Luke dreamed of twin suns in the relative peace of a buzzing cockpit. Although this dream was only brief, he was enjoying it greatly. It reminded him of his time on Tatooine, a planet that had been lacking in many charms and qualities afforded to the rest of the galaxy but had at the end of the day been his home.
It had been a good few weeks since the young man had been allowed to simply rest without having to worry about some upcoming battle or vital diplomatic mission, and for the first time since Endor, Luke slept soundly. Currently the sleeping Jedi was sat upright in the co-pilot’s seat of a tiny vessel streaking through the black ocean of space. The vessel’s pilot gave their passenger a curious eye and wondered to themselves how in all of the people that lived in this strange galaxy they’d managed to wind up piloting the Last Jedi.
A mere twelve hours ago Luke had been in a similar situation on the distant planet of Coruscant, a world covered entirely by a single city and frequently used by government types. At least the upper levels were anyway, the lower levels of the planet were known for harbouring some of the galaxy’s deadliest inhabitants and it was for that reason Luke had been granted a hotel by the New Republic on the planet’s highest level.
That was why Luke was there now. He was on a mission of a purely diplomatic fashion, assisting the Rebel Alliance in the assemblage of their new government in the wake of the fall of the Galactic Empire. However, this wasn’t Luke’s goal at the moment, for in truth he’d already done everything he could to help the scrappy faction of freedom fighters fill the void that the Emperor’s demise had left. He’d never really been one for politics, but as the last remaining member of the Jedi Order it had been a requirement that he be involved in at least some capacity.
Currently he was sitting cross legged on the floor of his admittedly lavish hotel room. His eyes were closed but he could feel his surroundings as if he were simply gazing upon them. There were the silk, Selkath sheets lying a few feet away upon his double bed – though Luke had been so busy recently he’d barely had time to use it – there was the clothes cabinet lying just to the right of the door, within which were Luke’s formal wear, and there was the desk at the far end of the room just by the window, more than likely placed there for inspiration from the view of the skyscrapers dotting the horizon.
From his position upon the hotel floor Luke reached out to touch the Force. He kept his eyes tightly closed as he did so in an attempt to focus and hopefully use the vast, cosmic power for his own purposes. Over the past few years since he’d first left home Luke had spent every moment of his spare time trying to uncover every scrap of information he could find about the ancient Jedi Order, though in truth he still had much to learn.
Across from him lay a black bag, within which lay the key to Luke’s future, though he didn’t know it yet.
Over the years Luke had experienced several visions that had predicted events from his future, though these had largely been due to the will of the Force itself rather than any action on Luke’s part. In this peaceful, quiet moment he was trying to replicate the effect through his own power, as his studies had taught him other Jedi had been able to do. So far he hadn’t been having much luck.
He wasn’t entirely sure how long he’d been meditating for, only that when the knock at the door broke his concentration it was now light outside his window when it had previously been pitch black dark. He looked at the door, uncertain whether he’d imagined the noise or not until the sound repeated itself.
Getting up, Luke waved his hand sluggishly towards the door causing it to slide open.
In the doorway was one of Luke’s personal bodyguards, a Zabrak named Yuzak who was dressed in the armour and garb of the Rebel Alliance.
‘What’s the problem, Yuzak?’ Luke asked from just behind the doorway. He rubbed his eyes, removing the grains of sand that had developed there over the past month and tried not to notice how exhausted he sounded. The Zabrak didn’t seem to show any sign of noticing, though it was highly likely he was just being polite.
‘Your morning meeting starts soon, sir.’ Yuzak said in his typical gruff voice. ‘I didn’t think you’d want to miss it again.’
Luke nodded, stifling a yawn. ‘Yeah… okay, I’ll be ready in a minute.’
He let the door close, once again granting him the privacy he seldom had these days. He turned towards the cupboard just to the right of the room’s entrance and pulled on his best, formal, black robes. The cupboard and in fact the whole room had been designed to anticipate and react to his every desire and Luke was only now starting to get used to it. The cupboard shuffled its contents around in the manner which it predicted Luke would need its contents before sealing itself.
