2011 Beyond/NSWFF Awards Excerpt Thread

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  1. Beyond-NSWFF_Awards VIP

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    Now that our stories and authors have passed through the rigorous trials of the nomination phase, we are ready to take a brief look at what they have to be so proud of.

    I bring you the 2011 Beyond/NSWFF Excerpt thread! :D

    Once again, our nominations are the following:

    Qualifying List of Nominations

    Beyond the Saga

    Genre

    Best Alternative Universe
    *At the Brink of the Dawn and the Darkness by blank101
    *I, Mara Jade by JediMara77
    * Dawning by Briannakin
    * Whispers of the Force by Hazel
    *Attachment by Raphire
    *The End of all Light by YodaKenobi
    *Stranded by Iverna

    Best Canon
    *Rogue Diplomacy by Lane_Winree
    *EXONERATED: The Jade-Terrik Adventures by JediMara77
    * Complications by Katana_Sundancer


    Best Action
    * Incandescence by FelsGoddess
    *Rogue Diplomacy by Lane_Winree
    * Redemption of the Exiles by Lane_Winree
    *Thin Blue Line by Jade_Max
    *The End of all Light by YodaKenobi
    *Apocrypha by EmilieDarklighter
    *Undeniably Evil by aalagartassle

    Best Drama
    * Incandescence by FelsGoddess
    *At the Brink of the Dawn and the Darkness by blank101
    * Children of the Sith by Raphire
    *Awakening by Ceilean
    *Downward Spiral: The Diary of Syal Antilles by Lane_Winree
    *Against all Odds by LexiLupin
    *Little Wonders by Sith_Mayo
    *The End of all Light by YodaKenobi
    *Shadows of Yesterday by Hazel
    *Nightmares by FelsGoddess
    *Apex by Raphire

    Best Romance
    * Not One to Dither by Jade_eyes
    *At the Brink of the Dawn and the Darkness by blank101
    * Awakened by Ceillean
    *[link=h
  2. Beyond-NSWFF_Awards VIP

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    Beyond the Saga

    Best Alternative Universe

    I, Mara Jade by JediMara77

    A/N: Mara has just risked her life to destroy Palpatine?s clone, and Luke is about to put her into a healing trance.

    It is, in one way, a logical extension of the bond that was created while I trained at the Jedi Academy?a bond that was cultivated during all of our time sparring, during all our meditation sessions, and the one night we spent together, when he held me in his arms and we blocked out the rest of the galaxy, seeing only each other and our love. But in another way, it is completely new.

    With Palpatine, I could hear his call from anywhere in the galaxy. I believed what I felt with him to be the ultimate power of the Force. But this?this is much more powerful.

    I thought I knew Luke Skywalker before. I thought I loved him more than I could ever love anyone.

    I was wrong. This is what it should be like. This is how we should feel?forever.

    As I lie there, dying in his arms, I know that he is feeling the same thing. Even if I couldn?t sense it through the Force, I can see it in his eyes. There is more love there than I could have ever imagined someone having for me, even after seeing all my failures, all my fears, all my weaknesses, and my deep and profound regret for what I once was. This time, I do not run away from the openness. I do not hide from the man in front of me. I allow him to see me?to really see me, deeply and truly, and along with that, the depths of my love for him.

    But suddenly, even as I have this epiphany about Luke, I realize that something is missing from the back of my mind. For the first time since Wayland, I no longer feel guilt for what I did as the Emperor?s Hand. I no longer wish I could go back and fix everything. I no longer believe that I am incapable of redemption.

    Thinking all of this, I smile. I don?t care if this is the end. It is the happiest moment of my life. And I get to have it lying in Luke?s arms.
    ?

    Luke shakes his head against my thoughts. ?You?ll get through this. We?ll get through it together. I promise. You just need to fight for me, okay??

    But I?m no longer concentrating on him, because suddenly, as if from a far off place, I see a man and woman standing over me. The man?s green eyes twinkle with happiness. The woman?s red gold hair whips around her face, framing the smile that graces her lips. I sense that they want nothing more than to be with me again, but they gesture for me to stay where I am. They say it?s not my time yet.

    I sense something else, too.

    ?They?re proud of me,? I whisper.

    ?Don?t talk, Mara,? Luke pleads. His expression is calm, hiding the fear and panic I feel deep inside of him. ?Just close your eyes, okay? You need to go to sleep. Then everything will be alright.? He places his hands on my forehead, pulling me into a healing trance. I start to drift away, but I force my eyes to stay open for just a few more moments. I have to tell him this in case the trance does not work.

    ?You wanted to know what it would take for me to finally forgive myself,? I croak, almost unable to get out my words. He leans down to hear me, his hands warm on the sides of my face, and I pull him to me in a kiss.

    I do not kiss him because I love him. I do not kiss him because I am grateful for his ever-present belief in me. I do not kiss him because I want to give him one last kiss before I die. I kiss him because, for the first time since I have known him, being with him feels absolutely right.

    Everything feels right.

    As I pull away, I find myself staring into his eyes again. I can feel his breath on my face, as if he is trying to put life back into my body. He searches me, trying to find the answer to his question. I recognize the expression all too well, because I have been looking at myself in the mirror the same way for many years.

    Gathering up my last bit of strength, I
  3. Beyond-NSWFF_Awards VIP

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    Best Alternative Universe continued...

    End of All Light by YodaKenobi

    Anakin Solo peered through the maze of slanted tree trunks and wind-rustling leaves into the slight depression where the Nightsister's camp rested. The Jedi Knight could see Jaina, Tenel Ka, and the others near one edge of the camp, bound and utterly surrounded by severe-looking Nightsisters.

    There were twenty-five of them by Anakin's count, but at least eight were mere girls who probably wouldn't provide much in the way of resistance. The rancors would be trouble though?Anakin hadn't quite worked out what he was going to do about them yet.

    A twig snapped behind him and Anakin spun toward the noise, his right hand instinctively dropping to the lightsaber at his hip. He exhaled in relief when he saw a familiar figure creeping between a pair of barren trees. She was dressed in dark utilities and boots no doubt "torturing" her toes that carefully avoided the other twigs and fallen leaves on the forest floor. The short blonde hair framing her features was just long enough to need blinked away when a breeze sent locks of it over her brow.

    "What are you doing here?" Anakin asked, not rising from where he was crouched.

    "Oh, there's a fine greeting for you," Tahiri Veila bristled as she continued toward him. "You sure know how to make a girl feel welcome, Anakin. How about?'oh, hello, Tahiri. It's great to see you again. How are you doing today? I've missed you the last couple weeks. Is that a new combat suit? It really brings out the green in your eyes'?something like that."

    "I didn't mean it that way," Anakin stammered. "I just... I didn't expect to see you here."

    "Yeah, well, I didn't know you'd be here either, but I saw your fighter on the way down?great job hiding that by the way?and I felt your presence in the Force too."

    Anakin frowned at that, and the look was as transparent to Tahiri as if he had been speaking aloud. "And you didn't sense me at all," she said. "Nice."

    "I've been sort of shielding," he explained clumsily. "Because of the Nightsisters."

    "Right," Tahiri said as she reached his side. "Your uncle sent me, same as you I'm assuming."

    Thanks for the heads-up, Uncle Luke, Anakin grimaced.

    The blonde woman crouched down beside him and set her gaze on the camp in the shallow slope nestled below while Anakin's own eyes remained fixed sadly on her face.

    "So what's the plan, wonder boy?" she asked, studying the layout of the camp.

    Slowly, Anakin dragged his own gaze from her and followed Tahiri's line of sight. "I was thinking of charging in, knocking down those two Witches next to that rack where the lightsabers are hanging?see? You can come in from the other side and take out some of the ones watching over our friends on the ground there. When I've got the lightsabers cut loose, I'll toss them to Jaina and the others and they can free themselves. Once they're armed, that should take care of the Witches."

    Tahiri nodded. "And the rancors?"

    "I hadn't gotten that far yet," he said, turning to her and offering a lopsided grin. "I was thinking we could just improvise."

    She didn't smile back, but Anakin could see a glint of amusement in her jade eyes for the first time. "Sounds good. You charge in and do something heroic?I'll practice getting eaten."

    Anakin smirked at her, and Tahiri rose from their hiding place. She glided swiftly through the forest, making her way silently toward the other side of the camp. Anakin watched her go, his smile slowly fading as she passed out of sight behind the thickets of crisscrossing trees.

    He waited until he felt Tahiri in position on the opposite side, and then the Jedi Knight crept forward. When he was a dozen meters from the edge of the Nightsister's encampment, Anakin broke into a sprint, ducking low branches and weaving around twisted trunks. Then, Anakin leapt into the air and came down in the center of the camp where the last embers of an old fire were still glowing beneath a dead anim
  4. Beyond-NSWFF_Awards VIP

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    Best Canon

    EXONERATED: The Jade-Terrik Adventures by JediMara77

    A/N: This fic was my entry for the 2011 Diary Challenge, and tells the story of the adventures that lead up to Mara and Mirax being arrested.

    This wasn?t supposed to happen like this.

    It was supposed to be a simple, diplomatic mission. Go in, do our civic duty for the New Republic, maybe even enjoy the scenery a bit, and then leave and enjoy some much-needed couple time at the Praxeum.

    Leia and Iella told us it would be simple?a blue milk run, as they say. Mirax and I believed them; why wouldn?t we? They?re our good friends, and if you can?t trust the Chief of State and a former Intelligence officer, well, who can you trust?

    The last thing I remember before being dumped here is running down a dark alleyway, dodging blaster bolts for Mirax as we raced towards the spaceport where the Pulsar Skate was docked. I?d managed to down all our pursuers but one, and once it was just he and I, well, I felt confident enough to just run.

    Then I felt a stun bolt connect with my back.

    As I fell to the ground, seeing a new pursuer join the chase from a darkened alleyway, I had a flashback to one of my very first lightsaber lessons with Luke, back when I still wanted to kill him. ?Thinking that you?re going to win during a fight is the easiest way to get yourself killed,? he?d preached. I had rolled my eyes; if you weren?t confident enough to win, then of course you?d get yourself killed, you big dummy.

    Before I succumbed to blackness, my lip curled and I snarled at him over our bond. Damn you, Farmboy.

    Next thing I knew, I woke up in this dark, dingy cell with Mirax lying beside me. To say she was pissed is an understatement. Well, we?re both pretty pissed, actually. I think we both want to rip that tiny little guard?s head off if he even looks at us the wrong way again.

    ?This is all your fault,? Mirax mutters. That?s all she?s been saying since we got in here.

    Some friend she is.

    Before I can respond, I sit up, reaching out with the Force?and then I groan.

    ?Oh, kriff.?

    ?What is it now?? Mirax asks in an annoyed tone.

    ?We have rescuers.?

    ?Rescuers? Well that?s a good thing, right??

