Leia was playing in the sunroom when it happened. She wasn't sure exactly what it was, but she knew something had happened. She heard shouts and screams of panic outside. Scared, she ran to the window and looked out, in time to see a terrifying tall man with a shiny black head knock down Fenris, one of her favorite adult friends. The manor at least he was man-shaped, anywaythe bad man walked forward into the house, pushing people aside.
Mommy burst into the room. "Mommy!" Leia cried, and hurled herself into her mother's arms. She whimpered a little and started crying when she felt her mother trembling. This was bad. This was scary and bad, and she didn't understand it, and she just wanted things to go back the way they were a few minutes ago. Mommy was crying now, holding Leia tight and rocking her, but it wasn't very comforting because Leia could tell she was scared and scary noises were happening outside.
"Come on, baby," Mommy said, standing up and carrying Leia. "Come on. It's going to be all right. I won't let him get you. You have to go away now, okay?"
"No!" Leia said defiantly, and burrowed closer to her mother. She wasn't going anywhere.
"Yes, baby," Mommy said. She stopped in the hallway and turned her head quickly, trying to decide. Then she turned and darted into the storage room. She opened up one of the packing trunks, one that she had used just a little while ago when they all went to the lake for a week, and emptied it of the few items it held. "In here, Leia." She patted the inside of the trunk, but Leia only clung tighter.
"Yes, baby," Mommy said, unwinding Leia's arms from around her neck. "You have to. It's a game, okay? It's just a game we're playing."
"Not a fun game," Leia insisted, climbing back out of the trunk as soon as Mommy let go. "Not playing."
"Leia!" Mommy said, in the tone that meant do it or get your butt swatted. "You're going in the trunk. It'll be dark, and it'll be scary, but it won't last forever, okay? You're going to stay with your Uncle Bail. He'll take care of you for a while. I want you to listen to him like he was your Daddy, okay?"
"No!" Leia whimpered, but Mommy pushed her gently back down into the trunk.
"Hold this," Mommy said, pressing a datacube into Leia's hands. "Give it to your Uncle. And whatever happens, don't make a sound. Promise me, Leia! Not a single sound!"
"Promise," Leia said, sulky but finally giving in. Mommy closed the lid. The last Leia saw of her was her tear-stained smile.
"I love you, baby," she said, as the lid shut with a click.
Leia wanted to scream, but she had promised her mother, so she didn't. Then heard her mother's voice yelling sharp words, but she couldn't understand them. Then the trunk lurched and she tried to brace herself. Someone was carrying the trunk. She wondered where she was going. She had never met Uncle Bail. She didn't even know where he lived, other than it was far away.
She didn't know what happened next. All she knew was it was bumpy for a while, annd then noisy, then cold and still for a long time, then noisy and bumpy again. It was very scary. She didn't know where she was or what was happening to her, but she kept quiet because she'd promised her mother.
Then the trunk quit moving and was opened. Everything was white. Leia sat up, blinking. There was a man leaning over her all in white.
"Are you my Uncle?" Leia asked, holding out the datacube.
The man lifted her out of the trunk and set her on the floor. Leia wobbled. Her legs felt funny.
"Yes, Leia," the man said. "I'm your Uncle. Is this from your Mother?"
"Yes," Leia said, and whimpered a little. She wanted her Mommy.
"Let's see what she has to say, shall we?" Uncle Bail pressed the button on the datacube and a holo of Mommy appeared. Leia reached out for the image unconsciously.
"Bail, I'm sorry to do this to you, but he's come for me. I can't let him have Leia. Take care of her for me, love her as your own, please. And never, never let on that she was mine, please? Because if he knows, he'll come after her too."
Then the recording flickered and died.
"Well," Uncle Bail said, staring at the datacube for a moment. Then he turned to someone Leia hadn't noticed, who stood behind the trunk. "You're certain all was lost?"
"Yes, sir," said a familiar voice, harsh with strain. Leia turned and saw it was Fenris. "This Darth Vader, he came and" He broke off and glanced at Leia. "It's all been destroyed, sir. I'll tell you more later."
Uncle Bail nodded. "Very well, then. Leia," and he dropped down to her level, squatting so she could look him in the eye. "You're going to live here now, okay? Your Mommy isn't going to be able to take care of you anymore, so I'll take care of you instead."
"I want my Mommy," Leia said. Uncle Bail sighed.
"I know you do. But she can't come to you now. I'm here, though, and I'll do the best I can for you."
Leia regarded him solemnly. "Mommy said you like Daddy now. Are you my Daddy?"
"I guess I am, at that," Uncle Bail said, but he didn't seem to be talking to her. Then he looked right at her and said, "Yes, Leia. I'll be your Daddy now."
Uncle BailDaddystood up and held out his hand. Leia took hold of it trustingly. "Come on, little daughter," Daddy said, and led her across the shiny white floor to a white staircase. "Come and meet your new family."
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