Luke Skywalker stood in the doorway, bearded now after his long journey from Jedha. Leia Organa Solo ushered him into the small but inviting apartment with an excited hug.
“We didn’t think you’d have time to come by until tomorrow.”
“This couldn’t wait,” the Jedi master insisted, mirroring his twin’s excitement as he pushed past her into the sitting area. Han looked up from his game, gave his brother-in-law a quick nod and went back to studying the holo images to make his move. Whatever Luke was on about, it was more Jedi nonsense and didn’t concern the ex-smuggler. Had had more respect for the Jedi since the Battle of Yavin, naturally, but he respected games of chance more, and this one was getting the better of him. Luke watched Han grit his teeth and smiled sadly. Nothing would change with Han. Gambling would always be Han Solo’s faith.
“Did you find what you were looking for?” Leia prodded.
Luke turned back to his sister and gripped her by the shoulders. “I found something better!”
She took a step back as he reached into his satchel and pulled out an object she’d only seen once before in her childhood. She’d found it in the office of Bail Organa, her father — or the man she’d always known as her father — Viceroy/First Chairman of Alderaan, one of the most influential founders of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. She remembered being fascinated by it — words, one after another, not backlit by a datapd or console, or projected in a holographic message by a droid — but written by hand. Something she’d never seen anyone do, although Threepio had promised to give her a demonstration from his databanks one day.
As they sat together, Leia looked now at the bound folio pages in Luke’s hand. “A book?” Bail Organa’s book had been one of Alderaanian poetry.
It was gone now.
Luke was grinning from ear to ear. “One the Empire didn’t find.”
Leia raised an eyebrow. “And you can read it? It must be ancient.”
“Threepio says by more than ten thousand years,” he confirmed, ignoring her skepticism. He placed it gently on the glass table before them and reverently turned a few pages until he found what he wanted to show her. “If Obi-Wan had lived, I’m sure he would have shared this with us.” He pointed to a passage that was illuminated by an ancient Jedi symbol. “This tells of the Prophecy of the Chosen One.”
Lei’s face fell. She knew Vader had once been called the Chosen One by the very Jedi he betrayed. She had no interest in discussing the exploits of the biological father she shared with Luke, let alone a vague and plainly erroneous prediction of some nebulous galactic savior.
She folded her arms and gave her brother a glare of exasperation. “Really?”
The Jedi Master sighed. “Look, I know you don’t believer in this stuff, but there’s one thing here we can’t ignore.” He waited for her to spew about Vader, but when she simply cocked her head to one side, he went on. Han was still oblivious, nose in his game. “The Jedi were wrong.”
Leia cocked her head to the other side. “About what?”
“Our father wasn’t the Chosen One.”
She almost laughed. “Well, that’s a relief.”
Luke didn’t miss a beat. “Your son is.”
“What?” Leia launched herself out of her chair. She cast an astonished glance at Han. “Did you hear what he said?”
Han gave her a dismissive wave without looking up. “Some mumbo jumbo about the Chosen One.”
Leia rolled her eyes and then leveled her gaze at Luke. She spoke slowly, deliberately, mustering all her patience. “Why would a book from an moldy cave point to a nine-year-old boy thousands of years in the future?”
“Come on, Leia.” Luke’s frustration level was starting to mirror his twin’s. “You know what an exceptional child he is.” He lowered his voice. “What an exceptional Force-user he is. The Prophecy speaks to that.”
“Prophecies are easily misinterpreted,” she returned coolly as if she were in a senatorial debate. “They’re not a science.” Luke opened his mouth to speak, but she held up a hand. She didn’t have time for long-winded doctrine. “Name one prophecy that’s been scientifically proven.”
Luke took a deep breath. He knew his sister would be tough sell, but he needed to get Ben the protection and training he needed — protection from those who hunted Force-sensitives and training to control the wild power within his nephew’s tiny but growing body. “There was the Prophecy of Hujusal M’akth on Tatooine. The Prophecy of Chierrruwwuthy among the Kaapauku of Kashyyyk.” He gave Chewie a pleading look. “You remember that one, don’t you?”
The Wookiee gave an affirmative roar as he peered over Han’s shoulder, eyeing the progress of the game.