    I shake my head. ?Not these rescuers.?

    Before she can question me further, the outer door to the cell opens and our guard immediately drops to the floor, unconscious. Two men step into the room, their lightsabers ignited.

    My husband steps forward and smiles at me through the bars. ?I?m Luke Skywalker. I?m here to rescue you. Again.?

    I glare at him.

    Corran steps forward and smirks at his wife. ?This situation seems so familiar, doesn?t it, Luke? You?d think that Mirax would have learned the first time we had to come rescue her.?

    Mirax glares at him.

    ?Are you gonna get us out of here or not?? we snap at the same time.

    Luke and Corran share a glance. ?You were right,? Corran says. ?We should never have let them meet.?

    *****

    This is all Mara?s fault. ? MTH


    Complications by Katana_Sundancer
    Chapter Two, Post Two
    Was It Something I Said?

    ?You?re late,? Corran couldn?t resist needling as Han led the Antilles into the Solos? crowded entertaining area.

    Iella wrinkled her nose at him. ?Don?t start with me, Horn!? she called back, smirking. He grinned as he thought ?Definite improvement in her mood since last time.?

    Valin squirmed out of his father?s arms and hurtled across the room, crying ?An Lella!?

    Wedge swooped down in front of his wife and hauled the three-year-old into the air. ?What about Uncle Wedge, huh?? He blew a raspberry on the little boy?s belly.

    ?No no no, Un Veggies!? Valin squealed, and the room seemed to burst with laughter. Corran snorted at the affronted look on the general?s face. Score one, Mirax.

    ?It?s Wedge, Valin. Wedge.?

    ?Veggies! Ma say Veggies!?

    Wedge rolled his eyes at his lau/>
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    Best Action

    Incandescence by FelsGoddess

    Lights!
    The flashes of blaster fire created temporary blind spots in his eyes. Screams echoed through the forest as beings died. Sweat and blood made his shirt cling to his chest. Warm blood rolled down the side of his cheek. His lock of white hair fell over his eyes. Red flecks peppered the strands. He couldn?t look at the blood. It only reminded him of her and he couldn?t afford that thought. If he wanted to survive, he would have to push away everything but his wits.

    And if there was one thing Jagged Fel could do well, it was survive.
    Action!
    Two arms wrapped around her waist as she screamed, pulling her from harm?s way. It wasn?t where she wanted to be. Emergency personnel quickly cut through the crushed metal of the speeder. Jaina tore at the arms clamped around her. She left out a raw burst of energy from the Force, but her captor was able to hold here. Only a powerful Jedi Master was capable.
    One of the technicians removed a small, blood soaked body from the vehicle. The child?s legs were drenched in blood. Jaina yanked free and sprinted across the street, daring the attackers to strike again.

    Roll!
    Tahiri groaned as she awoke. She was lying on her stomach. She could feel the heat from the nearby fire on her skin. Tahiri tried to press herself upright with her hands. Her right arm collapsed beneath her. She looked down at her forearm. A jagged shard of glass was embedded in her forearm. She spied a piece of thing plastic on the ground. She grabbed it. She took a deep breath and yanked out the shard of glass. She bit back a scream and threw it to the ground.

    She pushed herself up. She had to find the princess.

    Shoot!
    Twisted, broken speeders filled the street. Broken glass and shrapnel coated the street. Smoke slowly wafted through the air. A team has put out the small fires. The call of a bird echoed through the air, teasing the injured and dying with health and joy. The façade of one of the buildings lay crumbled over two speeders and the street.

    Beings gathered around all of the speeders in an attempt to rescue those trapped inside. No group was larger than the one trying to free their leader?s family.

    Troops were trying to hunt down the attackers. It was utter chaos.

    Science
    Aki Singh held her hand to her face. She frowned as she spied a thin piece of durasteel between her fingers. She yanked it out, barely flinching as the metal slipped out of her skin. The destruction was not nearly as flawless as she?d hoped. It wouldn?t take long for someone to find out the sources of the explosions. No matter. She would teach her staff not to fail. It?s been awhile since someone had been punished. She?d grown lax, a mistake she would not make again.
    She?d seen the girl?s legs. If she died, today was a small success.

    Fiction
    Jaina yanked pieces of glass and wreckage out of her way as she ran to the speeder. Her lightsaber blade hacked away at the large obstacles. The medics were walking away with her only daughter. She could hear Kyp yelling for her to get back, but she ignored him.

    Jaina reached the medics. She stared down at the bloody, angelic face of her little girl. Nadia?s eyes were closed. Her straight black hair had fallen out of its braids. She was breathing, barely. Jaina?s eyes closed as she reached out into the Force, praying this wasn?t real, just a nightmare.
    Graphic
    The too-bright lights reflecting off the silver blade.

    Stop.

    The peaceful child?s drug-induced sleep.

    Stop.

    Lucia?s bloody, ruined body lying crumpled in the corner to rot.

    Stop.

    Nadia wincing in pain.

    Stop.

    The fires consuming Lucia?s body on the funeral pyre.

    Stop.

    Aki pressing the muzzle of her pocket blaster to his shoulder, stopping him from throwing his body on Lucia?s.

    Stop.

    Aki discovering his secret should he fail.

    Stop.

    Lucia?s look of shame and utter loathing.

    Stop.

    Fire burning through his muscles, melti
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    Best Action continued...

    End of all Light by YodaKenobi

    There wasn't enough time to puzzle over it before the ground slipped out from under him and he and Tahiri were suddenly skidding down a slope that had dropped into something perilously sharp. The entire world seemed to collapse around them. Soil and grass bunched up like a rumpled rug, sliding down the hill in massive strips and taking the trees rooted in its surface along for the ride. The trees drifted with the current of terra firma for a few meters before toppling, creating giant heaps of fallen timber that continued to be pulled down in the deluge.

    "Landslide!" Tahiri managed to gasp.

    Anakin reached for her as they glided down the hill but his fingers slipped through hers when the ground fractured further and their bodies picked up speed. The crashing of trees behind him coaxed the young Jedi to look over his shoulder at the rushing avalanche of debris at his back that devoured one of the rancors as its rider leapt away to an uncertain fate. Torrents of muddy water surged out from beneath the ground in a web of branching rivulets that cut deep trenches down the face of the slope and flowed into the darkness ahead. Dozens of black-armored Raithian commandos skidded down on either side of Anakin and Tahiri, desperately clawing for purchase on land that no longer had any to give.

    Ahead of him, Anakin caught a glimpse of Jaina rolling down the hill just behind Lowie and Wrev, but all three of them disappeared along with the somersaulting Raithians as they slid beneath the blackest of shadows. As the darkness raced up at him, Anakin realized that it wasn't a shadow at all they had passed under?it was a cliff, and they'd fallen over it.

    "Tahiri!" He shouted as the woman vanished in the same fall.

    Anakin tumbled over the ledge behind her.

    "Anakin!" Tahiri had caught hold of something a meter below the lip of the crater and was reaching out to catch him as he flailed overhead, but again Anakin's hand slipped through hers and he fell further.

    Anakin reached out for some hold in the rock wall he plunged past, but before he could stretch far enough to touch the cliff face his body crashed through a tangle of tawny roots protruding from the freshly cut soil like mangled girders from a half-demolished building. Anakin's free hand wrapped around one of the gnarled, ropey filaments in a death-grip and pulled it down with him in his tumble. It snapped taut and something popped loudly in his shoulder socket as the resilient root brought Anakin's fall to a painfully abrupt halt.

    When he was reasonably steady and confident that the ropey fibers would hold, Anakin looked up to see Tahiri holding tight to a bundle of roots a few meters above him, and the vertical wall sprinkled with the dangling forms of Jaina, Lowie, and Alema Rar. They were all there?all the Jedi and most of the Nightsisters?all clutching a groove in the face of the massif or hanging from the vine-like roots.

    "Anakin?"

    "I'm all right," he called back hoarsely to Tahiri and Jaina, but he wasn't sure if they heard him above the clamor of debris rushing down the chasm, and the young Jedi finally cast a glance over his shoulder at the abyss they were all suspended above.

    It was not really a cliff at all?it was a pit?a circular crater with steeply sloped sides that formed a deep basin more than a kilometer across. The bottom of this basin was consumed almost entirely by an enormous pit?a gaping maw ringed by rows of two-meter long teeth.

    A combination of artillery detonations and rain had caused the already weakened ground to collapse in a landslide, and the flow of loose soil and debris all ran down to the lowest point in the area.

    A sarlacc pit.

    It occurred to Anakin as he hung there, gazing down into the abyss, that it hadn't been the detonations or even the landslide that had caused the deep rumbling he'd heard before the collapse.

    The maw of the creature seemed impossibly large in the rain-s
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    Incandescence by FelsGoddess

    Graphic
    The too-bright lights reflecting off the silver blade.

    Stop.

    The peaceful child?s drug-induced sleep.

    Stop.

    Lucia?s bloody, ruined body lying crumpled in the corner to rot.

    Stop.

    Nadia wincing in pain.

    Stop.

    The fires consuming Lucia?s body on the funeral pyre.

    Stop.

    Aki pressing the muzzle of her pocket blaster to his shoulder, stopping him from throwing his body on Lucia?s.

    Stop.

    Aki discovering his secret should he fail.

    Stop.

    Lucia?s look of shame and utter loathing.

    Stop.

    Fire burning through his muscles, melting his veins in utter agony.

    Stop.

    The blade inches closer and closer to Nadia?s throat.

    Go.

    Violence
    Kyp clutched the innocent-looking pearlescent grey sphere in his hand. He wasn?t sure what it was, but he knew it had something to do with crash. He began to return to the hospital when pain lanced through him. No Force-sensitive in the sector could avoid the feeling of hot drowning, as if lava was filling his lungs. The fire threatened to burn through his chest. His skin broke out in sweat. His legs shook. His head screamed. Kyp fell to his knees before he managed to cut the connection.

    He reached out to Jaina and all he saw was red.

    Language
    The sound of a child screaming brought dozens to the room. No one could enter the room. The blond woman held the threshold like a nexu guards its cubs. To cross would mean suffering.

    No sound came from the room. The guards, doctors and onlookers stared at themselves, and then the room. Nadia Fel was screaming mere seconds ago and now silence.
    One man stepped forward, only to be blocked by the ignition of blue blade. Ben Skywalker appeared behind her.

    ?Let us in.?

    ?Why? Had you done your job, this wouldn?t have happened,? Ben stated coldly, daring for protest.

    Drugs
    The last image Alec saw with a trickle of blood running down Nadia?s throat. Now all he saw was white. His back and skull pounded. He was nauseous. He felt like a frozen knife was stabbing his right knee. His right side was bleeding, he thought, but he didn?t know. He didn?t even know if he was alive. All he could remember was the trickle of blood, the open brown eyes and the scream. The scream, that if he was alive, he?d never forget. Those brown eyes began to push through the white, begging to know why.

