By: Shadow Chaser
Author's Warning: This fic is rated R for heavy graphic violence, torture, and imprisonment.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Star Wars characters except those of Akiba Muune, Lieutenant Dysune Tayib, and Captain Falco Avin.All other characters belong to Lucasfilm and their respective authors.I am not making a profit out of this story, it is only written for fans to enjoy.
Author's Notes: The concept of political houses on Alderaan for this chapter and subsequent ones is based off of a very good fic by Diana DeRiggs called "The Rise of the House of Celchu" and can be found on www.wookieehut.com
It was all about politics...everything on the peaceful pacifist planet of Alderaan was.Politics ruled everyone's lives on Alderaan and even off-planet in some cases, from a mere baby of a family from the peasant class to the ruling House Organa.Tycho was no stranger to the dance of politics...he even mastered a few concepts of it, but he knew that he hadn't mastered everything before he went off to the Imperial Academy in Prefsbelt IV.
Nyiestra Rhedyn had been his fiance.Both young and in love they were the rare cases when it came to political matching.The aristocratic hierarchy of Alderaan consisted of the ruling house, which placed Senators and Planetary Governor to be top tiered.Next were the Businessmen and Corporation Executives, followed by the Merchants and Educators.The rest were piled into their own caste-like system, but were collectively known as the Working class (which included Entertainers, blue-collared and white-collared workers).Those who joined up with the Planetary Defense Force or the Alderaanian Guard were not considered to be a part of the social and political hierarchy that ruled the peaceful planet.They were regarded with both awe and distrust as socially; taking up arms wasn't really acceptable.
But even with that hierarchy, there were some blurred lines as the Senators and the Governor relied heavily upon corporations and the public to reelect them to office.The Businessmen and Corporation Executives relied upon the Merchants to provide them with business and even relied on the Educators to provide workers who were able to think independently, but work together as a group.
It was from the Merchant class that Nyiestra's family came up.The Celchus, being that Tycho's father owned and was the corporate executive of Novacom, were delighted to see that their eldest son had taken and interest in a girl of the Merchant class.
Tycho knew that if he were to marry Nyiestra it would be a financial and political boon to both his family and hers.Both would be able to gain power and influence over more important matters and so the courting processes wasn't too complicated; at least not as complicated as most other marriages were.
But that still didn't excuse the complexity of the "courting ritual" he had to perform to Nyiestra's family.But his task was a lot easier than his fiance's.She had to convince his family that by marrying him, her family could provide some kind of social gain, as they were, one class below his family.All Tycho had to do was to convince Nyiestra's parents what the profits and long term outcomes of Novacom was by marrying his love.
Which was why Tycho wasn't surprised to find himself sitting in the living room of the Rhedyn's spacious estate.Like all merchants, the Rhedyns were very well off, able to afford a lot and spent most of their time in the outskirts of Aldera City, instead of living in it.Though Tycho's family had their own estate along with a spacious apartment in the capital, it was near Crevasse City instead.
A part of his mind flashed a sense of dj vu, but he brushed it away as nervousness.He had dreamed of this scenario for such a long time, and now it was happening...and the nervousness inside of him didn't die down.
"Nyiestra told us that you plan to join the Imperial Academy as soon as your secondary schooling has been finished," Mairi, Nyiestra's mother spoke, her voice lilting and musical as she was a performance opera singer.
He didn't sense any disapproval or contempt lacing her voice, but that still didn't say much for Tycho.He knew that his decision to join the Academy was met by the socialites with mixed reactions, some applauding his decision to train at the Academy to serve the Empire, but many others frowned in disapproval for him backing on his planetary heritage and taking up arms.
"Yes, ma'am," he replied to her question.
"What field?" Ail, Nyiestra's father asked, a hard glint in his icy purple eyes.Ail Rhedyn was a hard merchant, always driving his prices to competitive levels and was slow to make decisions, but that was the reason why the Rhedyn family was so popular among the merchant class...it was because of the slow, but wise decisions of Ail.
The question from Ail was something Tycho was prepared for.He had only told those that wanted to know that he had applied for and been accepted to the Imperial Academy at Prefsbelt IV, but he hadn't told anyone what he was going to be studying.He knew that most socialites and his friends assumed that he was going to be studying politics as any good Alderaanian child would, probably training to become a military advisor or an ambassadorial attach when he graduated.
