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Chapter Five

Qui-Gon led the small group into the hangar. "We'll need to free those pilots over there," Panaka pointed to a small group of people surrounded by battle droids.

"I'll take care of it," Obi-Wan said and broke away from the group. Liana gripped her blaster pistol tightly. Her hands were slick with perspiration. "Halt!" the commanding droid called out. The small group stopped."Where are you going?"

"I am an ambassador of the Supreme Chancellor and I am taking these people to Coruscant," Qui-Gon said calmly.

"Um...That does not compute...You are under arrest!" the droid began. Then faster than a blink of an eye Qui-Gon had reduced the droid into rubble. Liana began firing with deadly precision at any battle droid that came into view. It didn't take her long to notice that a blaster pistol wouldn't suffice. She reached for another weapon that hung loose on her belt. "Not yet,Liana, it's not time," Qui-Gon yelled at her," Board the ship!" Liana nodded and ran up the ramp of the weaponless starship. Soon Obi-Wan joined her with several pilots and finally Qui-Gon came up. Liana noticed a Gungan huddling in the corner.

"What's this?" she asked.

"Oh, I almost forgot," Obi-Wan said and began to lead the Gungan into another part of the ship when he saw the expression on Liana's face,"I'll explain later." Without waiting for a response Obi turned and left.

"Excuse me your highness,the Queen wishes to see you," a small handmaiden said from behind.

"Where is she?" asked Liana. "Follow me," the handmaiden said. Liana followed the handmaiden into the Queen's quarters where the Queen sat on a makeshift throne. She wore the traditional regal face paint of the ruler of the Naboo and a black beaded dress. A feathered head dress covered her hair and a gold chain ran across her white forehead.

"Thank you for joining me, Princess," the Queen said in her even monotone voice.

"Your welcome your majesty, but I am curious as to why you have summoned me," Liana said. Just as the Queen was about to answer the ship began to rock.

"I'll be right back," Liana said and rushed into the cockpit.

"The deflector shields are down!" exclaimed Ric,"And we're losing droids fast!" Liana looked down at the viewing screen where one blue astromech was working furiously to repair the deflector shields. Suddenly smoke and sparks obscured her view and Liana thought that the last droid had been shot away. Then the view screen showed the small droid making it's way back to storage.

Almost simultaneously Ric let out a triumphant whoop, "That little droid did it!" Liana exhaled, she hadn't realized she'd been holding her breath.

"The hyperdrive is leaking, we won't make it to Coruscant," Ric announced. Liana's smile faded.

"We'll need to land somewhere," Qui-Gon stated the obvious fact. "Here Master,Tatooine," Obi-Wan pointed to the view screen which showed a small picture of the desert planet," It's small, secluded, and out of the way."

"Why Tatooine?" Panaka asked. "The Trade Federation has no presence there, it's ruled by the Hutt's,"Qui-Gon pointed out.

"But the Hutt's are gangsters!They'll kill the Queen if they discover her!" exclaimed Panaka.

"Then her fate wouldn't be any different than if we landed on a planet the Trade Federation controls," Qui-Gon explained,"The difference is the Hutt's aren't looking for her and that is our advantage."

"I still don't agree," Panaka protested. Liana laughed, "I don't think that will affect my father's decision Panaka."

Panaka frowned at her and Liana laughed again.

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