The Find
By: Briar Solo

(book one of the Regna Trilogy)


A small boy was crouching low in his home. The Regnas had found the Terrias colony on Corellia & were killing them with glee. The boy heard a shot ring out in his home. A scream. He shut his eyes tight, knowing his mother was no more.

A datapad was held close to his chest. With shakey fingers, he turned it on. He whispered into the speaker inplanted on the surface of the metal:

"This is Cris Ganders speaking. I am eight years old. My home is being over taken by Regnas & I think that the lock on my bedroom door is breaking loose. I am alone. My mother & sisters are dead. My father is probably space dust by now. I'm scared & hungry & cold. I've been in here for three days. My food & water are gone.

"I've got a sack of my needed things ready. I'm almost prepared to leave my broken home. But, I don't know where to go from here." He looked up as he heard a pound on the door. He spoke into his data pad quickly. "I've been found. I have no choice but to climb out my window." With a swallow, he turned off the data pad & grabed his sack.

The pounding on the door grew louder. Cris held back a cry, for fear it would be heard by the Regnas. He looked out his window. The once green grass was now charred & burnt from the attacks by the Regnas. He glanced back at his door. Voices in the Regna language sound loud. He shut his eyes & hopped out his window.

His small domed house was burned from turbo lazer shots. His tattered clothes offered him no protection to the extreme coldness of Corellia's winter. He shuddered & looked for the forest.

He spots India Skywalker. He waved his hand, trying to get her attention, but she was too busy fighting with her lightsaber, a Jedi weapon. Cris watched intently, but a throbbing head ache reminded him of his escape.

A small shuttle appeared in front of him. No, he thought. This isn't a Corellian shuttle. It's a Regna shuttle! He edged past it & darted into the snowed over forest.

His mind raced. His mother & sisters danced in his mind. His father's stern words. "Protect the family Cris." He slowed to a stop. He hadn't protected them. He'd hidden while they suffered. He held back tears & swatted a strand of his black hair back from his face.

A rumbling sound. He looked around in all direction. Nothing. His head pounded harder until he couldn't see. His insides screamed for nurishment. He reached out with one hand, then colapsed on the ground.

The pain in his head wass over whelming. He cried & wished he weren't a Terrias. He felt the heat of pain burning at his skin & cried out.

A blurred image rushed toward him. A man with sandy blond hair & sky blue eyes. A lightsaber thumped his thigh gently. Jedi? he wondered. The man picked him up & carried him to a beautifly crafted ship. He looked at the face of the man once before drifting out of consiousness.

His head spun. His mother's final scream. His sisters' as they fall to the ground from blaster shots to the back. His father who he may never see again.

Cris recalled the time that he had gone to the Mos Eisly space port with his oldest sister, Falla, to visit the place where Obi Wan Kenodi had called home. He remembered the smile of glee on her face when she had found the remote used to train Luke Skywalker. The thoughts drifted out of his head as he regained consiousness.

He sat up slowly to see the man piloting the delightful ship. He blink. "Who . . . who are you?" he asked weakly, hardly able to form the words. The man looked back at him. "My name is Luke Skywalker. What's yours?" Cris pulled his knees up to his chest & swallowed. "Cris Ganders," he choked. Luke swivled in his pilot's chair. "You look beat. You're Terrias, am I right?" Cris nodded, barely able to stay consious.

Luke stood up & walked over to the food processor. "Here," he said, handing Cris a cup of water. "Drink. That will take the edge out of your hunger." Cris drank it greatfully. He looked at the Jedi. "Why did you save me?" he asked. Luke smiled warmly. "Because I hate to see people in pain. You were in pain & needed help quickly. Plus, I have a daughter of my own. Charolette Leia Skywalker. If anything happened to her, I would die."

Cris blinked. "How old is she?" he asked faintly. Luke walked back over to the food processor. "She's two and a half. My niece & two nephews are older. Twenty two, twenty two & twenty one. Jacen & Jaina are twins & young Anakin was born a year after them." He handed Cris a plate with steaming food on it. Cris's eyes brightened. "Thank you sir," he said & bit into the meat.

Luke drank a cup of water. "Jaina is married & has a daughter named Briar. Bri is six I think. Jacen has twins. Grace & Fauna. They're seven." He took a sip of the water & sighed. "How old are you Cris?"

Cris swallowed a mouthfull of food. "Eight," he said & kept eating. Luke smiled. "You're tired, huh?" Cris nodded, remembering his pasty skin & the black circles under his eyes. "I couldn't sleep. My house was under attack." He took another bite & swallowed. "Can I get some rest? Please?" Luke nodded. "There's a room back there." Cris smiled & walked weakly to the back.

The room was small. Three beds. Two bunk style & one alone. He climbed into the bottom one of the bunk bed. The covers were warmer than he'd expected, but they were a comfort to his freezing limbs.

He pulled out his data pad & turned it on:

"Cris Ganders speaking. I'm aboard a ship with a man by the name of Luke Skywalker. Strangly familiar. Wasn't India's last name Skywalker? I think so. Anyway, I'm scared, but not as scared as I was. I've eaten, for once. I need a shower, but I think that can wait until we get to . . . where are we going?" He sat up & called out to Luke, "Where are we going?"

"To Yavin 4, why?" Cris frowned. Wasn't that where Jedi were trained? He lay back down, sleep tugging at his eye lids.

~Chapter Two~

Cris sat up & looked at the chrono on the side of his bed. Precisly 2:30 am Coruscant time. He glanced around. The room was dark. The bed above him turned slightly. Luke must be up there. Cris huddled back down in the blankets. Visions danced through his mind. His mother & sisters, celebrating Christmas with him.

He smiled. It will be good to avenge their death.

Luke stirred. Cris glanced up. The Jedi master hopped off the bunk & walked into the cockpit. Cris coughed quietly & followed.

He poked his head into the cockpit. Luke was getting ready to take the ship into hyperspace. Cris cleared his throat. Luke turned around & smiled. "You're up early," he said. Cris smiled nervously. Luke looked at the copilot's seat. "Like to be my copilot?" he asked.

Cris brightened. "Sure!" he said happily. Luke grinned & returns to the controls. Cris slid into the copilot's seat & looked at all the controls. "So," he said. "What do I do now?" Luke smiled. "First, since we're going to Yavin 4, type in 'Yavin 4' there because I can't reach." Cris nodded & typed in the word Yavin & the number 4. Luke nodded slightly. "Now, strap in. I'll go the rest." Cris grimaced, disappointed, but obeyed.

Luke flipped switches & typed things into the console. Cris watched, remembering everything. Luke noted his curiousity & observed from the corner of one eye. Cris tilted his heads to one side & pointed. "Is that the hyperdrive lever?" Luke looked at him & nodded. "Have you ever been in a cockpit before?" Cris nodded. "When I was five, but I was asleep. Momma took me in there."

Luke swivled in his chair. This boys medichlorine levels must be high. He reached into his own

pouch around his waste & pulled out a blood sampler. "Cris, let me see your finger." Reluctantly, Cris stuck his finger out. Luke took hold of it. "Now, this will hurt a very little bit." Cris blinked & closed his eyes. A sharp prick. "Ow!" he yelped. Luke held his finger & put a small bandage on it. "Now," he said. "I'm going to probe your mind. I'll try to get the the most sensetive part."

Cris nodded, unaware of what the Jedi master was doing. Luke placed his finger tips on Cris's temples. His eyes fluttered shut. Cris sensed something in his head. Not even on purpose, he shoved Luke out, sending him flying into his chair. Cris yelped. "I'm sorry! I didn't do it on purpose!" Luke sat up, a smile on his face. "I know. It's a Jedi reflex." He pressed the light speed button & slipped the blood into a tester. "Look at this."

Cris leaned over Luke's shoulder. "What's that?" he asked. Luke smiled faintly. "Those are your medichlorine levels. Tiny life forms that live inside Jedi, giving them their power. Your levels are, suprisingly, higher than Anakin Skywalkers. But, luckily for you, not as much anger is in you. Mostly a craving for revenge. Watch that though. That can easily become anger." Cris nodded. "What am I going to do?" Luke raised his eyebrows. "I'm going to take you back to the academy & train you."

The young Terrias gasped. "A Jedi Knight?! I'm going to be a Jedi Knight?!" Luke laughed. "Yes, but the training is hard. You'll be in the four through nine class. Briar, Grace, & Fauna are in that class." Cris nodded. "At least I won't be totally alone." Luke sighed. "Most of the boys are in a clique. Very group like. I'd advise you to stay far from them." Cris sighed. "How am I suppose to make friends then?" "Briar is a cool kid. Talk to her." Cris shrugged & looked out the view port at the stars, wizzing by.

I wonder how many planets are out there, Cris thought. So many! He sighed. "Master Skywalker?" he asked, looking out at the stars. Luke looked at him. "Yes Cris?" "How many star systems are out there?" Luke smiled. "We may never know." Cris blinked. That means there must be alot! "I want to visit them all someday," he said dreamily. Luke laughed. "You probably will. But, remember that you are training to be a Jedi knight. You will, yes, visit most. But keep your consentration on the present, yet be wary of the future."

Cris tilted his head slightly. "I really want to be a Jedi, but what happens if I learn the darkside?" Luke swallowed. "Then you will be what we call a Sith." Cris frowned. "Master Skywalker, what's a Sith?" Luke glanced out as the star passed. "A Sith is a Jedi who practices the dark ways. Evil is in their heart. They fight with hate, not with love & serenity. I pray you will never be that way." He looked back at Cris. "One of my Jedi who is now dead was a spy for the Empire. He was very powerful, but he chose the Sith way. It eventually found Briar's father, Zekk Solo. He was a street kid at the time, sixteen years old, scavenging to survive.

"This young boy was very strong in the Force. Unfortunantly, Brakiss found him before us & trained him to be the Shadow Academy's darkest knight." Luke noted the troubled expression Cris's face. "Don't worry. He returned to the light side. He lives at the academy. Briar looked just like him. Emerald green eyes & dark, yet not black hair." Cris bit his lip. "Being a Jedi is a lot harder than I thought." Luke smiled. "But the result is always rewarding. You just have to be very careful." Cris nodded. "I will, Master Skywalker."

They pull out of light speed near a small jungle moon. Cris leaned on the console. "Wow," he said. "It's so beautiful!" Luke nodded, his head set on. "It is. Now, get your things. I must talk with the monitors to get us down to the planet." Cris hopped out of the chair & dashed to the back of the Shadow Chaser.

Luke realized the strength the young boy carried. "I hope he can control it," he whispered. "Okay," a voice said. "We have you on our scopes. Identify yourself." Luke smirked. "This is Luke Skywalker in the Shadow Chaser. You know that." "Sir it's protocal. We have to but go ahead." Luke smiled & piloted the ship down the the moon's surface.

