My Papa, My Stardust, Prologue
“And that one,” Reece said, pointing to Jyn. “You may be interested in her as well – and I’ll obviously be expecting higher payment if you are. Saw’s tried to keep her identity undercover, but I suspect she may be –” -Rebel Rising
Jyn Erso’s real identity is revealed to the Empire and is reunited with her father at the Imperial facility on Eadu. Despite initial misgivings to reconcile with her father and anger at the Saw’s abandonment, Jyn accepts the most important mission she’ll ever undertake for the Rebellion: delivering the news of the Death Star’s fatal flaw and bringing her father to safety.
A “Jyn is reunited with Galen” AU
Eadu Flight Station, 5 BBY
Orson Krennic enjoyed stopping by Eadu Flight Station without much announcement. What Galen had originally considered a lack of prior planning or perhaps the need to keep Galen’s crew on their toes, he later decided these trips were designed to boost the ego of the director. Based on the frequency of the name “Wilhuff Tarkin” appearing in Krennic’s notes during his visits, meetings with the Moff never went according to plan, and Krennic needed to step on smaller men to recover.
When Galen received a notification from air traffic control that the director would be visiting the facility in a few hours, he assumed it would be nothing more than the usual. Krennic would pound into the station, his white cape flowing behind him, demand to see the progress the plans had made, yelling until the junior engineers cowered beneath his voice, and leave in the same flourish with which he’d arrived.
Galen didn’t bother to move from his work space as an announcement of the arrival of Krennic’s shuttle sounded throughout the base. Krennic would seek him out soon enough.
Within a few minutes, the echoing sounds of Deathtrooper boots sounded down the hallway. (This was Galen’s least favorite part of Krennic’s visits; the sound still made Galen flinch all these years later.) Galen barely raised his head in greeting when Krennic entered his lab, keeping his focus on his calculations on the datapad in front of him. The ‘troopers took their spot outside the door, their dark helmets a harsh contrast to the brilliant white of the facility.
Krennic wandered through the room, poking at the different machines he didn’t know how to use and examining the crystals he knew nothing about, only that they were the key to his massive success. His silence began to grate on Galen; Krennic voiced most his thoughts, tisking at apparent delays or praising the genius – his own genius – that led to the creation of this project. With a sigh, Galen turned back to his work. Krennic would speak soon enough.
“How old would your child be now, Galen?” Krennic asked, appose to nothing.
Galen froze at the question; no mention of Jyn would ever be innocuous – not when it came to Krennic. Not when his visit seemed strange thus far.
With effort, Galen continued tinkering with work, keeping his voice casual. “I haven’t been keeping track, Orson.”
Sixteen , his brain, the real traitor here, answered for him. Jyn would be sixteen, almost full grown, and probably a beauty like her mother.
If she’s still alive.
“Surely you must know,” Krennic prodded him further. “You never forgot your wife and daughter on Coruscant, Galen, and I know you haven’t forgotten them now. How old would Jyn be?”
Galen’s fingers tightened over his stylus; Krennic never referred to Jyn by her name, simply “your child.” In fact, Galen hadn’t heard anyone say Jyn’s name aloud in years – save for himself, but even then, only in the depths of night when he was certain Eadu’s pounding rain covered his lamenting.
“Galen, how old would Jyn be?” Krennic repeated his question when Galen failed to answer.
“Sixteen,” he whispered, refusing to look up from his datapad. “She’d be sixteen now.”
Krennic hummed a response, a strange contemplative sound, one Galen knew from experience: Krennic wanted to draw a response out of him and wouldn’t be satisfied until he did.
Running a hand over his face, Galen relented. Keeping himself subservient to Krennic’s wishes was essential to him, if he wanted to remain below the Empire’s radar and allow his sabotage to succeed. “Why bring up Jyn now?”
