Star Wars fan fiction
introduction and preview
Only For A Season
Chapter 1: Desert Visitor
Chapter 2: Game of Marbles
Chapter 3: Stargazer
Chapter 4: Dewbacks and Darklighter
Chapter 5: Skyhopper
Chapter 6: Beggar’s Canyon
Chapter 7: Boonta Eve
Chapter 8: Sunstealer
Chapter 9: The Stone Needle
Chapter 10: Shifting Sands
Chapter 11: A New Season
Chapter 12: Japor Strands
Chapter 13: Farmer’s Holiday
Chapter 14: Starkiller
Chapter 15: Setting Suns
Chapter 16: Seeds of Rebellion
Only For A Season
Luke and Breanna named their little girl Anna, and from the moment she was born she became the center of their universe. The first six months slipped by in a haze of exhaustion and sleeplessness, interspersed with nighttime feedings and changings that made both of them wonder what they would’ve done if not for Beru and Owen’s daily help and advice in resolving a million little crises that came with caring for a newborn baby.
On the six month anniversary of her birth Luke took Brea and Anna for a speeder ride. Breanna raised her eyebrows at her husband when they came to a stop in a desolate corner of the Lars homestead. Clearly he was up to something but she had no idea what, and Luke appeared to be in no hurry to appease her curiosity. He climbed from the speeder, took Anna in his arms and bounced her gently, making excited faces at his daughter and imitating her coos in response.
Brea placed her hand on his shoulder and smiled as she watched the game Luke had invented. She never loved him more than when she was watching him, completely absorbed in the wonder of being a father... though there were definitely days when she’d also swear that the he’d never done anything as wonderfully romantic as to change a dirty diaper and take Anna for bath. Aunt Beru had assured her those feelings came with the territory, a side effect of the physical and emotional exhaustion of being mother to a growing infant.
“What do you think?” Luke asked (in a grown up, if lowered, voice this time). He was cradling Anna against his chest, his hand carefully wrapped against the back of her head as she dozed against him. Breanna affectionately rubbed a hand against her daughter’s soft hair. Speeder rides always made her sleepy.
Then she smiled at Luke, puzzled. “Depends. What am I judging?”
He looked like a baby kyrat who’d just caught itself a womp rat. “Well I was thinking the house would go here. Courtyard to one side, garage to the other. We’re probably standing in Anna’s room right now, unless you want it next to ours instead of across the hall.”
She stared at him for a full minute. His excited grin faded a bit.
“Don’t you like the location? I just thought–”
She placed a hand to his cheek and shook her head at him. “The location is great,” she said when she finally found her voice. “I just had no idea you were planning this.”
“It’s been in the back of my mind since she was born. I figured once Anna was getting through the night a little more we’d have some time to really start planning. Besides,” he grinned, “I don’t think she can share our room forever.”
Brea kissed his lips. “Definitely not.”
“If you’re sure you like this spot we can ask Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru tonight for a stake to it.”
She nodded in agreement.
“I want to build the house myself,” he told her determinedly, “but it’s our home. I want your help.”
Breanna looked around again. She could almost see their own home, every detail of it theirs.
Luke shifted his drowsy daughter against his shoulder, showing her the sight. “This is your home,” he whispered, rocking her in his arms. “The place where you’re going to grow up.”
Breanna put her arm around his waist. “It’s perfect, Luke,” she whispered, and the three of them stood watching the suns dip lower against the horizon, dreaming about a future only they could see.
Six more months flew by with Anna growing wildly and her parents making ready to build a home. They were determined to do it by their own hands; the planning was completed, the site was marked, and supplies were being stockpiled in preparation for the flurry of building set to occur after the upcoming harvest. As was the case with most dinnertimes recently, the talk around the kitchen table revolved around the building, interrupted occasionally by Luke and Breanna’s attempts to convince Anna to eat another mouthful of solid food.
“We’re going back into Anchorhead around mid-day tomorrow,” Luke told his uncle. I need to pick up a few more supplies and Brea has some shopping to do for Anna.”
“My part of the shopping shouldn’t take long,” Breanna said with a smile. “Luke’s may take longer.” She had already told them about yesterday’s trip into town. Breanna had accused him of bartering like a Jawa. And she had repeated the whole story over dinner that night.
