Beyond Darkness at the Door - Luke & Ben (Time-Travel) - Update 03/12

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by EmeraldJediFire, Jan 29, 2013.

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  1. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    =D= and intrigued by Adelle's plea and premonition. Looking forward to the meeting with the whole Council. And ... was very :( over Luke's ruminations over choices and losses.
  2. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4


    Well, you kinda just met the whole Council..well the one I know of...the comics never went beyond Kol and the three other Masters. as for Luke, as 3PO would say, its his lot in life

    .
    Chapter 11
    .
    Luke and Kol soon after departed from each other's company; Luke heading for the medward while Kol made preparations for their trip to Coruscant.

    Luke entered the medward, stopping to make conversation with one of the medics before retreating to his son's room. He stepped into the room and cast a glance toward the bed. Ben lay slumbering; the mask still fitted over his nose a mouth. Luke frowned at the sight of this, but just as quickly shook it off. If Master Staad deemed it necessary for Ben still to have the oxygen mask on, who was Luke to question the healer? He approached the boy's bed side, watching the steady breaths the boy drew in and out. Luke heaved a sigh of relief and reached out to touch Ben's hand. He felt his heart warm as he gaze upon the teen's tranquil features.

    He smiled gently with a hint of sentimentality. "I should have known that anyone that carried your mother's blood wouldn't be defeated so easily." He gathered the boy's hand in his.

    He stopped speaking. Emotion bubbled up inside of him as he continued to look at Ben and Luke felt as if he would break down right then and there. He could feel a sob ready to tear out of his throat in anguish. He wasn't sure what to make of it, Ben was fine, there was no danger to his life anymore—but he still couldn't help but feel this overwhelming raw emotion.

    He shut his eyes tight and willed himself not to cry.

    "Dad?" a quite, muffled voice called out.

    Luke's eyes snapped open and fell upon his son's coherent blue gaze.

    "Ben." He breathed, joy radiating within his voice.

    He gave his father a slight lop-sided grin. "Wow, you still look like crap. Weren't you supposed to be sleeping?"

    Luke gave a wan smile. "Your tact is overwhelming, Son. Wherever do you learn such way with words?"

    "Oh, here and there." His eyes narrowed. "You've been worrying about me a lot haven't you? I can tell, the lines around your mouth and eyes. Your forehead looks a bit more wrinkled than usual and your eyes are slightly puffy."

    That was his boy, just out of a near-coma for a few hours and his astute powers of observation were just as precise.

    "Maybe."

    "Maybe, my foot." Ben muttered.

    Luke continued to smile, doing his best to give off an "everything's okay" façade.

    Ben frowned at this, studying his father. "Dad? What's going on?"

    Luke let go of Ben's hand, closing his eyes. He seemed to be focusing inward and Ben could only watch his father's facial expression and wait him out. Whatever he had to say, it would be said in Luke's time not his.

    So, Ben would wait.

    Luke opened his eyes once again and focused on his son's face. "I'll be going away for a bit."

    A startled look passed over the youth's features. "What?"

    "To Coruscant." Luke clarified. "I have to speak with the Council here—far too much is happening."

    He father grew silent once more.

    "Dad? What's going on?" He asked for the second time. "What aren't you telling me?"

    Luke remained silent as if contemplating if he was going to tell Ben, then leaned over to release the railing on his son's medward bed after a moment and lowered it. When he had it all the way down, Luke sidled onto the bed and took a decisive breath, locking gazes with his son.

    "Something has come up." He admitted.

    "Besides the fact that we're in a different time period you mean?" Ben's tone was caustic.

    Luke closed his eyes and nodded. "Yes," He said opening them. "There has been…a disturbance. A chilling aura if you will."

    "Aura?"

    "A premonition."

    Ben looked uneasy. "Yours?"

    "No, someone else's. A child's."

    "What?" He sounded astounded. "You're not serious, are you?" He seemed to search his father's face. "Dad?"

    "Dead serious." He frowned, suddenly realizing his poor choice of words. "I mean, I'm positive. It's because of what the girl said I feel is another reason I must speak with the Jedi Council."

    "Are you sure?"