They were all very wrong...
"I'm training at the Academy to become a pilot," he said in a leveled voice, making sure to keep his gaze steady and his voice even.He had already told Nyiestra this, but had made her promise not to tell anyone, including her parents.
His lover knew that he loved to fly and was a pretty hot hand in the local races with the speeders and T-16 skyhoppers that the Alderaanian Guard based in Crevasse City had lent to him during his fall-winter stays in his family's estate.
"A pilot, eh?" Ail sat back in the plush bantha leather couch in their spacious sunny bright living room.One of his hands unconsciously stroked the armrest of the couch while a thoughtful expression crossed his face.
Mairi had no comment except to purse her lips and kept her face blank.This wasn't a good sign in Tycho's eyes.He sat himself a bit straighter, if possible, on the leather couch across from them.Between them was a small caf-table and on it was a folder with all the datachips for the estimated yearly costs and projection of what those costs might become if he and Nyiestra were to marry.Though they had not touched the folder yet, he knew that they knew that this wedding was very beneficial to them.
Except for one problem.
The Rhedyns, when Tycho first met them, were incredibly conservative.Only Nyiestra was seemingly the liberal of the family, accepting change easily as she changed her clothes every single day.He knew that they stuck to the old traditions set forth on each family and especially the notion of what growing Alderaanian children were supposed to do with their lives.
"What kind of pilot, Tycho?" Ail waved a few fingers casually...maybe a little too casually for Tycho's taste, but he swallowed the nervousness down.Maybe he was wrong about Nyiestra having a much harder time presenting to his family...maybe it was he presenting to her family that was going to be harder."Shuttle?Transport?"
"A TIE pilot," he replied firmly, deciding that truth would suffice.He had to present to them that he was going to be honest in everything, no holding back.Besides, he never felt that lying was such a good idea...well, except for fudging the truth a times.
"Oh..." Ail looked at him strangely, "a TIE pilot...interesting.Why?"
"Because..." he gave a quick look at Mairi, but she was still wearing a blank expression.Tycho found it odd, as Mairi should at least have a reaction of sorts...He turned back to Ail, "Because, I feel that my skills could be put to use to defend the Empire, the sole ruling government of this galaxy.For me to take up arms as a stormtrooper it would be going over my own personal boundaries," he didn't add that stormtrooper helmets and uniforms were the worst things to wear as anyone could pick off a trooper in the darkest night.
"And you think, that by doing this...flying and shooting down enemy aircraft, killing pilots, you would be able to accomplish your goal?" Ail looked skeptical.
"You don't necessarily have to shoot down the aircraft, some of the TIE models have ion cannons to disable, not kill," Tycho explained.
"The Empire would order you to kill," Ail muttered darkly and Tycho suppressed the urge to raise an incredulous eyebrow at his statement."If you join, even any factions like the Rebel Alliance, they would order you to kill..."
"What does the Alliance have to do with this?" Tycho asked, confused.He only heard rumors about a rebellion uprising against the Empire, but the news networks didn't really report much, as they were more focused on the growing concern of Courscant and the Imperial Senate.Did Ail and Mairi hear more about the Alliance than anyone?
It was logical, as like their fellow merchants, the Thul family, they were exposed to a great amount of traders from all over the galaxy.But something didn't seem right about this...
"I suppose you haven't heard...the Rebel Alliance," his voice was dripping with contempt for the faction, "attacked one of the Caamasi colonies and drove all of them to hiding."
"No...they wouldn't do that..." Tycho blinked at the news.The Caamasi were a peaceful alien people...friends of Alderaan, "The Caamasi are peaceful...what could they do to warrant such an attack?"
"Apparently, they were Imperial sympathizers," Ail shook his head sadly, "I heard something about documents that were stolen by the Rebels..."The older man suddenly produced a folder from a drawer that Tycho hadn't noticed before, "I have something to show you, young man...though I have my reservations, and I fully approve of your decision to apply to the Academy."