Aunt Beru tried her best at hiding a smile. “He behaves more like a Lars every day, hard-headed and stubborn.”
“Is that so, Misses?” Owen asked her. Uncle Owen was a little better at hiding his own smile.
Aunt Beru nodded determinedly, even as she smiled more widely. And everyone at the table laughed.
There was a time when any of those accusations would have mortally offended Luke, but not now. He considered himself a Lars as much as he did a Skywalker, maybe more. Owen Lars was the only father he’d ever known. They’d been through their share of rough patches, but Luke loved Owen like a father, and he knew his uncle felt the same for him.
Luke mumbled sleepily in response and blinked his eyes. A quick scan of the clock showed that it was not quite time to wake up. Even Anna was still asleep. He rolled over to ask his wife why she had woken him; Breanna was usually as greedy for every minute of sleep as he was. But when he turned to face her Brea surprised him with a kiss.
“What did I do to deserve to wake up like that?” he asked, playfully settling his arms around her.
“I hope you get started on the new house very soon,” she advised him seriously.
He blinked. This turn of events made so little sense that he wondered for a moment if he was still asleep and only dreaming that Brea had woken him.
She smiled at his obvious confusion and pulled closer. “It’s just that we’re going to need another room.” Again he blinked at her, awed, charming, and utterly cute; he knew what she was telling him.
Brea nodded at him. “Anna’s going to have a little brother or sister soon,” she whispered.
“Brea.” He pulled her close, kissing her lips. “When did that happen?” he breathed when the two of them gently parted. They didn’t have so many opportunities to be intimate now that Anna was in their lives, but they had made more of those evenings recently thanks to Aunt Beru’s occasional offerings to keep Anna.
“I just learned yesterday. I’ve been waiting for the right time to tell you.”
He held her closer. “You’re right. I had better get busy building.”
Breanna nodded in agreement before both of them dissolved into joyful laughter. She couldn’t remember a time when she hadn’t loved him, but she never ceased to be amazed by how much she loved him. That love had brought them Anna, and soon it would bless their lives with another child. She hoped that this time she could give Luke a son.
A slow smile crossed Luke’s face, and Breanna lowered her eyes as she smiled shyly. She recognized that smile, the gleam in his eye. And Breanna was left feeling a little vulnerable under the knowing weight of his smile.
Do you know how much I love you? Luke thought very deliberately. He lifted his hand to her cheek a moment later and stared into her eyes until the wariness gradually disappeared from her smile.
They had come to an unspoken truce that day they had fought over Breanna’s health. Luke wouldn’t use his insights against her, Brea wouldn’t challenge the truth in those insights, and she wouldn’t lie to him, ever. She accepted him as he was, even the parts she didn’t understand. But for a moment Luke caught himself wishing for more, wishing that she could share in that wonderful, warm feeling that trickled through his mind whenever her thoughts or feelings briefly overlapped his own.
Breanna bent close to kiss him affectionately, and she settled under the sheets by his side.
Luke closed his eyes, smiling at the thought of a little boy with his rambunctious spirit, Brea’s warm eyes and her smile.... He decided it was enough that he felt it. And it was a small miracle that Brea wasn’t scared senseless by having a mind reader for a husband.
Luke glanced back at the clock. They still had a little time before the day would need to begin. He kissed the top of her head and held Brea close. Between now and then there was nothing more pressing than the two of them, their news, and their happiness.
A few hours later Luke stood in the garage waiting for Breanna and Anna to join him for a trip into Anchorhead. He found himself studying his old Skyhopper just as Brea entered the room.
“You know I should sell this thing,” he thought out loud, glancing in her direction.
Breanna circled around the speeder Luke had bought to accommodate their growing family, thinking that he must be talking about something she couldn’t see.
“Your T-16?” she asked in disbelief, gently shifting her sleeping daughter against her shoulder.
He shrugged. “It’s just sitting here. We could get a decent price for it, even if I have to sell it for scrap.”
“Then why haven’t you sold it before?” she asked curiously. She strongly suspected his decision had something to do with the fact that Luke had recently gotten word from Biggs.
