The following is a missing moment submission from Seams2Be. It takes place during the book Tyrant's Test when Leia witnesses Han's beating.
Then You Stand– Missing Moment from Tyrant’s Test
Her shaking was relentless and uncontrollable. Fear shivered through her soul. Leia tightened her arms around herself as she stood in front of the viewing screen in the small consulting office for the New Republic Strategic Defense.
An image came into focus on the wall mount monitor.
It was Han.
Leia’s heart stopped. Through her terrified deep brown eyes she saw Han being thrown into a non-descript room by two equally non-descript Yevethan guards.
Han looked terrible, dressed only in some grungy oversized drawstring pants, no shirt or boots and from the looks of him, she knew he had already been worked over. Her husband looked like he had been in some notorious bar fight somewhere with one eye purple and swollen, hair a mess, and bruised welts covering his exposed body.
“Oh, Han,” she whispered.
If she were with him, she knew he would make some wise crack like, “You think I look bad, you ought to see the other guy.” But no, this was no joke, no trick, no Force vision. This was real.
Inhaling a small gasp, Leia noticed his arms. Han’s upper arms were bound together behind him by what looked like a thick nerfhide belt, rendering them useless. She frantically tried to reach out to him through the Force but all she could manage to do was search out his face on the monitor.
It was set and determined. Leia knew that look, it was the bring it on you kriffin' bastard look.
Suddenly Leia’s really bad feeling became desperately worse.
The barbaric leader of the Yevetha, Nil Spaar, had just entered the view screen. He must have been waiting in a corner of the room, just out of camera range, Leia thought to herself.
Without a word, Spaar punched Han in the gut, causing him to double over. In a split second Han came up out of his hunched over status slamming Nil Spaar’s chin with his head, causing the Yevethan to hit his head on the bulkhead, inflicting a gash above his temple.
Han, whom had all odds against him, was not going down without a fight. Leia knew he would keep fighting until he was unconscious or dead. She feared both.
The taunting game continued. Spaar seemed to relish in his supremacy as he sideswiped Han’s legs, collapsing Han backwards on top of his tied up arms. The crunch of shattering bones was deafening. Leia put her hand over her mouth to keep from screaming. Then Nil Spaar stomped on Han’s stomach, pinning him in place on the floor. Blood was already trickling from Han’s nose and mouth. Extending his razor sharp dewclaw, Leia saw that Spaar intended to gouge out Han’s un-swollen eye.
Haaaaan!!! Leia’s inaudible screaming thundered through her head. Let him go, she silently demanded. Please stop hurting him, Leia quietly begged. No, she whispered to herself as she swallowed her tears. To the rest of the New Republic officers in theviewing room, Leia was soundless and stoic, she only pressed her hand to her mouth a bit more.
Once again Leia found herself in an eerily familiar position: silently helpless, witnessing the unspeakable. First it was her planet and now her whole world.
Focusing harder on the view screen, Leia watched as the Viceroy continued in his quest to claw out Han’s good eye. Leia didn’t know if it was Han’s stubbornness or his unyielding will but he was able to cleverly deflect the blinding attempt by spitting into the Yevethan’s own eyes, causing Spaar to miss his intended target, inflicting only a cheek wound instead of the alternative.
In that same instant, Han was able to kick out Spaar’s legs from under him, resulting in an embarrassing fall for the supreme leader.
However, also in that moment both Han and Leia simultaneously knew Han’s luck had just folded like a bad Sabacc hand.
Enraged, Spaar went in for the kill and all life drained from Leia’s face.
“Kriffing fool!” Leia wailed out loud to herself. “Kriffin', kriffin' fool.” She choked as she struggled to breathe. Leia held her hair back again as another round of retching ensued.
She couldn’t remember how she even got back to her private office, let alone how she made it to the refresher before vomiting.
She only knew that she had watched helplessly as Han was beaten to a bloody pulp. He was probably dying if he wasn’t already dead and she was to blame. She would never forgive herself. The entire situation was her fault. So many paid the price for her decisions or lack there of, especially Han.
