The Sith Empress – Part 9

The Sith Empress

by AJ Marks

Part 9

Luke walked around the house before finding Han out by the pool along with the children who were having some fun.

“Uncle Luke,” one said swimming to the side of the pool.

“Hey,” Luke said making his way over to where Han sat.

“So, what’s up kid?” Han asked already knowing something was up.

“I’m going to be headed back to the academy, got some new recruits which are scheduled to arrive and I want to be there,” Luke said to him.

“What about Gaia?” Han asked, not surprising Luke at all despite the fact they had not seen her much since arriving here.

“Well, I was wondering if you could bring her back a bit later,” Luke replied hoping he wasn’t putting any pressure on Han to do such a thing.

“Well, the Falcon is almost done with her overhaul, and could use a test run, and I’ve been meaning to take the kids out to see you so I guess we could,” Han said with a grin on his face.

Luke could tell that Han was actually excited to make such a trip.  He might be the husband of a President, but he was still a rogue character at heart.

“Let me go talk to her real quick and then I’ll head over to the port and take off,” Luke said moving back into the house and to his room.  Finding his communicator he quickly called Gaia and had to wait several seconds before she finally answered.  He told her the situation and told her to follow a day few days later and to try and complete her research if she could.

With the conversation over he packed up and met Han as they headed to the speeder, the kids under the watchful eye of a nanny and C-3PO.  Quickly heading off in the speeder they traveled a bit in silence before Han spoke up.

“Is there every a time where there is nothing going on around here?” Han asked him.

“Occasionally, but that’s when I get worried,” Luke replied honestly.  “It means something is being planned.”

“I see, you’re the ‘it’s the calm before the storm’ type person,” Han said to him.  “Leia says the same thing.

Arriving at the dock which had his ship from the academy Luke gave Han a quick good-bye before walking on board the ship which R2 had gotten prepared.  A short time later he lifted off and headed back to the academy.


Leia arrived back home to see Han waiting up for her.  She heard from others in her staff that Luke had left already but had seen Gaia in the cafeteria after seeing the news and wondered about it.  Now that she was home she could get the real story from her husband.

She didn’t see Gaia either and assumed she was either asleep or still at the library.  They had given her access to a speeder so she could come and go as she pleased.

“Are the kids in bed already?” she asked walking across the room giving him a hug.

“Yep, and hopefully asleep as well,” Han replied back to her.

“I heard Luke left to head back to the academy earlier in the day,” Leia stated wondering if the rumor was true.  The fact he wasn’t here seemed to confirm it.

“Yeah, said he had some trainees or something, coming to the academy and he wanted to be there to greet them when they arrived,” Han replied back to her.

“Makes sense, but what about Gaia?” Leia asked sitting down at the table knowing she had seen the young woman earlier in the day as well.

“Well,” Han replied and she knew something else was up.  “Luke asked if I could bring her back with me.  The Falcon is almost ready and needs a shake down flight and the kids have wanted to see the academy.”

“I suppose, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the twin’s studies,” Leia replied after a few seconds of thinking about it.

“Well, Chewie is arriving tomorrow,” Han said to her.  “He had a good visit with his family and is ready to see his other family.”

“And he’ll probably want to go with you,” Leia said knowing Chewbacca would go with Han unless he said otherwise.

“Yeah, probably, wish you could go as well,” Han said to her.

“Hmm, perhaps I could.  I’ve been meaning to pay a visit to the Jedi Academy for the Senate and this could be a good opportunity to do so,” Leia said thinking about the situation a bit and how she might be able to go.  The Senate was suspicious of the new Jedi and what they were doing.  This could provide an opportunity to calm any nerves.

“You know some of the senators will want to come with you,” Han said to her.

“The Falcon could comfortably fit a few of us,” Leia said to him.

“How comfortable do you want to be, there’s already us, the three kids, Chewie, Gaia doesn’t leave that much more room,” Han replied to her.  “I’d say no more than two other senators to go along any more would be uncomfortable.”

Leia looked up and nodded.  She would work on who to take and informing the Senate and her staff.  But it all could wait until the morning, for now she was tired and ready to go to bed.


Leia woke the next morning knowing she had a lot of things to do.  Han was still half-asleep when she got up but managed a good morning kiss.  Quickly getting dressed she made her way to the speeder waiting for her and noticed that the room Gaia was using was open.  Taking a peek inside she was only slightly surprised when she didn’t see the Jedi.

She wondered if Gaia had heard the recent news as she continued on her way to the speeder.  She stopped at a cafeteria for some breakfast and enjoyed the morning view while going over her appointments before she finally arrived at the capitol building.

Walking down the corridor she could see the morning sky full of activity already, not that Coruscant ever really slept anyways.  Not every race kept the same hours as she did, some were more nocturnal in nature as she arrived at the library and sought out Ysonne.

“Ah, morning Madam President,” Ysonne said as Leia came walking up to her.