“I guess I thought I’d get it running again; I just haven’t found the time,” Luke answered.
“You and Biggs put so much work into it. I’m sure you could still get it running,” she persisted.
He smiled. “And take you and Anna for spins through Beggars Canyon? No, it’s outlived its purpose.”
She gave him a peck on the cheek. “Suit yourself. But don’t do it today. Think on for a while first,” she suggested.
“Sure,” Luke agreed, staring at the hopper for a few more minutes. He couldn’t help but think of all the time he and Biggs had spent together working on that thing or racing each other.... Then he sighed heavily. Now at the end of his two year service stint, Biggs had decided to sign up for another year’s service in the fleet instead of coming home like he and Luke had once discussed.
That decision quietly marked the end of a dream for Luke. He knew he would never go on to the Academy, never have those adventures; he and Biggs wouldn’t even go into business together the way they had planned as kids. There was a good chance Luke would never leave Tatooine now. By getting rid of his skyhopper he was agreeing to put those childhood dreams aside for good. It surprised him that he didn’t feel sad about it, only a little nostalgic for the past. He had looked forward to seeing Biggs again and hearing his stories.... But Biggs’s life was no longer here, and Luke’s was.
He placed a hand against the cold metal of the Skyhopper, already weighing out how much they might be able to get for it. By the time he climbed into the speeder alongside his wife and daughter his thoughts had returned to the building supplies he needed to buy in Anchorhead today.
Their speeder pulled into Anchorhead a short time later. Luke dropped Breanna in the open market where she had shopping to do. She kissed him and reminded him she wouldn’t be long. Luke smiled at the hint.
“I promise, I won’t be late.” They both knew he tended to get carried away haggling over prices. He just couldn’t help it; he knew what the supplies were worth and he wasn’t about to let the Anchorhead vendors try to overcharge the poor moisture farmer. Brea and Aunt Beru could tease all they liked, he knew what was important. Luke kissed his wife and daughter goodbye, watched Breanna disappear into the market, then went on about his business.
Luke made his way toward the outskirts of Anchorhead where most of the mechanical and building supply shops were to be found. As he pulled his speeder to a halt it occurred to him that traffic had thinned noticeably between here and the market. When he entered the shop he was even more surprised to find it deserted. Luke made his way toward the counter, browsing a little but mostly watching curiously. The shopkeeper and a couple of kids helping him man the store, probably his sons, looked nervous. Luke gave him a nod.
“Business a little slow today?” Luke prompted.
Both boys looked toward the door reflexively. “Had some unwanted visitors earlier,” the man replied.
Luke gave up on being subtle and approached the counter directly. “Really?” he asked.
The shopkeeper gave a reluctant nod. “Put down this morning, been canvassing the city like they’re looking for something, or someone.”
Luke’s brow furrowed in confusion as the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end. He could think of only one explanation that fit what the shopkeeper was telling him, along with the lack of activity in the city.
“Stormtroopers,” one of the boys whispered, confirming Luke’s suspicion.
Luke’s head turned from the boy back to the shopkeeper. “What business do Imperial troops have out here?”
“Don’t know,” he answered. “Don’t want to know. All I can tell you is I’ll be glad when they’re gone.”
Luke nodded. “Obliged for the news, but I think I’ll come back to do my shopping later.”
“You and everybody else today,” he said bitterly.
Luke gave a sympathetic grimace but left the shop quickly. Once outside he began walking the streets. Obviously word had begun to trickle through that there were Stormtroopers on the ground. Everybody he met looked nervous and curious, while trying to act natural. Many more citizens of Anchorhead had decided to leave the streets entirely. Luke had yet to see any troops but decided it might be a good idea to clear out all the same. He started back toward his speeder.
Breanna met Annalis in the market as they had planned, and the two of them had spent the last half hour shopping for the children. Annalis had come with her little ones in tow, but she and Breanna had separated when the youngsters had gone aside looking at toys and sweets.
Annalis had always been very generous to Breanna and Anna, but times like these made Brea realize that she didn’t look forward to having to explain to her children why they couldn’t have all the things their cousins had.... Breanna gave a sigh; she hoped she and Luke could raise Anna, and her brothers or sisters, to understand that there were more important things. She smiled at that thought. Her children might sometimes lack luxuries but they would never lack for love and a devoted family.