“I had a very strange report the other day,” Krennic explained, taking the seat next to Galen and fiddling with the blueprints laid across the table, as if he was speaking nonchalantly and hadn’t planned these exact words ahead of time. (Knowing him as Galen did, there was no question that Krennic had considered each word he would deliver here – which would strike the hardest blow to Galen’s memories of the past, what would remind him that Krennic could still hold the mere idea of Jyn over his head – carefully before departing for Eadu.) “A Lieutenant Colonel Senjax contacted me the other day with some very interesting news.”
Krennic paused here, obviously waiting for a response from Galen. When Galen merely stared in response, Krennic sighed and continued. “Thanks to a rebel traitor, he caught the leader of a very important Partisan group. An Onderonian named Saw Gerrera.”
Eight years Galen had been practicing hiding his reactions to the bait Krennic would throw at him, burying his emotions below a passive face, lying to the director’s face until he began to believe him, but nothing could stop Galen’s pure panic broadcasting across his face.
Krennic asking about Jyn, years after losing her trail. The Empire capturing Saw Gerrera.
Galen knew well enough to put two and two together.
“Ah, yes, I thought you might recognize the name,” Krennic grinned, and both men knew he’d played the ultimate trump card in their relationship. “Anyway, he had a girl with him, going by the name of Kestrel Dawn, but the rebel informant seemed quite insistent that she was the daughter of Galen Erso.
“You know how these rebels are, of course – can’t consider their intelligence too high if they’re choosing to join such organizations – so I almost didn’t feel the need to investigate the claim, almost just sent her off to be executed with Gerrera, but she wore a necklace I found most peculiar.”
Reaching into his pocket, Krennic pulled out a pendant, a kyber crystal dangling from its end. Galen’s heart lurched; the last place he’d seen that pendant was around his wife’s neck. Absent from her neck after she’d died, Galen assumed the pendant had gotten lost in the shuffle of packing and running. Had Lyra, instead, given the pendant to Jyn when she’d decided to follow him rather than follow their survival plan, one physical memory of her mother?
Without conscious thought, Galen reached for the necklace, running his thumb along the Aurebesh inscription. Trust in the Force , something Lyra had always done so much better than he.
“Since so few people possess such a remarkable object,” Krennic continued, oblivious to the overwhelming rush of noise in Galen’s ears, “I knew this lead might deserve more investigation. Which is, of course, why I needed to know how old your dear Jyn would be, Galen.”
Jyn is alive. Jyn is with Saw Gerrera. Jyn has been captured by the Empire. Jyn Erso, my daughter… Jyn is alive.
“Sixteen seems an accurate description, though she’s hardly the lady you and Lyra would have raised her to be.” Krennic tisked. “Quite a set of teeth on that girl, Galen. You might have some work reeling her in.”
“I might have some work?” Galen looked up suddenly. “You’re bringing her here, to Eadu?”
“Of course. I promised you your family would all live in comfort.”
As hostages , Lyra added in his mind.
As heroes of the Empire , Krennic corrected.
Galen only hoped this wouldn’t end in blaster fire, like the last time.
“We’ll need to keep a close eye on her at first, you understand – who knows what kind of brainwashing that terrorist has put her through – but she’ll be allowed to stay with you. You know I want the best for you, Galen. Whatever you need to keep the project running smoothly.”
Galen nodded. “And what of Gerrera?”
“Gerrera remains scheduled for execution.” Krennic replaced his gloves. Good, he meant to leave then. Galen needed time to process what he’d learned. “You and Jyn should be present, of course. Would give the best impression to your superiors. It would be a nasty blow to your reputation if it got out that you handed your child over to a terrorist, Galen. And it would be such a shame if Jyn needed to be subdued for the process.”
Galen clinched the edge of the table, his knuckles turning white with the effort. The thinly veiled threat was not lost on Galen, the reminder clear: if Jyn behaved as Krennic wanted, her presence would be a great reward to Galen; if Jyn rebelled, showed any signs of disloyalty to the rebellion, her presence among Imperials would be nothing short of torture for Galen.
Force help Galen if Jyn had inherited Lyra’s sense of justice and rebellion.