Star Wars Comic Book Marvel 1979 issue 20

An X-Wing appears and opens fire on a yacht near the wheel. It’s not random that this has happened, its part of the plan. Casino patrons stare awestruck as screens through the wheel as the attack is being broadcast live. Empire fighters enter the space and blow up the X-Wing. Leia is angry at Grayshade, calling him despicable than he was in his senate days. She unloads on him about joining with empire in the take over of the wheel. He tells her she’s a crusader not him. They both have their games. Grayshade instructs Master-Com that Leia is to be treated as a guest but she is still a prisoner. Grayshade steps into a vacuum lift and goes to the main transport tube to an awaiting airflow car. He requests to go all the way to the end of the line, the Imperial Dock. He reaches the outer most dock where the light cruiser of the Empire’s sector commander. He pours Grayshade a drink to toast their new partnership. Grayshade asks if the room is private based on what he’s saying. Strom confirms yes. The Empire would kill him if they found out their plan was uncovered. And Grayshade would be as well for having Leia. Strom goes on to say their mutual survival depends on each other. But Grayshade thinks Strom was clumsy and not careful and doesn’t trust him. Grayshade tells him the patrons were impressed with the show but not the owners. To which he comments the owners can be replaced. He just want to make sure profits aren’t harmed. Storm thinks that Grayshade is attracted to Leia. He tells him he’s going to move cautiously and he should too. They throw a few more threats at each other. Strom wants to see the bodies of Leia’s companions. He’s not happy to learn that they are still alive. Grayshade tells him they don’t know they are awaiting execution. Grayshade rubs it in that the rebels discovered his handiwork attacking a Tagge ship with wheel profits and trying to make it look like an act of rebel piracy. But without them having the loot it wouldn’t really stick. In the hospital wing, the nurse/doctor plans to make sure Luke doesn’t recover. Chewbacca and Han Solo are signed up as gladiators in the big game. Grayshade gets Strom to admit the profits are still on the wheel untouched. The two droids are now property and profits of the wheel. They all came to the wheel for sanctuary but they will get death instead. In the pit, Han is complaining about the bracket he got put in saying he’s too high up. He’s asked about weapons specialties. He asks for his cruiser and proton torpedoes. He’s then outfitted and taken to the giant ball in the middle where the arena for the big game is. He quickly meets his first player. He’s got poisonous dagger thorns. Han’s trying to avoid them and get his opponent to drop them. His voices his upset about the wheel being his idea. His battle is being broadcast on all the wheel screens. Everyone stops gambling to watch and bet. Strom is watching comfortably. He even gave his crew shore leave to watch the big game. Earlier, someone tries to wipe the memories of C3PO and R2. Master-Com saves the pair from the memory flush. He requests they be taken to see Luke. Once at the hospital wing, they find Luke and his things gone. The medical person is shocked. Master-Com stops. He’s getting an alarm from the hospital wing and a warning signal from the executive tower. Leia is short circuiting the door locks to escape. She knows R2 would have done it faster and without explosion but she still did it. She races for the lift trying to get there before Grayshade’s men do. Master-com tells C3PO that is freinds have has much persistence as he does. The only route Leia has is going to take her straight to Grayshade’s handpicked guards. Master-Com must part ways to inform Grayshade. He warns them that many people will be looking for Skywalker and they could be captured again. He hints that they should “avoid” the crowded casino area as they could easily get lost. They go straight to the casino to get lost in the mess and try and find Luke and Leia. They see Han Solo on the big screen and C3PO gets upset. Han’s been knocked and dropped is power shield. He throws the shield at his opponent and it catches in his boots. He winds up falling. He lands on the thorn dagger. He’s not dead from the poison yet, and his opponent could still kill him. As he falls on Han, Han grabs a rock to prevent the thorn from going into him. Storm is angry Han won. Grayshade tells him its only the first match.

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