Heir to the Empire

Chapter 21

The Story So Far

Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa Solo are evading Imperial capture as — unknown to them — Grand Admiral Thrawn has promised them to dark Jedi clone Joruus C'Baoth in exchange for his allegiance. 

While Chewbacca and Leia go to ground on Kashyyyk, Luke is captured by Talon Karrde in deep space, after being disarmed both physically and metaphysically. He awakens a week later to find himself still firmly in Karrde's grasp while the smuggling lord deliberates his fate and his lieutenant — Mara Jade — seethes over the pain Luke has seemingly caused in her mysterious past. 

Meanwhile, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian find a point of contact with Karrde's organisation, hoping to extend legitimate business relationships from the New Republic. Tipping Fynn Torve off to escape the entanglement with local authorities of a cargo seizure, Han and Lando broker a deal with Torve to get a face-to-face with Talon Karrde back at Karrde's base of operations. 

Chapter 21

Mara Jade convenes with Talon Karrde to discuss the conundrum facing them: Han and Lando will be arriving presently, escorting an indebted Fynn Torv. Even though they hold Luke hostage, Karrde is unwilling to tip his hand without first determining Thrawn's specific interest in Skywalker, and thus his fair market value. 

Karrde decides the best course of action is for Jade to relocate Skywalker to a storeroom while he plays host to Skywalker's unwitting allies. 

In the storeroom, Luke presumes that he has been left to his own devices in a sudden scramble. He makes contact with R2 in the next room of the storehouse, but — underestimating Karrde's thoroughness — he finds no purchase on which to mount an escape. 

That is, until he realises an advantage hiding right under his own (prosthetic) skin.  


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