”Just the person I was looking for, have you seen the young Jedi, Gaia?” Leia asked her.

“She’s in the Jedi records area, follow me,” Ysonne said leading Leia down into the library to where Gaia was and had been spending a lot of time.

Leia stopped a bit in surprise as she looked around the room, full of books spread open all over the table and floor and in the middle of it all was the blonde-haired Jedi oblivious to the arrivals.  Ysonne bowed to Leia and left to continue her duties.

Gently clearing her throat she watched as Gaia looked up at the sudden noise from what she had been reading.

“Oh, hello Madam President,” Gaia said rubbing her eyes a bit.  “What time is it?”

“About six,” Leia replied.

“I should get some supper then,” Gaia said getting up from where she had been sitting.

“Um, actually its six in the morning,” Leia replied back to her watching her eyes widen at the comment.  “Have you found anything you can use?”

“No, not really,” Gaia replied a bit of frustration in her voice.  “It just seems like every lead I might find ends up a dead end or has no information.  Its like some missing link just out of reach.”

“How about getting something to eat, sometimes a break makes things look clearer,” Leia replied back to her.

Gaia nodded and stood up, stretching her muscles which had been cramped for far too long.  She left the books where they were and followed Leia out of the room.

“You’re not afraid the library staff will put up your work?” Leia asked as they made their way down the hallway and out of the library.

“No, I talked with Ysonne and she said I could leave it out and inform them when I was done.  Until then they wouldn’t touch it,” Gaia replied back to her.

Leia nodded knowing that Ysonne would do such a thing for someone doing research.  “I don’t know if you’ve heard but Luke went back to the academy,” Leia said.  “Something about some new recruits coming in that he wanted to be there to meet.”

“Yes, we talked already, and I guess I need a ride back to the academy soon,” Gaia replied and appeared to be thinking about her possible solutions.

“We have that covered.  We can take you back in the Falcon,” Leia told her.  “That is if you don’t mind sharing a ride with a wookie, three kids, two senators and my over-excited husband.”

“Sounds intimidating,” Gaia finally replied as she thought about it.  Leia knew being close to so many heroes of the rebellion, and in the Falcon could be overwhelming to some.

“Don’t let it get to you, we’re just people as well,” Leia replied.  “Given time and your status as a Jedi, you could be looked at the same way when others are around you.”

“I guess, but somehow I doubt that,” Gaia replied pushing a lock of blonde-hair out of her face and tucking it behind an ear.  They reached the cafeteria and parted ways.  Gaia wanted to do a bit more research before heading back to the Solo residence and Leia promising to contact her on when they might leave but it might be a few days.


Gaia looked at the books in front of her and everything which had gone on.  She had read about some truly great Jedi and their exploits and could barely imagine doing even half of what some had done.  The biggest problem was she still had not found what shew as looking for now and wondered if that information had been destroyed.

With a sigh she realized she had been at it now for over two weeks and still no closer to finding out a solution to her questions.  She heard Chewie had taken the Falcon on a test run of the hyperdrive to Tatoonie and ran into some trouble with some mercenaries, but managed to get out with the help of another Jedi named Jaden.

She had heard a few things about this new Jedi from reports from the academy as Fie-Tel continued to check up on her progress.  There were also whispers of conflicts in the hallways of the capitol building as she passed with people unaware she was listening.

Closing the book in frustration she looked at the stack once more in front of her.  She thought she had gone through all of it without success to the point she was ready to call it quits and return back to the academy.  She wondered if Master Skywalker or Fie-Tel might have some direction she could go.

She returned the book to the stack to be reshelved and reached down to put a few more up.  With a stack of books one fell despite her efforts.  Putting up the books and bending down retrieved the book and started to close the book when she stopped.

Something in the book caught her eye and she sat down and read the entire passage.  It wasn’t long, and was from a doctor on board the Chu’unther and an unusual recovery.  She read though a bit more uncovering that it spoke about an injured Jedi Master and how they managed to heal her, and not in the normal way, but something called a healing sleep which had no connection with the Force.

Gaia skimmed the article looking for a name or something but only discovered the Jedi had been injured during an explosion on board the ship.  Something about the event sparked excitement in Gaia, as if she was on the right path now.

Looking up the history of the Chu’unther she now was looking for any explosions which might have occurred on board.  There were several articles which came up, most involved combat but one caught her eye.  It mentioned sabotage of the ship and a resulting trial on board.

It took only a few minutes to find the listing of the trial and reading though the names of the parties involved came across several.  She noticed several Jedi Masters, including Master Yoda and another one called Lightner, and a Jedi Knight Knit.  She looked up and discovered Knit was a male, but the only thing she found on Lightner was a name, Jedi Master Bri Lightner.

She felt sure that name was the one she was looking for and tried a new search.  But the results came up with an error and nothing found no matter what combination she used.

She would have to talk to Master Skywalker and see what he thought.

End part 9

Continued in part 10

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