Luke spotted four forms coming out to greet him. His niece & nephew & their families. Jaina was first. She smiled, no longer the childish smile he remembered from her childhood. He walked down the ramp. "Uncle Luke," she said, smiling like his twin sister. Luke hugged her & shook hands with Zekk & Jacen. "Good to see you kids," he said. Zekk smiled a pricless white smile. "The kids are with Anakin. As for Briar, well, who knows where that little kid is."

Jacen smirked. "Zekk Bri can take care of herself. Calm down." Zekk rolled his eyes. "I just pity the poor sap stupid enough to tangle with her. She built her lightsber before any of the others." Jaina giggled. "Well she's more advanced than the others. She'll be fine, I promise you all."

Cris saw everyone outside she ship walking toward the temple. There were two who looked relativly the same. He figured they were Jacen & Jaina. "Great," he mumbled. "Again, I'm forgotten." He looked into the jungle. "Hmmmm." Hefting his sack, he crept out of the ship & into the tall Massasi trees.

About a mile into the jungle, he began to think it was a mistake. A roar rang out & he saw a large beast fall to the ground. Suddenly, he heard a faint growl behind him. Slowly he turned around.

It looked like a rancor, but was furred with white & scaled with blue. He swallowed. It extended it's claws & was about to leap when it cried out in pain & hit the ground. Cris looked up to see who his rescuer was. In front of him, stood a very young girl of about six years old, holding an emerald green lightsaber in her left hand. She wore a Jedi robe with a cream tunic. Her hood was back from her head & her dark hair was braided. Her emerald green eyes looked down at him & one hand was on her hip.

"You shouldn't be out here unless you're able to defend yourself," she said in a not so young voice. Cris swallowed & stood up. "I think you're right," he said. The girl disengaged her lightsaber & hooked it to her hip. "Briar Solo," she said friendlily, extending a hand. Cris found it odd that her ears were pierced three times in each ear. Her gaze was hard. He took her hand & shook it. "Cris Ganders."

Briar nodded. "You're not from around her. You're a Corellian, no dought from your clothing & accent." Cris gasped. "You Jedi are pretty sure of yourselves." Briar tilted her head. "But I am not wrong." Cris shook his head. "I am Corellian. But, you're what? Only six?" Briar nodded. "Yes, I am six. Seven next week." She glanced around. "Well, Cris Ganders, we'd better head back to the temple." Cris nodded. "Care to guide me back?" Briar blinked & narrowed her eyes. "Let's go."

Cris was intimidated by her intense behavior. She walked briskly, not faultering in her step. "You're just in time," she said darkly. "I'm about to go to Endor." Cris brightened. "Endor? Cool!" Briar smiled. "Very cool. I live there." Cris stopped. "You live on Endor?" Briar stopped & turned to face him. "Yes. But I'm not leaving today. I still need to complete my training. But that's where I was born."

Briar jogged toward the temple. Cris followed, growing fond of the young Jedi. She stopped suddenly, frozen, not twitching or anything. Cris grimaced. "What is it?" he asked. Briar turned slowly. "We have got to get into the trees. Now." Cris glanced around quickly. "I see nothing." Briar dug her fingers into the side of a tree & began climbing. Cris clutched the same one & edged up.

Briar swung up onto a branch & dropped her arm. "Grab hold," she said. Cris heard a roar in the distance. He swallowed. "No problam." Briar hung upside down & yanked him onto the branch beside her. Cris sighed. "Phew! Thanks, I though I was a gonner!" Briar pulled herself up beside Cris. "No problam. Just cause I'm young doesn't mean I'm weak." Cris nodded. "Yeah."

A very large meat eater stomped by. It looked at them up in the trees & reached out but kept moving. Briar relaxed. "Phew. Those rancor hybreds are dangerous!" Cris nodded. "Obviously." Briar pulled out a blaster & aimed at the monster. Cris blinked. "Why are you killing it?" "Because they are interduced species." She pulled the trigger & the monster dropped dead.

Cris sighed. "Will it go to waste?" Briar smirked. "You are new to this stuff. Of course it won't! It will be eaten!" Cris nodded. "I knew that." Briar grinned & swung upside down from the tree again. Cris frowned. "What are you doing?" Briar let go of the branch & flipped to the ground. "Come on Cris! Let's go!" Cris jumped from the branch & smashed into the ground. "Ow!" he shouted. Briar grinned. "The point of a jump is to get to the bottom quick, with out injury." Cris rubbed his back & grimaced. "Give me lessons." Briar giggledd & waited for him.

About five minutes later, Briar saw the temple. Cris looked & saw his pack near the edge of the jungle. Briar pointed. "We're almost there." Cris saw Luke talking to the people he asumed were Zekk & Jaina. Briar groaned. "Mom & Dad. Just what I need." Cris frowned. "What's wrong?" Briar sighed. "They think I'm too small to go off on my own. It is way annoying."

Briar jogged into the clearing. Cris lingered on the edge of the jungle. "Briar, where were you?" Jaina asked sternly. Briar sighed. "I was exploring. I met someone new." Jaina nodded. "His name is Cris Ganders. He is a rescued Terrias from the Regna raid on Corellia." Briar frowned. "Why did they want to hurt the Terrias?" Jaina shrugged. "I don't know. But be extra nice to him. He's been through a lot."

Cris picked up his pack & crept forward. Zekk saw him & smiled. "Hi there Cris. Welcome to the academy." Luke smiled aswell. "I'll show you to your room." Cris swallowed. "Um, Briar told me about her going back to Endor when she's completed her training. And I was wondering if maybe I could go too?" Briar's face brightened. "Could he Dad? Please?"

Zekk glanced at Luke, a questioning look on his face. Luke shrugged. "It's fine with me." Briar smiled. "Thanks Master Skywalker!" she said & looked at Cris. "Want to meet my cousins?" she asked. Cris shrugged. "Sure I guess. . ." he was cut off as Briar grabbed his hand & dashed toward the temple. Cris stumbled after her.

"Grace, Fauna! You guys here?" Briar walked into the cafateria & saw a couple groups of people near by. A few looked up then went back to talking. Cris shoved his hands deep into his pockets. "This is weird," he muttered. Briar grimaced. "Where are they?"

Cris spotted two identical girls with strawberry blond hair at a table with the other girls. Fauna looked up & groaned. Cris saw from her expression that she wasn't exactly a very nice person. Grace, however, looked up & smiled. "Bri!" she called out. Briar smiled & looked at Cris. "Come here!" Cris walked after Briar as she made her way over to the twins.

Fauna smirked. "Well, if it isn't little Brat. What do you want this time?" Briar ignored Fauna & looked at Grace. "Master Skyalker brought back a new student from a Regna raid on Corellia! He was the only one to survive other than some other lady who escaped." Fauna looked at Cris as he approached. "Who's this geek?"

Briar bristled. "He's NOT a geek. His name is Cris & he's a Terrias & he could easily kill you." The other girls talked amongst themselves. Briar groaned. I hope I'm not like that when I'm seven, she thought. Fauna shook her head. "Guys stay with the guys. Girls stay with the girls. It's the way it'salways been." A Twi 'lek girl nodded in agreement with Fauna.

Grace sighed. "Fauna you're not being fair." "Shut up Grace!" Fauna snapped. "If Brat wants to be friends with Terrias, she can. But she is staying in her own little duet. I'm not talking to her." Grace narrowed her eyes. "You want it that way Fauna? Make it a trio." She walked over & stood beside Cris & Briar. "I'm not letting you pick on her like this anymore Fauna. It's wrong & you know it." Fauna looked at the other girls. "Ignore them." She stood up & walked out of the cafateria, the other girls following.

Cris grimaced. "My, that went well," he grumbled. Briar shrugged. "Oh well. It could be worse. Want to see Master Skywalker's daughter?" Cris looked at Grace. Grace nodded. Cris looked at Briar. "Sure," he said & pursed his lips. Briar's lightsaber thumped her thigh gently as she dashed out of the cafateria, the others close behind.

They came to a room. Briar opened the door & walked in. A woman was sitting on the couch, holding a two year old girl, sleeping, in her arms. She smiled. "Hello Briar. Hello Grace. Who is your friend?" Briar stepped forward. "This is Cris Ganders, the newest student at the academy. Mara, can we see Charlie?"

Mara Jade smiled & shook her head. "She's sleeping right now. You can see her when she wakes up though." Briar shrugged. "Okay," she said & looked at Cris. "I guess I'd better let you get your stuff in your room, huh?" Cris nodded. "Yeah, I'll see you later okay?" Briar nodded. "Sure, bye."

Two years later . . . . .

Cris stepped deeper into the jungle. He narrowed his eyes, his cream Jedi tunic clinging to his body under his brown robes. The carnivorous tree grabbed a woolamander out of the air & began digesting it from the outside.

The woolamander dropped dead, all of it's life gone. Cris spotted a cloth on the ground. Black jumpsuit. Must be from when Zekk trained, he thought. The tree struck out at him. Cris pulled out his double sided lightsaber & ignited both ends, watching the silver blaze the air.

Stepping past the tree, Cris heard another one of those creatures Briar had killed. "Great," he muttered. "Maybe when she's back from Endor, she can tell me about the other lethal animals who can wait to kill me."

It came from behind, slashing it's claws & fangs. Blood stained it's mouth. Cris swallowed & smiled mockingly. "Let's go you," he said. It swished his tail back & roared. Cris swished his lightsaber & focused his sapphire eyes on the monster's.

It circled him, it's backward knee joints clicking. Cris edged away, his lightsaber in hand. It snarled & lunged at him. With a sweep of his weapon, it lay on the ground, dead. He sighed. "Another one. At least it's dead." He disengaged his lightsaber & clipped it to his hip.

He glanced up & saw a ship approaching. The Lightning Rod. "Bri must be back," he mumbled & dashed toward the temple.

Grace & Fauna were already out, waiting. Tenel Ka Ta Chume, their mother, was waiting beside Jacen. Luke & Mara stood near the temple, four year old Charolette Leia Skywalker in front of them. The other students looked at the ship landing, then went about their buisness.

The ship overed in the air for a moment, hissing as it landed. Zekk strode down the ramp. Jaina appeared beside him, but no Briar. Cris frowned. "Um, Mrs. Solo? Where's Briar?" Jaina smiled. "She's still on Endor. We're going back. Sorry you couldn't come last time." Cris shrugged. "It's okay. Why are you here now?" Zekk put a hand on his shoulder. "To take you back with us."

Cris smiled. "I'm going to Endor?" Jaina nodded. "If Master Skywalker will let you." Charlie waved to Jaina from her father's side & looked up at him. "Can I go to Dad?" Luke shook his head. "No, only Cris."

Cris blinked. "Well, thanks, I guess." Luke smirked. "Go get your things," he said & took Mara's hand. Cris walked toward the temple & vanished from sight.

Many students moped around the hallways. A group of young Deveranian males smirked at him as he passed. He ignored them & crashed into his room. He quickly grabbed his pack, threw his clothes & diary in & looked around one last time before running out.