Quickly, Luke checked himself in the mirror. The robes seemed fine, freshly pressed and cleaned as was the norm. He looked at his face… the scars from Endor were mostly gone now, only little traces were left to remind him of what had occurred on that dark day. The rest of him was fine. His eyes looked tired but there wasn’t anything he could do about that. Normally he wouldn’t have cared so much about his appearance, yet he had no desire to offend any of the other senators or government officials he had to interact with now on a regular basis. He adjusted the gloves covering his hands, the damaged skin of his robotic hand tended to put people off as he’d learned so he tried to cover it up when possible. He made sure his lightsaber was hidden behind his robes, it was.
He did one final check and decided he was ready.
One of the many things that had taken Luke off guard when he first arrived on Coruscant was how easy it was to get around the vast Metropolis. The Senate Building (formerly the Imperial Palace) was a good twelve blocks away from Luke’s hotel, yet it was only a few minutes ride away via one of the private shuttles offered to all government officials. He arrived to the meeting just in time, stepping into one of the building’s back rooms and leaving Yuzak outside with the rest of the security personnel.
‘Good morning.’ He said as he entered the room. As soon as those inside saw who had just entered a quiet hush fell over all within, conversations halted immediately, and all eyes fell upon the robed figure who had just entered. This reaction had become typical, having occurred at all the other meetings Luke had attended. He ignored the dozen eyes fixed on him and took an empty seat on one of the rows near the front of the room.
The room itself was structured similar to that of a University seminar room, with row after row of tables leading up towards the ceiling. Most rows had assigned seating for the various senators attending, though Luke being neither a senator nor an official representative of the Jedi meant that he could sit wherever he wanted.
The Senators slowly went back to their conversations, many of whom were representing worlds that had aligned with the Rebel Alliance. To the front of the room stood a frail looking human woman who Luke recognised as Mon Mothma, one of the Rebel’s main figureheads. By her side was the aquiline figure of Admiral Ackbar, proudly representing the Mon Calamari race and similarly aligned to the Rebellion. Between them both was a holographic screen depicting the decided upon insignia of the New Republic, a government that was merely days old.
‘Thank you all for coming.’ Mothma said, smiling gently as her room filled the room. ‘I know we’re all busy following the Empire’s collapse, but I’ll try to keep this brief.’ This made Luke smile, though he did so subtly. These meetings tended to go on for many hours and he doubted Mothma’s version of “brief” coincided with his own. ‘I’d firstly like to inform you all that New Republic forces have managed to effectively remove all the remains of Emperor Palpatine’s battle station from the Endor system, though the Imperial forces in that sector are another matter.’ Luke’s mind turned to his friends upon hearing this, all of whom he missed greatly. Han, Chewie and Lando were all off in parts unknown fighting the Empire. His sister, Leia was focusing on more diplomatic matters, converting former Imperial planets to the New Republic, all matters of grave importance, and though Luke’s task was as important as theirs he would have given anything to be with them.
Luke slowly realised that everyone in the room was looking at him. Slowly he raised his head then looked to the front of the room. ‘I’m sorry.’ He said with some embarrassment. ‘Could you repeat that?’
It was Ackbar who spoke.
‘We were wondering, Master Skywalker, on what your plan is now that your duties on Coruscant have been completed?’
Luke stood up from his seat, a finger placed across his chin as he pondered not only the question but the future.
‘I’m honestly not sure.’ He admitted. ‘So much has been happening over the past few months that I’m not sure where I’m needed most.’
There was a flash of disappointment in the Admiral’s eyes. ‘We were hoping you were planning on rebuilding the Jedi Order.’ The Admiral confessed. ‘It would give this New Republic greater credulity in the eyes of the public…’ He paused. ‘And restore a much needed ally.’ He quickly added.
‘I’m sorry.’ Luke said, frowning. ‘But I’m not ready to do that yet.’ He could sense the disappointment emanating from the Senators all around him. ‘There’s still things about the Force I need to learn before I’m ready to teach anyone.’
He fell back into his seat and an uncomfortable silence descended on the room. After a moment the meeting carried on, the Senators moved on to more important matters and Luke found himself quickly forgotten.
He left during the break, Yuzak walked smartly behind him as Luke silently pondered the meeting and its contents. The past weeks on Coruscant had been spent largely offering advice to the New Republic’s officials as they formed their government, now It was mostly formed and he himself was largely useless. As he approached the hanger his private shuttle was docked in Luke left the confines of his thoughts and saw the future.