"Y-You what?" he blinked, totally caught off guard.He didn't know that Ail would agree so readily...it wasn't what he predicted...He looked towards Mairi, but she still didn't have any expression on her face...as if she had been frozen forever in carbonite."But...I thought..." a thoughtful crossed his face, "did Nyiestra tell you, the both of you?"
"No son, but anyone brave enough to bear arms for the Empire is a hero," Ail clapped him with a cheeriness that Tycho found unnerving.Something definitely wasn't right here...
The sudden intrusion of a disembodied voice startled him and he looked around, unawares that Ail had gone on rambling about his service to the Empire and how wonderful it will be.
Mission?!What mission?Was he supposed to be somewhere?His head suddenly felt light...dizzy...Tycho blinked rapidly to keep his gaze focused on Ail and Mairi...to pass out in front of Nyiestra's parents, now that would be a field day for his friends to tease him about.
No!His friends...they...they were all dead?No...he had new friends...
"You know...Bail Antilles' son, Laruv..." Ail started before his voice faded away, as he focused on the single word Ail said.Antilles...yes...he knew someone by that name...
Wedge...was...his commander?Of what?
Sitting in the cockpit of an a-wing, he fired his proton torpedoes, blasting a TIE fighter he had been pursuing to pieces...That trench run through the second Death Star was like flying through the maw of a Sith, but he managed it...
No...that wasn't it...Wedge...commander...a rogue...No...not a rogue, but a Rogue.
"Heard you tangled with Fel's second..."
"He was good, but ran before we could decide anything."
Wes Janson...Hobbie Klivan...Fel...Baron Fel was his instructor...at Prefsbelt IV?But wasn't he going to be going there?Had he already gone there?
"Tycho?" Ail's voice snapped him out of the fog he was in and he noticed that his breathing was heavy...and both Ail and Mairi were looking at him with concern.He ran a hand through his light brown hair, and squeezed his eyes shut for a few seconds before opening them again...the same uneasy feeling was still there.
"It's not right," he whispered, rubbing his face as he stood up, the uneasy feeling getting stronger.He felt kind of sluggish...as if moving through murky water.
"Son?You okay?" Ail stood up also and reached out.
"No!" Tycho shouted standing up, and batted his hand away.He backed up as more memories flooded into him.
"Surely, Lieutenant Celchu, you aren't suggesting that female Rebels lack courage!"
"The Empire's decline should be obvious to even the most casual of observers."
"For so long I served order, that to join the rebellion is not easy.You did not have this problem?"
"Alderaan's being reduced to rubble killed my qualms."
With a sudden clarity, Tycho knew that someone was manipulating him...and drugs were in his system...He stared at the people who claimed to be Nyiestra's parents then all around the makeshift living room."I'm not playing!I'm not going to play your game!" he shouted, looking wildly around and backed up from his seat stumbling slightly.
Tycho suddenly blinked open his eyes.A dim grey ceiling greeted his vision...His eyes traced the ceiling all around and he turned his head to his left and right...it was all grey, no glowpanels, no breakage in the monotonous walls to indicate an entrance of sorts...where was he?
It was then that he noticed that his jaw hurt and he forced himself to unclench his teeth.Trying to pick his head up, he finally felt a strap over his forehead, pinning him to what felt like a metal slab held at an angle.He looked down and saw that the only clothes he had on were pants and that cords and wires were attached to patches all over his bare chest.
Surprisingly he didn't feel cold...in fact he didn't really feel anything at all.He tried to flex his fingers, his arms hanging slack at his sides, but found that they wouldn't respond to his impulses.It was as if his whole body had been numbed with some kind of drug, but he only could move his head.
"I..." speaking hurt and he desperately tried to swallow some moisture into his throat, but that hurt even.Tycho grimaced slightly as he tried to form words and let his voice work past his raw throat.
"I...w-won't...play...y-your...game," he managed to croak out before the pain was too great and he twisted his head to the side to let the cool metal he was lying on touch his cheek.He winced as his bruised cheek made contact with the metal.
"On the contrary," the blast of a feminine voice startled Tycho and he winced at the loudness of the voice booming all over the walls.It hurt his ears...and it rattled through his brain, as if the voice was both talking to him from the outside and inside his mind."You will play..."
