Star Wars 1978 #18

Storm troopers find C3PO holding an injured Luke. They give the command for the wounded rebel spy and his droids to be vaporized. On the Falcon, everyone is alarmed by C3PO screaming something has happened to Master Luke. Han tells Chewie to check the controls. Leia asks C3PO what is wrong. C3PO can only say he appears to be shut down. Han points out that humans don’t shut down. Leia asks C3PO to bring the med pack. His life signs are slow but stable. C3PO was shut down when it happened. But he tells them Luke was doing a training session and had R2D2 record it. They watch the video. His timing is off so he tries some meditation. As he goes into the meditation he sees something coming and freaks out and screams, No!! the scream is what brought C3PO out of sleep mode. Han gets mad at C3PO and hopes Luke will be ok. Leia breaks up the fighting and says thy need to find some advanced medical help fast. She speaks of how hard that will but but Han says being a spice smuggler he knows the galaxy pretty well. He tells her not to worry but she still is. He programs the computer and they drop to sub light speed and right into trouble. Some Empire ships announce to them that they have made an unauthorized entry into a military containment zone and that they will be boarded and inspected. Leia is angry. Han is frustrated because he forgot to correct for the amount of drift they have been having. So it’s the right quardrant but the very wrong sector. He starts firing on the ship to buy time to escape. Chewie points out a private merchant ship. Han is confused why they are being bothered when that ship would be a better target. Chewie finds a floating body on the scanner. It’s stil alive and wearing rebel gear. Leia insists that they pick him up because he’s stlil alive. Han gets the man aboard, but he’s in bad shape. Leia calls for the medpack again. The survivor tells her that he and others were forced on that merchant ship before it was blown up. Han thinks he’s delirious. The ship is a Tagge family ship and one of the brothers is an Imperial Fleet Commander. But the man says it was made to look like a rebel raid. Han realizes someone has gone to a lot of effort to make the alliance look bad. Leia wonders if where they were going is where the rebels were captured. C3PO interupts their conversation to alert them that the trouble is now worse. The Empire is about to open fire as they are now suspected of piracy or acts of rebellion. Han yells for full engines as they’ve got to run for it. The Empire ship is much bigger and not as fast. The rear sheilds on the Falcon are taking a lot of damage. On the Imperial ship, the commander actually wants the Falcon for their use. He sends TIE fighters out after it before it gets too far away. The Falcon shoots up and out of the way so the TIE fighters are firing on their own cruiser. Leia points out that the Empire ships are regrouping and moving in. Han tells her their sanctuary is in sight. They are heading to the wheel. The Empire can’t touch the wheel and that is why Han headed there. However, Commander Storm chooses to pursue anyway. He choses to withdraw the courtesy of the wheel being a sanctuary. He wants everyone on the freighter aka the Falcon. Han tells everyone to hold on, it’s going to be a bumpy docking. He pulls into a reserved dock and nearly crashes. Leia informs him the rebel fighter has expired. Han has them all split up to meet later at the Crimson Casino Lounge. The droids are taking Luke to the hospital bay. Since Leia is a known rebel leader they have to keep under the rader with the Empire on their tail. The storm troopers board and ask where the rebels from the freighter have gone. They are told they scattered when they disembarked. The storm troopers follow heat signatures to see that the broke into three groups. They split up to follow them. Someone lets Senator Greyshade know about the fugitives that have boarded as well as the storm troopers that want to destroy . He wishes to be put in contact with Commander Strom to find out what’s going on. Grayshade informs him that most of the military’s funding comes from taxes on the wheels earnings. He informs them that people like to gamble on the wheel because it is an Empire free zone. And that if he interferes with the wheel his military won’t have funding anymore. The Emperor will not be happy about that. Strom tells him that these rebels plundered and destroyed a House of Tagge merchant ship that was delivering wheel profits to his banking system. Grayshade then gives him permission for the lower levels and that one is to be kept alive for questioning. But the orders he transmists to the wheel are different than what he’s been given. He doesn’t want them found alive to cast doubt on the merchant ship. C3PO is carrying Luke and R2D2 is with them too. However, storm troopers find them. Grayshade gives approval for the droids and Luke to be ended. Then a pair, a man and woman, are pinned down on level 5. Grayshade recognizes the woman as Princess Leia a member of the Seanate. Grayshade isn’t sure whether Strom is doesn’t realize who she is or is just more thick headed than he thought.

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