    "This could be important, Ben. Whether I chose to take this serious may mean keeping you safe—and I intend to." Luke paused. "It also may hold implications of what's going to happen in this time period."

    Ben set his jaw. "So, what's actually going to happen?"

    "I wish I knew."

    "Dad?" Ben's tone had a warning in it. "What aren't you telling me? Spill."

    "I don't know. That's what I've got to figure out."

    Ben scowl deepened.

    "I don't know, Ben." He repeated softly. "If I told you now before I was sure, it would just make you worry."

    "I knew it!" Ben erupted and, sitting up straight, pounded the bedding. He winced as he felt his wound pull. "Kriff.." he croaked and bent over.

    Luke winced, seeing his son's pained expression. He got up and leaned over to help Ben back into a resting position. When Ben was lying back on the pillow and Luke had thoroughly seen to checking his wound, the Jedi Master sat back down.

    He glared at Ben in exasperation. "And that's why I didn't want to tell you anything."

    "So what was your other option, not telling me and leaving me here with strangers, while you go off gallivanting to who knows where. Or did it not occur to you that that might worry me more?"

    Luke frowned. "I just told you where I was going, and I explained what I thought you needed to know. I'm not about to give you information that might have you worrying unnecessarily. I need you to get better and I need you to heal—and you can't do that if you're worrying about me." He shot him a displeased look. "And that's all I have to say on the matter, Ben. I'm your father; I'm not accountable to you for my actions. Or did that not occur to you?"

    Ben slumped his shoulders in resignation, looking duly chastised. His eyes, however, shone as stubbornly as ever.

    Luke let out a sigh.

    "You don't need to do that."

    "What do you mean?"Luke replied, confused.

    "Act like you need to protect me from the whole galaxy. I'm not a kid anymore, Dad. I'm a Jedi Knight, for Sith's sake!"

    A Jedi Knight who has a giant gash in his stomach. Luke wanted to say, but bit back the retort. His hands clenched and unclenched as he sought to choose his words carefully.

    "I know you're not a child, Ben. I know that very well. You've grown up so much before my eyes, it would be foolish of me not recognize that. But I am still your father..."

    A groan.

    "….and I am still concerned for you. And I think I have a right to be protective at this moment, correct me if I'm wrong. You can't fight."

    Ben winced at this realization.

    "I'm not trying to rub it in, believe me." Luke said, sensing Ben's train of thought. "I have to do what I think is best for the situation at hand, I always have—and you know that, son. Trust me to say, that if I'm not giving you the full picture, I'm doing it because I judge it to be the right choice."
    He stared his father down resolutely, but Luke stared back just as hard. His son was hard-headed that was no lie.

    Luke, however, had been exercising the art of stubbornness long before Ben was born, and he was not one to back down so easily. He could not be Jedi Grand Master if he were to collapse under the slightest pressure. He'd already done that once already with Ben—and look where it had landed the boy. No, this time Luke would have to stand firm.

    "Ben…" He began.

    Ben sighed. "Fine, Dad. You win."

    Luke's jaw dropped at Ben's willing resignation.

    "I win?" He echoed. "Just like that?" Luke frowned. "What's going on here, Ben? It's not like you to give up so easy."

    "No, it's not." Ben admitted. "Don't mistake my giving up as entirely giving in, Dad. I want to go with you—but I can't in my state. This wound on my stomach hurts like hell...I have to be hooked up to this pain drip just to dull it. I'd be stupid not to recognize that I'd be useless to you if I insisted on going."

    His father gave a concerned look. "You're in pain?"

    Ben shrugged. "Only when the meds stop working. Not so much when I'm in a drugged haze, that's the only time I seem to escape it."

    Luke clenched his eyes shut and drew in a shuddering breath. "I'm sorry, son." He apologized. "I'm so sorry…"

    He looked aghast. The thought that his boy was laid up in a medward bed with that wound in his stomach and was constantly being drugged to shut out the pain tore at his heart.

    "Dad, don't!"

    "But.."

    "Dad, no."

    Tears had welled up in Luke's eyes. "I'm sorry, I just…"

    "It'll be all right. I'm going to be okay. All right?" Ben gripped his father's hand. "All right?"

