened, the ship's crew and their hostages departed, heading towards a seemingly unknown destination.

Luke looked around with wonder as they walked, taking in the new sights around him.

This is so different than the city I was in earlier. Huh! I never thought that this much green could be found in one place!


“Look at me, Luke,” Ben had said to him once, on the rare occasion they found a desert flower among Tatooine's plains of sand, “Remember, we must take care of this flower for as long as we can. After all, here on Tatooine, we don’t have the luxury of taking them for granted like those on other planets.”

“Wow, Ben!” Luke said in wonder, “There’s really that many flowers on other planets?”

“Why yes, young one” Ben responded, calm and composed as ever, “There are whole fields full of them on some other planets, sometimes. You will see them, one day.” Ben then looked up at the sky, melancholy once again about one regret or another.

Luke perked up at the thought.

“That’s awesome, Ben! Will I really ever be able to see that? It almost seems as if it can’t be possible, it’s too good to be true.”

Oh how naive he was. Anything was possible, especially the things he was sure could never happen. Especially the things that one doesn’t even think could be possible, in their innocence.

How else could Luke have figured out who his father truly was?

Ben smiled enigmatically as usual, but Luke could tell he was amused by his antics.

“As I said, you will one day, young Padawan. After all, we both know you’re destined for greater things than life here.”

Luke looked at the stars along with his teacher, wondering just what was up there.


Luke smiled at the bittersweet memory.

What can I say? He’s been right about most everything off of Tatooine so far.

Luke still wasn’t sure Ben was right about keeping certain other things a secret from him.

But there’s no use being mad about it, he thought, since it’s over and done. That’s what he would want, even if it’s hard not to be upset about everything…

Luke took a deep breath, and then looked back at the grassy plain around him.

He wasn’t sure if he would ever see so much of it in one place ever again.


Orange Jumpsuit guy fell into step next to him, herding C3PO and R2D2 in front of him. The two droids were oddly silent. If Luke had known them better, he would’ve thought they were up to something.

He wondered why the two droids hadn’t talked to him ever since their conversation in the Ghost’s docking bay. Was it something he did, or did the two droids get into even more trouble after he left?

He was a little disappointed. He would have loved to talk to them again.

I wonder, do they know what truly happened to my father? Or am I alone with that burden?

But why did that matter to him right now? He was walking in a field of grass more green than anything he had ever seen in his life!

He stopped reached down and picked off a piece, putting it in his bag.

Orange Jumpsuit paused with him, looking at him quizzically.

“What are you doing?”

Luke looked up at him.

“Oh! I’m just taking a piece of grass, as a keepsake.”

“Huh? But I thought you hated it here!”

“I do,” He replied, “but I’ve never seen so much grass in my life! It’s amazing!”

“Wait, wait. What?”

Orange Jumpsuit turned towards his comrades.

“Hey, guys! Did you know that this is the most grass blondie here’s ever seen?”

Zeb answered him immediately.

“Karabast kid, can you shut up for one second? We’re on an important mission here!”

“Gee, somebody’s just a little too cranky today,” Orange Jumpsuit mock whispered into Luke’s ear. Luke silently agreed. He could’ve sworn he sensed an unusual amount of anger emanating off of the large being in front of him.

Zeb snarled at them, and then turned back towards the grass in front of him, his aggression easily tangible even to people who couldn’t use the force.

The twi’lek pilot, who had introduced herself as Hera during the meeting in the cockpit, gave Orange Jumpsuit a significant look. While Luke didn’t understand what the gesture conveyed, his companion obviously did.

Orange Jumpsuit guy paled.

“Sorry, Zeb,” he muttered, suddenly somber.

Zeb huffed, as angry as he was a minute ago, but choosing not to comment on Orange Jumpsuit guy’s behavior.

The crew walked on towards their destination, in silence.

What’s going on with them?


 

A horned Devaronian with Green skin was waiting for them at a clearing, armed with two tall droids.  Luke recalled seeing similar droids at cantinas sometimes, accompanying bounty hunters to one job or another. 

Is he trying to be intimidating?

“Ah, Mr. Jarrus!" the Devaronian greeted Kanan, "You’ve finally arrived with my shipment. Or is it just with another few stray new members?”

Everyone looked towards Orange Jumpsuit and Luke, and the two droids hanging near them. R2D2 seemed to be beeping angrily at C3PO for another infraction of some sort, once again. 

Luke smiled. Those two droids were sure growing on him.

Kanan glared at Vizago, and shoved his crates forward.

“Here’s your shipment, Vizago.” Kanan said sternly, “All set to go and untampered with.”

Vizago opened a crate, and took out a long, cylindrical object that almost looked like a blaster rifle.

But it’s obviously not a blaster, so what is it?

“Oh," Vizago purred, "what beautiful music I can make with these!”

“They’re not that kind of instrument!”

Everyone turned towards Zeb, who was sitting at the edge of the clearing with a snarl on his face. He stood up and crossed his arms, as to accentuate his sudden statement.

“Ah, well, you see, you really just have to know how to play them. And how to play those who want to buy them.”

Vizago had the audacity to wink at Kanan after this, who glared back at him in return.

“Well, you’ll have to buy them from us first,” Orange Jumpsuit guy said, glaring at Vizago in a rather threatening manner, yet still somehow seeming to lean relaxedly onto a crate.

He was good at hiding his emotions, Luke gave him that.

“Finally!” Vizago said, smirking. “Someone on your crew who understands business. So how much are you going for here?”

“We’ll negotiate that later,” Kanan said, “Let’s just get this over with.”


After almost all of the crates were loaded on Vizago’s speeders, the Ghost crew and their hostages prepared to leave.

And hopefully for good, too. Luke thought. Even if the grass was pretty wizard… I wonder if I’ll see something like that ever again.  

“So,” Orange Jumpsuit Guy said, “What do you think?”

“Hm,” Luke said looking up at the cloudy sky, “I didn’t think that Vizago fellow gave us too bad of a bargain. I mean, I’ve met with worse guys before…”

“Worse? Yeah, honestly, me too. But dang, blondie, you don’t seem like the type who’d meet with those sorts of guys!”

Luke shrugged nonchalantly.

Well then, just wait I tell you what planet I’m from!

Orange Jumpsuit smirked at him, and Luke smiled back.

Their reverie was interrupted by the sound of a nearby engine.

“What was that?” The mandalorian girl said, looking towards the source of the noise.

Vizago whipped out one of the rifle-looking things from a crate, and then used its scope to peer into the clouds. 

After one second of looking, he strode over to them, a murderous expression on his face.

“You scoundrels!” Vizago yelled. “You led them right to me!”

He pointed at the smoggy sky.

The clouds parted to reveal an Imperial Cruiser, with its guns out and with two walkers fastened securely to it.

And it was flying right toward them.

Chapter Text

Hey guys!

I only just realized after I finished rewatching "Droids in Distress" fully that there was an issue with the way I wrote the end of Chapter 11 before 12/7/18, so if you've read it already before you got this announcement, please go back and reread the section now so you understand the next chapter. Thanks for your patience! Sorry about all this...

On the flipside, however, I did (finally) remember to publish some of the art I did for this fic. So here it is:

 

(yes, Luke has the Moisture Farmer poncho. And that jacket he got on Lothal that I only mentioned like once. Poor boy.)

Thanks for looking, and see you all next update!

Chapter Text

“You scoundrels!” Vizago yelled. “You led them right to me!”

He pointed at the sky.

An imperial cruiser flew closer, guns out and with two walkers fastened underneath it.

And it was flying right toward them.


“Vizago!” Kanan said, grabbing the devaronian’s arm, “You haven’t paid us yet!”

Vizago wrenched himself free and hopped onto his mostly loaded speeder, and one of his robots followed suit.

“Cikatro Vizago doesn’t pay for just part of a shipment. Or trouble with the imperials.”

His robot revved up the speeder’s engine, and Vizago proceeded to speed away from the clearing as fast as he could, leaving those left there to fend for themselves.

The Ghosts stood in silence, not knowing what to do.

“Well,” the mandalorian girl said, “Are we going to follow him?”

