How Luke Skywalker and Trisha Summer met and fell in love.
Her ship Kriegende Ritterin floated through space. The heels of her boots were crossed on the edge of the control panel. Her hands repetitively lifted the long brown tendrils of her hair, wadding mass on top of her head. Trisha gazed out into the starry blackness of space. Her thoughts drifted to Luke.
He was out there somewhere.
She smiled. She remembered when she first met him.
Disguised as an Imperial operative, she was one of many Alliance spies funneling the Alliance information about the Death Star, especially how the Emperor was overseeing the final construction of the battle station.
It was a dangerous mission for a Jedi Knight, but she didn't care ... as long as she didn't run into Vader.
She didn't see Vader that much. He was obsessed with finding Luke, but he had to attend to the duties the Emperor wanted him to do.
She worried about Luke. She doubted anyone could defeat Vader, but he had to do it -- defeat the man who was his father.
She was standing on the bridge when the Shuttle Tydrium approached and requested deactivation of the shield generator. The shuttle had been missing for months but she had a feeling the Alliance had stolen it.
That feeling was confirmed when she sensed Skywalker's presence through the Force.
If she had sensed Skywalker's presence so had ... a cold chill went down her spine. She glanced behind her in time to see Vader stride onto the bridge. She casually strolled over to where Vader and Piett conversed.
"Do they have a code?" Vader said, his deep voice resonated.
"It's an older code but it checks out," Piett said. "I was about to clear them."
Vader stared out into starry blackness. Piett had no idea what was going on but she did.
"Shall I hold them, Lord?" Pett said.
"No," Vader said. "I'll deal with them myself."
Run, Luke, run, she thought into the void as Vader swept off the bridge. While he went to ask the Emperor's permission to go to Endor because his son was there, she smuggled herself aboard Vader's shuttle.
It was well after midnight when the shuttle landed at the edge of the forest on Endor. Vader debarked and climbed aboard an Imperial walker.
A short time later, he returned to the ship with a prisoner.
Stormtroopers escorted Skywalker, handcuffed, down the long, thin corridor. She, the pilot and crew watched him with interest.
He looked almost like his father in the black outfit he wore. But he could never come close to being like his father. She got a sense of his personality -- the refreshing honesty, naivety and his genuine concern for his friends -- as very mature and handsome in the black outfit.
She bit the inside of her lip. She expected some scrawny, star-eyed, innocent farm boy, not a mature and handsome looking man.
He must have felt her hard stare and sensed her thoughts because he raised an inquisitive eyebrow in her direction and flipped her wry grin as he passed.
She shook her head. There was no way he could be interested in a tomboy warrior woman like her. But she had to hand it to him. He definitely had that Skywalker charm.
The pilot turned to her. "Is that *who* I think it is?"
"So what if it is?" She said, making it sound like she cared less about the prisoner.
The pilot stared at her like she'd lost her mind. "Luke Skywalker's only the most wanted traitor in the galaxy," he gushed. "I wonder if I can get a holo with him."
Stretching, she rose. The pilot regarded her. "Where are you going?"
"To check out the communication center," she lied. She had no intention of going to the communication center at all.
The pilot nodded.
She left the cockpit, heading toward the communication center, but turned down a hallway that led to a different part of the ship. She knew it was dangerous but she used the Force to guide her to the room where Skywalker was being held.
She paused at a door one-third of the way down the hallway. She punched in the code on the console and the door slid open.
His back to the wall, he sat cross legged on the floor. His handcuffed hands dangled over his knees. He regarded her with interest. "Who are you?"
"Does it matter who I am?" She retorted.
His eyes caressed the smooth metal hilt of the lightsaber hanging from her belt. "You're here to help me, aren't you?"
She laughed, "I could have helped you but you found it necessary to surrender to Vader."
"I had to," he asserted. "There's still good him. I can bring him back to the good side."
She sank down beside him. "You really believe that?"
"Yes," he said with confidence, even though in the back of his mind he wasn't quite sure he'd defeat his father and the Emperor in this final battle.
"If that's the case, I'm afraid your destiny doesn't have a very positive outcome."
His blue eyes danced with amusement. "Oh?"
"I'm not sure anyone can defeat Vader, not even you."
He nodded. "He beat me at Bespin, but a lot has happened since then. It seems like .. it seems like my father's abilities in the Force are slipping."
"Yeah," she said thoughtfully. "I've sensed that with the Emperor too."
Concern flooded his eyes. "You're putting yourself in a lot of danger here."
Her face twisted with a mixture of emotion. His concern puzzled her. She didn't care what happened to her, so why should he?
"You know," she said out of the corner of her mouth. "It's a shame you didn't have any romantic entanglements before you died."
He shifted his eyes, glancing at her sideways. "How do you know I didn't?"
She looked at him with interest.
"I had a fling with a girl I knew on Tatooine. Her name's Camie," he said. "It didn't last long. Her boyfriend ended up winning her back."
"I see," she murmured.