    Luke nodded. "All right." He responded hoarsely. "If you're sure."

    "I am." Ben assured him gruffly.

    "All right." Luke smiled and slid off the bed. He stared at the youth. "I won't be gone long. A week at maximum."

    "I know."

    "If you have any need."

    "Dad."

    "Right." His breathing was anxious. "I know in my mind that you're all right, and that you have the best of care here. But I'm still very nervous. If anything happened to you…"

    "Dad…"

    "Right."

    Ben rolled his eyes. "Look, I'll be fine. You said it yourself; I'm in the best of care. So go do what you have to do." He reached out to pat his father's arm. "You wouldn't be my dad if you didn't go—and if there's anything to this girl's premonition I think you need to check it out."

    "Okay." Luke backed up. "I'm going to go then. I've got to go meet with Kol."

    "Master Skywalker?" Ben said with a raised eyebrow.

    Luke scowled. "Yes, Master Skywalker. I know it's not easy to accept, but I don't sense any deception. I trust him."

    "So you believe he's your great-grandson?"

    "And your grandson." Luke countered.

    Ben made a face.

    "I know it's not easy to swallow, but that is the true fact."

    "Grandson..." Ben breathed. "It's…so surreal. I mean, I don't even have a girlfriend. Not anymore anyway." He smiled sadly. "Aw, forget it. Doesn't matter now, right?" He stared into his father's eyes. "You get going. I'll be fine; I have a lot of healing to do right? I'll just…heal."

    "All right. Remember if you need anything, these people are here to help you."

    "I'll help too." A voice spoke from behind.

    Luke turned and spotted Cade lurking in the doorway.

    "Cade."

    The youth shuffled forward.

    "If you don't mind that is." He murmured, casting a look toward Ben.

    "No, no." Luke shook his head then smiled. "That would be perfect."

    Ben eyed the other boy curiously.

    "Ah, Ben..." He ushered the boy forward. "This is Cade, Kol's son."

    "Son?" Ben repeated, still eyeing him. "Then that would make you…my great-grandson." Even though he had said them, the words still sounded strange to his mouth.

    "Yeah," Cade shrugged. "I guess so."

    "I guess you're better than talking to myself."

    Cade's jaw-dropped.

    "He didn't mean anything by that." Luke assured, feeling Cade's surprise. "Trust me, he's happy to have someone to talk to."

    "Dad's right. I'll go barvy if all I do is lie here in this bed." Ben confirmed. "Besides, you look like you could tell me a few things about this place. Everyone else wants to keep me here like some hot house plant."

    Cade said, "I can do that."

    Ben grinned wide. "Great."

    "When I can. I have….classes during the day from sunrise to late afternoon."

    "Right. You're a…apprentice?"

    "Yes, but Master Sazen says I'm doing remarkably well."

    "That's good."

    "Well, I'd like to keep you company tonight, but I have to go."

    "I understand. Maybe tomorrow."

    "Yeah, that'd be bombin'."

    Ben raised an eyebrow.

    "I think it's similar to astral." Luke informed.

    "Oh, yeah…astral." Ben agreed.

    Cade nodded back briskly. "Well, I'd better go." He said then disappeared through the doorway.

    Ben watched his father. "You've got to go too, right?"

    Luke looked back. "Yes," He walked forward and leaned over. "But I'll be back."

    "I know."

    Luke nodded then kissed his son on the forehead. Ben scrunched it, seeming uncomfortable with his father's open display of affection.

    "Sorry, I forget you're a teenager sometimes. Forgive a sentimental old man."

    Ben rolled his eyes.

    Luke shook his head ruefully, "Insolent child. I really should box your ears, but I think you've taken enough abuse for awhile."

    "Yeah, yeah. Now, quit stalling and go." He made a flick of his hand.

    "I am, I've got to get some stuff together." Luke squeezed Ben's hand. "Don't give the staff any trouble.

    "I won't. Go."

    "I'm out." Luke responded and left.
    .

    .
    Luke made it to the room just as Kol was arriving from the opposite end of the corridor.

    "Ready?" Kol asked, meeting Luke in front of his door.