Kanan shook his head.

“There’s still half of the disruptors left in the clearing. And we need to make sure that they don’t fall into the Empire’s hands.”

So they’re called disruptors! I’ve never heard of them before. Huh.

“Sabine!” Kanan commanded the mandalorian girl, “Destroy their guns!”

“On it,” she replied, ”Now you’re finally speaking my language. I’ll go grab my gear.”

She began to run back to the ship, only to be interrupted by R2D2.

“R2D2!” C3PO cried, “What are you doing?”

R2D2 bleeped out something, which Luke could tell was much less harsh than the things he said to C3PO back on the ship.

“Joining the crew? What sort of nonsense is this!”

R2D2 supplied himself with a retractable arm, and grabbed a disruptor out of one of the crates, beeping all the while.

“Of course!” The mandalorian girl replied, “Overload the systems and Boom!”

She patted R2D2’s head fondly.

“Good call, little guy! You can join our crew anytime.”

“Well, short my circuits,” C3PO murmured, astounded. Chopper let out some angry beeps in agreement.

The rest of the crew ran over to the disruptors, having heard what The mandalorian girl had planned.

“Hera, help Sabine open the crates! Zeb, Ezra, line ‘em up!”

Orange Jumpsuit guy’s name is Ezra?

Orange Jumpsuit guy caught him looking, and blanched. He didn’t seem like he wanted Luke to find out his name for some reason.

Luke smiled at him reassuringly.

It’s okay. I don’t mind.

Orange Jumpsuit Guy looked back at him, determination all over his face, and then set to his task as best as he could.


Meanwhile, Kanan grabbed a disruptor from one of the crates, and began to walk over to one of the clearings.

What's he doing? 

Kanan shouldered the disruptor and began to walk over to the other end of the clearing.

“I’m going to go deal with their walkers. I'll be right back.”

If these disruptors are so dangerous that the Ghosts don't want the Empire getting their hands on them, then why is he using them to deal with the ship? Ben wouldn't want this... 


 "An old Jedi proverb states that one must be merciful to their enemies, even if they aren't to you."

"Why though?" a younger Luke questioned Ben. He had done that a lot in those early days of his apprenticeship, when he was fresh from his uncle's farm and the horrors that his guardians had endured. "The Tuskens weren't merciful to Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru when they... when they..."

Luke swallowed, the grief of their deaths still fresh in his mind.

He clenched his fists, tears pressing against the backs of his eyes.

"Why should I be nice to them back?"

"Peace, young one." Ben replied cooly, "Revenge is not the Jedi way." 

Luke had needed to hear that, back when his Uncle and Aunt's deaths were still fresh. 

And both that and the concept of mercy had stuck with him from then on.

Luke sighed impatiently, a habit that had been tempered in later years by Ben's kindness and the Jedi training imparted upon him.

"That doesn't answer my question, though!"

"Well young Luke, being merciful to your enemies puts you above them morally, because if they deem it alright to hurt and kill fellow beings, then their morals are, well, rather skewed, don't you think?" 

Ben smiled mysteriously. 

"I do think that the Jedi would have done well to have remembered this, during the Clone Wars. We often forgot to do the right thing. War often does that to you."

Luke nodded. 

"If you say so, Ben."


 Luke followed Kanan away, trusting the others to be able to do what they needed to.  

“Uh, excuse me, but do you need any help?”

Kanan stopped at the edge of the clearing. He shouldered the disruptor, and began to aim it. The walkers had detached from the carrier, slowly lumbering their way towards them.

“No, kid. I’m fine. Go help the others.”

Luke stayed. He knew the others would be fine without him.

"There has to be another way to do this, right? If you're scared of these disruptors that you doesn’t even want them used on the Empire, then why are you using them now?”

Kanan grunted.

“This is war, kid. We do what we can with what we have, even if it's not the best option. I'm sorry."

“There's gotta be something around here that can do what your disruptor can, but without the repercussions.”

“No way. Imperial walkers are too tough to be toppled by anything else around here.”

Luke shook his head. He was getting frustrated, for the first time in quite a while. 

Focus, Luke! There's always another way!

“There’s something else we can do. I can feel it.”

“Hn.”

Luke looked around, trusting his instincts.

Empty crates, a stack of lids, rusty laser rifles-

His eyes rested upon a large reel of towing cable.

And then the idea hit him.

Luke remembered how, when he was a kid, some of the others would trip over the eopies at Tosche Station by wrapping their legs with cable, cutting off their support and sending them toppling to the sand. He remembered being horrified at the Eopie's treatment. 

But now, he couldn't find it in himself to be horrified. It was better than the alternative, after all. 

He couldn’t resist the smirk on his face.

The walkers didn’t stand a chance.


“I think I’ve found something.”

“What, kid?”

Luke pointed to the reel of tow cable.

“I’ll run up to that walker,” he explained, pointing at one of the walkers, “and wrap this around its legs. Then, it’ll topple.”

“Huh. That’s sound.” Kanan replied, “But extremely dangerous. If you’re going to do it, you’re not going without help.”

“No offense, sir, but I think I can do it alone. I wouldn’t want to put you at risk.”

Kanan huffed in disbelief.

“Sure kid. Whatever you say. It’s not like I’m at risk here too. But, it doesn’t look like there’s enough cable for both the walkers. How’re you going to cut it?”

Luke sighed.

This was it.

The time when Kanan and the Ghost Crew would either accept him for who he was, or toss him to the walkers.

And for once, Luke couldn’t sense the outcome.

He rummaged through his bag, and got out his lightsaber, feeling it’s comfortable weight in his hand.

“With this.”


 Kanan took a deep breath in upon seeing the weapon in his hand.

“That's a lightsaber.”

Luke nodded, suddenly finding his feet very interesting.

“You know how to use it.”

It was a statement, not a question. Almost as if Kanan could sense his power…

Luke eyes widened. Was Kanan what he thought he was?

Instead of voicing his suspicions, however, Luke opted to nod confidently at his companion. After all, Obi-Wan hadn’t taught him nothing in the years he had lived with him.

Kanan sighed, and rummaged around in his belt compartments a little bit, until he found what he was looking for.

He pulled out two cylinders, and then screwed them together, creating a very familiar looking object.

The newly-formed lightsaber in Kanan's hand lit up.

Luke smiled. He wasn't alone anymore!

“Then no way I'm I letting you do this alone. Grab the tow cable, kid."

The normally serious older Jedi let a rare smirk light his face.

"Let’s go topple some walkers.”

Chapter Text

Blaster Fire rained around Luke and Kanan, scorching the ground around them, but never hitting their mark. Even despite their Jedi reflexes, Luke and Kanan found the blasts increasingly hard to dodge.

Kriff! This is tougher than I thought it would be!

"Kid!" Kanan called, holding up the remainder of the tow cable, "Catch!"

Kanan threw one end of the tow cable to him, and Luke caught it smoothly, ready to move into action.

The two jedi ran apart from each other, pulling the rope taut. Then, on an unspoken and unseen signal, they began to run around the walker, quickly surrounding its legs with rope.

Kanan attached the tow cable's magnetic clamp to one of the walker's legs, and then got out of it's range as fast as possible. Luke followed the elder jedi, making sure that they were far enough away that the walker wouldn't fall on them.

Suddenly, The blaster fire around them stopped.

The walker slowly began to tilt, and then, finally fell onto its head, fatally crippled.

Luke cheered internally. They did it!

He smiled slightly, and then took a deep breath to calm himself. He could feel that it wasn't over yet.

There's something behind us.

The blaster shots had almost hit them, but Luke and Kanan dodged each blast with ease. However, that wasn't enough.

Luke drew his lightsaber, ready to retaliate, but Kanan shoved his hand down.

"No, you shouldn't reveal yourself yet. Here," he said, drawing his blaster and handing it to Luke, "Use this."

Luke accepted the blaster.

"Thank you."

Luke aimed the blaster and fired, hitting a stormtrooper square in the chest. He kept firing, intent on taking down the soldiers in front of him as fast as possible.

Kanan drew his lightsaber, and joined the fray.


