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Marie Wadsworth

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SWFF: Last of the Jedi Episode 14
By Marie Wadsworth
Friday, May 04, 2012

Not rated by the Author.

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Luke goes to Naboo but Trisha makes mince meat of IG88 and begins to try to figure out who wants her dead.


Episode XIV

Trisha headed toward the Ministry of Education building for the teacher's board meeting.
The Ministry of Education building was caddy corner to Theed Palace, the home of Naboo's queens. One of Naboo's most famous queens was Padme Amidala, the youngest to be elected queen of Naboo.
She strode determinedly through the courtyard. Her danger senses tickled the back of her mind. She turned scanning her surroundings.
Electric blasts darted overhead on her right. Citizens screamed cowering in terror as a 2 1/2 meter tin droid, wielding a pulse laser rifle, cut through them.
"Move or be eliminated," the metallic voice ordered coldly.
He met no resistance but he didn't expect any. He perceived a slim, athletic woman with long brown hair, who matched the description of his target. He raised his pulse rifle aiming it at her. "Prepare to meet your doom, Jedi."
She laughed.
She wasn't afraid of him. IG-88 was impressed. Few humans impressed him, but her -- she'd be interesting to kill.
He flipped a switch, his weapon hummed with deadly energy. "You've reached the end of your miserable existence, Jedi. It'll be a pleasure watching you die."
She made no move to defend herself. "I don't think so," she said casually flipping a strand of her hair over her shoulder.
His metallic finger gently squeezed the trigger. She deflected the searing beam with her upraised palm.
There was no logical explanation for what he'd just seen. IG-88 fired at her again but he found himself flaying in some mysterious field that pushed him backward.
He crashed unceremoniously on the cobblestone. It'd take more than mere stones to damage him.
He rose like an automan. Again he raised his rifle, lining the scope up to send his next shot through her heart.
In a blur her lightsaber igniting in a snap hiss flew into her hand. Her right hand was positioned right above her left on the hilt. She was gracefully posed for battle.
He launched a rain of fire on her. But her blue saber blade blocked every blow.
He uttered metallic curses. He reached for a thermal detonator in his pouch. With one fluid motion he activated it tossing it at the Jedi.
Citizens ran for cover as the can clattered across the cobblestone. Trisha catapulted herself into the air.
He had a limited line of sight, so he had no idea where the Jedi was. A shadow fell over him as the Jedi dropped in on him from above.
She delivered a swift kick to his chest sending him sprawling. He fumbled to maintain control of his rifle, now shooting random beams in every direction.
Refusing to let a human, much less a woman, best him, IG-88 stretched his hands toward her releasing his poison darts.
But these too were deflected by her saber blade. Furious he reclaimed his rifle and then ran at her, his rifle blazing.
She swung her lightsaber in a well timed arc. Her blade slashed him through the mid section.
His legs wobbled forward while his upper body clattered to the ground. She cut at him again, and he was completed disabled.
She pointed the tip of her blade at his throat. "Who are you?"
He gargled unintelligibly. Even though she had no idea what he was saying, she had a pretty strong feeling he was a bounty hunter.
"Who sent you?"
He whined in a sick way. His piercing red eyes dimmed leaving her questions unanswered.
She switched off her lightsaber, hooking it on her belt. She knelt down to inspect the droid. Her fingers pried off one of the front panels. Inside the tangled wiring there was a metal strip with an identification number. She recognized the number as belonging to IG-88.
IG-88 was among the bounty hunters Darth Vader had hired to track down the Millenium Falcon during his search for Luke. Wasn't he killed before Luke, Lando, Leia and Chewie rescued Han on Tatooine?
Something's not right here. Other than being a Jedi, there was no reason to kill her.
Obviously someone wanted her dead. But who? And why? She didn’t know but she intended to find out.
**
Artoo warbled informing him they'd been given permission to land in Theed's hangar.
Naboo loomed in front of his X-Wing. He felt drawn to the planet, especially its invisible pull on his heart.
Yes, Trisha was down there. He smiled tightly to himself. After they parted on Endor he didn't think he'd see her again but his heart filled with joy at the prospect of their being together again.
His X-Wing dropped below the clouds. Shimmering blue waterways were woven between the lush green landscape. The towering skyscrapers and the palace architecture were elaborate and elegant.