    "Ready. I've informed Ben that I'm leaving, your boy Cade is going to keep him company when he can, so Ben doesn't completely go stir crazy."

    "Good." Kol keyed the entry.

    Luke stepped through the door. "I'll just go get my lightsaber."

    "You'll find a spare change of clothes in your drawer." Kol informed him. "And a bag for travel with necessary items."

    Luke turned back, a question on his lips.

    "I had your things laundered."

    "Thank you." He walked into the anteroom, Kol following him. The two split around the table, going into their respective rooms.
    Luke gathered the necessary items, attaching his lightsaber to his belt before meeting Kol. The man had a gunny sack tossed over his shoulder.

    "I've informed Sazen that I'll be go for a few days, so he'll look after Cade. Let's be going shall we?"

    "Yeah."
    .

    .
    "Here she is…" Kol announced. "The Roundabout."

    Luke gaped. "That's…."

    "Impossible?" he turned to look at Luke. "Not if you have the schematics. What you're looking at is a replica of the Jade Sabre.."

    "It's remarkable" Luke swallowed a lump in his throat.

    He never thought he'd see it after all these years, the ship that had been destroyed so long ago in the Yuuzhan Vong War. A wedding present to his wife, Mara.

    Jade Sabre.

    As much as the Jade Shadow meant to him, because it was her ship; it was not the Sabre.

    "Go ahead." Kol urged.

    Luke nodded. He approached the ship and ran a hand over her exterior, marveling at the feel. It had a different feel, but it was like the Sabre had been brought back from the scrap-pile.

    "It's an exact replica…down to the last nut and bolt."

    Luke watched as the ramp lowered.

    "Of course, I've added a few things."

    Kol tucked the remote back and made a go ahead gesture. "Get on board."

    "Thank you." He murmured and started up the boarding ramp.

    Entering behind him, Kol said, "I suspect you know where the cabins are. Yours is on the right all the way to the back."

    "I'll just go put this away then."

    "I'll start her up while you do that." Kol responded and headed toward the cockpit.

    Luke headed toward the cabins, navigating expertly past the galley and lounge area. He could feel the past come flooding back to him. He remembered Mara touring the ship for the first time; excitement and wonder in her eyes and voice. He located the room on the right and entered in, a certain familiarity washed over him as he stepped into it, surveying his surroundings. The place was pristine yet homey. The ship was obviously well cared for.

    Luke set his bag on the bed.

    This was his and Mara's quarters when they'd traveled aboard the Sabre during the Yuuzhan Vong War-well, not the exact quarters but a precise replica. The nostalgia overwhelmed him and the images flooded back. He remembered his wife lying on a bed similar to the one that was before him. A bout of nausea had over taken her and she had gone to lay down; her belly large with child.

    She had been miserable, lamenting how this late in the pregnancy she was still getting sick.

    He would then sit on the bed next to her and rub her back, brush the hair out of her face, and whisper how everything was going to be fine. Whereafter, she would tell him straight where he could go and where he could take his false empathy.

    "Mara..." He whispered brokenly.

    "LUKE!" Kol's voice called back. "Are you coming back?"

    Luke was broken out of his reverie. He quickly stowed his bag away in the closet and made his way back to the cockpit. He took his seat and strapped himself in.

    Had Kol known? He wondered.

    "I'm sorry." Kol apologized, seeing the look on his great-grandsire's face.

    "It's all right. It feels good strangely as much as it pains me."

    Kol studied him awhile longer.

    "Don't worry about me." Luke assured. "I'm ready."

    "Kol nodded and flicked a button. "Control, this is Roundabout ready to lift off."

    "Roundabout acknowledged. Have a safe trip, Master Skywalker."

    "Thank you, Control."

    Kol clicked off and started to pull back on the yoke. The Roundabout lifted off the ground and soon they had cleared the Academy hanger. Luke leaned back intent to relax until they hit the planets' atmosphere.

    "We should make Coruscant in two days time. Just relax." Kol said.

    "I intend to."

    .

    Once the Roundabout had broken into the stratosphere, Kol made the jump to lightspeed and put the ship on autopilot.

    "Why did you do it?" Luke asked suddenly.

    Kol turned to him. "What do you mean?"