"I'm back!" he announced. Jaina looked at his pack. "Not filled up huh?" she asked. Cris smirked. "I don't have enough things to fill it with." Zekk laughed. "Well, Cris, let's get you strapped in back here okay?" he said. Cris grinned & followed Zekk into the ship.

Charlie sighed. "I wanna go too Mamma! Please can I go?!" Mara shook her head. "Maybe when you're older, but not now."

Zekk strapped Cris securly into his seat. "Ready to go kid?" he asked & smiled. Cris nodded & stretched out his arms. "I'm tired," he said softly & drifted to sleep in the back of the Lightning Rod.

One day later, Cris woke up to hear movement within the ship. Zekk came into the passenger area. "Hey Cris!" he said cheerfully. "Bri's outside waiting to see you. Ready?" Cris yawned & rubbed his eyes. "Mmmm hmmm," he moaned sleepily. Zekk smiled. "Great. I've got your stuff already in one of the tree houses."

Cris stood up & made his way over to the boarding ramp. There she stood. Briar Solo. But so different!

Her shoulder length black hair had silver streaks throughout it & a black band wound around her forehead, the two tails hanging with her hair. Black pants & a sleevless top covered her body with a red tatoo on her shoulder.

Cris blinked. "Bri?" he asked. The eight year old smiled. "Cris!" she yelled happily & dashed up the ramp. She wrapped her arms around his neck & hugged him, not have seen him in 2 years. "How've you been?" Cris smiled & hugged her back. "Fine, but look at you! Where're your robes? And what's with all the new earrings?" Briar grinned. "I decided to become a warrior. I'm basically a trainee right now. But I'll finish up my Jedi training soon enough." Cris nodded. "Well, it's great to see you again. Any new adventures planned?" Briar grinned. "Not with me. But you'll get a few soon enough."

Jaina inhaled & looked around. "Cye!" she called. "Cye!" A boy identical to Briar in most respects came dashing over. Briar groaned. "You never met my brother, did you Cris?" she grumbled & slumped her shoulder. Cye grinned & the crystal necklace around his neck gleamed. "Who's the guy Bri?" he sneered. Briar rolled her eyes. "This is my best friend Cris, you creep." Cye pretended to be hurt. "Oh! Bri! How COULD you injure me emotionally like that!" He moaned & fell over flat on his back. Briar lifted an eyebrow & stepped over him, a new double sided lightsaber also hanging at her side.

Cris frowned & followed Briar. He caught up to her & walked, looking back at Cye as he got up. "Some sibling," he whispered to Briar once they were out of earshot range. Briar smirked. "You haven't got any idea how discusting he is. But, hey? He's my brother & I love him. Sorta."

She climbed up a ladder toward a tree house. "C'mon Cris!" she yelled & scampered into the room. Cris yelped & followed as fast as he could. "Wait up Bri!" he called. She grinned. "Come on!" she said with clenched teeth. Cris stumbled in. It was a one room tree house with a small bed, a shelf, a small closet filled with baggy black pants & skin tight black sleevless shirts.

She plopped down on the bed. "So, how's it been at the academy?" she asked, igniting her double sided lightsaber. Cris frowned at the black blades, then answered. "Well, Fauna is just as annoying as ever. Grace started flirting with me the other day, I can't stand it." Briar nodded, swivling the lightsaber. Cris opened his mouth. "Was it always so.....black?" Briar looked up at him. "Yup. Pretty isn't it?" Cris forced a smile onto his face. "Yeah. Mine's silver." He ignited his own. Briar watched it. "Want to spar?" Cris blinked. "Uh, sure," he said. Briar grabbed his hand & they stumbled out of her tree house.

"Uh oh," Cye said. "looked like Bri's gonna spar again!" Zekk looked at his daughter. "Don't hurt him Briar, he's not used to fighting you." Briar groaned. "I won't hurt him Dad," she spat & held up her lightsaber. "Ready?" she asked with a hint of malice in her voice. Cris swallowed & ignited his own lightsaber.

Briar struck quickly. "Aaah!" Cris yelled as Briar's weapon connected with his arm, singing it. He clasped his wound, blood seeping through his fingers. Briar covered her mouth with her hands. "Ooops! Sorry Cris!" she yelped & wrapped a bandage around his arm. He looked at her & for a brief moment, they kept eye contact.

Four years later . . . .

Jaina, Zekk, Briar & Cris pulled out of hyper space around the desolant planet Dantooine. "Serpent's Snare, this is Lightning Rod, do you copy?" Zekk asked into his commlink. Briar toggled the unit. "Gotcha, Dad," replied the 12 year old girl from Endor. Her black hair was tied back in a low pony tail with her bangs hanging loosely around her face. Still wearing a skin tight sleevless black top & black baggy pants, the young Jedi had developed into a beautiful pre-teen, tall like her father & slim like her mother.

Cris, now 14, had become a handsome young man. His black hair was cut just above his ears & his sapphire eyes showed little rings of darker blue around the ousides. He was about half a head taller than Briar & had strong arms & a lean build. A blaster was at his thigh & his lightsaber hung at his hip.

Briar had won a ship from Lando in a sabacc match. Not having the money to pay her the 100 credits he'd bet, he gave up one of his Corellian ships. Briar had made a few modifications, adding A-wing arches along the hull & two gunner stations.

"Alright kids get ready to land." Briar nodded & switched off her commlink. "Flip it Cris," she commanded & turned switched. Cris reached forward & turned a few knobs, then nodded to Briar. "We're clear," he said into the speaker of his head set. Zekk replied, "Alright Ganders. Bri, take her in." "Okay, give me a position on the ground." Zekk checked the scopes on the ground. "Um....I think that there's a place on the western border. See that little dark spot on the radar?" Briar looked at the flashing green screen. "Yup, I see it." "Okay, land just east of that." Briar nodded. "Alright, meet you at the bottom Dad."

Carefully, she piloted the ship down to the surface of the planet. Cris unstrapped from the copilot's seat & put his head set on the hook. "Well," he said. "Let's see if the famine problam is as bad as they said it was." Briar shrugged & stood up. "I hope it isn't. For their sake anyway.

They got off of the ship & walked over toward Zekk & Jaina. Zekk looked at his daughter's attire & couldn't help but cringe at all the skin being shown. Jaina noticed & jerked his shirt slightly. "Don't influence her," she murmered, then smiled at her daughter. "That was wonderful flying Briar. Now, let's find out about this famine that's going around."

They trudged off over the sands, careful not to fall in any pits. They came up near a New Republic base. Zekk glanced at Jaina, then at a guard. The guard nodded to him & they passed through.

Jaina saw many workers walking around the base. "It's just like Mom said it was like," she whispered to Zekk. The young man nodded, then looked back at Briar & Cris. Sometimes I wonder if he isn't flirting with her, he thought.

Cris checked his chrono. "Looks like we'll have time to visit a place to eat too," he murmered. Briar snickered at Cris. "Maybe. If they scheduled nurishment into their schedules though." Jaina & Zekk scoffed. "We'll get something to eat at the base later kids," she said.

They walked throught the large base, nodding to occasional people Jaina & Zekk knew. Jaina smiled, spotting her friend Raynar Thul from the academy. "Raynar!" she called & waved to him. The spikey blonde boy looked up. "Jaina!" he called with a laugh & jogged over to her & Zekk. Briar grumbled, "I hate him. He's always flirting with Mom since his beloved Lusa left him for a better guy." She gagged, then cleared her face & smiled. "Hello Raynar," she said.

Cris nodded & whispered to Briar, "What an air head!" Briar snickered quietly. "Mom, we're going to go ahead & look around for a place to eat okay?" Jaina nodded. "Go ahead then dear," she called & she, Zekk & Raynar trooped off deeper into the base.

Briar snorted & gave the necklace around her neck a tug. "They are getting annoying," she murmered. "Even if they are family." "I agree," said Cris. "But please don't take offense, they're nice people." Briar shrugged. "Doesn't bother me. Anyway, let's see if we can find anything to eat."

They strode through the base, muttering about nothing important. They talked about ships & the military. Cris swore to become a pilot, then Briar gently reminded him that he WAS one. Cris grinned. "Yeah, but I mean for the New Republic," he said. Briar scoffed. "Gee, PAL, I do fly for the New Republic! I was the one who found that secret base on Dagobah, remember." Cris smirked. "My, aren't we edgy today?" Briar shoved him with her elbow & walked off, acting as though she was leaving, then jogged back, grinning.

As they neared the end of the public area of the base, a young man with sandy blonde hair & hazel colored eyes stepped out from behind a domed building. He looked at them. "I haven't seen you here before," he said sharply. Cris's upper lip twitched. "We're here with the Solo's." The man laughed. "Jaina & Zekk?" He smirked. "Those poor excuses for ambassadors couldn't even handle our famine problam!"

Briar bristled. "Back off my parents bucko," she spat. The man smirked. "They're your parents, little witch?" he sneered. Briar glared. "I said back off!" He lifted his eyebrows. "I'm not bucko. My name is Blade Amaranth. Don't make me live up to my name." Briar's hand whipped to the hilt of her double sided lightsaber. Blade's eyes flashed. "Firey little bitch, aren't you?"

Cris pulled out a stun rod & held it at Blade's throat. "Take that back!" he commanded. Blade curled his lips up. "Why should I?" he muttered fiercly. Cris clenched the rod tightly. "You have no right to insult her like that." "What?" Briar said shrilly. "That little word was an insult? Oh come one you dip, give me your best shot!" Blade smiled maliciously. "I'm not bothering you, sexy," he said smoothly. Briar narrowed her eyes. "No one calls me that. Get out your weapon."

Cris looked at Briar bewildered. "What?" he gasped. Briar glared at Blade. "Cris, get back." Cris stuttered, but backed away. Briar ignited her lightsaber on both ends & admired the black blade. Blade looked at her. "A Jedi?" he spat acidly. Briar glared at him. "Let's go."

Blade curled his lips & pulled out a blaster. Briar held her lightsaber up, turning it horizantal. "Come on then!" she snarled. Blade pointed it at Briar. "Okay," he hissed & fired, blasting the lightsaber from her hand. With another shot, he connected with her shoulder.

"No!" Cris yelled, black fire flying from his fingertips at Blade. Briar collapsed to the ground, clutching her shoulder. Blade screamed as the fire engulfed him. Briar's eyes widened & she dragged herself away, blood now all over her hands.

Blade looked at him. "What ARE you?!" Cris looked at his hands in suprise. "I...I don't know what-" "Cris!" Briar croaked, falling to her side. Cris shouted & skid to his knees in front of her. "Briar!" he moaned & held her gently.

Zekk & Jaina came rushing over. Cris hid Briar's lightsaber from their view under his robes. Zekk picked her up. "Oh God, Bri are you okay?" Jaina looked at Cris. He pointed at Blade, now lying limp on the ground, twitching. "He shot her." Jaina glared at him.