Nil Spaar had played Leia for a fool. For months he led her on, under the pretense of peace, all the while committing sabotage within the senate and the entire galaxy for that matter. She couldn’t believe that she was so blind, so gullible and so stupid to not see through his elaborate schemes.
She threw up again.
Pulling her head from the commode, Leia crawled across the refresher floor, curling up on the rug in front of the sink. Though the cold stone floor was where she thought she belonged. Just like Han, lying dying on a cold floor somewhere a million light years away from her.
Tears streamed down her face, dripping from her chin and cheeks as visions of bloody shadows haunted her.
She was inconsolable, which was fine since there was nobody to console her anyway. “I’m so sorry Han, I’m so sorry,” she whimpered aloud between sobs. Speaking only to the air. She was alone, so alone. For a long time she lay on the hard stone floor, all the while thinking, How did I let this happen?
Whether it was five minutes or five hours, it didn’t matter to Leia. Time was meaningless. However, after a few more minutes lying on the refresher floor, Leia started to regain a bit of her sensibilities. Her tears finally ceased and a new set of emotions kicked in. The children, she thought to herself. I’ve got to pull myself together for the children’s sake. Han would expect no less from me, she added silently.
Slowly she made her way from the floor to the refresher sink, splashing cold water on her face. Looking into her own reflection, Leia didn’t recognize the woman looking back at her. What the hell happened to me? When did I lose my way? she pondered as she stared at the unrecognizable stranger in the mirror.
In that moment, she realized the brilliant ruse that Nil Spaar had pulled off. Not only did he master the realm of physical torture, fear, and domination, but he managed to accomplish the most intimate personal type of torture; manipulation of the psyche.
Gripping the marble countertop, Leia realized how she allowed Nil Spaar to plant the seeds of doubt within herself. It was brilliant. The vermin queen, Solo’s wife, Chief of State of the New Republic, oh how he managed to make her dance to his tune, orchestrating all the movements like a grand symphony. Savagely beating her husband was probably for his own sadistic pleasure as much as it was meant to intimidate her into submission.
“Over my dead body,” Leia finally uttered to the woman in the mirror, gripping the countertop even tighter.
She wasn’t sure if she was angry with herself for beingso easily duped, yes, but more likely her intense rage centered around the scum that devised the elaborate plot to begin with.
When Leia thought about how she fell victim to the Yevethan’s ploy, words fell fast and furious out of her mouth…“You manipulative mother kriff………“ a string of intergalactic curse words spewed off her tongue with such ease and fluency, no one would ever expect a princess, let alone the Chief of State, to even know, much less utter, such vulgar dialogue.
Finally she had the strength to meet her gaze head on in the reflective glass. She took a good long hard look into her eyes. She half expected to see Vader’s mask in the mirror, especially after the obscene verbal barrage she just unleashed. Anger leads to the darkside, why does that saying always come into my head she wondered? Well kriff that, it’s just one more way to make me second-guess myself, she thought.
If this was the path to the dark side, so be it. But Leia wasn’t going to the darkside, no she was already someplace beyond.
She was about to bring all the hells of the universe upon Nil Spaar and his kind, ending his conquest to control the galaxy.
Releasing her grip on the refresher’s vanity countertop, Leia squared her shoulders and set her jaw, just like Han. She continued to stare into the mirror.
From somewhere deep inside, Leia found what she had lost or had at least temporarily misplaced.
She rediscovered the courage of her convictions.
She intuitively knew what was right and what was wrong, it was the essence of who she was. No more political correctness for fear of offending this senator or that trade group. No more going along to get along. No more self doubt. She knew what she had to do.
It was as if a heavy, wet fog dissipated from around her. With her new-found clarity and focus, she was determined to follow what she knew with all her heart was the right thing to do.
She would not linger in the past, not even the recent past. Pulling herself up by her proverbial bootstraps, she knew it was time she went home and comforted her children. She had to be there for them and for all that was innocent.
Turning to unlock the refresher door, she took one last look in the mirror. She knew it was time for her to stand.
Thanks for the submission! And again, if anyone has any stories or missing moments they would like to see posted here on the blog, please feel free to contact us!