    "Rebuild Mara's ship. What possessed you to?" Luke was trying to keep the pain from entering his voice.

    His descendant sighed heavily.

    "It does bother you." He stated matter-of factly. "I had the Sabre's reconstructed to...honor my great-grandmother. You see, Great-Grandfather, I respect Mara Jade Skywalker a great deal-just as much as I respect you. I always have. In fact, I have always taken pride in my family. In our accomplishments, in who we are. My family's legacy is important to me; one I'm passing on to my own son. I want him to understand and never disregard where he comes from, to always be proud of his lineage. Force knows I've hammered family lore and history into his skull." His eyes met Luke's resolutely.

    "I will always be proud of who I am, Great-Grandfather. I am proud to be a Skywalker."
    .

    .
    Last edited by EmeraldJediFire, Nov 3, 2013
    Gemma likes this.
  3. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    You really are stellar at the parent-child gambit of emotions =D= :) =D= Underneath the snark is genuine caring. A complete and utter love and affection.
  4. immertreu Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2012
    star 1
    I know nothing about the Skywalker descendants apart from their names (I don't read the comics), but this story is absolutely intriguing. I couldn't stop reading - I should have gone to bed ages ago.

    Absolutely love the family elements, and the idea of what might become of the Skywalkers, the Jedi Order, the academy...

    I'm glad Ben is recovering. I'm sure he and Cade will get along perfectly. :p

    Could you tag me when you continue this, please?
  5. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    @Jade_eyes Thanks! I love playing the family element here..I like doing it in all my fics..but I think its the strongest here...the willingness of a father to go the extra mile for his son.

    @immertreu There ya go! I love them too! The dialogue between Ben and Cade is going to be interesting cause he's Ben's grandson.

    .
    Chapter 12
    .
    It was their second day and they had retreated to opposite ends of the ship. Kol was relaxing in his cabin, recording a memo to send back to Ossus when a knock came at the door.

    "It's open…" He murmured and shut off the device.

    Luke wandered in and looked around, taking in the surrounding; an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia coming over him.

    "Something wrong, Luke?"

    "Just wanted to see if you wanted something to eat? I'm a bit hungry myself, so I decided to whip something up."

    "That sounds good." Kol murmured, sitting up. When the older man idled in the doorway, Kol sighed . "Luke, please come in. Sit."

    "I'm fine, Kol."

    "No," His descendant denied. "You're not. Something is bothering you, I can tell."

    "I suppose it's….the ship; still." He sighed, sitting down. "It's kind of ridiculous….She's been gone for four years now."

    "It doesn't matter how long. She was your wife, Great-Grandfather. I don't claim to know what you're going through. I can't even imagine your pain."

    He set the datapad aside. "If I were to have lost my wife…" He shook his head, smiling sadly. "I assume I'd be feeling similarly to how you are."

    Luke looked at him piercingly, noting the forlorn tone in the younger man's voice.

    He said, "Maybe not…but I have this strange feeling, you are familiar with it to some extent. Aren't you?"

    "I'm not sure what you're talking about." Kol brushed it aside.

    Luke frowned.

    "Don't lie to me, Kol. Most importantly, don't lie to yourself."

    Kol looked back. Leave it be, please. His look said.

    "Very well," Luke relented. "I won't push it any farther, but, Kol…"

    His great-grandson looked him in the eye.

    "…If you ever want to talk about it. I am here." He got up. "I'll go fixed that food now."

    "Luke!" Kol called getting up, feeling utterly horrible. "I want you to understand, it has nothing to do with you. What I mean is, you're not at fault. It's my own problem to deal with." He put a hand on Luke's shoulder. "Please don't take it the wrong way."

    Luke turned, smiling. "No, it was pushy of me. Mara always use to say I was too pushy for my everyone else's good." He gave a small laugh. "Not excluding my own. I suppose that's why it took us so long to come around to one another; among other things."

    "You really did love her, didn't you?"

    With misty eyes, Luke said, "I still do."
    .
    Luke and Kol met later that day to discuss the matter at hand, the one they hadn't talked about since they'd left.

    "That child's words trouble you, don't they?" Kol asked.