"Wow," he murmured impressed.
Artoo whirred in response.
"You've been here before," he said surprised.
A long stream of chirps and beeps answered him.
"I understand."
His X-Wing coasted and he smoothly landed it in Theed's hanger. He removed his helmet, then pushed open the canopy. He rose, moving to the side of the cockpit.
Artoo whistled an inquiry at him.
"Stay here," he ordered. "I'll be right back."
Artoo hooted in concern.
"I'm sure it's perfectly safe," he smiled.
Artoo snorted in disbelief.
"This isn't Dagobah," he laughed adding as an afterthought. "It isn't Endor either."
Artoo warbled.
"I'll be okay really," he assured the droid. "I won't be long."
*
Luke stepped out into the bright warm Naboo afternoon.
A crowd had gathered in the courtyard. He headed over in that direction. There was the fountain and palace he'd seen in his vision.
He slid up along the horseshoe curve formed by the masses. Pieces of metal were scattered all over the cobblestone.
A severed robotic arm, its fingers wrapped around a laser pulse rifle, lay near his boot. He lowered himself, squatting near the ground, stretching his black gloved hand toward the arm.
"Hey!" A Naboo security guard barked. "Get away from there."
He reluctantly backed off. He straightened up. "What happened here?" He said casually.
The security guard glared at him. "Who are you the media?"
"No."
"Then I'll thank you to let me do my job," the security guard said pushing him back into the crowd.
"You're looking for the lady Jedi, aren't you?" A stranger said to him.
"Hmm?" Luke said distractedly, turning his attention to the stranger.
"We don't have much commotion around here," the stranger commented.
Luke smiled subtly. "Do you have any idea what happened here?"
"Near as I can tell the lady Jedi made mince meat of IG-88," the stranger said.
IG-88? Why would the bounty hunter be after Trisha? The young Jedi mused to himself as he stroked his cheek. "I have a bad feeling about this," Luke murmured.
"Me too," the stranger echoed his sentiments. "Me too."
**
Trisha raced into the hangar and saw IG-88's ship docked there.
She was within a few meters away when the bounty hunter's ship slowly lifted off. She quickly retreated, watching IG-88's ship coast out of the hanger. Apparently the ship had an auto pilot or a beckon call.
As the ship began climbing into the horizon, it erupted into a cloud of flame followed by a loud rumbling boom. Apparently the bounty hunter had also installed a self-destruct.
She turned on her heel moving toward the hangar's north entrance. Out of the corner of her eye she recognized a familiar metallic ship's hull. It was Luke's X-Wing.
She couldn't restrain the smile that spread across her lips. Her left hand caressed the main frame of the X-Wing. A soft whistle caught her attention.
She glanced up at Artoo nestled in his spot behind the cockpit. "Hi."
The droid warbled at her suspiciously.
She smiled, "I'm Trisha, a friend of Luke's."
The droid snorted in a way that meant he wasn't aware of this information.
"It's okay," she said. "Where's Luke?"
The droid whistled telling her his master was in the courtyard.
"You're the best," she blew the droid a kiss as she hurried off.
**
Not long after the girl left, Luke returned to the hangar.
Artoo could tell by how dejected his Master was, he hadn't accomplished what he hoped for on this trip. The droid felt sorry for the young man.
Luke climbed up the ladder on the side of the ship. He situated with himself in the cockpit, donning his helmet.
The droid whistled softly.
"No," he frowned. Once again he’d rushed into something and he’d accomplished absolutely nothing. "Let's just get out of here okay?"
Artoo beeped insistently at him.
"What is it?" Luke said annoyed.
Artoo scrolled his message in front of his master: Your friend Trisha was here and I told her you were in the courtyard.
"Why didn't you say so?"
Artoo whistled indignantly. He typed another message across the screen. She may come back when she doesn't find you. Want to wait?
He wanted to, but he didn't think it was a good idea. "No, let's go."
Artoo whistled reluctantly complying.
**
When she didn't see Luke in the courtyard, Trisha raced back to the hangar.
Except she was too late.
His X-Wing was already taking through the hangar. She sprinted after it, waving her hands and shouting, "Luke!"
Over the roar of the thrusters igniting, he probably hadn't heard her calling.
His X-Wing slowly, making its ascent into the azure skies above, leaving her far behind.
"Luke," she called out, slumping over in exhaustion, resting her hands on her knees.
Why hadn't he waited for her? She didn't know.
She shook her head. Admittedly some things men did didn't make sense to her.


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