    He couldn?t answer.

    Queen
    She was queen.

    Her neck burned, but she didn?t know why. She could remember a crash, the sounds of glass breaking and a knife. Her hand brushed her throat, finding a raised line. She stared at her bloody fingers, but wasn?t concerned.

    Nadia opened her eyes. She was walking down the stairs outside tower. A throne sat high up behind her. Swirling black smoke waited for her at the bottom. She was afraid. The throne looked so comfortable. She was so tired. It?d be nice to sit.

    She took one step, then two.

    The beeping on the heart monitor slowed.

    Terror
    ?Daddy! Daddy stop her!? Lucia?s screamed.

    Alec pushed himself out of the pilot?s seat and ran through the ship. He found her clutching her broken arm. Aki was standing over her, ?Alec, she?s dead. There?s nothing you can do.?

    Alec picked his dying daughter in his arms. ?No, Lucia, don?t go.?

    Lucia screamed again, thrashing wildly. A blast hit the ship.

    ?Get up there and fly, you fool!? Aki snapped. ?I will take her to the medbay.?

    Alec brushed a kiss on Lucia?s forehead as he passed her to Aki. ?Stay with me, baby.?


    Alec awoke in his cell screaming.

    Prime
    ?Who is Lucia?? Jag asked.

    ?My daughter,? Alec responded. There was no reason to keep her identity a secret. She was dead. The Empire couldn?t touch her. Whenever he dreamed about his Lucia, he spent the next several days in a drunken stupor. He was grateful for Aki?s various methods to keep the nightmares away.

    ?She?s dead,? Jag inferred.

    Alec didn?t know how the man guessed her fate, nor did he care. He?d spent the night he
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    Best Drama continued...

    End of all Light by YodaKenobi

    "Are you real?"

    "Are you?" Tahiri asked.

    Anakin wasn't certain how the distance closed, but she was in his arms somehow, warmly, miraculously, embracing him as fiercely as he embraced her. There were tears in his weary, gray eyes and when he tried to speak his voice broke. Beneath his fingertips, he felt Tahiri's back tremble and knew she was crying. Anakin put his hands on her face and started to kiss her. He kissed her cheek, and her lips, and her chin, and brow, and her tears, and even her closed eyes. Periodically he'd stop to put her at arm's length and look at her, making certain she was really there and this wasn't some horrible trick.

    "I thought I'd lost you," he said.

    "Me too," she confessed.

    "Are you all right?"

    "A little weak in the knees suddenly," Tahiri said. "I think I need to sit down."

    They found a small, circular table and sat across from each, their fingers laced tightly over the dingy tabletop.

    "I don't understand how this is possible," Anakin said finally. "I... I held you in my arms on Denon... you were dead, Tahiri."

    She shook her head, smiling sadly. "Not dead?suspended animation," she explained. "Faybol put one of those Vagaari bands on my ankle."

    Anakin leaned his head against his free hand, wondering how he could've been so foolish. If he'd only taken a moment to look her over, or stayed with her... But he'd been consumed by grief, and set off through Denon's streets for revenge. Tahiri didn't ask him why he'd abandoned her body, though Anakin could feel the air between them growing heavy with it, looming like a dark thunderhead.

    She told him about Apollyon, about all that had happened there, waiting for him to rescue her, certain that he would. There was no admonishment in her words, but each one stung Anakin as if there was. The thought of her waiting there for him to save her, believing that he would, tore him to shreds.

    Finally, Tahiri asked why he'd abandoned her.

    "I was just so angry..." Anakin said grimly. Slowly, he told her about the months of war, staving off Raithian attacks with an increasing disregard for his own safety. Then it all came pouring out?his overwhelming need for vengeance against Jacen whom he blamed for Tahiri's death, going to Vjun, then to Korriban where he killed Boba Fett, and finally, the trap he set for Jacen at Centerpoint.

    By the time he was finished, Tahiri's hand had grown cold in his own and she slowly drew it away. They sat in silence, the weight of which became crushing.

    She wasn't looking at him anymore.

    "I'm sorry... I should have come after you."

    Tahiri shook her head. "You thought I was dead."

    "I should have known."

    "Maybe."

    "I should have felt it."

    "It's hard to say... I would think so, given, well, everything, but I don't know."

    He saw it then, the hurt in her eyes, and knew he was the cause. What he'd told her had wounded Tahiri more than anything the Raithians had done. A pall of silence settled over them again. This time Anakin clung to it desperately, afraid of what Tahiri might say next.

    "I really messed things up."

    "I... I don't know what to say," Tahiri admitted.

    "There's a first time for everything," Anakin said with a pale grin, hoping to see Tahiri smile.

    He didn't.

    "You went to the dark side because you thought I died, Anakin," she said. "How is that supposed to make me feel?"

    "I know you're angry?"

    "I'm not mad. I just..." Tahiri stopped herself. "I thought you died once too, and it was painful, more painful than I could ever describe, but I never did what you did?do you understand? Someday I'm going to die for real, Anakin, and I... I don't want to be responsible for turning you into a monster. I don't think that's love, really... I don't know."

    The words stung Anakin like an amphistaff's whiptail. "I know. And I think I?"

    "Tenel Ka could have been killed, or her child... S
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    Best Drama continued...

    Best Drama ? Against All Odds by LexiLupin

    Author Note: Jaina and Jag?s seven-year-old daughter has been kidnapped; a lead in the investigation points towards Cal Omas? chief-of-staff, Ferrin Belotab, though Jaina is convinced of his innocence. Meanwhile, Jag takes a team to his apartment, where an explosion has just destroyed the computer console.

    Jag Fel coughed to clear smoke and dust from his throat. The acrid stench of burning wires assaulted his nostrils and he fought to keep from gagging. He looked down at the comlink in his hand, pressed the transmit button a few times, but knew it was useless- the explosion had taken out the signal relay. Cursing, he rose to his feet, not entirely sure when he had fallen in the first place, and surveyed the scene.

    Two men were dead, another injured. Two more men were wrestling a woman to the ground who apparently had used the explosion as a diversion to get away- and clearly failed. The team leader staggered over to Jag, apparently a bit dazed from the blast.

    ?The system was rigged; it blew the moment it fully powered up.?

    Obviously. ?Who is she?? Jag gestured at the woman gnashing her teeth and struggling on the ground.

    The leader hesitated. ?We think she?s his wife. It?s unclear whether she caused the explosion or just ran because she was afraid?? he glanced down at the angry woman. ?I?m leaning towards the former option, however.?

    ?Me too,? Jag muttered. ?Jaina just called me- she seems convinced that Ferrin isn?t our man, so?? he glanced at the woman, ?I guess that makes her the new primary suspect number one. Come on,? he looked around nervously, ?our comm is down. Let?s get her in the transport and get someone up here to take care of the bodies, and to see if anything from that computer is salvageable.?

    The woman laughed hideously. ?There?s nothing on there for you,? she grinned. ?I erased everything before you got here??

    Jag fought the urge to slam her against the wall. ?Get her out of here,? he bit. He stayed behind a moment to investigate the wreckage while they slowly maneuvered the struggling woman into the hallway. As he stared at the mangled components, he forced himself to remain optimistic, hoping desperately that there was something that would get them somewhere in this mess. Somehow, he foresaw it taking a long time to get the woman to talk.

    When he reached the hangar bay on the roof, he was only a few steps behind the guards and their captive. The transport angled around, ready to load them up, when another GA security vehicle came careening into view. Jag?s initial response was alarm, but before it even touched down, Jaina was leaping out of the open hatchway, using the Force to cushion her long drop to the roof.

    ?Are you okay?? she ran into his arms. ?What happened??

    He gestured grimly at the woman. ?She blew the computer; killed two men.?

    The second transport touched down and Ferrin Belotab rushed forward, ignoring the warnings of the guards on the roof. ?That?s my wife!? he contested hotly. ?Trina, honey, what?s happened? Release her this instant,? he demanded of the impassive guards. ?Trina- why aren?t you at work??

    He met her eyes earnestly- and then his expression faltered at the steely coldness of her gaze. ?Trina?? he whispered.

    ?Your wife,? the team leader said harshly, ?just killed two of my men. Back aside, sir.?

    ?You- wait! Trina, talk to me! I?m sure there?s been some sort of mistake here. Whatever you think it is that my wife has done??

    ?Ferrin!? He stopped as his wife spoke up for the first time. ?Shut up.?

    Jag cringed inwardly at the devastation on Ferrin?s face as he read the truth in her eyes and demeanor. ?I don?t believe it? I can?t believe it. Trina- did you help kidnap that little girl? Why would you do that? Who asked you to??

    He continued to search desperately for answers and received no reply. Suddenly, Jaina felt a tingle race down her spine. She
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    EXONERATED: The Jade-Terrik Adventures by JediMara77

    I?ve gotten carried away with myself. Let?s start at the beginning.

    There was peace between the New Republic and Imperial Remnant. I had finally stopped running and accepted my place as a Jedi Knight. I was beginning to slowly disentangle myself from the intricacies of Talon Karrde?s organization. I was newly married to a wonderful, amazing man who understands me better than anyone in the galaxy (and who does a stellar job of making my toes curl, by the way).

    Everything was perfect.

    And I was bored out of my mind.

    It only took a few weeks before I realized that staying on Yavin IV just wasn?t for me. I?d spent the past fifteen or so years traveling the galaxy, never in one place for too long a time. I had become accustomed to the freedom of being able to go wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted?especially after I got the Jade?s Fire. After Luke proposed, we had a whirlwind engagement that included getting away by ourselves whenever possible, finishing up my Jedi training, and preparing for Leia?s huge blowout wedding.

    After our honeymoon (during which time my toes were permanently curled), Luke and I returned to Yavin IV. We?d decided that we eventually wanted to have our permanent residence on Coruscant, but for the time being Luke belonged at the Praxeum. The Solo kids were just beginning their training, and Luke felt that he needed to be there to guide them?after all, that was one of the reasons he started the academy in the first place. Kam and Tionne were taking on more and more duties on a daily basis, but it was going to take a long time until Luke was able to step down from his role as head of the Praxeum.

    I felt very confident in my abilities as a Jedi Knight, but I definitely was not ready to take on an apprentice of my own. The Jedi lifestyle was still much too new. Luke understood, because he?s perfect like that (well, sometimes), and even though I helped lead some of the more physical classes, I was still bored out of my skull. To occupy myself, I took a few trips on my new ship, the Jade Sabre, but I realized I didn?t want to be alone, either.

    Luke knew right away that I wasn?t content, but I was too stubborn to broach the subject. We were newlyweds, after all, and I should have wanted to spend all my time with my husband. I should have wanted to be on the same planet as him. But my wanderlust was still with me, and I still had lots of obligations with Karrde, and I just wasn?t fit to stay in one place for too long a time.