Well, that's over with.

Luke and Kanan walked back to Vizago's clearing, tired and slightly giddy from their victory. Even so, Luke had a nagging feeling that something was going on.

All of a sudden, he heard a yell from the other side of the clearing.

"No!"

Luke and Kanan tensed.

Ezra!

The two jedi ran as fast as they could towards the sound of the voice, worried.

Only to see an Imperial in a funny looking helmet fly straight into a rock, without even having been pushed.

The two Jedi stopped running.

Ezra knelt down on the grass, breathing heavily.

Luke's eyes widened, and he ran over to the blue-haired teen, worried.

"Are you okay?"

Ezra looked up at him, smirking.

"I'm just fine, blondie. I think the real question is are you okay?"

Luke nodded repeatedly and sat down by the other teen, thinking hard.

Did he just force push that guy?

Zeb, who had been being attacked by the helmeted imperial, stood up, brushing off his jumpsuit.

"Kanan," he said, "Thanks for the assist."

Kanan shook his head.

"That wasn't me, Zeb."

Zeb looked at Ezra, dumbstruck.

Luke looked at Ezra, and began to smile, wider than he had since before Obi-Wan's death.

Ezra smirked back, his smile as radiant as the Tatooine sun.


Luke, the two droids, and the crew returned to the Ghost, tired out from their battle.

"Phew," Sabine said, taking off her helmet and wiping the sweat away from her forehead, "that was a close one."

Luke stared at her, entranced.

Wow, her hair color is so cool! I'd love to try that out sometime...

"Yeah," Zeb replies, resting his bo rifle on an empty crate. "Too close."

Ezra stopped walking and leaned against the docking bay wall, looking as nonchalant as ever.

He turned to Zeb.

"You gonna thank me for saving your butt or not?"

The lasat scoffed, and turned away.

"Hey! A thank you would be nice, you know?"

Zeb snarled, annoyed.

"Thank. You," he ground out, and then returned to his skulking.

Ezra sighed, and then smirked.

"Well, that's more like it."

R2D2 chose that moment to beep something out.

"Yeah little buddy," Sabine replied, "we'll get you back to your owner as soon as possible. Just lemme fetch Kanan so he can comm them…"

Sabine walked out of the room, heading towards the cockpit, and the room was silent once again.

R2D2 turned to C3PO, and let out a long string of beeps that only his companion would understand.

C3PO looked as affronted as only a droid could.

"Well then!" he replied, "That was actually rather polite! How strange."

Luke unsuccessfully hid a chuckle.

Things were beginning to look up.


Kanan, after returning the two droids to their rightful owner, called Ezra and Luke over to talk with him in the cockpit.

Ezra and Luke sat down on the chairs, one obviously more nervous than the other, despite his normal languid pose. Luke, however, sat down on his chair in the he usually did: back straight and facing the person in front of him.

Kanan stopped his pacing, and turned to the two teenagers.

"So, Ezra," he said, "I think you know what I'm here to talk with you about."

Ezra perked up.

"This about Jedi Training?"

Kanan nodded.

Ezra hummed, and then asked another question.

"Does this mean I finally get to start doing stuff?"

"I suppose."

Ezra smiled widely, excited.

"Awesome."

Kanan let another rare smile show, but this time, it was a smile of teacherly concern and pride. Luke had seen it on Old Ben's face more times than he could count.

"You've shown potential, Ezra. It's time for you to use it."

Somehow, Ezra beamed even wider.

And then Kanan turned towards Luke.

"Luke," he said. "Would you like to join us?"

Luke smiled sadly, and took a deep breath, getting ready to speak.

"My master… he always said a Jedi should learn what he could whenever he could, that there always was something to learn wherever you went. But… I don't know if I'm quite ready to resume learning yet."

With Ben's death being so fresh, I think I can allow myself a little more time to grieve.

Kanan nodded again.

Ezra looked at him, eyes wide.

Luke smiled serenely at him.

"Alright. May I ask, though. Who was your master?"

Luke suddenly sobered.

I can feel that it isn't time to tell them. Not yet.

"I'm sorry," he said, "But I don't think I can tell you that right now."

"Take your time. Is he still around?"

Luke shook his head, tears coming unbidden into his eyes. He took a deep breath, and wiped them off of his face, chastising himself for his lack of control.

Ben would be so ashamed.

Ezra squeezed his shoulder in a show of camaraderie, and then retreated back into his personal space.

"Are you a Jedi too?" Ezra asked, almost in a whisper.

Luke shook his head.

"Not yet. I'm still an apprentice. Like you."

Ezra nodded.

Then, Kanan spoke up.

"Luke, would you like to stay with us for the time being, or are you going to go on your own way?"

Luke sat and thought for a minute.

Then, he nodded at the elder Jedi.

"The force led me here for a reason, and I don't really have anywhere else to go. So I'll stay. At least, for now."

Chapter Text

Luke woke up early on that day, as he had learned to do under Obi-Wan’s tutelage. He slipped away from the bunk room that Kanan had been forced to share with him as quietly as he could, and made his way to the living room, heavy with sleep.

Man, I could kill for some caf right now.

It was one of the less savory habits he had picked up Old Ben during his time as his apprentice, but it always worked to wake him up. Even if he wished he didn’t rely on it to wake up all the time.

Sadly. But, even Ben wasn’t above worldly addictions. Even he claimed to be so.

Luke smiled.

Oh, Ben. I hope no one here’s as addicted to caf as you were…

He made his way over the caf machine, and put in a pack, waiting for it to brew.

Luke poured himself a cup, and then sat down by the Sabacc table to savor it.


Lothal’s sun began to rise into its sky, and as it did, the Ghost crew began to rise into wakefulness.

Luke was sipping his caf when Hera appeared, all dressed and ready to go,

“Good morning, “ she said softly, as to not wake the other crew members.

Luke smiled and returned her greeting, beginning to feel more awake.

Hera smiled back, and then proceeded to pour herself a cup of caf with practiced ease. She settled down on the other side of the sabacc table, joining Luke in comfortable silence.

Kanan woke next, tiredly walking over the the caf machine, pouring himself a large cup, and then proceeding to slam it down on the sabacc table.

Hera patted his back reassuringly, and Kanan grunted in response.

Luke was suddenly reminded of his aunt and uncle, especially after a rough day during the harvest.

Huh.

Sabine walked by, hurriedly poured herself a cup of caf, and then left the room. Hera kept rubbing reassuring circles onto Kanan’s back, murmuring softly.

Then, they heard a crash, and yelling.

Zeb and Ezra! What’s going on?

Luke ran towards their room and opened the door, only to be greeted by the fact that Ezra’s bed had fallen on top of Zeb, with Ezra on it.

Huh?

Ezra looked at him, wide-eyed.

“Someone got rid of the screws on my bed!”

Zeb groaned.

“Ugh, karabast! Get this stupid kid off of me!”

“Hey! I’m not as stupid as you, you wannabe wookiee!”

Sabine’s raucous laughter rang out from the room next door, causing the two occupants of the room to grumble even more.

Well at least someone’s amused… personally, I’d say that this is definitely not the way I wanted to wake up today!

“Enough!”

Kanan shot up from besides Hera, and stormed over towards Ezra and Zeb’s room with more speed than even Obi-Wan would have been capable of at that hour.

“Luke, can you help me lift Ezra’s bed?”

Luke nodded, and closed his eyes. The force sang to him, and he called back to it.

Ezra’s bed lifted into the air, and softly landed next to the bunks, passenger unharmed.

Kanan looked a little startled.

“Huh, I didn’t even have to move.”

Then he smiled softly at Luke.

“Nice job, kid.”

Ezra sat on the bed, jaw dropped.

“Whoa, Kanan! When can I learn how to that?”

Hera stormed up to the room, arms crossed.

Ezra gulped, and Zeb stared at her, the normally stern looking Lasat looking just a little bit scared.

Kanan looked at her, and despite his Jedi training, still looked afraid.

“Well, maybe soon. But you probably want to listen to what Hera has to say first.”


“I need you two to run an errand for me, while Sabine is fixing the bunks.”

