Heir to the Empire

Chapter 22

The Story So Far

Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa Solo are evading Imperial capture by the unknown leader of the Imperial remnants, Grand Admiral Thrawn. Thrawn uses the ysalamiri to void the Force so that he may negotiate the continued allegiance of dark Jedi clone Joruus C'Baoth, who has called to Luke to meet on Jormark through the Force. Leia has taken shelter with Chewbacca on Kashyyyk, while Luke — desiring help to rebuild the Jedi Order — follows the mysterious beckon. 

Meanwhile, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian find a point of contact with Smuggling Lord Talon Karrde's organisation, hoping to extend legitimate business relationships fulfilling the logistical needs of the New Republic. 

Luke was ambushed by Imperials on his way to Jormark, narrowly escapes, but is eventually captured by Independent Talon Karrde in deep space, after being disarmed both technologically and metaphysically. He awakens a week later to find himself still firmly in Karrde's grasp while Karrde deliberates his fate and his leftenant — Mara Jade — seethes over the pain Luke has seemingly caused in her veiled past. 

With Solo and Calrissian inbound and Skywalker detained, Karrde and Jade make temporary arrangements to keep the New Republic representatives unaware of each other. Luke is trying to take advantage of the impromptu situation to mount his escape. 

Chapter 22

Han’s pitch to join the New Republic fails to win over Karrde, who values independence — thus the appearance of neutrality — over all. So when Han offers a covert arrangement, Karrde warns not to underestimate the reach of Imperial Intelligence, which strikes a sore spot and reminds Han to ask for an adept slicer, whom Karrde graciously agrees to introduce over dinner. 

During their meal and shortly after introductions, Karrde has to excuse himself to tend to an emergency: the Grand Admiral is announcing that he himself will be making a courtesy call. Mara is impatient to propitiate Thrawn by handing over the people she sees as impediments but — among other considerations, being the gracious host that he is — Karrde views Solo and Calrissian as his guests and thus entitled to his protection. He orders her to prepare for Thrawn’s arrival and obfuscate any indications of non-neutrality.

Unknowing of the developing predicament, Luke escapes from the storehouse with R2-D2 they were being held in and head for his X-Wing. When it’s not where they expects it to be, they commandeer one of Karrde’s fighters to facilitate their escape. 

Jade witnesses the unauthorised flight and deduces that Skywalker has escaped. Chiding herself over her failures to exact her vendetta, she is now in unhindered pursuit of him.


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Hosts’ Thoughts


Karrde POV

Luke POV

Mara POV

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