"Shoot my daughter, will you?!" she bellowed & kicked him hard. Cris looked at her, then rushed to Zekk & Briar. "Will she be alright?" he asked urgently, still hiding Briar's lightsaber. Zekk looked at him. "I dunno. We'll get her back to Endor, then we'll give her better medical treatment."

Jaina glared once more at Blade, then jogged after Cris & Zekk. Briar moaned, still clutching her shoulder. Jaina touched Briar's face. "It's alright, dear, we're going home now." She looked at Cris. "Zekk & I have business to attend to after we take her back to Endor. We're relying on you to watch her. Don't let her do anything too strenuous, okay?" Cris swallowed & nodded, looking down at Briar.

They loaded up onto their ships. Cris volenteered to pilot. "Absolutly not," Briar said flatly. Cris sighed. "Bri, you can sit in the co-pilot's seat. You're not in any shape to fly & you know it." "I can fly my own ship, thank you," she said again.

"Fine," Cris grumbled & slumped into the co-pilot's seat. Briar shifted her arm which hung in a sling & took hold of the throttle. "Key in the coordinates to Endor Cris," she ordered. He leaned forward & his hands flew over the controls. He sat back. "Alright, we're ready," he said & shifted in his position in the co-pilto's seat. Briar gripped the yoke & swirved the ship. "Meet you at Endor, Dad," she said into the comm unit & vanished into hyperspace.

Cris yawned. "You should have let me fly the ship," he said. Briar kept her face as hard as stone. "I am perfectly capable of flying my own ship, Cris. I don't need you to come along behind me & take care of my every need."

Cris blinked. "Hey, you, I saved your life back there, he would have killed you." "I didn't ask you to help me." Cris scowled. "Quit being so hateful Bri," he growled. Briar sighed & rested her head against the back of the seat. She closed her eyes. "Sorry Cris," she said softly, the hum of the light speed engines filling her ears. "It...it just really hurts." She closed her eyes & the tears she'd been hiding for so long trickled down her cheeks.

Cris's expression fell. I...I made her cry? "Wait, no, stop crying, please don't cry!" he begged. "I hate it when you cry, please!" Briar inhaled & touched her shoulder. "It hurts....so much though." Cris stood up & helped her up. "Let's take you to the cabin area, you need to rest." Briar swallowed. "Don't crash my ship, Ganders," she joked weakly. Cris smiled & walked slowly to the cabin.

"Here, Bri," he said, lying her down on one of the single beds. "I'll get you a blanket." Briar's eyes closed gently. "No thanks Cris. I don't need one." She turned over onto her side, resting her arm in a comfortable position & soon fell asleep.

Cris stood in the doorway, looking at Briar's weak form. He pulled a hover chair up beside her bed & sat down. "Sleep well, Briar." He reached out & untied the thong in her hair & the black band around her forehead. Her silky black hair fell down around her face, shining slightly. He placed them on the table beside her bed & looked back at her. "So beautiful.."

He blinked. "Where the hell did that come from?" he muttered. He looked at her. Now that I think about it, she IS kinda pretty. He touched her face with his hand softly. She didn't twitch. He relaxed. "Yeah, you are beautiful Briar Solo," he whispered & kissed her cheek softly.

The light speed engines slowed & the Serpent's Snare returned to regular space. He looked up & walked into the cockpit. "Ack, gotta land huh?" He picked up the comm unit. "Lightning Rod, this is Serpent's Snare, do you copy?" No response. He frowned. "Hey, Zekk, it's Cris, you there?" Still no response. He narrowed his eyes. "This isn't good."

He looked at the screen. "Huh? Dagobah? What?" He typed in a few numbers & squinted at the screen. "Damn!" he shouted & slammed a fist down onto the console. "What do you mean we lost the hyper drive engines?! Piece of crap!" He jumped out of the pilot's seat & rushed back to the cabin.

"Briar, wake up," he said gently & shook her. She groaned & sat up, running a hand through her hair. "What's going on?" she asked tiredly. Cris grimaced. "The hyperdrive engines are gone," he said mournfully.

"What do you mean? Where are they?" Zekk asked. Jaina looked afraid. "They went off course a while back. I don't know where they are." Zekk swallowed. "We've got to contact the New Republic fleet. Imediantly. If we don't then Briar might...."

Jaina shuddered. "Look, we're at Endor. Let's land, get Cye & the dog & get out to Dad's ship." Zekk nodded & pulled the throttle to the left.

They landed down in a small clearing, Cye sitting under a tree, petting a large nek battle dog named Nawara. He looked up as they bounded down the ramp. "Where's Bri?" he asked, standing up. Jaina & Zekk exchanged glances. "Cye, we have a small problam," Jaina said. "We came back to get you & Nawara. Briar & Cris are lost."

Cye gasped, his emerald green eyes wide with fear. "Br-Bri? Where is she?! What happened to her?!" Zekk looked at his son & knelt beside him. "Cye, we don't know where she is. But we're hoping she's alright."

Cris looked down at the planet Dagobah, his spirits at an all time low. "I can't believe I got us lost," he whispered & slumped in the co-pilot's seat. Briar, her hair still down at her shoulders, looked at him sadly. "Cris, it's not your fault. Something must've happened while we were in light speed." She brushed her hair back. "I just hope that we can settle in down there until we can go home."

Cris frowned. "What do you mean? What ELSE is wrong?" Briar bit her lip. "I dunno. I just have a bad feeling. If we go on our present course, I know something's gonna happen to us. We've got to land." Cris blinked. Briar's predictions had been correct most of the time. He knew better than to brush her off. He believed her.

"I'll take her down," he said softly & took hold of the throttle. Briar cradled her arm & sat with her legs under the chair in the pilot's seat. Cris looked at her briefly. "What do you feel exactly?" he asked. Briar shuddered. "Cold. Extreme cold."

Cris nodded. "Yeah, me too. Think it's the Force?" Briar shrugged. "Whatever it is, I wish it would leave me alone. I want to go home. Now."

For a moment, he debated on reaching out to touch her arm. He decided against it. He didn't want her to think he had any feelings toward her. Instead, he just said, "I'll get us home, Briar. I promise."

An hour later, they'd landed on a fairly dry patch of ground & began scouting around. "Man," Briar groaned. "This place is so damp it's discusting." Cris smirked & nodded. "Yeah, I've seen lakes drier than this." Briar grinned. "Yeah, well, let's make the best of it."

Cris sighed. I'll make the best of the best of the situation. He shivered. "Damn, nights here are freezing," he muttered & sat down on a hill in a clearing, looking up at the stars.

Briar walked over & sat down beside him, hugging her knees. She gazed up at the firey sparks, twinkling above them. She pointed to one, barely visible planet, sitting behind a larger one. "See that one?" she said in the playful voice she used to use when they'd watch the stars back on Endor when they were younger. He smiled at the memory & nodded. "Yeah?" Briar licked her lips & leaned on his shoulder slightly. "That's Coruscant."

Cris blinked & looked at her. "That?" he asked, pointing at the planet. "That little thing? Is Coruscant?" She laughed, grinned, & nodded. Cris looked at it in disbelief. "You've gotta be kidding me." Briar laughed again & pointed to another. "That's Bespin." Cris leaned back on his elbows. "What about that one there?" he asked, pointing to another planet. Briar smiled. "That's Mon Calamari. Mom & Dad went there once." Cris nodded & raised his eyebrows. "And that one?"

Briar saddened. "That's....that's the planet Endor circles." Cris's expression fell. He sat up, noticing how Briar was slumped over, eyes closed. He tensed up, nervous, reached out, & slipped an arm around her shoulders. She looked up at him & wound her arms around his waste, hugging him. It took him a moment to realize that the liquid he felt on his shoulder was tears. He squeezed her gently & felt her silky hair against his neck. He closed his eyes & wrapped his other arm around her. "It'll be alright," he whispered. "It'll be alright."

Briar's cries became more sound. She pulled away, the two moons illuminating her tear stained face. She looked up at him, the light reflecting off her eyes. With a trembling hand, she reached out & touched his face. "Cris?" she stammered. Cris closed his eyes, then opened them. Briar inhaled & more tears leaked from her eyes. "The Force knows," she whispered & brushed her tears away.

Cris swallowed. "Knows what?" he said softly. Briar pulled his face close to hers until they were only inches appart. "Everything," she half choked half sighed. Cris's heart beat rapidly. What was he suppose to do to respond to her? He pulled back slowly. "Briar...I..."

Briar's glistening eyes bore into him. He choked whatever he'd been about to say. What is she doing? He bit his lip. "Bri...what are you....you saying?"

She pulled his head back close to hers. Another tear dripped down her cheek. "Don't leave me in the dark Ganders," she whispered to him. "Tell me." She pulled his head closer still. "Does this scare you?"

Cris closed his eyes & bit into his lip harder. "No," he forced out. It terrifies me, he thought.

Briar smiled. Not the normal perky smile she used so often when they joked. But a sad, mournful smile. He read her eyes. Afraid? Briar Solo was scared? He pulled her to him & hugged her. "It's all right," he said softly & resisted the urge to stroke her hair, fearing she'd take it the wrong way.

She slid her arms around his waste & embraced him tightly, burrying her head in his shoulder. She could hear his hear beat. Rapid, very rapid. He's nervous? Wow, he's afraid..

She sighed. "Why are you afraid?" she asked, eyes closed. Cris swallowed. Why am I scared? Because you're not the same Briar I met on Yavin 4 when I was 8. You're different. He swallowed his thoughts . "I'm not afraid of anything," he whispered. Briar rolled her eyes, feeling his heart rate increase. She decided to test him & ran her hand up his back. Oh yeah, definently scares him, she concluded as she felt the beating of his heart increase even more.

Cris's mouth twitched. He could feel her shaking in his arms. "Briar, let's go back to the ship," he said & pulled her back from him. "I'm tired anyway." She nodded & stood up. "And Cris?"

He stood up with her. "Yeah?" She smiled. "Thanks for being there for me. I really should be more greatful." He quirked a smile & shrugged, looking down. "You'd have done the same for me."

She nodded & hooked her arm in his. "I would have. Now, let's get back. Can you cook?" Cris laughed & nodded. "Yeah, what do you want?" She shrugged. "Doesn't matter. Just something with flavor." They grinned at eachother & said together, "Nerf sausages!"

As much as Briar hated to admit it, Cris was a superb cook. And to top it off, he used a jazzy accent & grinned everytime she complimented his cooking. She snickered when he put one of those white chef's hats on & took a large & dramatic bow. She laughed & put on a CD module of her favorite catina groups, Fergin & the Modal Nodes.

Cris twirled a little spatula around his index finger & middle finger & winked. "I can cook better than that food processor, can't I?" Briar giggled & chewed on the food he'd prepared. Outside the ship, it was pouring with rain, but they hardly noticed. The cheery music & comic relief inside blocked out all thoughts of despair & loneliness.