Luke and the rest Ghost Crew sat around the sabacc table, listening to what Hera had to say about this morning’s catastrophe.

Zeb and Ezra glared at each other from across the table, their fight not forgotten. Luke smiled at Ezra in a vain attempt to get him to calm down a little, but knew that nothing he was doing was working.

“Huh?” Zeb spoke up first, “Me and the squirt? No way am I gonna work with that annoying little twerp!”

“Yeah!” Ezra interjected, “Why can’t I go with Blondie or something? He’s way more agreeable!”

Hera stared them down, and Luke knew then that their efforts to sway her were futile.

“Because I said so. Now, here’s the errand…”


While Zeb and Ezra went to go pick up Hera’s Meilooruun fruit, Luke and Hera sat at the sabacc table, enjoying a game of sabacc.

“Full Sabacc,” Hera called, showing her hand, “you lose.”

Luke groaned, and put his face into his hands.

“Ugh, why am I so bad at this? My master was always so good at it!”

Hera smiled at him reassuringly.

“Well, Luke, you didn’t do that badly! You almost beat me during the second round.”

“Yeah, that’s true. My master did tell me to look more at the bright side sometimes. But…”

“Mhm hm?”

“It’s my Sabacc face that’s the problem isn’t it?”

“Your sabacc face is fine, Luke.”

But Luke could definitely sense that Hera was lying.


Zeb and Ezra returned back to the Ghost, Meilooruun in hand.

“That wasn’t so hard, wasn’t it?” Hera said, looking at the exhausted expressions on Zeb and Ezra’s faces.

Zeb and Ezra looked at each other, dumbfounded.

“That?” Ezra said, “Easy? We ran into a bunch of imps!”

“What the squirt said! It took forever! And there was even this part where he came up with this stupid plan to…”

“To? To what?”

Ezra gulped.

“Uh… Hera, we might have stolen a TIE fighter. Maybe.”


“You’re not keeping it.”

Ezra groaned.

“But Hera! We could learn to fly it, or use it for parts -”

“This discussion is over, Ezra.”

Ezra slumped.

“Aww, man…”


 

Later that day, Ezra came up to Luke when Hera wasn’t around, and smirked conspiratorially.

“We kept the TIE fighter."

Luke nodded. But, internally, he rolled his eyes.

Of course he did.

"Just, uh... don't tell Hera, okay?" he added, smiling innocently.

Luke smiled back.

"I won't tell her, but on one condition."

Ezra raised an eyebrow. 

"You let it me fly it at least once."

Ezra smirked. 

"Deal."

Chapter Text

Luke paced back and forth across the Ghost’s living room. Worries flew through his head, threatening to consume him.

What if Ezra’s caught? He thought. What if he can’t get the data reader out? What if -

He stopped walking and took a deep breath, releasing his worry into the force as he had been taught to do so many long years ago.

Almost a lifetime ago.

Besides, it wasn’t like Old Ben had time to worry in the thick of the Clone Wars, surrounded by the thick of battle. Why was he worrying? Ezra was clever and hard to catch, as he showed when they trained. He would probably be fine.

Probably.

Luke shoved that thought out of his mind before he could properly process it. Worry had no place in his mind right now.

He wondered if his father ever worried about anything.

Definitely, he concluded, He's still human behind all those droid parts . Even if he’s committed terrible war crimes in the blink of an eye. 

Without his father’s love, Luke concluded, he never would have existed. Obi-Wan may not have told him a lot about his mother, but Luke just knew that his father loved her. And probably worried about her too, back before he fell.

Luke sighed.

He needed to meditate. He hadn’t meditated since before the hassle at the Imperial Prison...


The door in front of then opened with a quiet whoosh, revealing the prisoner within.

The Jedi and the two apprentices stepped into the cell silently, taking great pains to make sure that their approach wouldn’t be noticed. This mission was the hinge between life or death for them. The survival of their ways, or their end.

They approached the Prisoner.

“Is it really her?” Ezra asked, looking curiously at the Prisoner.

The Prisoner looked at them, blue eyes wide with an inexplicable terror and sadness. She had no need to say anything about what had happened to her within these walls.

“Yes,” Kanan replied solemnly.

Luke took a long look at the emaciated form of Luminara Unduli. Was this really the jedi master Obi-Wan had told him of?

Something was off.

“Kanan, I think there’s something wrong with her.” Luke said, peering closer at the old Jedi master.

The Prisoner stood up, and approached them.

“Master?” Kanan questioned, concern lacing his voice.

Luminara Unduli looked away, and walked towards a box in the wall. Just as she reached in, her form shivered away, melting into the wall.

A hologram?

Luminara Unduli’s dead face stared at them from the box’s window.

“What happened to her?” Ezra asked. “I don’t understand.”

“What happens to every Jedi in the Empire, Ezra,” Luke replied solemnly, “Death.”

“The young man is right,” a voice added, “it’s not too complicated.”

An utapauan man stood at the door, dressed in a black and grey imperial uniform. His yellow eyes stared at them, seeming to burrowing into their souls.

He drew out something from behind his back, and lit it, the lightsaber’s blade glowing a bright crimson.

A Sith!

Luke drew his lightsaber, ready to ignite it.

No, he thought, There are only two Sith at a time. And those two are the Emperor and Vader. This man...this man is something else.

The man walked down the stairs that led into the cell, staring down at his quarry.

The door slid shut behind him.


“We’ve been standing by for weeks,” Luke heard Kanan say through the cockpit door. “I’m sick of this.”

Hera’s smooth voice replied.

“You’re worried about Ezra, aren’t you.”

“I’m not worried about the kid,” Kanan shot back, voice filled with fake heat, “I’m worried about the op.”

He sighed.

“What were we thinking, putting him undercover?”

“What were we thinking?” Hera asked back, “This was your idea!”

“He’s just not ready!”

“Then why didn’t we send Luke out?”

Silence emanated from the other room.

“It’s not like Luke would be any better, Hera. They’re both so young…”

“They are. But they’re fighting the Empire too. And if we try to stop them, they’ll just do it behind our backs. It’s better if we’re there for them in their times of need than not.”

“What if Ezra gets caught?”

Then we bust him out, Luke thought, Or I'll do it myself.

“Well, he hasn’t been caught so far?”

“The minute he gets the decoder, Zeb gets him out of there.”

Luke could feel Hera roll her eyes.

“That’s the plan, Kanan.”

“I should have done it myself.”

“Oh, yeah. You’d make quite a cadet.”

Luke turned away from their conversation.

I guess I’ll come back to ask if I can join Sabine and Zeb planetside later, then.


Kanan drew his lightsaber, squaring off against the strange Jedi Hunter.

“Yes,” the utapauan man continued, “I’m afraid Master Luminara died with the old Republic. But her bones serve the Empire well, luring the last Jedi to their dismal ends.”

Ezra looked from side to side, harried, and then raised his comm to his mouth.

“Spectre 3, come in! It’s a trap!”

Static was his only reply.

“There will be no reinforcements,” the utapauan man stated, looking down upon the three Jedi like they were some sort of filth.

Luke lit his lightsaber and then stepped back, moving his arms so that his fingers pointed at the space in front of him from his ear and his saber was in front of him.

The first stance of Soresu, Ben had called it.

And, yet, one of the last moves Ben had ever taught him.

Kanan charged into the fray, and the Jedi Hunter stood to meet him.

Chapter Text

Luke was in the cockpit, waiting for Hera and Kanan to answer his question, when the commlink rang.

“Spectre 5 to Ghost,” he heard Sabine say over the comm, “Something went wrong. Spectre 6 didn’t get the device and he didn’t come out.”

“Copy that,” Hera replied calmly, “We’ll give him one more day.”

“Roger,” Sabine replied, and then the connection cut off.

Hera turned to Kanan, and then back to him.

“So, what were you going to ask?”

Luke shook his head.

“I’ll, uh… ask it later.”

He turned around and left the cockpit.


Kanan charged at the Inquisitor, lightsaber blazing. The Inquisitor parried his strikes easily, as if they were nothing but air.