"I don't even know your name," he smiled. "And you're asking me all these personal questions."
"It's Trish. I’m from Naboo," she smiled back. To be honest he’d never heard of Naboo. "Don't you think this Camie might pick a Jedi Knight over some moisture farmer from Tatooine?"
"I have no idea," he confessed. "Do girls go for Jedi Knights over moisture farmers?"
"That's hard to say."
"So," he said casually. "Have you ever had a boyfriend, Trish."
"My," she teased. "Aren't we getting personal?"
"Sorry," he looked away.
She wore an amused look. "Are you always this way?"
His face crunched into a serious expression. "What way?"
"So innocent, clean cut and naive."
He wasn't surprised she read him with such accuracy. "I suppose so."
He had been forthcoming with her so he deserved the same. "If you must know, I did have a boyfriend," she told him.
"That figures," he mumbled.
"Why does it figure?"
"Because you're ..." He flushed beet red.
She smiled, teasing him. "So this is how a Skywalker charms a lady."
Frustration welled up inside him. He didn't have much experience in this arena. He rolled his eyes. "Like a foolish, bumbling moisture farmer."
"I like that you're a foolish, bumbling moisture farmer," she said, her lips brushing his.
He'd never experienced anything like it. Kissing her made him feel like spring. It made him feel young, old, happy, sad, lost, found, all at the same time.
He tried to caress her face but it was awkward attempt while wearing handcuffs. He wanted to hold her but being handcuffed made that impossible.
He felt his handcuffs loosen. "What are you doing?" He murmured breathlessly.
"Trust me," she said sealing her mouth over his.
Thrills of pleasure and excitement rushed through him. His heart rush ... it was like jumping into light speed.
Her lips were the sweetest thing. They were like candy and he was a kid. He was wanted more of her delicious treats. He couldn't get enough, and his mouth mingled with hers begging for more.
In the midst of their bliss, danger flickered through both of them. He clamped the cuffs shut, kissed her quickly then pushed her away. "Go."
She slowly rose to her feet. A sea of emotions raged in her emerald eyes. "I'll be back if I can."
She left him alone to think. He didn't have much time for that because the door slid open again. He lowered his defensive posture as Alestra entered the room.
"I take it your discussions with my father weren't fruitful," he said.
"He's such a frustrating contradiction," Alestra sighed. "You're right about him, you know."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence," the edges of his lips punched up into wry crests.
"You met my cousin, didn't you?" Alestra said with a knowing look in her eyes.
"Is that who that was?" He mused.
She knew what the twinkle in his eyes meant. She shook her head.
"We're friends, right?" Alestra smiled. "So let me give you a piece of advice, Luke. You want to stay away from us Jedi magicians. We're nothing but trouble."
He laughed. He was sure it was no more trouble than being involved with a Jedi Knight.
But he and Trisha weren't involved, and now wasn't the time to be getting romantically involved anyway so it didn't matter.
"I'm serious," Alestra said, her smile spreading wider. She glanced around. "I'm going to bail. Cause some more trouble for your father."
"Good luck," he said as she left.
He relaxed against the wall. Maybe he should try to sleep. He'd need all his strength for his upcoming confrontation with his father and his Emperor.
He sighed. He closed his eyes, falling into an uneasy sleep.
He wasn't sure if he'd slept or not, but someone was watching him.
He glanced up at her.
"I didn't mean to disturb you," she apologized.
"You didn't," he said shifting slightly. "I was having trouble sleeping anyway."
He felt the ship descending and knew they were landing. He looked at her concerned. "You better go."
She frowned. "Give him hell, Luke."
He tossed her a small smile as she left. He gathered his strength, waiting for his father to come get him. He steeled his nerve when the door slid open.
His heart soared when Trisha entered the room.
"I'm on borrowed time," she said rushing toward him.
He rose to his feet, meeting her half way. He kissed her full on the lips. Their lips and spirits intertwined to share a poignant moment.
But it was short lived. Force charged sensations alerted them to imminent arrival of other presences.
He regretfully pulled away. His father stared at them. Alestra was there too but she didn't look surprised at all.
Trisha's chin jutted out. She was proud of what she did. There was defiance in her eyes. She waited to see how Vader would react to what he just saw.
"Woman," Vader rumbled. "You can tell the Emperor I've returned."
"Yes, my Lord," she feigned subservience by bowing at the waist.
She left and Alestra followed her, leaving father and son alone.
Neither of them spoke for a long time. Vader nodded at his son. "You have good taste but bad timing, my son."
"It doesn't have to be like that," Luke said molding his voice with his convictions. "You can still come back. It's not too late."
"Again you underestimate the power of the Dark Side," Vader chided him signaling the guards. Before they got there, he added. "It's a shame you will never have a relationship with Alestra's cousin, but maybe you can if you give in."
Luke shook his head. That was something he could never do.
Hellish pain ripped through his body.
At that point, he barely felt it. He contently drifted toward the tunnel of light in front of him.
