Heir to the Empire

Chapter 23

The Story So Far

Luke Skywalker is disarmed and immobilised in a sequence of events leading to his capture by smuggling lord Talon Karrde and his leftenant Mara Jade. While appraising the situation, Karrde finds himself playing host to New Republic representatives. 

Offworld, Leia Organa-Solo has gone to ground on the wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk with Chewbacca, but she has already spotted one of her attempted-kidnappers.

Han Solo and Lando Calrissian fail to convince Karrde to provide logistical support for the New Republic, but during dinner Grand Admiral Thrawn announces his own visitation. Karrde hurries them out of dinner to receive the Grand Admiral. 

Luke escapes his confinement and steals a Skipray, but Jade is not far behind. 

Chapter 23

Luke has made his escape attempt in a stolen Skipray but Jade is in hot pursuit. He skims the tree canopy to avoid notice from the Imperials coming in to land from orbit. Just as he is about to pull a manoeuvre to shake Jade from his tail, he clips the trees and crashes into the forest. 

Back at the compound, Karrde receives Thrawn's landing party. Unaware of the crash, Karrde is unable to refuse the ostensible repayment for supplying Thrawn with ysalamiri. Thrawn orders his already-prepared troops to investigate the crash. 

From behind the treeline, Han and Lando watch the conversation. Their chaperon, the slicer Ghent, is anxious to get them back to the cover and safety of the Falcon. Ghent has little to offer to appease their curiosity, but it is enough for Han and Lando to investigate elsewhere.

At the crash site, Luke returns to consciousness unharmed. Before he can escape, his moral compunction presses him to check on Jade, only for her to be lying in wait for such Jedi drivel. 

As they leave the ruined craft, Jade hears an approaching craft that she recognises as Imperial. They hide as the crash is searched and left. 

Luke struggles to convince Jade to keep him alive for the long trek to salvation. She is reluctantly won over by the necessity to send an encrypted transmission to Karrde using the idiosyncratic encoding shared between R2-D2 and Luke's captured X-Wing.   


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