Cris slumped into the chair around the holo board beside Briar & sighed. "Well, that's that huh?" He smiled & laced his fingers behind his head. "I'll get to work on the engine in the morning. Feel up to it?" Briar grinned. "You bet." She looked at her chrono & yawned. "Whoa, it's getting late! I'm gonna go to sleep okay?" Cris nodded. "Sure." He flashed her a grin. "But I get the showers first!" He sprang from his hover chair, sending it flying a few feet, & bolted into the back.

"HEY!" Briar shouted & raced after him. "You can't have it first! This is MY ship!" Cris laughed & slammed the door to the refreshment center closed. "But I got here first!"

Briar pounded on the door & growled as he started singing in Bothan, turning on her sonic shower. She scowled. "Cris!" "

"Hehehe!"

"CRIS!"

"Lalalalala!"

"Rrrrrrr........CRIS!!!!!"

"Oh, yes Briar?"

"NEEEER!!!!!"

Cris scoffed. "Oh, what was that? I-I didn't quite catch that last one.."

Briar growled & slumped against the wall beside the shower. "Never mind," she grumbled. Cris snickered. "Hold on, Bri, I'm almost done."

"Well hurry it up!" she crowed back.

About five minutes later, the door whizzed open & Cris stepped out, his black hair flat against his head from the water, with baggy knaki colored pants on, no shirt, with a towel aroud his neck. He twisted his face to stare down at her- & smirked. She'd fallen asleep.

He chuckled & shook his head, smiling, crouching down to pick her up. "Briar, Briar, Briar," he whispered so she couldn't hear him. "You're a mess."

She felt very weak to him. Much weaker than he expected her to. She'd always seemed like a strong girl, physty atitude, go-get-them view on life. But there he stood, holding her close with her head resting on his shoulder, asleep. He smiled & carried her into the back of the ship, lying her down on the first bed he could find, turning the lights down low. "Whoa, this is familiar," he murmered, pulling over a hover chair again, sitting beside her .

She stirred in her sleep, her hair draping her bare shoulders. He leaned against his elbow misty-eyed. It seemed like the perfect set up for the perfect love novel. He shook his head & brushed a hand over her cheek gently & walked into the cockpit.


A New Threat
By: Briar Solo

Author's note: If you ever saw the Indiana Jones movies with Harrison Ford, you'll know about his hatred for snakes. This isn't a copy thingamabob, I just thought it would be funny to see Han Solo scared of snakes just as much as Henery Jones Jr was *fiendish grin*. And also, for your future trips down the road, "There are no maps leading to burried treasure & X never ever marks the spot." Enjoy! ~_^

Also, Cene Toydara is pronounced: Cenai Toidora

Also, if you're a fan of the Anakin/Tahiri thing, you won't like this Saga. Sorry! *guilty look*

(book two of the Regna Trilogy)


Cris woke up in the copilot's seat the next morning, rain still splattering on the front view port. He grimaced. What a lovely thing to wake up to.

He grunted & stretched out his arms, yawning broadly. Something beeped. He ignored it & walked to Briar's room, scratching the back of his neck lazily.

As he'd guessed, she was awake, typing away at her holo pad. He twisted his face uncomfortably. "Coffee," he grumbled.

Briar looked up & smiled. "Oh, hey Cris. I made some coffee & various other knick nacks. They're sitting in the common room." Cris grunted in response & turned, trudging toward the holo board room.

Briar snickered. Men, she thought exhasperated. Impossible creatutres. She powered down her holo pad & walked out of her room, the image flickering off. "Cris!" she called & found him sitting in the co-pilot's seat, munching something & sipping the coffee she'd made. She smiled & sat down in the pilot's seat. "Whatcha doing?" she asked inquisitivly.

Cris glanced up at her & snorted. "Trying to wake up," he mumbled sleepily. "I can't seem to get any sleep even if I wanted to." Briar reached over & patted him gently on the arm, grinning. "Could be worse." "Like how?" "You could be me."

Cris frowned. That wouldn't be so bad, he thought. "Why do you say that?" Briar pursed her lips & leaned back in her chair. "Well, I suppose it's got to do a little bit with the fact that I have no friends where I come from. If you were me, you'd be a loner."

Cris stretched out his arm & grabbed her hand. His words were stern, but his eyes were like a child's. "Briar, you were the only person at that academy that would even give me the time of day. You were the only person I could talk to. I didn't trust the others; I still don't. You brought something into my life that no one else could. No one. Happiness. Not even my old family could make me happy. I couldn't enjoy anything with them." He closed his eyes & loosened his grip on her hand. "Bri......you were my life."

Briar's bottom lip trembled slightly. She felt his sad eyes looking into hers, soul searching. She closed her mouth to stop her exhertive lip & squeezed his hand. "Up until....the point when you came to Yavin 4, I'd been pretty much on my own. No one ever talked to me because I was so advanced. And every time I tried to make new friends, Fauna or one of her friends would come over & tell them evil things about me. Call it what you will, I was misurable up until the day I found you in the jungle." She smiled weakly & stood up, pulling him up with her. "No matter how I look at it, I can't avoid it. You gave my life meaning. True meaning. A reason to get up & go in the morning. And I thank you for it."

Cris looked down, blushing slightly with a shy smile on his face. "Well, at least I'm good for something," he said sheepishly. She winked & kissed him on the cheek. "I'll go get to work on she ship," she whispered & strode out of the cockpit, leaving a rather stunned Cris alone, top lip twitching. "Hehe," he chuckled nervously & swallowed, returning his attention to the task at hand.

Briar pulled a jacket on over her shirt & went outside. The rain poured down in gallons, drenching her before she'd gone four paces. She glared up at the sky, pulling the hood of the coat over her head. It offered little protection. "Damnit," she muttered & stormed back into the ship.

Cris glanced up & put down the scanner head set. He frowned. "Bri?" Briar looked up at him, dripping with heavy water. He swallowed a laugh unsucessfully. Briar glared at him. "Very funny Cris," she spat & wiped some water out of her face. "Care to help me outside?"

Cye sat in the back of the ship, petting Nawara's head gently while his parents argued. They never argue, he thought fearfully. What's wrong with them? He coughed. "Uh, Mom? Dad?" Zekk & Jaina looked at him, angry. "What?" they asked sharply together. Cye peeped & shrank back into his seat. "N-nothing."

Jaina sighed & sat down beside her son. "I'm sorry Cye," she said & tousled his hair. "It's just...well-" "Mom," he said. "I know." Zekk bit his lip & sat down on the other side of his son. Cye smiled sadly at his parents. "We will find Bri, won't we?" Jaina shifted her gaze to Zekk, who had a troubled expression on his face. She swallowed slowly & hard, looking at her son. "Cye, we'll be right back," she said, voice choking. She & Zekk stood up & walked into the cockpit of the Lightning Rod, where Cye could hear Jaina's faint sobs & Zekk's calm voice soothing her.

Nawara whined & licked the boy's hand. Cye felt a tear trickle down his pale cheek, so much like his father's, & stroked the dogs gently. "We'll find Bri eventually boy," he said sadly. "I know we will."

Cris & Briar crouched under the ship, fiddling with the wires & trying in vain to stick sealents on rips & burns in the metal. More than once, Briar felt a sharp pain on her arm as sparks from the probe flew out & stung her skin.

"Ow!" she yelped & sat back on the rain wet ground, clutching her arm. Cris dropped the probe & shifted his weight so he was on his knees sitting in front of her. He took her arm & moved her hand out of the way. There was a burn mark on her skin that was quite long & deep. He cringed. "Ouch," he murmered & looked up at her. "We'd better bandage that up."

Briar shook her head. "No no no, I don't trust you to my wounds. Show me the bandages & I'll fix it." Cris moaned & sat back from her, exhasperated. "Oh come on Briar, just let me help you." Briar scowled & ripped off a good bit of her jacket. "Fine. Wrap it with this." She shoved the scrap of tan fabric at him & held out her arm.

Much to her suprise, he was very gentle. He wound the scrap of cloth around her arm delicatly & tugging slowly to tighten it, tieing it softly. "There," he said smiling, & patted her arm gently. "That wasn't so painful, was it?" Briar pulled her arm back & looked at the bandage. "Um...no.." She looked at him & smiled. "Thanks." He shrugged, still smiling. "It wasn't that big a deal, just a little burn-"

Briar grabbed his hand abruptly & pulled his head close to hers, kissing him fully on his lips. Cris's eyes widened for a moment, shocked, but he closed them. For what seemed like years, but was more likely 20 seconds, Briar kept him in a gentle kiss. Finally, she released him.

Blushing red, Cris inhaled deeply. "Whew," he gasped, smiling nervously. "Erm, that was.......unexpected." Briar giggled & looked down, biting her lip. "I'd been meaning to do that for a while," she said in a shy voice. "And it seemed like a pretty good time to try now, since we're in the middle of no where & all...."

Cris smiled & wiped some of the rain drops back from her face. "I think I figured out this romance stuff," he inquired with a laugh. "But, the ship does need fixing." Briar nodded. "Yeah. I'll be right back, gotta get something from inside the ship." She stood up & hurried inside, her jacket hanging at her shoulders. Cris watched after her, smiled, & returned to working on the ship.

Three years later. . . .

Cris yawned & sat up in his bunk bed in the Serpent's Snare. Checking the chrono on his wrist, lighting it up, he flung his legs over the side of the bed & hopped to the ground. He wore simple pale blue shorts with a white sleevless top, a golden charm around his neck on a silver chain.

It had been three years since he & the Solo girl, Briar, had been seperated from Zekk & Jaina Solo on their way back from Tatooine. Three long, lonely years. Having been away from his parents since he was 8, it didn't bother him as much as it had probably bothered Briar. Brought up on Endor, going to Senate meetings with her family, public appearances. Somehow, they'd managed to come up with good reasons to drag Cris along to each of them. He'd tried to refuse each time, but eventually he gave up, seeing as it was impossible to resist that icey glare Zekk was capable of giving.

Ever since they'd embarked on that fateful trip from the desert planet Luke Skywalker had called home for most of his life when Cris was 14 & Briar was 12 three years ago, they'd been trying to find their way back to Endor. Three years of timid birthday celebrations, other holidays & small visits on other planets had been the entire make up of the Ganders/Solo lifestyle, making the bond between the two even stronger & unbreakable.

Even so, that morning, floating around in space, the only thing on Cris's mind was a hot mug of coffee & a holo game.

Briar slept in the bed beneath him. He kneeled over & shook her gently. "Bri?" he whispered. "Hey, Bri, get up."

Briar opened her eyes & growled, yanking the covers back over her head. "Damnit Cris, go make your own coffee," she mumbed & rolled over. Cris smirked & crouched down. "Please Bri?" he begged with a childish, sweet voice.

Briar turned back to face him, eyes narrowed. She sighed & sat up, holding the covers around her. "Alright, but lemme put some decent clothes on."

Cris grinned & stood up, walking from the room. He'd always wished to catch her undressing; it was a hopless dream of his, a fantasy. So he waited outside for a few moments, pounding his fists lightly on the wall, head tilted back.