    "A bit," Luke admitted. "I'd be lying if I said it didn't." He took a breath. "I know none of us have our future guaranteed to us—and I'm…not afraid…" He
    let the unspoken words trail off.

    "I understand."

    "No, I'm afraid you don't. You see, my life is nothing in the grand scheme of things." He paused. "I do not fear for my own life, as much as I fear for my son's. At this moment, ensuring his safe return is what matters most to me,and if these child's words have any effect on me, then they have an effect on him—and I can't let that happen. I must take her words into consideration for Ben's sake."

    Kol smiled slowly.

    "What?"

    Kol replied, "Well, I was just wagering that you love Ben as much as I love my own son."

    "Then you know what it's like to have this need to protect him."

    Kol was silent.

    "Kol?"

    "Just take caution, Great-Grandfather." Kol cautioned. "I understand your need and desire to protect Ben. I'm a father myself, but you know how feelings can manipulate you."

    Luke replied, "I'm well aware of what guiding your actions by your feelings does." His voice was tad rigid. "I made that mistake with Lumiya, I won't make it again, I assure you, Kol."

    "Forgive me. I just don't want to see you make a mistake. We have to think of this level-headedly."

    "No forgiveness is needed. You said what needed to be said and you were correct." He picked up his glass and took a sip. "Now, the question is what to do about her words. They're vague, but I can't bring it upon myself to dismiss them completely. Her words cannot only affect the course of my future but others."

    Kol raised his brows.

    "Yes, that is something to consider." He leaned back. "You know, I've been contemplating why the Force brought you here. Could it have been for this reason, I wonder."

    "That's a possibility." Luke admitted, nodding sagely. "If so, taking that girl's words into context, then something might possibly happen; something we're unaware of."

    Kol nodded. "Something dark perhaps?"

    "Maybe. When is it ever not dark?"

    The younger Skywalker chuckled. "You may have a point. " Kol got up. "But what are we overlooking…"

    "I don't know, but we will find out."

    Silence fell between them; each seeming to be drawn in on themselves.

    Kol finally spoke, "For what it's worth. I do understand your need to protect your son. Because I understand failure as well."

    "Failure?" His voice rose questioningly.

    "Yes, I failed... my wife…"

    This revelation astounded Luke, but he knew it shouldn't have. "I did wonder where his mother was." Luke said slowly.

    "Not here."

    "I'm sorry."

    "Don't be." Kol said dismissively. "She's not dead, my friend. She's alive, just not with us."

    "Oh." Luke hesitated.

    "Go ahead." Kol said. "I don't mind you asking me where she is." He paused. "My wife walked out on me ten years ago. She believed she couldn't be a fit mother for Cade because of who he was. She doubted any normal woman as herself could take care of a Force-sensitive."

    "She wasn't Force-sensitive then."

    "No. I'd met her during a mission we worked on together. You should have seen us back then; we were like oil and water. Frankly, we probably still are.

    But there was something about her that drew me to her; we were handed a dangerous lot, but we survived and it changed us.

    "She was a stubborn woman; didn't pretty much care for me in the beginning. She was pretty strait laced, was all about getting the job done. I won't say I was naive but I did see things different from her. But I was still too young to deal with her at that period in time; I'd never met a woman like her. Maybe it was because of her background, maybe it was because of my nature, but I was more prone to losing my temper back then.

    "Given her attitude back then, it's no wonder I put up with her for as long as I did. Or she put up with me as long as she did. In the end, I suppose it was a weird chance of fate that brought us together. After the mission, I married her—crazy as it sounds."

    "Not too crazy," Luke amended with a smile. "It's funny. You and this woman, it sounds a lot like my Mara and I."

    "You could say that."

    "What do you mean?"

    "I'll show you." He got up and retreated to his cabin then came back a few seconds later with a locket in hand. Kol laid it on the table and carefully opened it; a holo sparing to life. "This is my wife." It revealed a blonde woman with short hair and green eyes. She had a boy cradled in her arms. "Her name is Morrigan Corde and that's Cade of course."

    "Is?"