“Interesting,” The Inquisitor mused, “It seems you trained with Jedi Master Depa Billaba.”

“How-” Kanan stuttered, backing away from his opponent. “Who are you?”

The Inquisitor and Kanan continued to duel, the sounds of their lightsabers masking Ezra’s surreptitious movements. He snuck around the Inquisitor and stood behind his back, waiting to strike.

Behind Kanan, Luke stood still, lightsaber still in his hand.

What if he couldn’t help? He thought. While he had been in numerous fist and gun fights, he had never actually dueled with a lightsaber before. But Ben had trained him to beat Vader, and this Sith wannabe was nowhere near his level.

He took a deep breath.

He could do this.

“Hey!” he called, shifting his stance once again. “Fight me, not him!”

And he stepped towards the fight, lightsaber at the ready.


For once, Luke couldn’t get himself to take a nap.

He tossed and turned on his bunk, agitated by the day’s events. Why hadn’t Ezra come back yet?

And why had he underestimated the Inquisitor so severely? If he could barely even hold up against him, what was he going to do against Vader?

His own father.

His father, who had decades of experience on him, even with his cybernetic limbs. The man who was known as the Jedi Killer, who had slaughtered hundreds of Jedi without any qualms. Who seemed so cold and unflappable that most citizens of the Empire didn’t even know if he was an organic being or a droid.

What was he going to do?

Luke turned towards the door and stared at it through the darkness, bleary eyed.

He needed to do something. To get up, to train, to pace in circles. Anything but sitting in bed and brooding over things he couldn’t change.

Or could he?

Of course! He thought, I could practice my katas! Like I used to with Ben!

It was so obvious, it was a wonder he couldn't see it. Old Ben must’ve been rolling around in his grave at Luke’s stupidity.

Luke got out of bed, and grabbed his lightsaber. He had katas to run through.


“Ah, another one,” The Inquisitor taunted, “How utterly predictable.”

Luke stepped towards his new opponent slowly and steadily, angling his lightsaber in front of him.

The Inquisitor stepped away from Kanan, and stepped towards him in turn, holding out his lightsaber with one hand. He stood tall, assured of his victory.

Luke would change that fast.

The two combatants stepped towards each other and lunged, their blades meeting with a loud crash. They struck each other again and again, but neither of them hit their mark.

He’s good, Luke thought, But I have a chance. I have to have one.

The Inquisitor stepped towards the side, and feinted a strike to the right. But Luke saw right through him, and blocked his assault with a counterstrike of his own, sweeping the Inquisitor’s blade up and away. Taking advantage of the Inquisitor’s state of unbalance, he lunged to the side, striking at his opponent’s shoulder.

His strike hit, and the inquisitor hissed as the blue blade went through his shoulder armor, piercing the skin beneath.

But the Inquisitor had a counter in mind.

The Inquisitor took advantage of his raised blade, and aimed a blow at Luke’s back, which was exposed to him.

But Luke saw it in the nick of time.

He stepped behind the Inquisitor, twisting away from his strike and stepping away. He recentered his stance, and raised his lightsaber in preparation for the next strike.

The Inquisitor recovered from his failed strike and stood, turning to face Luke once again.

“You’re skilled. Very skilled.”

The Inquisitor raised his blade again.

“But you’re no match for me.”

Luke just raised his blade, and charged in again. But this time, he didn’t do as well as he thought he would.

He only figured out what he did wrong later: instead of staying on the defensive, he chose to move to the offensive, striking hard and at the Inquisitor. But as Obi-Wan had told him many a time, “The best offense is a good defense.” It was a shame he forgot that lesson.

The tip of the inquisitor’s blade was right by his throat, ready to strike.

Luke froze.

He had been in this situation many times when he sparred against Ben, but he had never been on the losing end of an actual fight. And for the first time in a long time, he was scared. Really, truly scared. Not even the Tuskens that had killed Ben had scared him this much.

What was he going to do?

But before that fear could consume him, he was saved by two short blasts from an energy slingshot.

“Luke!” Ezra called from the doorway, Kanan at his side, “Come on! Hurry!”

Luke snapped out of his daze, and batted the Inquisitor’s blade away, rolling into an upright position and running towards Ezra like a loth-bat out of hell. The three Jedi ran and ran, and only relaxed when they had made it to safety on the Phantom, the Ghost’s secondary shuttle.

Kanan booted up the Phantom, and steered it up and away from the prison. Stationary guns of the prison’s surface shot at them as they made their ascent, but they evaded them skillfully.

And somehow, they had escaped. But all too narrowly.


 

Luke woke to the Ghost jerking and jostling around him, as if she was under attack.

They must have gotten the coordinates for the Kyber Crystal! He thought, relieved. That means Ezra’ll be back soon. Thank the force.

I probably should go and help Hera, now that I think about it.

Luke jumped from his bed, and rolled to his feet as the ship tilted. Holding on to the wall, he made his way to the uppermost turret, and sat down.

He put on the headphones, and put his hands on the controls. Somehow, the turret was already firing without his control.

Luke knew that while he could easily figure out how to use the turret, he’d probably never be able to turn off the automatic firing without the pilot’s help.

Time to ask Hera for help, then.

“Hera, this is Luke. You need some help?”

“Spectre 2 to Spectre 7. Help would be nice around now, I’ll let you fire at will.”

Luke smiled. He was born for this.

He fired at the TIE fighters that were swarming them, eradicating them so that the crew could reach the convoy faster. Ships exploded around him, debris filling the vacuum of space.

“Hera, the convoy’s going to be leaving any second now,” he heard Kanan say from the Phantom, “Take your shot.”

Luke swiveled his chair around towards the convoy Kanan was speeding away from as Hera raced towards it, and fired 3 successive shots.

Luke had never felt more alive than he had now.

He felt the Kyber Crystal’s destruction before he saw it explode.

The explosion made bright colors pop into the vast blackness of space, lighting up the darkness as Hera sped away from the blast radius, the Phantom speeding after it.

Luke smiled from his seat.

The job was done.

The Phantom latched back onto its mother ship, and the blue rays of hyperspace swallowed up The Ghost, carrying it away.


 

Luke finally had the chance to talk with Ezra after they dropped his friend Jai and his mother off on Garel.

Ezra was sitting idly in the Ghost’s living room, staring off into nothing with tired eyes, when Luke walked in, holding a steaming mug of caf.

He set it down in front of his crewmate, and sat down next to him.

Ezra just stared at it, too tired out to comprehend the gesture.

“You look like you needed this,” Luke said, leaning on his arms. Ezra grunted, and kept staring listlessly on.

“If you’re not going to drink it, you know, I’ll gladly take it. Force knows I need it…”

Ezra grabbed the cup, and downed it in one go.

He slammed it back on the table.

“Phew,” he said, shaking his head vigorously,  “I need a nap. A really long one.”

“I guess you didn’t enjoy the Academy all that much?”

Ezra sighed.

“The food was alright, I guess. What they taught us was pretty dumb though.”

Luke smiled wistfully.

“You know, back where I was, everyone wanted to go the Imperial Academy.”

“Huh?”

“All of my friends wanted to go, if they weren’t content with staying on that dustball. Honestly, I was thinking about it for a while, until my master made me realize that I could get off the planet without having to enlist.”

“Wow.”

“Yeah.”

Ezra scoffed.

“You of all people though. Never would have expected it.”

Luke nodded, and stared at the cup of caf.

“I think you would have been disappointed by the academy, you know,” Ezra said, looking at him.

Luke met his eyes, and Ezra’s lips quirked up into a gentle smirk.

“Why?”

Ezra shrugged, and looked away.

Luke smiled at him.

Things were going to be okay, at least for now. 

Chapter Text

 “So, this is where the temple is?” Ezra asked, looking at Kanan for an answer.

Luke moved up to the front of the ship from his spot in the back, peering intently through the windshield.

A green field greeted him, swirled rock spires reaching for the skies in the distance. White clouds floated in the sky, puffy and swirling. Clouds were as rare as green plants were on Tatooine, and his eyes feasted on the sight.

“According to this map it is,” Kanan replied, steering the Phantom towards Lothal’s grassy ground.