‘She’s beautiful!’ He yelled, an almost child like grin breaking out across his face.
The ship he was staring at was indeed beautiful, in a peculiar sort of way. It towered over Luke’s private shuttle and bore an appearance strongly resembling that of a great black bird. Its landing gears were talons, its cockpit a sharp beak, and the twin turbo laser cannons sprouting from either side of the cockpit were black wings.
The ship’s pilot, who had been busy until now repairing some damage on the vessel’s side turned around at Luke’s statement and removed the welding mask they’d been wearing to protect themselves from the flares of their fusion cutter.
‘She’s the Raven’s Claw.’ The pilot said. She was a tanned, scarred young woman whom upon seeing, Luke almost immediately decided that she was either a smuggler or a Rebel pilot. But if the latter were true she was no pilot that Luke had ever seen.
‘She’s beautiful.’ Luke repeated, strictly referring to the ship. ‘Looks like a prototype.’ He quickly said. ‘Are those twin Corellian hyperspace engines?’
She nodded. ‘Stole her from an Imperial Colony some years back.’ Rebel pilot, Luke concluded. ‘Those engines of hers let her jump twice the distance for half the fuel.’
‘How do you compensate for the extra weight?’ Luke asked. This whole affair had reinvigorated him, the light in his eyes shone brighter than ever. He cast an eye over his shoulder and spotted Yuzak’s team waiting impatiently by their private shuttles.
‘Extra gravimetric plating on the wings.’ The pilot frowned and properly looked at Luke for the first time since they’d started talking. ‘You talk like a pilot but you don’t look like one. What’s your name?’ She asked this in a not entirely unfriendly tone.
‘Luke.’ He said. ‘Luke Skywalker.’
Her mouth dropped.
‘THE Luke Skywalker?’ She said, arms folding around her chest. She seemed impressed. ‘The one who singlehandedly saved the galaxy?!’
‘Well. I wouldn’t say “singlehandedly”…’ He started to say.
‘You basically did.’ She said with a chuckle. ‘Well! You certainly know your ships, Luke! I guess that’s how you blew up the Death Star. My name’s Jan Ors.’
‘Well it was nice meeting you, Jan.’ Luke said with a nod. He began to head back toward his vessel only to stop upon being called.
‘Hey, listen.’ Jan said. ‘I’m heading off world to go pick my partner up. You seem trustworthy.’ Her lips raised into a slight smirk. ‘Wanna tag along?’
Luke pondered this offer for a moment. Briefly he closed his eyes and mentally reached out to become one with the Force, he could no longer sense its presence upon Coruscant. Instead it seemed to be calling him elsewhere.
‘Depends.’ Luke said, smiling as he spoke. ‘Where are you headed?’
She told him.
‘Can I get something from my room first?’
A few hours later and the black bag resting upon Luke’s lap shifted slightly with the turbulence. Obviously, Jan had asked what it was but her new co-pilot had politely requested that he keep it to himself. Shifting the bag wasn’t the only thing the turbulence had done. Luke’s eyes opened at a relaxed pace and Jan smiled from the pilot seat as he began to sit up.
‘Rise and shine.’ She said, tapping a few adjustments to their course as they broke through the atmosphere. ‘You slept through the whole trip! I’m not running a taxi service here.’
Luke blinked and looked at the lush green colours filling the cockpit’s view. As the Raven’s Claw sped towards ground level, he began to pick up the sight of buildings far below.
‘Here already?’ He woke up fully. With his free hand - the other keeping the bag still – he grabbed the belt behind his chair and securely strapped himself in. Jan nodded to answer his question but kept quiet. There was a crackle over the Claw’s communicator and a bored sounding voice filled the ship.
‘Approaching vessel, this is Transport Control. Please identify yourself.’
‘Acknowledged, Transport Control.’ Jan said as cool and calm as she could muster. ‘This is Captain Jan Ors of the Raven’s Claw making our scheduled arrival.’
There was a brief pause on the other end, probably as Transport Control checked to make sure what was said matched their books. Apparently, it did, as a moment later the bored voice returned saying:
‘Roger that, Captain. We’re sending an escort you guide you in. Have a pleasant stay, and welcome to Naboo.’