Breanna looked up from her thoughts, and the hat that she was trying on Anna, when she heard a strange sounding voice. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw what it belonged to. It was a stormtrooper. Instinctively, Breanna looked away. The trooper was questioning nearby vendors. From the corner of her eye she saw a line of additional troops fanning out through the market, each of them following suit. The sound of their clanking armor and eerie mechanical voices gave her the creeps. She looked around for Annalis and spotted her holding on tightly to her children as she also watched the troops. Brea was about to make her way toward her sister when the sound of that metal voice stopped her cold.
“We’re looking for a man called Skywalker.”
The vendor shook her head vigorously and the trooper moved on to the next booth. That vendor was looking curiously at Brea. Breanna turned and walked toward Annalis as quickly as she could without drawing attention to herself.
But she came to an abrupt halt when another trooper peeled off and blocked her path. “Come with me,” he said in his horrible grating voice. Breanna looked past him just as Annalis rushed to her defense.
“This is my sister. She’s done nothing!”
“Then you have nothing to worry about,” he stated shortly.
“Our family is very powerful; you don’t want to offend the Starkillers.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” he replied sardonically. “This way,” he commanded Brea.
“Annalis, will you take Anna?” Brea called, but before she could hand the girl to her aunt the trooper gave Brea’s shoulder a shove, turning her around. He followed her away, his armored hand resting on her shoulder.
“Come with me, quickly,” Breanna heard Annalis say to her children, “we need to find your father.”
Luke stopped in his tracks. Almost at the speeder, he felt an explosion of danger in his mind like nothing he had felt before. It was the exact feeling he’d gotten before the winds had thrown him off course at the stone needle – but this was a hundred times worse. Just as it had been then, he didn’t know where the danger was coming from; all he knew was that he needed to get away from here. He had to find Brea and Anna and get home.
The next few minutes were a blur. He climbed into the speeder and took off toward the center of town and the market where he’d left Breanna. When Luke got there he saw the first stormtroopers. They were all over the streets, holding a presence on most corners, talking to one another over their comm units. And they had set up roadblock checkpoints along most of the major streets. Luke took a deep breath, his anxiety increasing as he continued on toward the outskirts of town. That warning feeling in his mind told him very clearly not to go near the troops in their gleaming white armor.... Once he had cleared the occupied areas he parked the speeder and turned back on foot.
The trooper took Breanna to a makeshift Imperial base just outside the market. “An informant pointed this woman out to us,” he said, transferring Breanna into the custody of a man in an officer’s uniform. Somehow his cold human face, peering out from above the gray material of his uniform, was no less intimidating than the stormtrooper’s inhuman appearance. He looked at her for a long moment before he dismissed the trooper and addressed Breanna.
“We’re looking for a man named Skywalker,” he told her, quickly scanning the data pad in his hand before returning his gaze to Breanna. “An informant says you know the man.”
Breanna watched him with a hard glare, determinedly ignoring the troops moving about behind him. “Your informant is wrong,” she stated cooly. “I don’t know anyone with that name.”
His face darkened. “Then why don’t you start by telling me your name.”
“Breanna Starkiller,” she answered coldly, silently hoping that Annalis might be right about the Starkiller’s influence in the region.
“Really. We were told it was Skywalker.”
Breanna remained silent, turning her attention to her daughter. Anna hadn’t cried but she was getting restless. Breanna tried to stay calm for her sake, but she decided to see if this man might be willing to bargain with her. “Please, let me send my daughter home, then I’ll stay and answer your questions.”
The officer ignored her request as though she hadn’t spoken it. One of the troopers came forward after a nod from the commanding officer.
“There’s an easy way to settle your identity, and the child’s too.”
The trooper carried a biological matching kit. They could easily scan her biological signs, match a sample of her DNA, then run that data through the planet’s mandatory database for the Imperial census. If they checked her identity against the local records they would then learn that she was married to Luke, and that she had lied to them. She wouldn’t survive this.
“Please, just allow me to send my daughter home. Whatever this man you’re looking for has done, surely my child is innocent,” Breanna cajoled, but the officer seemed to know what she was thinking.