    So when my good friend Mirax Terrik Horn approached me and asked me to work with her until things settled down at the Praxeum, I threw my arms around her so tight that I almost crushed her.

    I knew Luke put her up to it, and it made me love him even more, so much so that I made his toes curl later that night in appreciation.

    (The following day, Corran asked me for his thanks, and I slapped him. Then Mirax punched him.)

    I commed Karrde right away and told him I was crewing onboard the Pulsar Skate and would be ready to go to work right away. Before you could say information broker I had several month?s worth of jobs sent to my datapad.

    So Mirax and I were off on our adventures: finishing up my obligations with Karrde; doing odd jobs for Mirax?s father, Booster; working with Mirax?s shipping company, of course; and helping out the Jedi Order whenever possible.

    I could tell that Luke was sad to see me go, and I definitely was not looking forward to sleeping alone again. But I knew it was for the best, and Mirax and I would be back at the Praxeum often, as her kids had just started their Jedi training.

    ?Don?t miss me too much,? I told Luke in between passionate kisses on the morning I was to leave.

    ?I always miss you, love,? he replied. ?But luckily for me, I always feel you in my heart.?

    ?I think that?s just gas, Luke.?

    He responded by making my
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    Best Romance continued...

    Fireworks of the Soul by Hazel

    Eternity in a kiss, 6th vignette from the Series


    He had often heard that dying was painful but now he felt that the very concept of pain was relative. Yes, his body ached, rebelling at the feel of death but the essence that was Luke Skywalker did not feel this pain. He was already beyond it.

    He had held on for as long as possible, making sure everyone had gotten away safely and now it was time to let the massive explosion run its course, consuming his physical body in its wake.

    He no longer cared that his life was ending. It had been a good life, he had made many friends and found his family, he loved so very deeply and had been far too hurt when she had died, he had had a son and had been fortunate enough to be able to watch him grow into a man, a good man. Luke had fought and survived so many wars it was almost impossible to recall them all, and yet he did.

    Yes, Luke had had a good life and he was not sorry to see it end. He had fulfilled his promise to his wife that he would see Ben through to adulthood and he was now ready to join her in the afterlife. He was sure she would be waiting for him.

    He felt, and yet did not feel, as the enormous blast he was containing broke through his shields and consumed his body and with one last breath Luke Skywalker passed on.

    *

    He opened his eyes to the face of an angel.

    ?Mara.?

    ?Hello Skywalker.?

    She was smiling at him, looking as young as she had been when they first met and as beautiful as she had always been. Her green eyes sparked and teased him, beckoning him to join her.

    He reached up to hold her stretched out hand and she helped him up.

    As he rose to his feet, he noticed his hands were young again and he knew the rest of him would be just as young. There was no age in death.

    ?You came for me.?

    ?As you knew I would.?

    ?We?re together now, my love.?

    ?We are, Farmboy.?

    He held her then, wrapping his arms around her ethereal body and feeling her fingers running through his neck and hair and sending sparks up and down his spine. Her touch was as he had remembered and longed for all these year.

    ?Together, forever.? He murmured just before their lips met.

    ?Together, forever.? The words resonated through their bond and through the Force, binding them for eternity.

    ~*~

    ?Are you ok, Ben??

    The voice belonging to his cousin Jaina broke through Ben?s reverie.

    ?Yeah, I?m ok. Did you do a head count??

    ?Everybody made it out. I mean-?

    She meant that there was only one person who didn?t make it out, but that had been his choice and there had been no other way. Her uncle?s sacrifice had allowed for everybody else?s survival. Jaina had always known her uncle would go out in a blaze of glory.

    ?Are you sure you?re alright, Ben?? She insisted and took a seat next to her little - no, not little, younger - cousin.

    ?I am. I?ll miss him, like I?ve missed Mom since she?s been gone, but-?

    Ben turned to her and tried explaining as best he could.

    ?He?s happy now, I can feel it. After all these years and since Mom died, Dad is happy. They?re together. Together, forever.?

    Jaina understood him all too well.


    Love Stories by Raphire

    Luke sat at the kitchen table, the lights out in the room. One candle lit the room and sitting before him was a stack of letters. His hands trembled as he slowly opened the first one. The immaculate handwriting made him smile. Mara?s penmanship had always been perfect. It flowed across the page and the grace of her letters never failed to astound him. He bit his lip as he started to read. Her humor had not changed over the years. It still bit deeply and was full of sarcasm; he found himself unprepared for it. Tears stained his cheeks.

    ?Tell me about Daddy.? Tenel glanced down at her daughter and closed her eyes. She did not want to talk to her about this. Alana would be going back to />
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    Best Romance continued...


    At the Brink of the Dawn and the Darkness by blank101


    Mara and Luke meet on the balcony of the Imperial palace, during the ball to announce his engagement to Kiria D?Arca.



    ?Congratulations.? She didn?t mean to have her first word come out quite as hard or as cutting as it did.

    ?You look beautiful,? he said, ignoring the remark completely.

    ?It?s the dress.?

    ?No, it?s not,? Luke said simply, and Mara felt the heated buzz in the pit of her stomach spread slowly to her lips in a warm smile.

    ?Don?t ruin my irritable mood. I?ve been nursing it all day.? She set forward to lean on the balcony, eyes roving the hazy glow of the cityscape, and sensed him turn to do the same? ?How?re you holding up??

    ?It?s actually harder than I thought it would be,? he said with absolute calm. ?It wasn?t?then I saw you.?

    ?I watched you dance.? Mara fought to keep her tone light. ?You make a terrible couple, you know; she?s too short for you.?

    ?Thanks,? Luke said dryly.

    ?Maybe I should go tell her,? Mara added blithely.

    Luke smiled slightly, his tone lightening. ?Don?t you dare.?
    ?
    In the low light, despite his scars he looked so very much the indomitable young pilot who had arrived here so full of attitude and indignation. Taken by the moment Mara stepped forward to kiss him, but Luke backstepped quickly, glancing to the partially open balcony doors. She stopped, frowning.

    ?Breaking the rules?? she bit sarcastically.

    ?Here, tonight?yes,? he said simply.

    ?Well, how very uncouth of me,? Mara growled. ?Maybe I?m not sophisticated and urbane enough for your little games any more.?
    ?
    ?You wanted me to be Emperor?you wanted this. Remember that.?

    It was an old accusation, leveled at her more than once, and every time Mara wondered at it. That he could somehow not have wanted this for himself; not have seen it as the ultimate goal.
    ?
    ?You know you are, without a doubt, the most stubborn, irritating, frustrating, infuriating person I have ever met.?

    ?But??

    ?I don?t know if there is a but, yet.?

    He shook his head, indulgent, but she could see that brittle edge close to the surface, and felt her heart go out to him. He was trying so hard to be what he knew he needed to be ? what he knew would hold the Empire together whilst he dragged it forward by strength of will alone, to some unnamed plan ? Trying to be everything for everybody?because she?d asked this of him. Because she?d asked him to stay. Was it that which he couldn?t forgive her for?was it that which truly stood between them?

    The distant strains of the formal music reminded Mara of that night long ago in some other ballroom, celebrating the launch of the Patriot under Palpatine?s ever-watchful eye. When they?d stood inches and yet chasms apart, just as bound by outside obligations and responsibilities as they were tonight, and Mara had whispered quietly beneath the music, ?Dance with me tonight?alone??

    She spoke out now on impulse, ?Da??

    ?Don?t. Don?t ask.? He brought his hand up, rubbing it slowly across his eyes. ?Don?t make this any harder.?

    ?You didn?t read what I was going to ask.? She knew she?d been shielding her thoughts?how could she not, tonight?

    ?I don?t need to. Do you think after all this time that I don?t know you, Mara?do you think I wouldn?t know anyway?? He sighed, head down. ?This is so hard, Mara. This is so phenomenally hard, and every single time I look at you it makes it harder. But I have to do this?I have to do this ? You do what you need to, Mara?whatever it is, I understand? But I have to do this.?

    'Do what you need to.' Didn?t he know?if he knew her so well, didn?t he know by now? Without thinking, she?d moved towards him in the darkness, lifting her arms to wrap about him as she leaned in close...and feeling, in that moment as his arms closed about her, that this was more than enough.

    The minutes stretched as they stood still and silent i
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    X-Wing: Knights of Plooma by JediMara77 & Lane_Winree

    A/N: In this fic, Luke and Mara are forced to pretend that they are married. Corran hears them ?arguing? and goes to investigate.

    Luke and Mara were sprawled over a large, rectangular flimsiplast sheet which had been painted with bright, multi-colored circles. They were still wearing their formal wear, although both were sporting bare feet and Luke had unbuttoned his jacket. A board painted with identical colors and a listing of different appendages?left foot, right foot, left hand, and right hand?hung in the air next to them. The black arrow on the board spun around in a circle, landing on?

    ?Right hand, blue!? Luke announced. The two of them began to wriggle around each other, each moving their appropriate limb to the indicated circle.

    ?Dammit Skywalker, you took my spot!? a very loud and very drunk Mara yelled.

    ?Not my fault you?re too slow!? Luke taunted her, his hand firmly in place on Mara's preferred circle. Corran noted that Luke, too, was utterly smashed. Annoyed, Mara took several more seconds to twist into position, ending up with her right arm in between Skywalker?s legs and his face directly in her chest.

    ?Ha! Okay, spin again!? she yelled gleefully.

    Luke obliged, narrowing his eyes at the board. ?Stop using the Force! Spin like a regular person!? Mara admonished, smacking his thigh dangerously close to his more delicate area.

    Luke huffed in response but lowered the board to the ground and reached out precariously to spin the arrow. ?Left foot, yellow,? he groaned, looking around as he tried to find the nearest yellow circle. This time Mara was quicker, slipping her leg behind her body to land in an almost backbend position, her years as a dancer an obvious benefit to this game. After several awkward seconds Luke managed to slip his leg under Mara?s back, so he was stretched almost directly underneath her.

    As Luke reached out to spin the board again, Corran couldn?t take it anymore. ?What the hell are you guys doing?!? he yelled incredulously, causing the two drunk fools to jump in surprise and fall on top of each other. Apparently alcohol had dampened their ability to sense others approaching them through the Force, Corran thought ruefully.

    ?What does it look like we?re doing?? Mara replied sarcastically, blowing a strand of hair out of her face.

    ?We?re playing Contortion!? Luke answered. ?Duh,? he added under his breath, causing Mara to giggle hysterically and Corran to gape at his former master.

    ?Oh dear Force,? he murmured. ?You two have finally lost your minds.?

    ?Hey!? Mara hissed, still sprawled on top of Luke. Corran noticed that Luke had crossed his arms behind his head, looking positively smug. ?Don?t talk about my husband like that. He?s a nice guy,? she said, patting Luke?s chest and grinning at him.

