Star Wars – Sibling Revelry

Synopsis

After Bespin and before Endor, Darth Vader is shocked to discover that Luke and Leia are twins. He's even more shocked when Imperial Intelligence reports that Organa and Skywalker are, erm, a tad closer than previously suspected.

Excerpt

Chapter One

The bridge of the Executor was the most exemplary achievement of efficiency to be found in the whole Empire. The Senate had been a quagmire at best, the Imperial Court was a sluggish morass, the bureaucracy was procrastination incarnated, and the planetary governors couldn't shoot a Rebel with a holocam—but the Executor was the personal territory of Darth Vader. He who did not pull his own weight could expect it to be pulled for him—out the hatch by the boot heels. Around the Sith Lord, "dead weight" was no metaphorical term.

Few things could inspire a man like the threat of expiring, should he prove himself less than wholly dedicated to the expeditious performance of his duty. Caf breaks and 'fresher runs did not exist aboard the Executor. If you wanted to live to see your next assignment, you worked attentively at your console through the last second of your shift. If you were out of work, you invented more work. And if you were a junior information systems officer who only got new updates to process once every two hours—like Ensign Kyler Mespa—you invented most of your work. After all, plugging data into the ship's information banks didn't take terribly long. Most of the time Ensign Mespa just sat at his console and read the intelligence files. At least that way, he felt that he was doing something educational, and every now and then he would discover a helpful fact about an elusive Rebel hidden someplace nobody would have thought to look, like a news article about a Corellian nightclub singing contest or something.

Today—the lunchtime scuttlebutt asserted that Vader had killed another of his agents for returning to the Executor empty-handed—Mespa found himself searching through the data banks for any and all mention of one Skywalker, Luke. He reasoned that he ought to know something about the Rebel whom his commanding officer was so obsessively hunting, even if Imperial Intelligence's dossier on Skywalker was classified. After all, it wasn't like he was hacking into the classified files in order to sell the Rebels information, was it?

He was shocked to find that Imperial Intelligence knew practically nothing about the man who'd blown up the Death Star. They didn't know his date of birth. They didn't know where he had been born. They didn't know who his parents were. They didn't know if he had any siblings or other relatives.

They did have his genetic data.

Mespa sat back in his chair. He really shouldn't. This was plainly Intel's responsibility…and it was probably illegal to copy information from the data bank for his own use…especially classified information…

But the data was right there. And just last week his cousin Vern the spice dealer had sent him that brand-new University of Coruscant biometric program, capable of analyzing a genetic sample and uncovering possible relationships with any other being in the galactic registry. He'd discovered several relatives of his own that he'd never known existed. Okay, so maybe he'd have lived a happier life not knowing about dear old Cousin-on-his-mother's-side's-great-uncle-twice-removed Bartemius Kilroy, presently serving sixteen consecutive life sentences on Naboo for murder and grand theft (plus an extra five weeks for public urination), but that wasn't the point.

Oh, what the nine hells.

Careful to pretend that he wasn't doing anything even remotely exciting, Mespa copied Skywalker's data onto his personal memory chip. When his shift ended three hours later, he hustled back to his cabin and plugged the chip into his own terminal, bringing up the program with a shifty glance to make sure nobody had somehow sneaked in behind him.

He was quite surprised when the display turned up the closest match.

Vader was standing in the Executor's observation bay, regarding the glistening specks of the Fondor Shipyards through the broad transparisteel viewports, when one of his aides approached. "Beg your pardon, my lord, but you asked to be notified immediately of any new information regarding the Rebel Skywalker?"

Vader whirled, the vista of the planet Kuat and its shipyards forgotten instantly. "You have his location?" he demanded.

"No, my lord," the aide swallowed, "but one of our information systems lieutenants did turn up a rather, um, momentous piece of data regarding Skywalker's family."

Vader tensed, wondering how anybody could have uncovered the truth of the relationship between the two of them, and even more pertinently, why any of his crew would dare admit to knowing something so dangerous—

"It appears he has a sibling, my lord," the aide whimpered.

The universe froze in place.

Not. Possible.

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