Luke nodded in agreement.

“It should be around here somewhere,” he said, “I can feel it from here.”

Ezra shook his head.

“It just looks like rocks to me. I can’t feel anything.”

Kanan sighed fondly.

“Just focus a little more, Padawan, and you’ll feel it soon enough.”

The Phantom landed on the grass with a small thump, and Kanan opened the back hatch, exposing the three Jedi to the Lothal wind.

“Okay, okay, I get it,” Ezra retorted, “Now are we getting out, or what?”

Luke patted his friend on the back, and walked to the hatch.

It was good to have company, he thought.


The inside of the temple was cold.

Luke stepped inside, admiring the vaulted hall, when he noticed the corpses.

And he wasn’t the only one.

“Kanan, are those corpses?”

“They are.”

“But I thought -”

“These temples are dangerous, Ezra. Which is why those corpses are there.”

Ezra shook his head. 

“But there’s no way those can be Padawans. Not unless the Jedi trained old people.”

“That’s because they weren’t,” Kanan replied, “Those are the corpses of Jedi Masters, waiting for their Padawans to leave the Temple.”

“Oh,” Ezra responded. “So what do we do in here? Sit and die or something?”

“Well, my master always said that when in a temple, one must look for everything and nothing.”

“I’ve always wondered what that meant,” Luke said, “My master always said that when we were meditating.”

“I think the meaning depends on each individual,” Kanan mused.

“So, besides that,” Ezra asked, “What are we doing here?”

“I think that’s for us to figure out, Ezra.” Luke replied.

“Oh." he replied, looking around, "You wanna explore, then?”


Luke wandered the dark halls of the old temple with Ezra at his side, wondering what exactly he was looking for when he heard the noise.

A harsh noise grated against his ears, echoing around in the hollow room of the temple. It hit his ears, and he covered them out of reflex, trying to block the invasive noise out.

“What the kriff was that?” Ezra cried, holding his ears.

Luke uncovered his ears, and approached the source of the noise slowly, grabbing his lightsaber off of his belt.

“Shh,” he said to his friend, holding his arm in front of him, “Wait.”

He heard the noise again, and again, and then the sound of heavy footsteps.

He stepped back, suddenly feeling the oppressive feeling of cold, cold, cold. Of hatred. Of rage. Of something like the Inquisitor but far more powerful.

The Dark Side.

The sheer power behind it forced him backward.

Behind him, Ezra stood still, as though paralyzed.

He heard the snap-hiss of a lightsaber in front of him, and a glowing red blade rose to being in front of him, illuminating the features of a skeletal mask.

“What - what is that?”

Luke stepped away shakily, turning on his lightsaber.

The harsh breathing assaulted his ears.

“Luke. Luke.” Ezra shook his shoulders urgently. “We should run. There’s no way in all the sith hells we can take this guy alone! We need help, Luke.”

“No,” Luke replied, his voice as steady as he could make it, “You run. I’ll stay and fight.”

Ezra radiated fear, and then determination.

“Fine then. If we fight this guy, we’ll do it side by side.”

Ezra stood behind him, slingshot at the ready.

The figure advanced towards them, black cloak swishing behind him.

Luke stood at the ready, lightsaber shakily held in front of him.

He would fight Darth Vader. Even though he knew he would definitely lose, he would try his best.

He would survive. They would survive.

Vader stepped toward him, and Luke met his blow, blue light clashing against red, and the duel began.


As soon as Vader landed his first strike, Luke knew he was seriously outclassed.

Even fighting Obi-Wan at his best was nothing like this, he thought, as Vader used his tremendous weight to push down on him, making Luke almost buckle under his blows. And even despite his bulk, the Sith lord was fast. Even faster than Luke was, which made it even harder for him to dodge the Sith’s heavy blows.

But Luke was able to dodge some of the blows, causing Vader’s lightsaber to hit the ground and create sparks from its impact. Even so, he was pressed on the defensive while Vader had the offensive advantage.

The best offense is a good defense, Obi-Wan would always say, but Luke was beginning to find it a bit hard to believe.

Vader struck again and again, relentless in his pursuit, and Luke somehow met him blow for blow, buckling under the strikes.

The two combatants separated, and Luke ducked low, intending to get a low thrust strike past Vader’s defenses. But his attempts were for nothing. Vader batted away his strike as if it was nothing, and pressed on, causing Luke to fall to the ground.

Then, something hit Vader from behind, causing the Sith Lord to waver slightly.

Vader turned towards the source of his trouble, and stepped away from Luke, lightsaber raised.

“How pathetic,” Vader rumbled, his deep voice echoing throughout the room, “A youngling without even a lightsaber. This is who the Rebels send to fight me?”

Ezra stared at Luke with a pleading gaze from behind the Sith Lord, wide eyed and trembling.

Luke tried to get himself to move, to do anything, but somehow, he couldn’t move.

Vader walked up to Ezra, and sliced him in half with one blow.

Chapter Text

NO!

Luke looked at the spot where his friend had once stood, and stood up slowly, tears leaking down his face. He couldn’t believe - no, it wasn’t possible that Ezra had - had really -

Died.

Ezra was dead. Gone.

And Luke hadn’t been able to do anything about it.

But now, he could do something about it. He could make sure that Ezra’s murderer wouldn’t walk away without facing consequences for his horrible actions.

Vader needed to pay. And Luke would make sure he did.

Luke held his lightsaber in a shaky grip, not because of the fear of Vader, but because of the grief of losing a friend. He raised his lightsaber, and charged at the behemoth in front of him.

This man would get what was coming to him.

Vader met every strike that Luke threw at him blow for blow, and Luke pressed harder, put more into every blow, hit harder and harder and harder until his arms felt like jelly and his mind was filled with angry static. But it wasn’t enough to bring down the giant in front of him.

Vader pressed on with an offensive blow of his own that caught Luke by surprise and pushed him to the ground.

Luke tried to stand up, but his legs felt like they were about to fall off. Even so, he had to make this man hurt for what he did. He had to -

Vader walked up to him, the hissing of his respirator burning in Luke’s ears.

“Another pathetic youngling,” the Sith intoned, “Tell me, has your master ever told you that revenge is the path to the Dark Side?”

“I’ve heard enough,” Luke retorted, trying to stand up, to move, to do anything, but failing.

“And now you will die for it,” Vader said, and the dark lord walked up him, lightsaber raised as it was before Ezra only minutes ago…

And swung.


Luke woke up in a room full of white.

Sunlight shone lazily through wide windows, peering in from a world of tall mountains and lush grassy valleys. One of the windows was left open, letting in a cool breeze that lacked the humidity he was accustomed to on Lothal.

He walked to the window, and looked out hungrily, taking in the sights and smells of this new world.

“Who are you?”

Luke spun around, lightsaber in hand, to face a short, brown-haired girl in a white dress.

“I - uh…” he replied eloquently, not knowing what else to say to this strange girl in front of him.

The girl looked at him with a haughty air, a couple of stray strands falling out of the intricate bun atop her head.

“How did you get in here?” she asked, glaring at him.

“Uh… I just sort of got in here?” he replied, “Sorry about that, I’ll go as soon as I can. Don’t worry about it.”

He put his lightsaber back on his belt and prepared to leave, but something told him to stay, to listen to what this girl had to say to him.

The girl looked at him a little harder, and Luke suddenly was struck with a strange sense of familiarity from this girl, as if they had met before…

“Just who are you?” the girl said, walking closer to him cautiously. “Have we met before?”

“I don’t think so? But I can feel that we have met at some point…”

“You just countered your own answer.”

Luke sighed.

“Look,” he said, putting his hands together, “It’s really, really complicated, okay? I don’t really know what’s going on either.”

“Okay,” the girl replied, turning to walk to the open window.

Luke followed her, standing behind her back.

“What’s your name?” The girl asked in a soft voice. “In case we have met before...”

“Oh,” Luke replied awkwardly, “It’s Luke. Just Luke.”

“I’m Leia Organa. Nice to meet you, Luke.”

Luke looked at her, and then felt the sensation of falling.