Leia wasn’t going to let her brother win this argument. “Human prophecy — in recent times,” she challenged. “No offense, Chewie. If it’s my son we’re talking about, he’s not allowed to venture beyond the parameters of his room.”
“Actually, mistress,” C-3PO hesitantly broke in, “there have been exactly 26 prophecies that have been scientifically proven in recent human history regarding the Chosen One. Elik Vedde the Third predicted in 23 BY that the Death Star would….”
Leia quickly cut him off. “Thank you, Threepio. We could use some tea,” she redirected him.
“And then there was the time…that….”
She raised an eyebrow, knowing his photoreceptors would respond her body language with due efficiency. The droid jerked as his nonverbal subroutines kicked in.
“Oh…I’ll put the kettle on straight away.” The protocol droid excused himself, muttering how he didn’t understand why a perfectly good cup of tea couldn’t be had from the food synthesizer. It was, after all, the latest model and a very costly one at that.
Leia turned back to Luke, assured that the meddlesome droid would be kept busy for a few minutes. “What does this prophecy say?” She would be reasonable, she decided, and hear him out.
The Jedi Master exhaled in relief. He was getting somewhere. He pointed to the page in the book once more. “It says a Force-sensitive with powers the Jedi have never seen before will destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force.” He glanced down at the text. “Well, it says that in forty-two verses, but I thought you’d want the executive summary.”
“And Ben has powers you’ve never seen before?” For once, Leia was glad Han wasn’t listening.
Luke got to his feet. He couldn’t sit still any longer. “Yes, and the prophecy speaks of a child born of a royal line yet knowing no privilege. A child whose father is absent.”
Leia pinched the bridge of her nose. She didn’t like where this was going. Her brother could be so gullible, so trusting sometimes. “Han, isn’t absent,” she countered. “Supervising the races and the shipping business takes him across the galaxy, but Han’s always there for Ben by comm.” She flung an arm in her husband’s direction. “He’s here now.”
Luke nodded in polite agreement. “Where’s Ben?”
“Playing in the solarium.”
Luke nodded again, gazing at Han grumbling at the gaming console.
Leia caught the accusatory look on her brother’s face. “Chewie’s keeping an eye on Ben,” she said a bit too loudly.
The Wookiee gave a rumbling sigh under Leia’s fiery glare and went to check on the child-in-question.
“It says the Chosen One will have a midi-chlorian count equal to a Sith lord’s,” Luke went on, eager to get his point across.
“Seventeen thousand or higher. Ben’s is already that, and at his age….”
Leia exploded. “You tested him?”
Han looked up from his game.
“I had to.” Luke laid a gentle hand on her sleeve. “I had to know what I was dealing with.”
She shrugged him off. “What you were dealing with?” Her thoughts turned to Vader — the man who tortured her and gripped her fast while her homeworld was destroyed. She didn’t want to know what his midi-chorian count was. If there had been a record of it, it was long gone.
Luke was speaking very softly, reassuringly now. “The Chosen One will also radiate the Force in everything he does. Everything he touches, he’ll set in motion.” His voice dropped to a whisper. “That sounds like Ben with the control problems he’s had. The Force sticks to him like some sort of cosmic tar.”
Leia stared at her brother. “You mean shattering or short-circuiting things he touches.”
The Jedi Master nodded. “He’s better now at controlling the Force as it moves through him, but you can see how frustrating it is for him. I need to take him offworld and find the origins of the Jedi. There has to be an enclave out there — Masters more skilled than I — who can train him to bear this burden.”
“You’re not suggesting we tell him about this prophecy, are you?” After a deep sigh, Leia gave her twin an imploring look.
They all turned and gave a start to see Ben standing in the doorway, the glass of tea shattering in his hand. Blood began to drip from his fingers.
Han looked up at Leia and Luke and gave them a rueful smirk. “I don’t think you have to.”
Leia flew over to her son and took his bleeding hand in hers. “Who gave him glass?” she demanded.
Chewie, quickly following his young charge, bellowed at Threepio, who came shuffling in to see what the fuss was.
Ben Solo stared at the tea stain and broken glass on the white carpet. “Sorry, Mom.”
@MyKyloRen 25 August 2017