There was silence and Tycho wondered if something was going to appear.He twisted his head as much as his pounding, pulsing headache would allow him too, but he didn't see anything...A tingling sensation started from the base of his spine and he thought that he was getting his sense of feeling back...
...Until the sensation suddenly exploded through his spine, all the way up from the small of his back to his brain.His mouth fell open to his own accord and Tycho screamed as tendrils of electricity rushed their way through him, firing pain into every single one of his nerves.He could feel his body loosing control, twitching as each tendril of electrical current wreaked havoc on his nervous system.
Blue sparks escaped from his body through his mouth and nose as he twisted this way and that, trying to shake the patches and wires on him.He could smell a distinct odor...but still the pain was overwhelming him...
Just as suddenly, the pain stopped, leaving his body twitching uncontrollably in its wake.He gasped, his chest heaving in an effort to calm his nerves down.His hands clenched and unclenched in their own accord and every part of his body felt like it was on fire.It hurt so badly...and he twisted his head to the side, letting out a small whimper of pain.His squeezed his eyes shut and grimaced, trying to pull against his bonds that held him in place.It hurt...
He could feel something running down the side of his lip and he licked it, hoping it was water...but no...it tasted coppery, and a metallic tinge that he smelled and tasted before.No...just only blood...
"You will obey, Tycho Celchu," the voice came back; making the fine-tuning his ears received from the electric current, sound harsh and loud.He tried to cover his ears, twisting his head to the side, not caring if he was damaging himself further.
"I...won't," he gasped as his nerves returned to their own control, but still a bit twitchy, "obey..."
"Hmmm...no?Then..." the voice abruptly cut off and Tycho twisted slightly to see...
The explosion of electricity assaulting his body made him arch his back as his eyes popped open and he screamed again.He twisted his head and arms, trying to break free of the metallic cuffs that attached him to this slab.He clenched his fists and pulled against his bonds...Free...have to be free...
What was probably only a few minutes, but felt like eternity, the electrical assault suddenly stopped, and Tycho slammed with a bone jarring force back onto the angled slab.His body continued to twitch in its own accord and his teeth chattered as a trickle of blood still ran down the side of his lip.Sweat bathed his body and dripped down according to their own lazy path.His fists clenched tightly, more so than what was safe.He could feel their muscles tightening...tightening past the point of pain...they wouldn't loosen...
He groaned in pain as he tried to unclench his fists...but nothing seemed to make them respond.
A whirling noise seemed to buzz in his head, and he looked blearily to his right...nothing...To his left...he squinted, as his vision was slightly jarred from the electrical currents.There was a curious black ball floating in the air...
The black ball came closer and as it did, the whirling noise became louder...and louder...and louder...
As the unseen door shut behind the Imperial interrogation droid no one heard the anguished scream of Lusankya's latest prisoner.
The doors to another part of the prison facility, Lusankya, opened and two stormtroopers marched in, their blasters drawn.They held them at the huddled mass of dirty, dingy prisoners, ready to shoot any of them.
Behind them, two more dragged a limp, bloodied body in.They dumped the body onto the floor unceremoniously before marching back out.The stormtroopers gave one look at the huddled prisoners before marching out themselves.As soon as they were out, the door slid shut behind them with a hiss, leaving the prisoners in a muted light.
No one dared approach the body that was dumped there.It was probably a trap, they reasoned, something for them to get their hopes up before they exploded...
After a few minutes of staring at the body, two people cautiously went forward and nudged the body with their foot.There was no response and they nudged it again, this time harder.Still, there was no response.
One of the two that went forward suddenly flipped the body over, exposing the body's face."He's young...new..." the one who flipped the body over, commented.
"He looks quite dead, Jan," his companion replied.
"No..." the man named Jan checked the body over, noting that the man only wore a pair of pants and had bruises and welts all over the place, "he's just unconscious...probably concussion...Come on Lieutenant Tayib...help me here."
"You sure?" the man named Tayib asked, a bit skeptical.
"Would you have done the same for me, Dysune?" Jan asked, glaring at Tayib.
"Yes sir..." Tayib looked reluctant, but helped carry the body away from its former resting place.
Hee hee...now you wanna go and hug Tycho, ne?More torture coming up...^_^x.I am so on a writing streak!