Well, if she can't see me, would it hurt just to take a peek? He debated this for a few seconds. Well hell, when's the next time you're going to see her with barely anything on? She's Jaina Solo's daughter damnit! Get an eyeful while you still can!

He inhaled deeply & peered around the edge of the door slowly. She was facing away from him, wearing only her underclothes, her dark hair gracing her back lightly. He watched her, her pale, slender legs, her sleak figure.

I wish you were mine, he thought blistfully. I could make you so happy. He remembered when she'd kissed him, the shy expression on her face. It was the only romantic moment between them.

He continued to watch her movements, his eyes taking in her entire body. Though she was two years younger than him, she was the only person he'd ever had, even before the Regnas. His sisters had always been out with boys, his mother never had time for him, & his father......he never knew what his father did.

She pulled on her loose black pants & her tight black tank top over her underclothes. Her boots lay at the foot of her bed, but she didn't put them on, running a brush through her silver streaked hair. Cris ducked behind the door & hurried soundlessly into the cockpit.

A few moments later, Briar emerged from the room, her hair tied back & braided. She smiled her cheerful morning smile & set to work on the coffee. "I knew you wouldn't make any," she said matter of factly. Cris turned his smirk into a smile. "I would have," he began. "But you showed up & diverted my attention."

Briar snorted. This joke never worked. He'd pretend he'd been oggling her for the past hour or so & then hope to fool her into making breakfast. She scorned his stupidity, yet loved it. If Cris hadn't been there with her, she'd more than likely have gone mad. He'd been there to comfort her & hug her & tell her that everything would be alright when she'd cried.

Now that she thought about it, he'd been there since she was 6 years old. More than half of her life. She sighed inwardly, waiting for the proccessor to make both their cups of coffee. Even though she wouldn't admit it, she did have slight feelings toward the young man she'd been living with for three years. Maybe even more than slight.

A little light began to blink on the processor. Briar snapped from her thoughts & took out two mugs of hot brewing liquid & sipped one, handing the other to Cris. He took it & gulped about half of it down in one serving. Briar snorted & sipped hers. "A little overenthusiastic don't you think Cris?" she asked, sitting down behind the holo board, crossing her legs. Cris grinned & swivled the rest around in his mouth before swallowing. He sighed contently & leaned back in the hover chair across from her. "Not in the least, Bri my dear," he said, pretending to be one of the ambassadors at the Senate.

Briar smiled & took a larger sip of her coffee. "Well you're acting a bit weird these days. Something bothering you?"

A troubled expression crossed his face & he sat forward, resting his elbows on the table. "Actually," he murmered. "There is something that is kinda bugging me." Briar frowned & leaned over the table. "What's up Ganders?" she asked sternly.

Cris swallowed. "Well......we've been floating around in space for, what, three years now? And I was getting a little worried that we might not find out way home...."

"Cris shut up!" Briar suddenly screamed & ran from the holo table into her room. He blinked & stood up. "Hey! Bri, wait!" he called, chasing after her. "I-I was just answering your question!" He skid to a stop in the doorway to the cabin & almost cried.

She was bent down beside her bed on her knees, her hands clenched into fist. Faint sobs could be heard from her lips.

Cris bit his lip & walked toward her. "Bri, don't cry, please, I hate it when you cry," he begged her & crouched down beside her, slipping an arm around her shoulders. "Please Bri? Don't cry, we will get home, it's just a thought."

Briar flung her arms around his waist & squeezed him tightly, her tears pouring onto his shoulder. "We should have never left Endor," she remeniced quietly. "We should have just stayed home, you & me. We should have let the others go to Tatooine & just stayed back on Endor & talked to the Ewoks like Cye. Now we're never going to find out way back, ever!"

Cris pulled her back from him & shook her. "Briar Solo, don't talk like that! I shouldn't have said what I said. Now I've got you all upset." He pulled her in close again & kissed her cheek, something he hadn't done in a very long time.

Briar felt the soft touch of his lips against her face & closed her eyes. He means only to be friendly, she thought distainfully. If only more was meant by his touch. She rubbed his shoulders gently with her hands. "Cris?" she whispered frightfully. He gulped & held her close. "Yeah?" She lifted her chin & kissed his mouth again, slowly & deeply, pulling away after she was sure she'd made her point. "Don't ever leave me alone."

Cris struggled for words. He could still feel her warm sweet taste on his lips, & he begged inwardly for more. He looked at her soberly. "I won't," he whispered & kissed her back gently. Again, he felt the warm sweet senation of her delicate mouth pressed shyly against his own. Heaven, he thought airily. I must be in heaven.

Briar pulled away slowly, feeling Cris's lips part from her own reluctantly. He lingered on her kiss, absorbing every second. She smiled, a nervous, unsure smile. "I-I'm sorry....I don't know what provoked me," she whispered & looked down. "I shouldn't have done that."

"Yes," Cris replied quickly. "You should have. And I'm glad you did." He smiled at her & brushed a hand over her face slowly, taking in her pale features so much like her father's. "I would have done that first......but I was too busy drinking my coffee."

Briar smiled at him & chuckled. "Coffee is a killer, don't you think?" Cris smiled back. "Yeah, but I can go without it." Briar lifted her eyebrows comically. "Oh really?" Cris grinned & kissed her forehead. "Reallly."

Cye paced in his Corellian freighter, the Lightning Spear, & waited for any sign of his cousins, even little Charlie. She had the most adorable flaming red hair & bright green eyes. He smiled. She was a cute 11 year old.

Fauna & Grace strode aboard his ship. Fauna ignored him & sat in the passenger area. Grace grinned & hugged her cousin. "Ignore her," she whispered. "She's in a bad mood because the fleet thinks they've got a lock on the Serpent's Snare someone in the Extiorior. How they got out there is anyone's guess."

Cye's heart leapt. "Th-they've found Briar?!" he exclaimed silently. Grace grinned. "Wonderful isn't it?" she beamed & bounced up & down. Cye grinned. "Alright! They're coming home!"

"Not for certain," came a calm assertive voice. Anakin Solo. Cye's mentor & uncle, not to mention the Jedi Master at the academy on Endor. He strode aboard, his short black hair tied into a small pony tail only an inch long at the base of his neck. "There are many things that need to be researched before we can even think about going into the Extiorior. Not even for Briar & that other person with her."

"His name is Cris," came a sharp voice from behind him. Charolette Skywalker bounded aboard, eyes narrowed. A giant pup lumbered behind her & began barking. "Tie!" she yelled. "Down!" The Nabooian pup whined, but lied down on command.

Cye looked at his own dog, Nawara, lying over in a corner. The dog missed Briar; that much was clear. But why was he in misury? He'd had a good three years & they didn't spend every moment thinking about Briar. No, they did other things.

Of course, she was always on his mind. They'd been close. Very close. Best friends almost. And, on some scale, Cye even missed Cris.

The one person who always seemed to cheer him up when he was down, Cris had become part of the family quicker than even the dog.

Anakin sighed & crouched down beside Charolette. "Charlie," he said softly. "Does Uncle Luke know you're on Cye's ship?" Charlie glared at Anakin. "Why do YOU care?" she snapped. Anakin looked at his nephew in dismay. Cye shrugged & shoved his hands deep into the pockets of his military uniform, trudging into the cockpit slowly.

Zekk was bent over the Lightning Spear's control pannel, adjusting a few switches & knobs. Cye blinked. "Uh, Dad?" he asked, puzzled. Zekk looked up, his long black hair tied back at the base of his neck. He smiled. "Hey Cye, Lightning Spear's fit & ready to fly."

Cye grinned & sat down in the pilot's seat. "Mom coming?" he asked hopefully. Zekk sighed. "I wish she would Kid, but she's on Coruscant with her parents. You know how those Senate meetings are." "Why aren't you you there?" "Cause I promised Jaya I'd find our daughter, that's why." He twisted his face into a "I thought you knew that" look & tousled Cye's hair.

Jaina sat behind the vast banquet table beside her mother, Leia Organa Solo. Han sat on her other side, dressed in a flashy black suit, his hair brushed back neatly. Jaina sighed. She'd much rather prefer to be looking for her daughter & Cris instead of at the Senate meeting, discussing a peace treaty between two races on planet Seeves.

Jacen & Tenel Ka sat a few seats to her left, Jacen having a paticularly annoyed look on his face. Perhaps it was because he'd prefer to be back home on the Coruscant Space Base, floating outside around the planet Coruscant. Military survalence was nessisary, seeing as a Regna ship was spotted not long before the meeting.

Tenel Ka kept her face barren of all expressions. She just sat there, her back straight, her prosthetic arm folded gently over her biological arm. There were lines of worry in her forehead, more than likely from thinking about Briar's safety.

Jaina sighed again, her short light blue strapless dress hanging loosly around her lean figure. Many reporters from all species & planets stood in the audience & took holo photos. One reporter yelled at her, "Mrs. Solo, where is your husband this evening!"

Jaina put on a sad smile. "He's with my son, looking for my daughter." The reporter shrank back, nodding.

Leia squeezed Jaina's hand under the table. "Don't worry dear, I'm sure Briar is just fine," she whispered, then smiled at a camera. "She's a brave girl you know. And I'm positive Cris wouldn't let anything happen to her."

"That's what worries me." Leia frowned, then a quiet smile spread across her face. "Jaina sweetie, remember when you were just a little girl?" Jaina nodded. Leia continued. "And remember when you used to go exploring with Zekk & your father kept telling you that he was a bad influence on you?" Jaina smiled & nodded. Leia went on. "Maybe you shouldn't jump to conclusions about Cris just yet. He's probably trying to live up to your expectations."

Jaina sighed. "Being 32 makes me feel so old." Leia laughed & shook her head. "You're not old, you're just growing up. And you're doing it beautifully. Plus, I think your son turned out handsomly too." Jaina smiled. "Yeah, but he's joined Rogue Squadron now. I remember it as yesterday when he was just a little 8 year old chasing Briar around the Ewok's village with that snake." She laughed. "Briar made such a big stink about it that Zekk had to lock Cye away in his room for two days. I don't know why Briar's afraid of snakes; she loves all animals. It just doesn't piece together."

"Probably gets it from me," Han whispered, leaning over, smiling his lopsided Solo grin. "I hate snakes. Can't stand 'em." Jaina frowned. "Why not?" Han shuddered. "Just call it a traumatic child hood experience for now."

An ambassador stepped up to the altar & skimmed through a holo pad record. Jaina, Han, Leia, Jacen & Tenel Ka turned & looked to the far left to see the person. It was a Twi'lek & her name was Cene Toydara. Jaina remembered her from her first year at the academy. The Twi'lek woman caught her eye & waved slightly. Then, she began her speech.

"On my recent visit to Seeves, a planet in the Outer Rim that was just discovered, my troop & I uncovered a warring planet of creatures more like giant spiders than a setinent race. But we managed to communicate with them, or something like communication, & they informed us of a large ship that had come & destroyed their homes & children. The discription of the ship was graphic & very detailed. The sketcher in our group, Professor Grahm-" she gestured to a Mon Calamari sitting behind her-"made us this sketch. We've come to a very disturbing conclusion on the matter."