“If nothing is amiss and you are who you say you are we’ll let both of you go, just as soon as we’ve verified who you are.” The unspoken threat cut like a knife; if Breanna had been truthful she would go free, but if she had lied to them her deception would condemn her daughter as well as herself... and the new life she carried, the one that had brought her and Luke such joy a short time ago.... If she died that life died with her, before it even had a chance to begin.
Breanna wondered what would they do with her. She wouldn’t tell them anything, even if they learned her identity. But if they learned her identity they would already know everything. Her family, and Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, they would be next. The stormtroopers would find them without warning... and they would also protect Luke.
Breanna winced at those thoughts, but she knew better than to dwell on them. She had to stay calm and be cool if she was going to find a way out of this mess. No matter what happened she was not going to lead them to Luke. She didn’t know why, but it was him they wanted. She would not let herself be used as a way to get to him. She would not endanger Luke or their families. That meant she couldn’t allow the Imperials to take those biological readings.
Luke tried to make his way to Breanna and Anna but troopers blocked the streets at every turn. That warning feeling in his mind continued to tell him not to go near the armor-clad solders, but his patience was running out. He had to find them!
Brea, Luke called in his mind. He didn’t know what prompted him to do it. There had been times, brief and usually intimate moments, when he had been able to hear her thoughts. Over the course of their marriage he had learned to recognize and appreciate those moments, that special connection to her. But no matter how vividly he felt it, he had never been able to control it.
Luke quieted his own thoughts, then he felt a rush of desperation followed by confusion.
Luke? “Don’t come any closer,” she warned.
Luke could feel her panic. Faceless figures closed in on her, and Brea tried to back away.
“Stay where you are,” a voice commanded. Luke knew by the sound of it, it belonged to a stormtrooper.
He closed his eyes tight and concentrated on the feel of Brea’s voice. He had never tried to use those feelings before; the attempt left him feeling lightheaded and weak but he didn’t care. The desperate feeling in her mind flooded into a sensation of panic and being trapped.
Brea. I’m coming, Luke called to her.
No. Luke. It’s too dangerous, she insisted. And Luke could feel the truth in her thoughts and emotions; it was him they were looking for. He was the reason Brea was in danger. Luke’s stunned emotions came back into focus when he felt a change in her. Her mind was quiet, her emotions determined. She knew she might not survive, but she wouldn’t be the one to condemn them all to death.
Brea, no! he yelled without saying a word. But he was already too late. She had made her decision and she didn’t answer Luke in words; he felt a wave of love from her, as intimate as any joining between them had ever been, and he understood what she was about to do.
Breanna pushed past the trooper, the one who was closing in on her. He was unarmed, carrying only the medical equipment he was extending toward her. She held Anna tightly, using her own body to shield her daughter, and she ran as hard as she could away from the trooper, trying to escape back into the market.
Then pain exploded in Luke’s mind’s eye with a flash of red light and the gleam of white armor. He fell blindly to his hands and knees and clutched desperately at the sand.
They were gone.
The trooper who had shot first kicked the woman’s limp body onto its back with a cautious flip of his boot. Another two troopers joined him, looking down at the scene. They had seen a suspect attempting to flee and they had reacted instantaneously, firing to incapacitate but not to kill. One shot likely would have left her seriously wounded, but the combination of three had sheared clean through, killing her and the child she was carrying.
“What was she thinking?” one of them asked rhetorically.
“Panicked. Probably trying to hide some local trouble.”
“She didn’t want to be tested.”
The officer who had been questioning the woman walked up behind them. “The way she kept trying to send that child away–” he scoffed, “my bet it’s not hers.”
“Do you think she snatched it, sir?”
“Good an explanation as any,” he concluded.
“Or she could have cuckolded her husband.”
The officer snorted. “I suppose so. Either way she was desperate, trying to save her own skin.”
“Should we check her records anyway, sir?”
He hesitated, the obvious answer that came to his mind contradicted with such a simple truth. “It doesn’t matter who she was,” the officer decided, turning his back on the scene. “She can’t tell us anything now. You have your orders,” he barked. “Keep looking for this Skywalker. If he even exists,” the man added under his breath.
So Let it Be Written Publishing © 2004