Part Two, Rescue and Revelations

By Season Irwin, Rachel Schmutter, ?

Date: Thursday, December 13, 2001 8:54 PM

Part Two

The Emperor emitted a loud, evil laugh. "In your hands, Vader?" 
He hobbled away from the two of them as they exchanged concerned 
looks, then returned to the throne. Vader stood his ground, seeking to 
determine whether his actions were enough to gain Dani’s freedom.
     Palpatine continued to speak. "I am most certain one already has 
escaped.  Rachel is running away with him now." The Emperor cast 
a wary yellow eye upon his Dark Lord. "Dani has never really been 
my prisoner. So you may have custody of her, if you wish. She has 
no knowledge of what Rachel Summers is and what she is capable 
of. I merely wished to confront her for myself. This was not ac-
complished; so we will table that matter for the future."
     Dani's heart leaped at both statements. One of her men was almost 
free!  And so, apparently, was Rachel. She tried not to think about all 
that she really did know about her friend while so close to the Emperor. 
     “But,” the Emperor added, “I intend to keep Trehvor in Imperial 
hands for a while longer. I assure you, he will be moved to a better 
facility and will not be harmed." Palpatine stared at Vader intensely. 
"You have my word on that, Vader." 
     Lord Vader took two menacing steps toward his Master. “No.  
I will take Dani now, and her friends also!” 
     "You do this, Vader and you will regret it." The Master bristled 
with the Dark Side of the Force, furious at such a confrontation from 
his Servant.
     Dani's gloved hands gripped Vader's cloak from behind him. 
Trehvor-he was going to keep Trehvor!! What more would they 
do to him??
     “Why do you need him? What does he have that you want?” 
asked Vader carefully.
     The Emperor smiled thinly. "Research is being done to discover 
more about male Zeltrons. Lt. Colonel Lexor is doing an excellent 
work on this project. No harm is done to the men, Vader."
     Dani gritted her teeth in despair. She knew that the experiments 
would leave a lasting impression on her poor men. If only Vader 
could persuade Palpatine to let him go!
     “Why do you need to research the Zeltrons?” Vader pressed 
him, sensing the anguish radiating from Dani. “ What do you want 
from them?”
     The Emperor ignored Vader’s questions about the research. 
"I sense your mistrust in this situation, Dani of Zeltros. If you are 
so bent on releasing your friend, perhaps you would like to trade 
places with him? We could place you in Vader's care here in the 
palace. You would have certain freedoms, except you would 
need to report to the lab every day..." The Emperor was laughing 
to himself. He thought how, if that happened, maybe he'd like to 
visit the lab a bit more often... 
     Dani shuddered at the thought of taking Trehvor's place. Dani 
knew Trehvor had committed a crime in trying to destroy the 
Death Star ,but the Emperor had led her to believe that he would 
let him go after she brought Rachel to him. "No, Your Majesty...
I will trust you will let Trehvor go soon. Very soon. What of Rachel, 
Your Majesty? Is she free to go?" She was gripped now with 
fear for her friend...and for herself.
     "Oh yes, Dani of Zeltros. Rachel has managed to infiltrate 
her way in and out of the detention area with Kheyvn, and left 
you and Trehvor behind. That is the kind of ‘friend’ she is, my 
dear...yes, I see her sneaking out of the palace this very moment, 
free as a bird." 
     At that precise moment, another red-haired young woman-
this one with a light saber at her side-breezed into the audience 
chamber, pursued by two Red Guards.
     "Rachel, you're safe! Where's Khevyn?" Dani spoke up 
immediately. She couldn’t quite let her feelings of relief come 
yet, though, as they were still all in the clutches of the Emperor.
     “Guards! I have this covered. Leave." The Emperor stood 
and approached Rachel.  "Well, well...what have we here?"
     "Good afternoon, Emperor Palpatine," Rachel said smoothly, 
bowing courteously.  "That will be all," she added to the guards 
with a playful arrogance. She nodded at Lord Vader respectfully.
     "Lord Vader, let me introduce to you, Rachel Summers-the 
reason behind all of this trouble Dani is in."
     Dani stared at the Emperor, lips pressed together. What was 
he trying to do??
     "Rachel Summers, member of the Cairnfell household, student 
of Darana Surragar Cairnfell, at your service," Rachel said 
with another sweeping, graceful bow. Vader bowed to Rachel 
silently. Rachel looked at Dani briefly. "I have no idea where 
Khevyn and Trehvor are; but I'm certain His Majesty does," 
she said.

                       -TO BE CONTINUED -

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