She held up the drawing. An uproar of fear blanketed the entire hall. Jaina squinted. "Augh, Mother I can't see it!" she complained bitterly. Leia leaned closer. "Neither can I. Hold on a moment." She called out, "Ambassador, could you allow us to see the drawing quickly?"

Cene nodded. "Of course, COS," she said & placed the drawing in Han Solo's hand. Han looked at it, then paled. "Oh damnit," he muttered. "Leia look." Leia bent over the drawing, then drew back. Jacen scowled. "Well what is it?" Tenel Ka didn't speak.

Jaina lost her patience & peered over her mother's shoulder. And gasped. "It's a Regna shuttle!" she hissed. Tenel Ka stiffened.

Cene nodded & took the sketch back. More cameras flashed, people crowding around the Twi'lek ambassador. She held up a hand. "There will be a time for questions after the ceremony. I would like to have a private word with the Solos. Until then, I'm sure Professor Adkers Grahm can answer all your questions."

Grahm stood up & strode over to the altar, Cene grabbing his arm briefly, murmering something private to him. Grahm nodded, then Cene continued over to the Solos.

She smiled. "Hello Jaina," she said warmly, crouching beside her. Jaina smiled back. "Hi Cene. How do you like being an ambassador?" Cene shrugged. "It's alright. Lots of work, sexual discrimination, hate groups, that sort of thing. How's Uly doing?" Jaina shrugged. "He's doing alright, just got accepted into Rogue Squadron, believe it or not. He's taking Myn Donos's position. Old guy retired not long ago. Rogue 7, who'd believe it?"

Cene laughed. "I would. You've got a smart boy there. And Zekk? How is he doing?" Jaina smiled. "He's doing well too." "Promoted to general I hear?" Jaina grinned. "Yes. That's right." The two friends stood up, saying their pardons, & made their way to the recreational hall.

Many other people of importance were roaming around in the room. They nodded & smiled at Jaina & Cene, carrying on brief friendly coversations. After about 10 minutes, when they had their respective glasses of Alderaan cherry filled & seats taken, they began to talk.

Jaina sipped from the crystal glass delicatly, then placed it on the Corusca Gem table in front of them. "I've also had a promotion in the military. Not to general, but I'm a commander of my own squadron now. And I think that's something to be proud of." Cene laughed & hugged her. "That's terrific! Wow, you're catching up to him!" Jaina blushed & looked at her cherry. "Not really. I don't want to be promoted anymore. But I don't want to be demoted either, so I guess it's best I keep getting promoted." Cene grinned. "I only got as far as Captain. Then I pulled out to be with my family. I preffer being a Jedi." She snapped her fingers. "By the way, Luke sent me on another mission!"

Jaina lifted her eyebrows, taking another sip of her cherry. "To where?" she inquired positivly. Cene crossed her legs & straightened her scarlet dress. "I've been sent to Hoth." Jaina moaned. "Again?" Cene nodded regretfully. "Yes, apparently, Luke got some bad vibe from the old Echo Base. Thought maybe some Regnas were hiding out there. Personally, I think that it's just his worry about Briar." Jaina looked down & Cene realized she'd said something wrong. "Oh, Jaina, I'm sorry.....really I am."

Jaina laced her fingers together. "Not to worry, I'm sure that she's fine. Even if she's floating around in space somewhere with that Terrias boy, Cris." Cene frowned. "I wouldn't think Cris would harm her, he knows her too well." "That's my point. That boy is going to either get fed up with her or fall in love with her. And I'm not sure I'm comfortable with either way."

Cene took a faint sip of the cherry, then placed it down. "Jaina, when they've been together since they were little children, it's hard to avoid some romance. It's going to happen eventually, & when it does, don't worry. Briar's a strong willed girl. She'll keep Cris in his place if he tries anything."

"But you know how boys are. They'll test the limits, see how far they can go with out getting hit." "But you know as well as I that Briar won't tolerate that." Cene patted Jaina's arm. "Jaya, don't worry about it okay? Let's just focus on finding Briar & figuring out this mystery on Seeves, alright?"

Cris crouched low, watching the creatures on the holo board closely. Briar had moved her rancor a little too close to his battle dog hord. Hmmm, he thought, sweat dripping down his forehead. Briar groaned & rolled her eyes. "Look Cris, if you give up, just say so. I've got to plot coordinates for that planet we saw a few days back. I think it might have intelligent life & breathable air."

"Ohhhh no, I'm not giving up yet!" Cris argued & tapped into his holo pad. The battle dogs attacked the rancor in a last ditch effort to bring it down. He slumped as they only weakened it. Briar smirked. "Tooo baaad," she slurred & pressed a button. Her rancor slashed the dogs & moved to the square they'd been at.

Cris sulked & leaned back, crossing his arms over his chest. "Hmmph," he snorted. "Lucky move." Briar grinned & stood up. "Come on," she laughed, jerking her head at the cockpit. "Let's go."

Reluctantly, Cris stood up & followed her. I hate it when she wins, he thought angrily.

Briar sat down & began typing into the control pannel. Cris peered over her shoulder, watching her hands. "Uh, what planet is this again?" Briar smirked. "We've been through THIS before," she muttered. Cris scowled. "C'mon Bri, really." Briar grinned. "We're going to that planet were you got into the fist fight with the guy in the casino. Remember?" Cris blushed. "Well, he was trying to get some 'kinky action' from you as he put it. What was I supposed to do? Let him lay you?"

"Oh, I get it, you were jealous." Cris gaped. "Why would I want to do that?!" Briar smirked. "Nevermind. Well anyway, we're going back there." Cris moaned. "Why?!" Briar rolled her eyes. "Because maybe they will know how to get back home from here?"

Cris slumped into the chair beside her. Why couldn't they have just stayed back on Endor?

Briar looked at him. "The wait's gonna be a while, go get some rest. I'll stay up." Cris nodded & trooped off to the cabin area.

He stopped in the doorway. Why should he go to sleep? He turned around, a wry smile on his face. "Why should I?" he asked slyly, leaning against the frame. Briar smirked & tossed her hair softly. "You're being stubborn again," she hissed & slid up in front of him.

His heart rate quickened as she slid her slender arms around his neck. She could feel his pulse & flashed him a quick smile. "I suppose that we could both stay awake."

Cris pursed his lips & opened his mouth to answer her, but she caught him quick in a kiss. His kneels buckled & he almost melted, drinking in her taste, her floral scent, her long black eyelashes, tickling his cheeks gently.

It wasn't a long kiss, only a few moments. But even then, the Terrias boy felt as though his entire body had just been given a shot of adrenaline. He smiled weakly. "I-I guess I could stay awake, then." Briar laughed & pushed him back through the door, then walked back to the cockpit. "You're ridiculous."

Cye sat down in the pilot's seat & propped his feet up on the console. Zekk was in the copilot's seat with a headset on, speaking in Bothan to someone in the New Republic fleet.

".....yes I know that Jaina's in a meeting, but it was supposed to be over....what?! Who the hell gave you power over the entire damn fleet! Piece of-(he said a word that made Cye yell, "DAD!")! I should have kicked you out a long time ago!"

Cye laughed. Nawara lifted his head & growled, tired. Cye scratched him behind his ears. "Good dog, lie down." Nawara sighed & fell asleep.

Zekk continued to rave on the head set for about another hour until he looked out his window as the Millenium Falcon landed. "Screw you," he muttered into the set & disconnected it. Cye held in his laughter & followed his father outside.

Jaina smiled, now dressed in her brown jumpsuit, & hugged Zekk, kissing his cheek. Zekk smiled. "So, what was so important now?" Jaina looked back into her ship as Jacen, Tenel Ka, Leia, Han & Cene came out.

Cene smiled, the crush she'd had on Zekk since the academy still flowing through her veins. Zekk attempted a friendly smile back, but quickly jammed his hands deep into his pockets.

Jaina saw the dreamy expression on her friend's face. She gently, but not conspicuously, kicked Cene's shin, snapping her back to reality. Cene flushed & turned back into Han's ship, embarressed.

Leia & Han watched as Cye emerged from the Lightning Spear & smiled. "Hey, Kid," Han said with a Solo style lopsided grin & thumped him on the back. Leia smiled tenderly & hugged him. "How've you been, dear?"

Anakin trudged out after Cye, his Skywalker-like eyes turned skyward, watching the stars. Cene spotted him & returned to Jaina's side to oggle him inwardly. She'd always been a flirt, she knew it, but she'd had a deep passion for Anakin since she'd met him. His sparkling ice blue eyes, short slick black hair, lean shoulders & a friendly smile, always had a way of reviving the young childhood memories of Yavin IV.

Jaina & Zekk turned & began walking toward the repoulser lifts that would take them up to the academy. Fauna & Grace greeted their parents, then followed quietly. Jacen grinned at Tenel Ka, grabbed her arm, & dragged her after them.

Anakin watched his family, then turned & walked into the forest, toward a small hut in the distance. Cene watched him, her head-tails twitching. One day, she thought blissfully. One day.


The Regna Renegade
By: Briar Solo

(book Three of the Regna Trilogy)


It had been many months. Many months, & still no sign of anyone friendly to the New Republic. Briar sighed, leaning back in the pilot's seat in the Serpent's Snare. It was almost her 16th birthday, the fourth year without seeing her mother, Jaina Solo, father, Zekk Solo, brother, Cye Solo, or any other family member she had.

But she had Cris. She smiled faintly & closed her eyes, inhaling. Though she'd always been close to Cye & thought of him as her other self, there had been something tying her to Cris. A longing, maybe, lonliness. Both had been insignifigent outsiders without much of a future. Until there had been an attack.

The Regnas had destroyed Cris's home, his family, his life. Fleeing, he was found by Luke Skywalker & taken back to the sancuary which was Yavin IV. He'd spent two years there, then gone to Endor, where he spent 4 years.

Then, trouble ensued & both he & Briar were seperated from Jaina & Zekk in a light speed jump. The cause of the disruption hadn't been found.

So, there they were.

She heard a faint groan from the passenger area. She swivled in her chair & stood up, sliding against the wall, & walked toward the source.

Cris had fallen asleep on the holo board, the little nek battle dog pup they'd picked up on some strange planet curled up on the ground at his feet. It lifted it's head & barked loudly. Cris jumped, his hand imediantly going to his lightsaber. He sighed, seeing Briar, & placed a hand on the pup's head.

"Easy Dente, don't be such a scardy pup." He smiled & picked the dog up, walking over to Briar. "What possessed me to get this thing, I don't remember."

Briar laughed & stroked Dente's head. "Aw, he's a good boy. Arn'cha Dente?" She smiled & kissed the top of the pup's head. Dente licked her chin, his tail thrashing furiously.