    Corran shook his head, still unable to believe what he was seeing. It seemed that all his matchmaking had been pointless; all one needed to do to get Luke and Mara on top of each other was feed them lots of alcohol!

    He knew he should leave and let nature take its course, but his curiosity got the best of him. ?Just how did you two get so incredibly drunk, and why wasn?t I invited to this party??

    ?We were bored, so I taught Skywalker the Face Loran drinking game!? Mara said proudly.

    ?You take a drink every time he makes a vapid facial expression,? Luke explained.

    ?Oh lord,? Corran gasped. ?You two must have been hammered within thirty minutes.?

    ?I lasted a good hour,? Mara said, ?but Skywalker was flying within fifteen. Poor guy just can?t handle his alcohol.?

    ?Hey!? Luke pouted.

    ?Don?t worry, I won?t tell anyone,? Mara told him, tweaking his nose playfully. ?And I?ll make sure CorSec keeps his mouth shut, too.?

    The two of them continued to stare stupidly at each other, Mara resting on Skywalker?s chest like she belonged there. Corran just stood there gaping at them
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    I, Mara Jade by JediMara77

    A/N: Mara has just risked her life to destroy Palpatine?s clone, and Luke is about to put her into a healing trance.

    It is, in one way, a logical extension of the bond that was created while I trained at the Jedi Academy?a bond that was cultivated during all of our time sparring, during all our meditation sessions, and the one night we spent together, when he held me in his arms and we blocked out the rest of the galaxy, seeing only each other and our love. But in another way, it is completely new.

    With Palpatine, I could hear his call from anywhere in the galaxy. I believed what I felt with him to be the ultimate power of the Force. But this?this is much more powerful.

    I thought I knew Luke Skywalker before. I thought I loved him more than I could ever love anyone.

    I was wrong. This is what it should be like. This is how we should feel?forever.

    As I lie there, dying in his arms, I know that he is feeling the same thing. Even if I couldn?t sense it through the Force, I can see it in his eyes. There is more love there than I could have ever imagined someone having for me, even after seeing all my failures, all my fears, all my weaknesses, and my deep and profound regret for what I once was. This time, I do not run away from the openness. I do not hide from the man in front of me. I allow him to see me?to really see me, deeply and truly, and along with that, the depths of my love for him.

    But suddenly, even as I have this epiphany about Luke, I realize that something is missing from the back of my mind. For the first time since Wayland, I no longer feel guilt for what I did as the Emperor?s Hand. I no longer wish I could go back and fix everything. I no longer believe that I am incapable of redemption.

    Thinking all of this, I smile. I don?t care if this is the end. It is the happiest moment of my life. And I get to have it lying in Luke?s arms.
    ?

    Luke shakes his head against my thoughts. ?You?ll get through this. We?ll get through it together. I promise. You just need to fight for me, okay??

    But I?m no longer concentrating on him, because suddenly, as if from a far off place, I see a man and woman standing over me. The man?s green eyes twinkle with happiness. The woman?s red gold hair whips around her face, framing the smile that graces her lips. I sense that they want nothing more than to be with me again, but they gesture for me to stay where I am. They say it?s not my time yet.

    I sense something else, too.

    ?They?re proud of me,? I whisper.

    ?Don?t talk, Mara,? Luke pleads. His expression is calm, hiding the fear and panic I feel deep inside of him. ?Just close your eyes, okay? You need to go to sleep. Then everything will be alright.? He places his hands on my forehead, pulling me into a healing trance. I start to drift away, but I force my eyes to stay open for just a few more moments. I have to tell him this in case the trance does not work.

    ?You wanted to know what it would take for me to finally forgive myself,? I croak, almost unable to get out my words. He leans down to hear me, his hands warm on the sides of my face, and I pull him to me in a kiss.

    I do not kiss him because I love him. I do not kiss him because I am grateful for his ever-present belief in me. I do not kiss him because I want to give him one last kiss before I die. I kiss him because, for the first time since I have known him, being with him feels absolutely right.

    Everything feels right.

    As I pull away, I find myself staring into his eyes again. I can feel his breath on my face, as if he is trying to put life back into my body. He searches me, trying to find the answer to his question. I recognize the expression all too well, because I have been looking at myself in the mirror the same way for many years.

    Gathering up my last bit of strength, I smile and tell him what he has so desperately wanted to hear, because
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    Best All Around continued...


    Incandescence by FelsGoddess

    Lights!
    The flashes of blaster fire created temporary blind spots in his eyes. Screams echoed through the forest as beings died. Sweat and blood made his shirt cling to his chest. Warm blood rolled down the side of his cheek. His lock of white hair fell over his eyes. Red flecks peppered the strands. He couldn?t look at the blood. It only reminded him of her and he couldn?t afford that thought. If he wanted to survive, he would have to push away everything but his wits.

    And if there was one thing Jagged Fel could do well, it was survive.

    Graphic
    The too-bright lights reflecting off the silver blade.

    Stop.

    The peaceful child?s drug-induced sleep.

    Stop.

    Lucia?s bloody, ruined body lying crumpled in the corner to rot.

    Stop.

    Nadia wincing in pain.

    Stop.

    The fires consuming Lucia?s body on the funeral pyre.

    Stop.

    Aki pressing the muzzle of her pocket blaster to his shoulder, stopping him from throwing his body on Lucia?s.

    Stop.

    Aki discovering his secret should he fail.

    Stop.

    Lucia?s look of shame and utter loathing.

    Stop.

    Fire burning through his muscles, melting his veins in utter agony.

    Stop.

    The blade inches closer and closer to Nadia?s throat.

    Go.

    Perfect
    Jaina ran her fingers over the ruined speeder seat. She winced as her fingers touched a bloodstain. She knew it was from Nadia. A clump of blond hair rested in the crumpled backseat from Tahiri. She didn?t expect to find anything. Kyp had already removed the detonator. Jaina needed to see the speeder, though.

    ?Jaina?? Ben called, ducking his head into the speeder. He had to twist to avoid the caved in roof. ?Kyp called. Uncle Han?s got a lead,? he whispered.

    ?Any instructions??

    ?Uncle Han said he?s got it,? Ben said wryly.

    ?Oh, well he has enough for bail.?

    Romance
    Years ago, Tahiri found herself on the doorstep of the first man she?d loved sister?s doorstep. She wanted to redeem herself. She needed to find a support system and purpose. Anakin had saved her years ago. She couldn?t repay him, but she could make amends with his family.

    Tahiri was responsible for the princess. The two Fel children were assigned a Force-sensitive bodyguard. Jag and Jaina couldn?t leave their children back home; it was too dangerous.

    Tahiri tore a piece of cloth from her cloak and wrapped it around her arm. She?d see a medic once the princess was safe.


    Shadows of Yesterday by Hazel

    (Dark Empire AU, Excerpt from Chapter Three)

    After breakfast, they both went back to work, going through the data as it seemed to call to them. Leia had commed Luke and told him that the NRI would soon be taking over for the search but asked him to continue searching for anything that would raise a flag in his Force-sense. It was important to prioritize.

    Mara, on her end, had promptly agreed to help the Jedi because it was both a way to repay his kindness and to drive a wedge into her 'faithfulness' to the Emperor. It also didn't hurt that his voice seemed to quiet down when Luke was around.

    The two of them quickly came to the conclusion that the files available to them were related to ongoing projects and that the ones they couldn't access, and Artoo was still trying to locate, were older projects that had been terminated.

    While Mara was going through the stack of files with the highest hits per keyword, Luke was going through the most recent entries. There were many files in there that had been accessed after the Emperor's death and even after the New Republic had taken over the Palace.

    "I think Thrawn had access to these." Luke commented.

    "Probably. Why do you say that?"

    "There are a lot of files here that were accessed in the last year." Luke keyed in a command and made the files display according to date. "Let me rephrase that. There are a lot of files here that were accesse/>
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    Most Underrated

    Caith?eadiha ? The Outcast
    By Corellian_Ale
    A/N: Keep in mind that the Anarti people have a very Celtic quality when you?re reading if you?re having problems with the dialogue.


    REPORT? SCD 968.
    REPORT? Formerly Republic Senate Cam Droid.
    REPORT? Current assignment: Video documentation of personal memoirs per request of subject
    REPORT? Subject: Rory ?The Deacon? Sonnader
    REPORT? Date Stamp: Not disclosed

    Documentarian note: Subject seems more unbalanced than previous session:


    He smacks his hands up?n the floor, ?til his hands can take no more!

    I don? tink so. No, I don?a tink ah will? NO! I won?t be discussin? me da! Tha? tojer killed me mum! He made me a man, a killer wid no soul. Jus like ?im! I belonged in the cauldr?n.

    Documentarian note: Subject slams his palms upon his dinner table.
    He smacks his hands up?n the floor, ?til his hands can take no more!

    Documentarian note: Subject slams palms upon dinner table three more times.
    He smacks his hands up?n the floor... he smacks hands up?n the floor? *sob*

    Documentarian note: Subject slams palms upon dinner table one final time. Takes keen interest in his hands.

    They bleed ya? know. Whether you?re a king, or you toil da? fields, you smack yer hands on a cold stone floor enough, they bleed. Da? pain? Da? pain, it can drown out da? voices. She wasn?t Mando or Anarti, an? me thinks me da? hated her for it. He was both, and she was neither, an? he hated her for it.

    ?he smacks his hands up?n the floor, ?til his hands can no take no more.

    If it weren?t for him, I never been in da? cauldr?n. Me da?, he put me in there. He put me in da? cauldr?n. HE PUT ME THERE!

    REPORT? End of interview session.

    ?

    REPORT? Current assignment: Video documentation of personal memoirs per request of subject
    REPORT? Subject: Rory ?The Deacon? Sonnader
    REPORT? Date Stamp: Not disclosed


    Documentarian note: Subject paces incessantly during interview.

    Ánart produced a great many Jedi in its day, it did. The likes of which you?d not know of, but they be famous to us. Lutly Connum, Bríaff Monodul, and a course me ancestor, Nar Sonnader ta? name a few. They say the lot of ?em drove the Sith from Ánart like the serpents they were. But naught of them were around when the Sith sent the Mandos a calling.

    They had the Touch ? Bandó, or the Force as the Jedi and the Skywalker whelp would call it. It touches everything, but not everyone can feel it. The Ánart, we?re like the civil version of Dath?mir in that of us has the bandó to some degree.

    Naught I. I could barely feel it. It?s why I went in the cauldr?n in the first place. Ta? save me, so I would not be cast out by me own people. I am a Sonnader, an? by birthright the king of the folk of Shilindalé. But neither me da? nor me could proclaim bandó. But me da? brought new prosper?ty and peace wid the odder clans. Kept Ánart outta? the Empire?s eye. What did I ?ave ta? offer?