Waiting for him at the end of the tunnel was the flickering ghostly form of his mentor, Obi-Wan. For the first time, he realized he might be dead.
Ben pointed back down the tunnel. "You have to go back."
"What?" He said bemused.
"You have to go back," Obi-Wan repeated. "It's not your time, Luke."
Out of the haze a voice called to him: Luke, Luke, Luke.
Obi-Wan smiled, "The Force will be with you always."
His mentor's image faded, and he opened his eyes looking up at the piping lining the Death Star's ceiling. Somehow he found the strength to turn on his side. He saw Alestra trying to pull his father away from the exhaust shaft.
He crawled across the metal floor. He reached out grabbing his father's muscular arm helping Alestra drag him to safety.
With their energy and strength nearly exhausted, they all collapsed on the floor. They lay side by side saying nothing.
It didn't matter. No words were needed for that moment.
Alestra, Trisha and Luke carried Darth Vader's hulking dead weight through the Death Star to one of the few remaining shuttles in the hangar.
Everything was chaos. Imperials were running either trying to join the battle or escape the space station before the Alliance blew it up.
Bearing much of the burden of carrying his father, Luke's knees buckled under the strain and his own fatigue.
Trisha rushed to his side. "Luke!"
"I'm alright," he quietly assured her. "I just need to rest."
Vader begged Luke to remove his mask so he could see his son with his own eyes before he died. The helmet hissed as Luke peeled away the pieces of plastic revealing the scarred pasty faced visage of Anakin Skywalker.
Anakin smiled. He grabbed Trisha pulling her toward him.
"I couldn't ask for a better woman to be in my life. He deserves someone to love him as my dear wife once loved me," he whispered, laced with sorrow. "You two are like we once were. You need each other, and nothing can ever stop that."
Anakin let her go, then said a private goodbye to Alestra. Then he asked Luke to tell his sister he was right about him.
Luke insisted he had to save him. Anakin assured him he had then he breathed his last.
Luke bowed his head and cried.
Trisha felt sorry for him. His life had been an endless stream of losses. She wished she could give him time to grieve but they had to get out of there.
She gently touched his shoulder. "Luke."
He looked into her supportive eyes and found the strength to go on. He rose, picking up his father's remains, and followed Alestra and Trisha aboard the Imperial shuttle.
He laid his father in a small med bed, and then dashed to the cockpit. Trisha was already there, flipping switches on the console. He slid into the pilot chair beside her, joining her in working the controls launching them into flight. A metal pillar came crashing down just as they began to head toward the hangar's bay doors. They hit freedom of space when the Death Star exploded into a million pieces.
He breathed a sigh of relief. He plotted a course for the forest of Endor, switching to Alliance channels, clicking a message that he was an ally.
"Luke," Trisha said softly.
He glanced at her. He looked like hell. The trials of the day were beginning to have an effect on him.
She was really worried about him. "Luke, talk to me."
His eyes searched her face. "What did my father say to you before he died?"
"Does it matter?"
"I suppose not," he said looking away. "I was supposed to save him, but he ended up saving me."
Her fingers curled around his chin. She gently lifted his chin till his eyes met hers. "Luke," she whispered. "I know how you feel but believe me when I say you are a Jedi."
"I...," he murmured, losing himself in her eyes.
"You've been grieving all your life," she said sympathetically. "It's time to do something right for you."
"Like what?" He said quietly.
She kissed his lips. His warm mouth painted hers with gentle brush strokes.
"I love you," she said softly.
"I love you," he murmured, his voice trembled with passion.
Their kiss sealed what love's promise brings as their lips singed.
Luke and Trisha stood in the forest clearing where he'd constructed the funeral pyre for his father.
Holding a burning torch, he stared at the wood pile where his triumph and loss lie. Aside from himself, Trisha and Alestra were the only ones who believed there had been a last shred of humanity in his father.
Tears stung his eyes as he said his last goodbye, then he stuck the torch in the wood pile. The wisps of flame and a spirit freed mingled with the fireworks that danced across the night sky.
Trisha leaned into him. Wrapping his arms around her, he held her close.
"Unidentified craft, this is Alliance X-Wing RTHX11," a crackly voice from her comm unit jolted her out of her reverie. "Do you copy?"
She flipped a switch. "Roger, Alliance X-Wing. Kriegende Ritterin copies."
"I haven't seen ships like yours in these parts," the voice commented.
"That's because my home planet has been a member of the Alliance for years," she told him.
"I'm sure the Alliance would welcome your home world back," he replied. "That is if they're still friendly to our cause."
"I'm sure they are although I can't speak for the diplomats," she said shifting in her chair. Another thought came to her mind. "
Say, you wouldn't know Luke Skywalker, would you?"
"I'm his best friend," the man laughed.
She laughed softly to herself. If you couldn't run into the man himself, his best friend was good enough.
"You know you have some good timing," the man complimented her. "The Alliance high command is meeting today. You should come ... that is if you want to get involved."
Her lips curved into a half smile. Yes, that was a good idea.