Briar sighed & pushed a stray strand of black hair back from her forehead. "We're getting close to the Hapese Cluster. According to the info I gathered in that catina, Tenel Ka is there with Uncle Jacen. Ready to go home?"

"After outrunning those Regna fighters? I'm ready to crash-"-sigh-"and-"-sigh-"burn." He flopped down on the couch & let his head rest against the torn leather. "So, you're sure that Jacen is there? As in positive? No doubt what so ever?"

Briar chuckled & sat down beside him. "I'm more sure than I've ever been."

Just then, there was a distinct beeping from the cockpit. Both Jedi looked eachother in the eye & cried, "The comm unit!" before darting inside.

Scrambling & fighting over the head set, Briar slung it on her head & toggled the controls. "Uh-uh-uh, this is Briar Solo, pilot of the (gulp) Serpent's Snare. Wh-who is this?"

There was a long pause. Then a quiet voice whispered hauntily, "Briar? Is it really you? No joke? It's you?"

Briar frowned, then cleared her throat. "Um, yeah, this is she." The voice screamed & began crying. "B-Bri! It's you! I can't believe it!"

Briar tilted her head. "Have.....do I know you?"

"Damnit, Bri, it's Cye! Your brother! Don't you remember me? A-at all? C'mon, you've gotta know ME! Of all people!"

Briar stumbled back into Cris, almost dropping her headset, which was clasped in her hand. Cris grabbed the headset & slipped it on. "Cye, it's me, Cris. Where are you guys?"

"We're on the flagship, Mon Remolda of course. What're your coordinates, we'll come pick you up."

"No.....no we'll get there."

"You sure? You sound.....well.....unsure. You didn't hurt Briar, did you? If you did I'll kill you!"

"No, she's fine. We'll be there soon alright? Go tell Zekk & Jaina." He disconnected.

Briar threw her arms around his neck & sobbed into his shoulder. "We're going home! We're actually going home, I can't believe it!" She smiled at him, her forest green eyes sparkling brightly with fierce pride & happiness. Cris smiled & looked out the front view port.

Dente barked & ran circles around their feet, whining. Briar's face fell. "Ah no. He's gotta go to the bath room."

Cris gulped. "Uh, no this is SO not good! Briar, where're the parts to that old droid you took apart?" "I think they're in my room, why?" "We'll need it."

Zekk lay back under a giant Massasi tree on Yavin IV, staring up at the sky dreamily. He smiled, looking toward the Hapese Cluster. Briar's there, he confirmed. He knew she'd be able to survive, ever since the first day he'd laid eyes upon her.

Why Jaina couldn't feel it, he wasn't sure. He thought she was closer to the girl that that! Even though she'd spent more time with Cye.

He frowned. What if she was closer to Cye than Briar? He twisted his face uncomfortably & sat up. He knew he'd always been close to Briar....but he thought that Jaina had been too. Perhaps not, he concluded grimly.

"Excuse me sir?" a communications officer asked him quietly. Zekk sat up. "Yes?" "There's a call for you, from Cye Solo, & it's urgent." Zekk nodded & stood up. "Notify Luke Skywalker that I'll be late for our dinner meeting in the main chamber," he ordered before starting toward the comm center.

Giving a curt nod to the soldiers & showing his identification, he sat down on a chair. Picking up the head phones, he called out to the technition, "Make this a private call. No interuptions, no disturbances." The technition nodded & instantly, a blue field surrounded Zekk & the head set, preventing vision or sound from being heard outside the field.

Zekk slid the head phones on & leaned on the counter. "Yeah Cye, it's Zekk. What is it kid?"

"Dad, Dad, they found Bri! They found her!"

The black haired man from Ennth felt his insides twist up. "They found her?" he practically screamed. "She's safe? Where is she?!"

"Cris said that they'll be around the Hapese Cluster in no time. I've got troops ready, just say the word & they'll have an armed escort."

Zekk shook his head. "No, just send a few out. I'll be there in a jiff. Gotta see if Jaina's gonna get out of bed today."

"She still has the flu?" asked Cye with a moan. Zekk nodded. "Yeah, & apparantly it's getting worse. Doctors don't know what it is, but I'm betting that it was poison. You know, with the Regnas & all."

"Well, tell her I hope she gets better, okay?"

"Okay," he replied smiling. "I'll tell her." With a final good bye, he disconnected & pressed a button, bringing down the shield.

"Make sure that any calls made to the academy are traced from this point on," he commanded, striding toward the temple, "and if I hear that any of you lackies let one slide, you're dead."

He bumped his head into the stone ceiling & cursed, but simply rubbed the pain away & opened the door into his & Jaina's room. "Jaina?" he called quietly. "Jaina? Jaina, they found Cris & Bri. Jaina, are you awake?"

Jaina moaned & rolled over onto her side, peering at Zekk tiredly. "Zekk what is it?" she asked hotly. "I'm trying to- WHAT?!"

Zekk smiled & crouched in front of her bed. "They found Bri & Cris! That's what!" Jaina threw her covers back & tackled Zekk to the ground, kissing him hard on the lips & laughed into his mouth. They're coming home! she thought in relief.

Anakin jolted in the room beside Zekk & Jaina, hearing the conversation. Briar? Cris? Th-they're coming home?! Alright! He sprang from his desk & burst out of the chamber, sprinting down the hallway toward Lowie's room.

"Lowie!" he shouted, pounfing on the door. "Lowie, it's Anakin! Open up!"

Lowie growled & trudged over to the door & opened it. He roared & looked at Anakin, clearly irritated. Anakin gulped & inhaled quickly. "They've found Cris & Briar."

The Wookie blinked slowly for a moment, comprehending the words of the swift talking young Jedi master. Then, he roared loudly & went sprinting down the hall toward Luke Skywalker's main chambers.

After cleaning up a rather discusting mess that a small pup had made, two Jedi teenagers prepared to dock with the Mon Remolda. One began packing a few clothing items into a duffel bag while the other made a failed attempt to style his hair.

Briar threw a sock at him. "Get your shit together," she said, snickering, & hefted her bag up onto her shoulder.

Cris flicked the sock off of his head & turned to Briar. "I happen to have my things together, thank you dearly, now if you would take us down, I'd be very obliged."

Briar snorted & dropped into the pilot's seat. "Let's go home."

Cris leaned on the back of her chair & stared out at the stars. Somewhere out there was Corellia, his home planet. But something had been nagging at him for a while. He was raised on Corellia, no doubt about that, but he wasn't born there. His family had told him that. So.....where WAS he from? For the time, he pushed the thoughts away & proceeded to toy with a lock of Briar's hair thoughtfully.

Briar shuddered faintly & thrust the yoke forward, making the ship lurge toward the giant cruiser. She could almost feel the taste of the fire-like brandy that her father allowed her to drink. She smiled faintly & moistened her lips.

"We have you on our scopes. I dentify yourself."

Briar lifted her eyebrows. "Is that you Calrissian?"

Lando Calrissian gasped. "B-Briar?!"

Briar laughed & threw her head back. "My God, you've become a little schizo in your old age, haven't you Lando?"

"I have not!" Lando snapped, slightly flustered, & then added, "It's not my fault I've been on 6 hour nights for the past few years looking for you kids! Now, get your asses into the docking bay, you have someone waiting here to see you."

"Bri! Get into the docking bay!" The voice laughed.

"Cye!" Briar cried & smiled brightly. "Cye, you idiot, hi!"

Cris rolled his eyes, then yelped as a puppy sat down on his foot. "ACK! Dente, what are you doing?"

The puppy barked, one ear flopping over his head.

Cris rolled his eyes & picked Dente up, petting him. "Yeah, you wanna go home too huh? Well don't you worry, we're almost to the Mon Remolda."

Briar yawned & said sleepily into the comm unit, "Cye, go get me a drink, we'll be landing in a second or two I believe."

"A'ight, see you in a nano."

Cris tugged gently on her hair. "I've got my stuff in a duffle bag back in the cabin. Want me to get yours real quick?"

Briar swatted at his hand, but nodded. "Yeah, sure, hurry it up." She heard Cris scoff & mutter, "Yes, Mighty Queen of All Who Live," as he vanished from the cockpit. She grinned & leaned back in her chair, propping her boots up on the console. Mighty Queen of All Who Live.....I like it! Makes me feel like.....who cares?! I like it!

She landed the ship down slowly & peered into her mirror. Her hair was as unruly as ever, but smooth enough for a clean appearance. She stood up, pushing the stray strands behind her ears. "Dis me Cye & I'll vape you."

"Briar, I got your stuff ready. Mind putting Dente in his cage?"

"You do it, I'm gonna say hi to my bro."

"Briar! Come ON!"

"Just take him with you, what hard will he do?"

Cris moaned & hooked a leash onto the dog's collar & tied the end around his wrist. "Don't you dare go biserk mutt or I'll feed you to a rancor hybred."

Briar hefted her duffel bag onto her shoulder & started down the boarding ramp, Cris behind her. Dente attempted to sniff everything at once unsucessfully, but kept trying, being a persistent little nek battle dog. Briar smiled. It was good to be home again.

Somewhere out in space, a man watched the ship dock. He smirked. "Don't stray too far from home, Cris Ganders. I've got you RIGHT where I want you now...."

* * * * * * * * * * *

{Sometime into the future.....}

Reina Ganders felt the blow of a shell as it crashed into what remained of the New Republic Senate building on the ruins of the once thriving planet-wide city of Coruscant. She hung her head sadly & ran a hand through her long black hair.

Xel Ganders, her twin brother, gave her a look much like that of his grandfather's, Cris Ganders. "Reina, you alright?"

"No, Xel, I'm not."

"Besides the obvious."

Reina cursed. "Duh! Isn't it obvious? We haven't even managed to get that time machine working!"

"Gavin Thul PROMISED he'd get it done, don't worry about it."

"He's GAY you moron!"

"So what? At least he doesn't make passes at you!"

Reina scowled & crossed her arms over her chest. "We've gotta get that thing finished if we want to defeat the Third Imperium." She turned to look at Raye Gunner & Callie Skywalker. "How're our shields holding up Cal?"

Callie Skywalker, grand daughter of Charlotte Skywalker, gave Reina a shrug. "Same old, I suppose. It's about to blow unless we do something soon though."

"Yeah," agreed the brown haired man beside her. "Wonder what Mom would have done now......"

"We can't all be technical geniuses like India, Raye," Callie reassured him. "Unfortunently, you're you, which makes things harder to understand."

"Yeah I guess you're- HEY!"

Reina & Xel exchanged glances & sighed. "They'll never learn," Reina said distainfully. "Shame really."

"Yeah."

___________________________________________________________________________________

That's it! The end of the trilogy! But, dun fret! This is only the beginning of *ahem* The Adventures of Cris & Briar! lol cheap, yet efficient. Dun worry, it ain't over yet. And yes, Cye shows up a lot more. Trust me, you'll like the Third Imperium Saga much better!

eponagirl@netzero.com


Send feedback to the author here.