    I was a Sonnader wid?out the Touch. Un?eard of in Shilindalé. Certain?ly not two generations one right after the odder. An? the ridiculed me. And said I would be the fall of Shilindalé. That the touch I had was one of black. Of darkness.

    Documentarian note: Subject?s voice rises to levels of alarm or distress as pacing intensifies.

    The cauldr?n! The cauldr?n was supposed to make me stronger! It didn?t. It tortured and taunted me and when I was done it left me with nothing! I wasn?t Bandó, I was nuttin?!

    I was pathetic Rory Sonnader, impotent in the touch like me da?! If it weren?t fer him, I?d naught been in the cauldr?n! HE PUT ME THERE! The impotent godder! What else was to become of me? A Sonnader who wore Mando beskar'gam and who naught could use the Force? And me mudder an actual Jedi to boot?!?!

    Caith?eadiha! That?s what I was!


    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/beyond_the_saga/b10477/31523049/p/>
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    Most Underrated continued...

    X-Wing: Genesis of a Rogue By Lane_Winree

    Syal broke into a sprint, dancing out of the way of blaster fire while racing towards the lifts herself. She swore as she stumbled over her boots but managed to regain her footing after several shaky steps. That would prove costly. The woman she was chasing entered the lift before her, closing the door just as she arrived. In frustration Syal pounded on the durasteel doors with the fist and the handle of her blaster. Cursing, she depressed the button to call another lift. Though it was only a few seconds, the wait for the doors to open felt like an eternity.

    She entered the lift and called for the floor to the Chief of State?s office. Syal chewed on her lower lip as she muttered to herself, ?Maybe thirty seconds behind. Figure two minutes or more if anyone stops the lift to board.?

    If she wasn?t quick enough, Talatheen could whisk Daala away through those emergency lifts and passages. At that point all was lost. There would be no way to alert the authorities of what had gone wrong. She had to be fast, but first she had to get off the elevator. Of course, if she could catch up to the Imperial captain what would she do? Syal had her blaster on her, should she immediately take her down? Should she attempt to negotiate a surrender? What if she had the Chief of State as a hostage already when she arrived?

    Her hand rushed to her leg as it rocked back and forth, the nervous tic she had exhibited since her youth. This was happening all too quickly for her. Why hadn?t she stayed with the rest of the Rogues? Even in combat she felt a good deal more comfortable sitting behind the flightstick of her X-Wing than she did on the ground.

    ?Floor Eighty-Nine, Chief of State?s office,? the automated voice in the repulsorlift said as the doors opened.

    Syal took a deep, steadying breath. She could do this, perhaps not because she was capable of it. No, she could do this because she had to pull it off. Clenching her blaster in her right hand, she broke into a sprint, racing down the hallway and past several shocked office workers. Talatheen was nowhere in sight, but Syal didn?t stop to think that perhaps she had already missed her opportunity to intervene. Her mind was singularly focused on reaching Daala?s office. If daddy can topple an entire government and claim a whole planet in the name of the Rebellion, I can take out a damned Imperial spy.

    She burst through the doors, her blaster raised and index finger poised over the trigger. Syal said nothing as she caught sight of the crimson-haired Chief of State standing behind her desk, caught in a headlock with Captain Talatheen?s holdout blaster held to her temple.

    ?Drop it, Talatheen!? Syal barked. ?Your men are already dead or wounded, you?ve lost.?

    Talatheen looked like a mad woman. A fiery glint in her eyes conveyed a sense that she had simply lost it. She glared at Syal, pointing the holdout blaster at her before quickly pressing it back to Daala?s head, ?She?s a traitor! The Empire will never tolerate reunification under her rule!?

    ?You don?t speak for the Imperial Remnant,? Daala replied, remarkably calm despite the fact that a lethal weapon was pointed right at her. ?What do you expect to accomplish??

    ?I expect that removing you from power will permanently end negotiations between the Empire and the Rebellion,? Talatheen said. ?I expect that to allow the true heirs of the Empire to reclaim what is rightfully ours.?

    ?Palpatine is dead,? Daala said coldly, ?and his ideals went to the grave with him.?

    ?Words that would only be uttered by a traitor to the Empire,? Talatheen said, her finger dancing menacingly close to the trigger of her holdout blaster. ?Mark my words, the Empire will rise again and it begins today with your-?

    The Imperial captain was interrupted by a single blaster shot that narrowly missed the Chief of State but caught her squarely between the eyes. Talatheen immedia
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    EXONERATED: The Jade-Terrik Adventures by JediMara77

    A/N: This fic was my entry for the 2011 Diary Challenge, and tells the story of the adventures that lead up to Mara and Mirax being arrested.

    This wasn?t supposed to happen like this.

    It was supposed to be a simple, diplomatic mission. Go in, do our civic duty for the New Republic, maybe even enjoy the scenery a bit, and then leave and enjoy some much-needed couple time at the Praxeum.

    Leia and Iella told us it would be simple?a blue milk run, as they say. Mirax and I believed them; why wouldn?t we? They?re our good friends, and if you can?t trust the Chief of State and a former Intelligence officer, well, who can you trust?

    The last thing I remember before being dumped here is running down a dark alleyway, dodging blaster bolts for Mirax as we raced towards the spaceport where the Pulsar Skate was docked. I?d managed to down all our pursuers but one, and once it was just he and I, well, I felt confident enough to just run.

    Then I felt a stun bolt connect with my back.

    As I fell to the ground, seeing a new pursuer join the chase from a darkened alleyway, I had a flashback to one of my very first lightsaber lessons with Luke, back when I still wanted to kill him. ?Thinking that you?re going to win during a fight is the easiest way to get yourself killed,? he?d preached. I had rolled my eyes; if you weren?t confident enough to win, then of course you?d get yourself killed, you big dummy.

    Before I succumbed to blackness, my lip curled and I snarled at him over our bond. Damn you, Farmboy.

    Next thing I knew, I woke up in this dark, dingy cell with Mirax lying beside me. To say she was pissed is an understatement. Well, we?re both pretty pissed, actually. I think we both want to rip that tiny little guard?s head off if he even looks at us the wrong way again.

    ?This is all your fault,? Mirax mutters. That?s all she?s been saying since we got in here.

    Some friend she is.

    Before I can respond, I sit up, reaching out with the Force?and then I groan.

    ?Oh, kriff.?

    ?What is it now?? Mirax asks in an annoyed tone.

    ?We have rescuers.?

    ?Rescuers? Well that?s a good thing, right??

    I shake my head. ?Not these rescuers.?

    Before she can question me further, the outer door to the cell opens and our guard immediately drops to the floor, unconscious. Two men step into the room, their lightsabers ignited.

    My husband steps forward and smiles at me through the bars. ?I?m Luke Skywalker. I?m here to rescue you. Again.?

    I glare at him.

    Corran steps forward and smirks at his wife. ?This situation seems so familiar, doesn?t it, Luke? You?d think that Mirax would have learned the first time we had to come rescue her.?

    Mirax glares at him.

    ?Are you gonna get us out of here or not?? we snap at the same time.

    Luke and Corran share a glance. ?You were right,? Corran says. ?We should never have let them meet.?

    *****

    This is all Mara?s fault. ? MTH


    Birthday of Eternity by Briannakin

    Han was fading at an alarming rate and Leia knew it. He was limply hanging over the bedpan as she held it and rubbed his back.

    ?I?m done, honey,? Han said, pushing the bedpan away and trying to lean back onto the pillows. Leia helped him, then got him the tall glass of water from the nightstand and helped him hold it to his cracked lips. He waved it away when he was done.

    ?It feels like I have the worse hang-over ever,? he stated as he looked up at her beautiful form. She was aging and greying, but she was still the image of perfection to his eyes.

    ?You would know. You?ve had enough of them in your life,? she said with a smile.

    ?And you have always been there to hold the bedpan and yell at me in my misery. Thank you, your Worshipness.?

    ?Yes, here I am, a princess, and I?ve been cleaning up an old pirate?s barf for />
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    Best Response To A Challenge continued...

    Incandescence by FelsGoddess

    Science
    Aki Singh held her hand to her face. She frowned as she spied a thin piece of durasteel between her fingers. She yanked it out, barely flinching as the metal slipped out of her skin. The destruction was not nearly as flawless as she?d hoped. It wouldn?t take long for someone to find out the sources of the explosions. No matter. She would teach her staff not to fail. It?s been awhile since someone had been punished. She?d grown lax, a mistake she would not make again.

    She?d seen the girl?s legs. If she died, today was a small success.

    Fiction
    Jaina yanked pieces of glass and wreckage out of her way as she ran to the speeder. Her lightsaber blade hacked away at the large obstacles. The medics were walking away with her only daughter. She could hear Kyp yelling for her to get back, but she ignored him.

    Jaina reached the medics. She stared down at the bloody, angelic face of her little girl. Nadia?s eyes were closed. Her straight black hair had fallen out of its braids. She was breathing, barely. Jaina?s eyes closed as she reached out into the Force, praying this wasn?t real, just a nightmare.

    Comedy
    Tyron Fel stood with his hands locked behind his back. He closed his eyes, trying desperately to lock onto his sister?s failing presence. He?d been safe in the hanger with his grandfather and Ben Skywalker preparing for takeoff during the attack.

    Tyron traced the small scar around his wrist. He?d fallen off the dock at the Antilles?s home on Corellia. He?d broken his wrist and received the yelling of his life for giving Great Aunt Iella a scare. It?d hurt more than anything in his life until he felt the pain from his sister losing the fight for her life.

    Titanic
    Kyp pressed his back against the back cabin of the speeder. His chest felt like a Hutt was sitting on it. He?d agreed that it would be best for the family to travel separately. He knew it was stupid to doubt the decision. He and Jaina?s presence in the vehicle wouldn?t have stopped the attack. It didn?t stop the feeling of helplessness. Kyp hated feeling helpless. He needed to go out and do something.

    Kyp glanced at Tahiri as the speeder stopped. Tahiri nodded in understanding as Kyp pushed open the door and jumped.
    He would follow from the outside.

    Operation
    Alec adjusted his surgical mask and gloves. He barely glanced at the other medics in the operating room. He was grateful that only his eyes were visible. He hoped no one would question his presence.

    He?d killed before; you couldn?t work for Aki and not commit such an act. He?d never gone after a child before. It left him feeling rather unsettled.

    He didn?t have a choice, though. He had to kill Nadia Fel in order to succeed. Aki told him that the only way this would work was that the girl had to die.

    He had no other options.

    Life
    Ben glanced at his Uncle Han as he looked over the scanners. Han was concentrating on maintain a low altitude around the hospital Nadia was in. Ben felt awkward in the co-pilot?s seat of the Falcon. Normally his Aunt Leia took the seat. She was trying to gain them landing clearance.

    Leia appeared in the cockpit saying, ?Han, set her down.?

    ?Where at??

    ?Anywhere you want. Just don?t crush anyone.?

    ?I can see them.?

