Friday, August 26, 2011

What's the Plan?


Han Solo had made a promise, years and years ago, that he would never, ever wear a storm trooper’s uniform ever again.  Steadying himself against Leia and lifting his tired, wobbly legs into the uniform, he made the promise to himself once again for what he hoped would be the last time.  Once dressed, the trio left the storm trooper in Han’s cell and made for the exit.

Han walked a step behind Leia, one arm rested on her shoulder and the other arm cradled his storm trooper’s rifle.  His muscles twitched and jumped and it took all of his energy and concentration just to hold the heavy rifle and continue to move his feet.  Continuous waves of nausea washed over him and his breathing became increasingly and increasingly more shallow and quick as he worked his way through the urge to vomit.

“We’re approaching the main gate, are you alright?” Leia spoke without turning to look at him, but even through the sound filters of his helmet, he could hear the worry laced through every syllable.

“I’m fine.”  Having Leia beside him, having his hand resting on her shoulder, Han felt like he could take on the universe.  He just hoped he wouldn’t really have to.

Approaching the gate, he took his hand off of Leia’s shoulder and followed the two women closely.  Mon Mothma spoke to the two perimeter guards and Han watched as they eyed the threesome suspiciously.  Any questions, any hesitations, they had agreed to resort to Plan B.  Han shuffled on his feet, but then he noticed Leia’s hand, palm facing him, fingers splayed in a discreet signal to hold off.

Han watched as one of the guards disappeared into the small building that housed the controls to the gates along with their communication and emergency alert systems.  If Leia’s hunch to hold off was wrong, now that this guard was out of their sights, that mistake could cost them very dearly.  Exhaling a heavy breath, Han flinched when the large gate blocking their exit began to slowly creak open.  Thank the gods.

The trio climbed into Mon Mothma’s hover car.  Han heard Mon call out an address to her driver and as the car sped away from the prison, the trio rode along in silence.  Han had faith that the two women, or at least the one currently pressed up against him, had some sort of plan.  As the car meandered deeper into the streets of Coruscant, he could tell that they were entering a lower rent district.  He noticed Mon Mothma shuffle in her seat slightly right before the car slowed to rest in front of a dingy, low rise building.

The driver exited the car and circled around to open the door on Han’s side.  He stepped out of the vehicle and Leia followed him.  The driver closed the door, got back into the vehicle and the car sped off.

“C’mon,” Leia whispered as she walked towards the building.

Han followed her into the foyer, then onto the turbo lifts and to the fifth floor.  They walked down the dimly lit corridor in silence and even through Han’s air filters, he could smell the stale, mildewed air that permeated the interior of the building.  Leia stopped in front of a door marked: five hundred and twelve and swiped a card against the scan grid.  The door rattled and squeaked as it slid open and Han followed Leia inside. 

He began to take off his helmet as Leia locked the door.  He coughed and wheezed a little once his head was free.  Leia spun around and looked at him.  Their eyes locked and the only sound in the room was his breath mixed with hers and the sound of his heart booming in his chest.  She took one step towards him and he closed the distance, lowering his head to hers and kissing her deeply.  This is what he lived for, this was what he had almost given up hope for.  Her lips on his, her in his arms.  Time stood still for the few moments they let it. 

But they were far from free and Han’s mind was already racing forward.  Breaking the kiss, he pulled her into his arms and sighed as he asked, “What’s the plan?”

She held him in her arms, her chest resting against the hard armor that surrounded him.  She let out a deep breath and said, “Mon’s supposed to pick us up within the hour about five blocks from here.”

“But?” he asked, knowing by the sound of her voice that she was not thoroughly convinced on their path forward.

“But…something isn’t right.”

Releasing his arms from surrounding her she took a step back and looked at him.  Standing in a moment of silence, she continued, “Rieekan said that they had their best men looking for you, yet I found you within hours of arriving.  Someone’s lying.”

“You think Carlist lied to you?”

“I don’t know.  It’s either Carlist or Mon.”

“What do you want to do?”

“Mon’s supposed to pick us up in her starship, at least she would get us off of Coruscant and then we could take our chances there.”


“But…I’ve got a bad feeling about it.”

“If they shut Coruscant down, we’ll be hard-pressed to get off-planet.”

Her mouth opened as if she wanted to speak but she faltered.  Taking a deep breath she steadied herself and said, “I left Artoo in the public hangar.”

He looked at her for a moment.  Han had little feelings for droids, but Artoo and Threepio had become exceptions for him.  He took a deep breath and said, “What do you want to do?”

“I don’t think we should trust Mon.”

“Then we won’t.”

“But I don’t know how we’ll ever get off-planet without her.”

“We’ll figure it out.”

She looked at him for a second and then said, “There’s clothes in the ‘fresher, we should get you changed and then…we’ll decide.”

He raised his hand and rested itn against her cheek.  His hand was dark with dirt and he noticed how pale and hollow her cheek looked underneath it.  He swallowed hard and asked, “Are you alright?”

Her eyes fell down to the floor between them and she whispered, “They killed Wedge.  He came here with me.”

He pulled her to him and they stood in silence.  The loss of a friend was never easy, but Han knew how that loss could make whatever friends that are left, even that more precious.  He kissed the top of her head and whispered, “We’ll get Artoo.  We’ll make it off the planet on our own.”

She let out a heavy breath and Han knew that he had found the words and the answer she was hoping for.   He squeezed her to him one more time as he said, “I’ll go get cleaned up.  We probably shouldn’t stay here any longer than necessary.” be continued...

Zyra's condition for me for this chapter was that they had to actually escape...stay tuned for more.


  1. I bet it's not really that pleasant to hug someone in stormtrooper armor. Aw, even though I knew what was going to happen it's still just so nice to have them together again. I love the mention that he thought with Leia by his side he could take on the universe.... but he really hopes he doesn't have to right now :)

  2. I'm just so happy to see them together! You have no idea how much I missed Han. *sigh* Great chapter. : )

  3. you know, that was awfully easy. I have a bad feeling about this :-)

  4. I really liked this chapter, maybe for obvious reasons, but you also set up a situation I haven't seen before...questioning their trust in Mothma and Rieekan. Hmm!

  5. I love the "Having Leia beside him, having his hand resting on her shoulder, Han felt like he could take on the universe. He just hoped he wouldn’t really have to" bit.

    Wonderful chapter, as always.