And all of a sudden, everything went black.


The Temple felt even colder than it did when he first walked in, which was saying something. But that didn’t matter as much to Luke as where he was.

Luke found himself on the floor of the hallway he battled Vader in, curled into himself. But, somehow, Ezra’s corpse was gone.

Ezra’s corpse was gone.

Luke got up and stumbled around, intent on looking for Ezra. He passed through hallway upon hallway, but there was no trace of Ezra’s body anywhere. What had happened? Had Vader left with his body? Was it just left to -

“Young Luke.”

A ghostly apparition formed in front of him, forming into the shape of a familiar bearded Jedi master. A very dead Jedi master.

“Ben?” Luke asked, feeling like a young child all over again, just hearing that familiar voice, “Is that you?”

“It is, young one,” Ben replied, smiling at him serenely.

“Oh.”

“Indeed Luke. ‘Oh.’”

Luke giggled at his master’s sarcastic jibe, and that giggle turned into a full blown laugh, which echoed across the halls of the temple and through the air like a warm summer’s day.

“Oh boy,” Luke said, catching his breath, “That felt good. I haven’t done that since the time Ezra and I…”

Luke sobered.

Even though his master was here, Ezra was still gone.

“Tell me, what did you see?”

“Huh?”

“You are in a Jedi Temple, after all. What visions did you see?”

“Visions?”

“Yes, young one. Visions.”

Oh. OH.

Well, that explained a lot. It definitely explained the fact that he had run into Vader, even though Vader was far, far from the Lothal system at present. And he knew it.

Did that mean Ezra wasn’t dead, since Vader wasn’t there?

For once, Luke allowed himself to feel hope at the fact that his friend was alive, alive, and expanded his senses through the temple, and felt the familiar presence of Ezra a few halls away.

Thank the force! He’s alright!

Luke let himself smile, but his expression quickly sobered as he remembered what he saw.

“Well, I saw Vader.”

“Indeed?”

“Yeah. Ezra and I approached him, and he and I dueled a little, and then…”

“And then?”

Luke looked down at his hands.

“I’m not ready, Ben,” Luke responded, his voice crackling as if he was on the edge of crying, “I’m not ready to face him! I - I…”

“Ready, you are not. Agree, I do.” A strange voice said.

A small green alien hobbled into the room, leaning heavily on his cane. He settled in besides Ben, and gave Luke a neutral yet disapproving look.

“Too attached, you are,” The green alien continued, and each of his words hit Luke as if it were a slap to the face. “If to face Darth Vader, you are, let go, you must.”

“Master Yoda,” Ben greeted the small alien, nodding at him in respect, “From what I can tell, you are correct. But it shouldn’t be as hard for you as it was for your father, Young Luke...”

“Too attached, Anakin Skywalker was,” Yoda interjected, “Led to his downfall, it did. To the Dark Side.”

“Yeah…” Luke said, looking at the ground beneath him. He didn’t know what to say to these two masters, that had popped up randomly and started to pick apart the way he interacted with people. What was he going to say, that they were wrong?

Even though they were clearly right.  

“Be careful, Luke,” Ben said, looking at him with concern, which Luke imagined would be the way that his father would have looked at him, in a perfect life. “And may the force be with you.”

“May the force be with you too, Ben,” he said, “May the force be with you too.”

Ben and Yoda faded away, and the hallway was empty at last.

Luke looked around, and began to find his way back to the temple’s entry hall.


Kanan was still in the atrium when he got back.

Luke walked up to him, and sat down beside him, looking at the atrium’s vaulted ceiling with an empty gaze.

“You’re back,” Kanan said, acknowledging him.

“Yeah.”

“How was it?”

Luke schooled his features into a careful mask of neutrality. He wasn’t ready to talk to them about his vision, when he was just barely processing it himself. He knew he could pretend everything was fine for a while.

“It was fine,” he replied, but even his face didn’t conceal the crack in his voice.

“Oh.”

Kanan sat with him in silence, staring at the ceiling as well.

The two Jedi sat this way for a little while, staring up at the ceiling with gazeless eyes, when Ezra burst into the room.

“Guys! Guys!” he called, running up to them, “Look what I got!”

He stopped in front of them, and revealed a little crystal that was sitting in his palm.

Kanan spoke first.

“A Kyber crystal,” he nodded, “This is serious, Ezra. You know that, right?”

“I know, I know,” Ezra replied, “But I have some really cool ideas for Lightsabers I can’t wait to show you guys! When I actually make them, ya know. That is what these are for, right?”

Luke just stared at him, taking him in as if he was seeing him for the first time all over again.

“Luke?” Ezra asked him, looking at him with concern, “Are you okay?”

“Huh?” Luke was jolted back into reality by Ezra’s statement.

“Oh. Yeah. Yeah,” he said awkwardly, “I’m good.”

“Cool,” Ezra replied. “So, are we ready to get out of here?”

Chapter Text

It was chaos, to put it simply. 

TIE Fighters swarmed around the top of the communications tower, shooting at some area below them, as if to stop their targets. But, they kept coming, blocking every blow and even sending some back at their aggressors. 

But despite the odds, the aggressors kept coming. 

Luke swung his lightsaber in an arc, deflecting the oncoming shots. He had managed to deflect blasts back towards a few stormtroopers, but could only hope that he was strong enough to take the brunt of a ship’s blast. Ezra stood behind him, eyes focused on his pursuers. His lightsaber shot blast after blast, and deflected even more fire. Not in the polished way that Luke’s responded to his command, but in a rugged way that seemed to fit its own master. 

They kept swinging and blocking, swinging and blocking, back to back. But even they couldn’t hold out forever. 

“Ezra!” Luke called, blocking a few more incoming bolts back towards the army of stormtroopers, “We’ve got to get out of here!”

“Stating the obvious, much?” Ezra yelled back, continuing his deadly dance with the soldiers shooting at him. 

“Yeah, I know!” Luke yelled back, “Come on!”

Luke ran to the edge of the roof and jumped, in a seemingly suicidal move. 

“Luke!” Ezra yelled frantically, running to the edge of the roof. 

But then he looked down. 

Luke stood on the ramp of the Ghost, unharmed and intact. 

Ezra gaped at him. 

Luke smiled at his friend, and waved. 

“You coming?”


They had failed. 

The broadcast had still been sent. The mission was a success. They had left Lothal, and not gotten caught.

But Kanan was gone. 

“We have to get him back!” Ezra cried, slamming his fist onto the sabacc table. 

Hera looked down at her boots. 

“I’m sorry Ezra, but we need to stay low.”

“But Kanan is in danger! Don’t you guys care? Are you just going to leave him there?”

“Yes.”

“What?”

Hera looked Ezra in the eye.

“He would understand, Ezra. It’s better if we stay objective. What if we risk the whole cause for just one person?”

“Whole cause?” Ezra said incredulously, “What whole cause?”

Hera stayed silent. 

Luke walked to Ezra, and put a hand on his shoulder. 

“Ezra-” he started.

“Don’t.” Ezra said, shrugging off his hand. He stormed away, looking at the ground the entire time. 

Luke’s insides twisted with guilt. 

The rest of the Ghost’s crew, however, said nothing. 


Luke woke up to someone shaking his shoulder. 

“Luke! Luke!”

Luke groaned, and turned over. 

“What?” He asked sleepily, opening his eyes. 

Ezra stood in front of him, finger on his mouth. 

“Shhh. Come on!”

Ezra stalked silently away, and Luke shook off his sleepiness. He got up, intent on following Ezra, after all, he wasn’t sure what they were doing, but he knew it was probably something risky. 

Better Luke going with him than Ezra risking it all alone. 

Ezra led him into the Phantom, and closed the door behind them. 

“I’m going to rescue Kanan,” Ezra whispered, “And I need your help.”

Luke looked at him. 

“Are you sure?” he whispered back, “Hera’s right, you know. It’s objectively safer to just let Kanan go right now…”

“And just leave him to die?” Ezra whisper-yelled. “Just let him be tortured?”

“Ezra, Kanan knew the risks before he decided to be on this crew.”