    ?Are you sure? I bet I can find some glasses for you somewhere,? Ben said in an attempt to ease the tension.

    Han glared at him.


    Hunt for Excalibur by FelsGoddess

    A shadow crossed Luke?s face. His twin sister, Leia, was somewhat of a mystery. Both born of a human mother and demonic father, many wanted the children to die. Luke was taken by a group of wizards into hiding so that they could train him. Leia was left alone in the woods to die. She survived, and constantly made Han and his Knights? lives difficult. She was beautiful, but deadly/>
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    Best Response To A Challenge continued...

    whilst embers want for flame by Mira_Jade

    The funny thing about ending is, it is something that I have stood on the precipice of many times before.

    For most of my life, death has been a constant ally and companion both. I wielded it as much as it wielded me, and I was a favored servant. I served the late Emperor, who was merely an extension of the black forces of the universe. And when I rose above that servitude, death was still something that haunted my steps, waiting for me to stumble, to reach out and claim me as its own. I have never chosen a placid line of work ? from my duties with Karrde, to my time with Luke, to the last two wars that have torn our galaxy asunder . . . I have known the precipices of front lines, and the ways of the enemy most intimately, even though those are times that I'd rather not think of.

    For this to be my final fall, and my end . . .

    At first, it had angered me. The man before me ? my murderer - whom I had called family, was someone who had the potential to tear the ones I loved at their seams. And I hated him for his betrayal. I mourned him for it, in the blackness of those tunnels, as I felt my everything slip from me.

    Oddly enough, in those last moments, my connection to Luke had been the brightest thing I had ever felt . . . And that light had only been eclipsed by what came after.

    You see, death is not black, it is light and life returned to those waiting to be joined by their wholes. The Force is calm here, so unerringly pure and perfect ? something luminous that was so much more than the crude experience we knew in corporeal forms. It is a phenomenon that I know will interest Luke, when he joins me, and I can't wait to show him through the highs and the lolls of the After . . .

    When he joins me . . . The thought is heady; intoxicating, almost.

    Even so, I hope that our reunion is not for a long time, even though I yearn for his presence by my side. In some ways, death numbs the more tangible wanting, but I had survived for years with Luke as half and whole of my mind. Our bond was something marveled and unheard of in its intensity, and to suddenly exist on my own thoughts and feelings now . . . It was odd. I could still feel a shadow of my husband, as if our connection was merely doused with a great wall of water. He was a star to my senses ? bright enough to be seen from the whole of space away, but small enough to be lost with a wink.

    He is an ember to me, now, when I want so dearly for flames.

    You may wonder . . . Why am I keeping this chronicle? Why am I telling a story when mine has just come to an end?

    I will say this in reply . . . Life is but an introduction, and death no end ? and yet, until his end and mine are one, I will do everything in my power to connect with him. A tangible record of my thoughts helps center me, and makes me remember myself so that I don't loose the whole of me to the peace and serenity that the Force is . . . I am not ready to become wisps of smoke, an iridescent flare of a whole . . . And maybe, with this record, I will have a thing or two to tell him when our chance at eternity comes.

    For you see, an ember may be dim, but it still has the memory of burning . . . and the potential to do so again.


    Libertas by Ceillean

    ?I need you to get a message to the Council.? Jedi Master Kyp Durron said hastily, the pain in his abdomen making it hard to breathe. His hands were coated with dark red blood, his own and that of the men who had tried to kill him. ?Tell Master Skywalker that we have a hell of a situation on our hands.?

    ?I won?t leave you here.? Miko Reglia shook his tousled dark hair, eyes wide, fearing for his Master as he went to take a closer look at Kyp?s wound. ?You?re hurt. If they find you ??
    ?Miko!? Kyp bellowed while he grabbed his apprentice?s collar. Almost nose to nose, Kyp spoke in a quiet, lethal voice. ?Do />
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    Best Songfic

    Stay the Night by divapilot

    Shada had done well. This agreement would bring in a sizeable profit for them, and introduce a new export opportunity for the client. Everyone would be happy.

    He leaned back in his chair and smiled slightly. ?You?ve earned a break, my friend,? he told her. ?I expect that the negotiations should wrap up by tomorrow. You?ll have some unexpected free time. Would you like to stay a little longer here? Enjoy the beaches before you head back to the ship??
    She laughed, a gentle sound, as she turned her head back toward the balcony. ?Oh, that?s tempting??

    Talon rose, pushed in his chair, and stood beside her. ?This suite is rented for the remainder of the week. I have duties to attend to shipboard, now that you?ve done your part. If you would like, I?ll arrange to have your room reservation transferred here.?

    Shada?s eyes grew wide. ?Really?? she asked, more breathlessly than she intended. Then, catching herself, she sat straighter in her chair. ?I wouldn?t want to inconvenience you. You deserve the vacation too, sir.?

    Sir. How much time will it take for you to lose that?, Talon mused. He smiled benignly. ?Honesty, I need to be getting back to work. I insist. In fact, I?ve anticipated your success. I?ve already packed, and Aves will be picking me up in the shuttle in about two hours. The suite?s yours.?

    She looked around, as if seeing the room and its luxurious appointments for the first time. She rose, then slowly walked past him and onto the balcony. Talon watched as she braced her hands against the railing, then lift her face into the breeze. Quietly, he turned and walked into the next room.

    The morning?s on its way, our friends all say goodbye
    There?s nowhere else to go, I hope that you?ll stay the night
    Just like the song on our radio set
    We?ll share the shelter of my single bed
    But it?s a different tune that?s stuck in my head
    And it goes?



    He shut the door to his bedroom before she had a chance to speak. He opened the closet door and retrieved his travel bag, then began to fill it with his personal items. There would be a time, he thought to himself. There will come a time. All in its proper time.

    He reached for his comlink. ?Aves. I need you to come get me. Bring the shuttle.? He paused. ?Yes, two hours will be fine.?


    If this is what we?ve got, then what we?ve got is gold
    We?re shining bright and I want you, I want you to know
    The morning?s on its way, our friends all say goodbye
    There?s nowhere else to go, I hope that you?ll stay the night.



    He re-entered the main room of the suite with his travel bag in hand. Shada was leaning her back against the balcony, the silver light from the double moon carving a silhouette around her. ?Talon,? she called softly. The breeze lifted the ends of her hair.
    He turned around. ?Hmm??

    Her expression was hard to read. Talon thought she might be trying to find the words to say something. She looked down for a moment, then she glanced up at him and smiled. ?Thank you,? she said.

    Talon paused for a moment before responding with a simple ?You?re welcome.? Then he left the keycard on the entry table and opened the door to leave.
    There would be another time.


    Crash by FelsGoddess

    Rage combined with hopeless and loss in a swirling maelstrom in his heart. He turned from the viewport, striking his fist on his thigh. He placed the stuffed toy on his desk with almost reverence. He gently removed his lightsaber from his belt and turned on the blade. He held it horizontally at eye level. He let out a frustrated hiss. His spit connected with the glowing blade, causing it to crackle.

    He brought the lightsaber as close to his face as possible. His eyes fluttered closed to protect themselves from the light. He held it for one, two breaths, and then distinguished it. He threw it across the office. It bounced off the wall and clattered to the/>
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    Best Songfic continued...


    Talking to the Moon by Ceillean

    The camp was eerily quiet. They?d lost eleven refugees that morning and three more weren?t going to make it through the night. Over seventy refugees in under a month.
    It was beyond devastating. They?d been given a promise for a new home, a sanctuary from the Vong but instead the only gift bestowed upon them was death.

    Eliziya sat in the tall grass on the outskirts of the camp. She wanted to be alone. Ever since Adelle had died all she ever wanted to do was be alone.

    She clutched her data pad in her hand and read through the first few lines of the message she?d wanted to send to Kyp. She?d been at it for almost two months now. Mostly she felt the words didn?t fit. Sometimes she thought she sounded too needy and other times her message read like she was cold and heartless. No matter how many times she rephrased her sentences, it never seemed to be enough.

    She wasn?t even sure if he wanted to hear from her. But since the war started, she couldn?t get him off her mind.

    Sometimes she dreamt of him. Fondly she remembered his smile and the way his eyes twinkled when he laughed. Almost vividly she recalled his soft caresses and his whispered words of endearment.

    Kriff?she missed him like crazy.

    Eliziya closed her eyes as a cool breeze came her way, dancing with the tall grass all around her. It was a beautiful play of nature. As were the twinkling stars up above when she lifted her head to gaze into the sky.

    She remembered Adelle?s story about the moon Goddess and couldn?t help but smile as she focused on the silver disk hanging off the black carpet of space. ?You really up there?? Eliziya asked quietly. ?Is the Goddess of the moon watching us? Protecting us?? She frowned. ?Are you protecting him? Where ever he is.?

    I know you're somewhere out there
    Somewhere far away


    Taking a deep breath, Eliziya activated a recording program on her data pad. Maybe sending Kyp an audio message would be easier. Maybe talking to the moon would make her open up more.

    ?Good Gods, you?re going crazy.? She whispered but then she paused. ?Adelle wouldn?t think I?m crazy.? Eliziya knew for a fact that Adelle would want her to try. Or else she wouldn?t have told the story in the first place.

    She lifted her head again and smiled to the moon. ?Will you send a message for me?? Eliziya said quietly.

    I want you back
    I want you back


    ?I?d like to tell him that I?m sorry for not being as understanding as I should have been. I?d like to tell him that I?m okay. I haven?t seen a Vong warrior up close yet and I hope I never will. I?m doing the best I can to help people make it through this crazy time.?

    There was a rustling sound behind her. Eliziya snapped her head around and gave a little awkward wave as she saw one of the nurses give her a strange look.
    ?Yeah.? She called out towards the woman. ?I?m talking to myself. Don?t mind me. I?m pretty much going crazy here.?

    She almost laughed as the nurse hurriedly scrambled away.

    My neighbors think
    I'm crazy
    But they don't understand
    You're all I have
    You're all I have


    Taking another deep breath, Eliziya closed her eyes. ?No one understands how difficult it is to send a message to someone you love with all your heart when you?re not even sure the other person feels the same way. They keep telling me to send the message but what if?? She blew out a breath. ?What if I don?t matter to him as much as I used to??

    Talking to the Moon
    Try to get to You
    In hopes you're on
    the other side
    Talking to me too
    Or am I a fool
    who sits alone
    Talking to the moon


    ?Please tell him that I love him. That I will always love him no matter what. Please tell him that I?m sorry.?
    Eliziya shut off her data pad and closed her eyes.


    Death Of Me by Ceillean

    She looked beautiful.

