Chapter 2

        Tank landed in a heap on the floor, stunned.  Wow!  There really is a thing called the Force.

        Of course there is.  What did you think, that I had made it all up?

        Tank could hear Luke’s voice in his mind.  How was this possible?  How can we--?

        How can we talk like this?  This proves what I suspected all along… you’re a Force sensitive, a weak one, but one all the same.  You couldn’t hear me if you weren’t.

        Well, this was a surprise that Tank hadn’t seen coming.  He didn’t know what he thought about being sensitive to the Force.  He didn’t feel any different than he had before he’d known.  Was he supposed to?  He would have to think about this more during one of the long drawn-out quiet times when he didn’t have someone in his head.  Can even a weak Force person move things around with his mind?  Tank could see how useful that would be when playing pranks on his future comrades.

        I doubt you’ll ever be able to do more than what you’re doing right now, Luke regretfully replied.  Probably the only reason you can even hear me is because I’m such a strong Force sensitive myself.  I’m not sure.  I’ve never talked to anyone like this.


Never.  I had to get in range for even this much.  That’s why it took me so long to answer you.

What do you mean, in range?  Are you close by?

Ehhhh… not really.  At least, not how you would think about being close.  Technically, everything’s close in the Force, even if you’re not physically close.

Tank was already confused, but he didn’t plan to tell Luke that.  Okay, how physically close are you?

Not very.  You’ll have to sit tight for a while before any rescue happens.

I’ve already been sitting here for hours.

Where are you?

On the Star Destroyer Perpetrator somewhere in the Latolian Sector, level fifteen, I think, Detention Block 2A49.  I don’t know what number this cell is.
        If you can’t be more specific than that, this might take a bit longer.  
A hint of dryness tinted Luke’s voice.

Tank’s dismissive shrug to a conversation only he could hear would look weird to anybody else, so it was a good thing no one could see him.  I’ve told you what I know.  You must be near the Latolian Sector; you said you heard my first call.  What have you been doing since then?

I had some… things… to take care of.  And now I have more things.

Some things?  What kind of an answer was that?

Tank must have been thinking and not even realized it, for Luke replied, I was being vague on purpose.  You never know who’s listening.

Listening?  Who could be listening?

It pays to be careful, Luke thought, his voice slightly rueful now, as if he had some personal experience with not being as careful as he should.

An image of a stump where a hand should be abruptly coalesced in Tank’s mind, but it was gone as fast as it had come.  In any case, he had no idea what it meant, which was probably just as well.  Okaaaay, I’m not even going to ask.

And apparently, Luke wasn’t going to explain, either, for he said, Just sit tight.  I’ll be there… soon.

Soon?  What does that mean?

I’m going to have to end this communication.  It’s taking more energy than I thought it would.  Just be ready.

Ready for what?

But there was no response.  Tank shivered.  The cell immediately felt emptier without Luke’s voice in his head.  Which was ridiculous.  How could the cell feel emptier when Luke had never really been in it to begin with?  But the feeling persisted.  Tank hadn’t realized how much he appreciated talking to someone until that someone disappeared.

Wow, I must have been in this cell for longer than I thought.  I’m already going a little crazy.

It sure hadn’t taken long for the ‘crazies’ to set in.  Tank heaved a sigh that echoed in the empty box-like cell.

Even if Luke arrived in the next hour to help him out, it promised to be a Very. Long. Hour.