“So what! You’re just gonna leave him there, after - after everything he’s done for us?”

Luke looked down at his feet. 

“We might have to, Ezra.”

“What? What sort of Bantha Poodoo is that?” Ezra replied, even angrier than Luke had seen him before. “Why are you guys just fine with letting him - letting him-”

Ezra banged his fist on the wall.

Luke backed away. 

“Ezra,” he said sadly, “We can’t get attached when there are bigger things at risk. You know that. I know that. And Kanan knows that.”

“And? How would you feel if we didn’t rescue you?”

Luke sighed. 

“The same way Kanan should.”

Luke walked out without looking back, scared to see the expression on his companion’s face. 


Vizago was less than pleased to see them. 

“So,” the devaronian said, scowling, “You show up, disrupt my cargo, and expect me to just pay you back?”

“Yeah,” Ezra responded, “Sort of.”

Hera looked at Ezra, and shook her head at his blunt words. But, Ezra didn’t look back at her.

Vizago growled. 

“What makes you think I should trust you?”

Instead of replying, Ezra took his lightsaber off of his belt. 

Luke and the rest of the Ghost Crew tensed, ready for a fight. But, instead of shooting Vizago, he turned on his lightsaber, its blue beam shining in the air. 

“Look,” Ezra told Vizago, “I’m training to be a Jedi. And Jedi always pay their debts. Isn’t that right?”

Vizago sighed. 

“What makes you think that I won’t just let you join your buddy in Imperial Prison?”

Zeb growled at him, and Sabine bristled, taking out her blaster. But before they could do anything, Hera held up her arm, and they stopped. 

Ezra smirked at Vizago. 

“The fact that we owe you something,” he said. “You wouldn’t like it if we didn’t pay you back after all this, right?”

Vizago told them everything.

Chapter Text

Luke didn’t know how to feel. 

One one hand, the mission to the communications tower had been successful. Their message of rebellion had been broadcasted, and heard across the outer rim. But, on the other hand, they had failed. Kanan had been trapped at the tower by the Inquisitor and Tarkin, and couldn’t get away. But, the crew had found his location, and were on their way to retrieve him now. 

He didn’t know why he chose to stay in the Ghost, while the rest had gone on to Mustafar. Maybe it was just that feeling he had? That he would miss something extremely important if he left? But even then, he was missing something that was probably even more important just by staying on the Ghost. Even if someone had to mind the ship when everyone was gone, in case they needed backup. 

Maybe it was because of the teachings that Ben had taught him, that attachment was risky? He had seen the effect of those teachings firsthand in his teacher, after all, because despite what he said, Obi-Wan Kenobi had been attached to Anakin Skywalker. He was attached enough to stay with and raise his legacy in his image, as a friend of Luke’s father’s, not as only a Jedi Master with an obligation. 

Ben had been attached to him, and he had been attached to Ben. And the man’s death was hard for him to get over, despite Ben’s urgings for him to let go. But he had, to an extent. After all, while he still grieved and missed Ben, his death didn’t weigh as heavily on his heart anymore. 

Luke knew death. He had brushed near it before, almost shook its hand in understanding, and still came out alive. And he knew how to process through it, how to get over his grief and learn to function again.  And even if he knew what to do about death, death was still painful. It still made his chest feel empty every time he thought about Ben’s death, or the thought of his vision of Ezra dying back at the temple, or the imminence of the rest of the Ghost crew dying trying to rescue Kanan. 

Why had he decided to stay behind again? Why had he given up on Kanan so fast, when it was highly possible that he would be fine?

Luke sighed, and put his head into his hands. 

Maybe it was Yoda’s words about his father, about how even though he wasn’t his father, he still had that spark of attachment that obviously made his father turn. He had been close to using the dark side himself, when he had thought Ezra was dead back at the temple. 

He knew he wasn’t his father, but he was probably pretty close. And that bothered him, because the man who used to be his father became a monster. 

He had to stay detached, or he would follow him into the darkness.

But despite that, he couldn’t just sit here and let his crew die. Even with the Jedi rules that he had been taught from a young age, the principles he promised Ben’s memory he would uphold in his place.

They wouldn’t help him now. 

Staying in this ship was a huge, huge mistake.


“I’m going after them.”

Chopper beeped at him, swerving his head around and waving his mechanical arms wildly. Luke had no idea what he was saying, but he was sure it was an insult. 

“I know, Hera said not to fly the ship, but I can’t just sit around and do nothing anymore while they’re out there getting hurt!”

Chopper stopped beeping.

“Yeah, I thought I would be able to stay here, stay detached. I thought that maybe I’d be able to… well, be a proper Jedi if I stayed. But this… just isn’t me. I have to do something!”

Luke plopped himself into the Pilot’s seat.

“Ugh, I’m so stupid. I can’t believe I let it get to me! Stupid green trolls with their stupid condescending words and stupid Jedi codes. Ergh.”

He turned towards Chopper, and then towards the cockpit controls, a look of determination on his face. He had flown skyhoppers and lower class ships before. This would be a piece of cake. 

Luke located the ignition, and switched it on, feeling the ship begin to rumble beneath him. He then released the docking legs, and the ship began to drift upward, towards the smoggy skies above. 

“So… the Mustafar system.”

Chopper tittered curiously at him. 

“You think you can plug in the coordinates for me?”

Chopped beeped out a long string of angry beeps, his body bouncing up and down and arms waving. 

Luke sighed. The droid was just impossible sometimes!

“Are you going to do it, or not?”

Chopper let out a few whumps, and stuck his arm into the cockpit’s connection port, spinning it a few times. 

Luke looked at the navicomputer control screen, waiting to see the coordinates pop up on screen, but saw nothing. 

“Chopper,” he said, “What’s going on?”

Chopper let out a few smug beeps, his arm still in the connection port, and the ship slowed to a stop.

Luke resisted the urge to glare at the unruly droid, and tried again. 

“What’s going on, Chopper?”

Then, the comm lit up, washing the cockpit in a blue hue. 

Luke stared at it curiously. 

Then, the image of a cowled head popped up, and a distorted voice spoke. 

“Fulcrum to Ghost,” it started, “Is there something going on I should be aware of?”


“Uh… Hello?” Luke started awkwardly. “Who exactly is this?”

“This is Fulcrum,” the voice reiterated, “Who are you?”

“Uh… I’m Spectre 7. Nice to meet you, I guess?”

“Where’s Spectre 2?” the voice replied, right off the bat.

Luke took a breath. 

“Well, uh, the rest of the crew headed to Mustafar-”

“Mustafar?”

“Yeah. They’re going off to rescue Kanan. I was going to follow them when you called, actually.”

Fulcrum somehow stayed completely quiet, but Luke could feel whoever was behind the cowl sigh deeply.

“I told Spectre 2 not to go after Spectre 1,” the voice said levelly. 

Luke sighed again.

“Yeah, I did too, but… I think I was wrong, risking him like that.”

“Sometimes casualties must be made to suffice the greater goal.” 

“That’s true,” Luke replied, looking down at his feet, “That is. But I don’t think I can follow that rule anymore. Not when people close to me are in danger.”

The hologram didn’t move. 

“I’m going to try to rescue them,” Luke continued, “I don’t know why Chopper called you, or who you are. But I don’t think I can rescue them alone, even if I can pilot. And something’s telling me to trust you.”

The hologram looked right at him, blank eyes staring into his. 

“You remind me of someone else,” it said, “They thought the exact same way, most of the time.”

Luke could feel the fondness in the distorted voice as they talked about this person, despite their recklessness.

“They must’ve been pretty insane, then.”

Fulcrum let out a distorted chuckle, seemingly unable to help it. 

“That’s one way to put it.”

Luke smiled.

“I’ll send the coordinates for the meet up point to Spectre 3,” the distorted voice said, “Wait for my ship at those coordinates. I’ll board you and discuss plans then.”

“Sounds good to me,” Luke replied.

Luke started to shut off the comm. 

“Fulcrum?” he said. 

“Yes?” the voice responded.

“Thank you.”

The comm shut off, and Luke was left to himself in a floating ship.