    Her red hair danced with the cool breeze, strands coiling a/>
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    Best Poem

    How The Anor Stole Christmas by Maggy



    Meanwhile the Anor was pacing his cave
    The nerve of the girl invading his place
    The award of Cheermeister to the Meister of grim
    A joke it was, mean and a whim
    He?d not go so they would not win

    And while he was pacing he didn?t mind his pet
    The traitorous being had a mind on its own
    And pulled the rope at the right moment
    The Anor was sent down the slide
    Ending up in the middle of the filled plaza

    He looked dazzled and stood
    Chief Fey?lya being in shock
    Just like the others gathered around
    Just a little girl had a grin plastered on her face
    This was going better then expected

    The Chief had not expected that the Anor would show up
    But as Chief he was prepared for all chases
    An evil grin spread over his face
    Meaner then the Anor would ever had managed
    Congratulations, Mr Anor, he announced.

    Someone brought him the crown
    The Anor was placed on the throne
    He was fed with cakes and cookies
    Pies and sweets and sugary things
    Had to endure the cuddly former caretakers

    The cheer and attention touched him
    Not that he would admit it at all
    They celebrated and danced
    Hummed and sung
    And everything ended with a boom

    Fey?lya had called the Anor to the front
    For presents to be passed on
    The Chief produced a package out of his bag
    Grinning he presented it to the Cheermeister
    Stunned he took it and began to unwrap

    The content was like a shock
    Brought back memories long tired to forget
    The laughing and mean children of the past
    An ooglith masquer badly shaped
    Was gazing up from the bottom

    Viqi Shesh was watching him with sadness
    The soft spot she harbored nearly breaking her heart
    Then the Chief brought the attention to her
    A ring sparkling in his pawn
    The question of marriage hanging in the air

    This was all that caused the Anor to snap
    He threw his gift into the Bothan?s face
    The living creature attaching to his skin
    The Chief was screaming like a kid
    He jumped right into the middle of the crowd

    The Anor snarled and snapped
    All screamed and run
    Chaos erupted and hell broke lose
    The tall Christmas tree caught fire
    Toppled over and vanished in smoke

    When the Anor thought he was done
    Bedlam and turmoil left in the wake
    He jumped into the sewer
    Vanishing from sight
    Cheerfully returning to his hill



    The Chief angry as hell
    Announced that the future shall hold
    Only Anor-less Christmas
    He called for the replacement tree
    Starting to sing a new carol



    Up in his cave the Anor sat and sulked
    The jingles and chorus filling the air
    Even though the chaos was there
    Christmas was still in the air
    Tomorrow all the beings had their presents

    A thought was forming in his mind
    He had to steal Christmas
    It might stop the beings joy
    They?d whine and sulk
    Their precious gifts gone

    The Anor prepared his Husklux-Carrier
    A beast similar to a carriage of the citizens
    Gleefully he clapped his hands
    As he danced around
    Mounting the beast with an oversized hoover



    The Anor gazed at his pet and grinned, ?You will see how Christmas will disappear in the belly of the vacuum cleaner. Decorations, trees and gifts alike will vanish all inside. Oh the joy it would be to see the faces of the beings when they wake up and see, there is nothing left of their Christmas glee.?
    The pet just looked at his master, probably not understanding what he meant.
    The Anor furrowed his brows and considered something the he grinned. The pet noticed something bad was approaching and ducked its head which caused an even bigger grin.
    ?You, Snappy will serve as my draft and for that I just have the right for you. As well as for me.?


    I do not like thee, Colonel Fel by Iverna

    I do not like thee Colonel Fel,
    Not gonna fall in love with you.
    I do not like thee Colonel Fel,
    And I am just as happy being on my own.

    I keep thinking of all the things I could have been
    And don't you laugh cause I, oh I could have been the Hapan Quee/>
  24. Beyond-NSWFF_Awards VIP

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    Jul 21, 2011
    star 1
    Best Crossover

    Hunt for Excalibur by FelsGoddess

    ?No word of Excalibur, sire,? Knight Ganner Rhysode announced from his position across from King Han Solo at the Round Table.

    Han pressed his lips together in agitation. The ancient sword had been stolen three nights ago from its locked case were it rested when not in battle. Four bodies were found lying in the chamber, hands scarred with an impression of the sword?s hilt. The corpses contained neither identifying features nor indication of where their loyalty rested.

    ?My father reports that one of his contacts on Selonia confirmed that the sword is not with the Knights of V?helm. They have not disputed your rule yet, Your Highness,? Mirax Terrik Horn stated.

    ?I never suspected them,? Han replied, making a face at the words ?your highness.? He never wanted to be a rule, but fate thrust it upon him.
    ?Only a being strong in the Force could take such an item,? Wedge Antilles quipped.

    Luke Skywalker, sitting at Han?s right, nodded, ?There are few who possess the ability to touch the blade without harm. Only someone with great talent could break past the curses.?

    ?The curses you placed,? muttered Kyp Durron.

    Han glared at the younger man, ?Cut the crap, kid.?

    ?Then that leaves Leia,? Tycho Chelcu said. Tycho was the best knight of the group.

    A shadow crossed Luke?s face. His twin sister, Leia, was somewhat of a mystery. Both born of a human mother and demonic father, many wanted the children to die. Luke was taken by a group of wizards into hiding so that they could train him. Leia was left alone in the woods to die. She survived, and constantly made Han and his Knights? lives difficult. She was beautiful, but deadly. Many fell into her trap. No one knew exactly what she wanted, not even her twin brother.

    ?We have to find her. Already your cousin Thracken has started protesting your right to the throne. The sword provides tangible proof,? Corran Horn observed.
    ?I know that,? Han grumbled. He?d give up the throne if he could. To do so, though, would leave Corellia in the hands of his demented cousin. Many would die and the planet would fall within weeks.

    A loud crash sounded from the hallway. The doors opened and Lady Winter, consort to the king, ran in. Her long, ivory robes billowed behind her.

    ?My lord,? she stated. ?Mara Jade returns with Leia.?

    ?She caught her?? Luke breathed.

    ?You know that no one catches Leia unless she wishes it so,? Winter responded, more as a reminder to everyone in the room than to correct Luke. Winter?s eyes danced around the room until meeting Tycho?s.

    Wedge, Ganner and Shada all exchanged glances. It was common knowledge that Winter spent most of her free time in the arms of the prized knight Tycho Celchu. No one said anything, even though Han knew what she was doing.

    ?What does Leia want?? Han asked, ignoring the looks. He didn?t care about the affair. The arrangement was merely political. Once it was possible, Luke would dissolve the bonds and Han and Winter could go their separate ways.


    Light of a Hero by FORCEBlLADE

    Author's Note: This is a crossover with the DC universe.

    Many great things existed in this one spiral galaxy. There were billions of stars, with even more worlds, with a million times more forms of life spread through out so many of them.

    For many millennia the civilizations that sprouted from these planets evolved physically, intellectually, and explored their neighboring stars, eventually coming together after much trial and error. Learning, exploring, growing.

    Like any civilization there came conflicts, misunderstandings, destruction, pain, and loss. There were devastations that would be remembered long after they passed.

    One of the most significant things to arise from this galaxy was knowledge of the life energy that bound everything in existence. Most knew it as the Force. The most well recognized practitioners of it being the Jedi/>
  25. Beyond-NSWFF_Awards VIP

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    star 1
    Best Short Story

    More Than a Candle by JediMara77

    A/N: This story takes place in an AU version of the Fate of the Jedi era. Important things to know: Mara and Jacen are not dead, Jacen never turned to the Dark Side and is now part of the Imperial Knights (along with Jaina), and Vestara is an Imperial Knight (and Jacen?s apprentice), not a Sith.

    ?Wait,? Luke said. He turned to face her. I want you to stay here, with Ben and Vestara.

    Mara?s eyes widened. What? You can?t be serious.

    I am. I feel like this is something personal Jacen needs to confront alone.

    Then why are you going with him?


    Luke glanced at Jacen. Because I was his master?and I want to make sure he is okay.

    Luke, there?s no way in hell I?m letting you face Abeloth alone.

    I won?t be alone. I?ll be with Jacen.

    Luke?

    Please, Mara. I feel like this is the right thing to do. I?ll let you know if we need your help.

    You better.
    Mara took a deep breath, then nodded. Fine, you win. Aloud, she said, ?Ben, Vestara, we're staying here.?

    Vestara protested, looking deeply concerned, ?Why? Why are we not going to help them? Surely there is strength in numbers!?
    ?

    ?It?s okay, Vestara,? Ben assured her. After sixteen years he had grown more than accustomed to his parents? proddings from the Force, and knew that they were to be obeyed. ?You?ll get to see my mom fight, which is completely astral.?

    Mara smiled and ruffled Ben?s hair. Her son?s eyes widened in fear. Mom! He gestured furiously toward Vestara and tried to smooth down his locks.

    Mara suppressed her laughter. Sorry!

    Ben shook his head, looking disgusted, and turned to Luke and Jacen. ?Let us know if you need us.?

    ?We will,? Luke assured him. Then he pulled Mara to him and kissed her. In the back of her mind, she was aware of Ben's retching noises and Vestara's giggling, but she didn?t care. Even after more than twenty years of marriage, watching Luke walk into battle was never an easy task.

    She pulled away and rested her forehead against his. Be safe.

    I always am.


    Luke gave Ben a hug and Vestara a friendly squeeze on the shoulder. Drawing level to Jacen, the former master and apprentice shared a glance, then wordlessly stepped into the tunnel.

    * * * * *

    ?Why did you insist that we face Abeloth alone?? Jacen suddenly asked.

    Luke didn?t look back at him. ?You know why.?

    Jacen sighed. ?How long have you known??

    ?I figured there had to be a reason why you left so abruptly. Once you explained your experience with Abeloth, I realized the two had to be related.?

    ?I guess I really can?t hide anything from you.?

    ?Oh, I don?t know what you?re hiding, if that makes you feel better.?

    ?Actually?it kinda does. But you?re right. There?s?there?s a reason I left.?

    His uncle met his gaze. ?And??

    ?And?I think that is a story for another time.?

    Luke nodded. ?You know that I will always love you no matter what, right Jacen? And so will all of your family.?

    Jacen didn?t respond. What could he say to that?

    A blue light appeared and grew brighter in front of them, indicating they were nearing the end of the tunnel. Jacen brought his lightsaber up to guard. The green light reflected eerily against the blue light of the planet, turning the air an odd turquoise color.

    ?Are you ready?? Luke asked.

    ?

    Jacen nodded. ?I am if you are.?

    Luke brought up his own green lightsaber. Go!

    The pair rushed into the courtyard?to find it completely empty. They glanced around, looking for any sign of Abeloth?s presence.

    ?I sense her,? Jacen said.

    ?So do I,? Luke replied. ?I can feel the dark side?? He shuddered, long-repressed memories floating to the surface.

    Jacen walked forward and stared into the Font of Power. The real fountain was even more entrancing than its counterpart in Beyond Shadows. Any person who drank here would be lost forever.

    He took a step back. They had to end this. Abelot
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