Heir to the Empire

Chapter 24

The Story So Far

Leia Organa Solo has gone into hiding with Chewbacca on his homeworld of Kashyyyk, though their attempts seem like they may be for not.

On Myrkr, Luke Skywalker, having just escaped from the capture of smugglers Talon Karrde and Mara Jade, crashes his and his pursuer’s starfighters into the forest. Jade and Skywalker are tethered and dependent on each other for survival. Luke is now at the mercy of this woman whose life he supposedly ruined and wants him dead.

Back at his compound, Karrde is hosting an Imperial visitation while trying to hide from both Imperials and New Republic representatives, Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, his dealings with each side, while also dealing with his escaped prisoner, Skywalker. 

Chapter 24

Karrde apologises to Han and Lando after their dinner interruption by the Imperials. Han presses Karrde about his dealing with them but Karrde refuses to sell them information but does convince them to stay for their safety. 

Han and Lando ostensibly return to the Falcon but break off behind the treeline to play detective on the prisoner that Karrde had been keeping in one of the storehouses. While their investigation is interrupted by the reappearance of Karrde, they piece the clues together that Luke had been the prisoner. Karrde admits to the situation and tells them that — as far as they know — Luke and Jade are safe and making their return through the forest. 

On the Chimera, Thrawn suspects the truth of Karrde's deception and dispatches a contingent of Stormtroopers to lie in wait for the survivors of the crash to emerge from the forest at the closest settlement. 

In the forest as dusk fades away, Mara grapples with her cognitive dissonance between newfound loyalties and her fierce independent streak. She is frustrated at the encumbrance of Skywalker and his droid. After putting down a wild vornskr, she takes some stimpills and renews her determination to be the one to kill Skywalker when this is all through. 

At his compound, Karrde laments his choices and how they have brought him to this predicament. He is reluctant to order the execution of Skywalker, but would rather that than taking his chances having crossed Grand Admiral Thrawn. Karrde wonders if — like his pet vornskrs — his domestication of Mara has taken enough to navigate a safe return. 


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