    "We never got the marriage annulled or got divorced. She just walked about one day, left me to take care of Cade and never looked back. She blamed on her inability to take care of Skywalker child, I blame it on her unwillingness to fully commit to family. You see…" Kol closed the locket. "When I met my wife, she was an agent of the Galactic Empire; an intelligence agent to be more precise."

    "Empire?" Luke breathed.

    "Yes. My wife was devout to the Galactic Empire, and she still is to this day. You see, when I said I blame it on her unwillingness to commit to family, I meant that her pride as an Imperial agent always seemed to take priority over all else. Even our son. Morrigan wanted to climb the military ranks, become someone more than just a field agent. I suppose in the end, despite the fact that she loved me, her need to succeed in the Empire took precedence over being my wife and Cade's mother."

    Luke didn't say anything for a moment, awed and stunned by the revelation.

    "Does Cade know this?" Luke asked, recovering.

    "No," Kol denied brusquely. "And he never will. I told Cade his mother died when he was a baby."

    Kol's words hit Luke like a sledge hammer. He shook his head, not able to disguise the horror that entered his voice at that moment. "I don't understand…"

    He shrugged his shoulder. "What was my alternative: letting my son know his mother abandoned him when he was still child. How could I have told him
    that? That his mother didn't care for him enough to try and raise him." Hurt was plain in Kol's speech and on his face. "She didn't even say goodbye to him. He was asleep and she didn't even go see if before she vanished from his life.

    "In a lot of ways, I blame myself. Perhaps if I'd gotten him from his crib and brought him to her, she would have stayed. It was only because she didn't see him, that it gave her the resolve to leave."

    "Doesn't that prove she did love him though?" Luke said. "If it was difficult for her..."

    "I know she loved him, Luke. I don't deny that, but she still left him—and me—he wouldn't have understood. I can't tell him now…it's gone on far too long."

    "Does he ask about her?"

    "Not too often. I don't think it hurts him, maybe because he never really knew her." Kol sighed. "He's got nothing to anchor his memories.
    At Luke's glance he said, "I did what I thought was right; what would spare my son from emotional destruction. So, please don't lecture me."


    "I won't."

    Kol turned his eyes downward.

    "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have snapped at you."

    "No, it was none of my business."

    "I made it yours the moment I told you." Kol leaned back. "If we're to face whatever is out there, we need to have trust in each other."

    "Agreed."

    Kol nodded. "Well, I'll go check our course." He said and headed for the cockpit, drink in hand.

    Luke watched the other man leave; his heart aching at the thought of his own son. How lost Ben was without his mother's guidance all these years. He would have done anything to give Ben his mother back, but Kol had denied Cade his from the very start. No, he couldn't hold this against Kol. Luke could never presume to walk in Kol's shoes anymore than Kol could walk in his. To presume such would be arrogant, and Luke was not that.

    After all, how could he judge the other man when the choices he'd made in his life weren't perfect either? Kol had made the choice that he had thought was correct. Would he have done any different if the same happened between him and Mara and it was Ben's heart that was at stake.
    He didn't know.

    What he did know, was that Kol had trusted him with that information—information he doubted many knew—and Luke would not let that trust be taken lightly.
    .
    .
    Krayt walked through the substructure of his palace on Korriban. He pondered what measures to take against the one factor he had not foreseen the Grand Master of the Jedi Order, Luke Skywalker.

    And why did Skywalker's presence rankle him so, well the explanation was very simple.

    You see, contrary to most popular belief, Luke had not lived through his encounter with Abeloth that day. He had died, leaving the Order without its beloved Grand Master and a son without the last parent he'd had. Surprisingly, the youth did not crumble like Krayt thought he would have. He thought surely Ben Skywalker would self-destruct the way all Skywalkers tended to—but he had not.

    And that had infuriated Krayt. He had felt the boy's clear anguish and despair; had felt his heart crack. The youth had quickly assumed a more prominent role in the Jedi Order, his cousin after becoming a Jedi Master had backed him. His father's death had changed him just as his mother's had, having the boy grow even older than he had been.

    He had hoped to manipulate the boy, to restart the destruction that pathetic Darth Caedus had started years ago. Ben Skywalker, though, had only become stronger not weaker as Krayt had first assumed.

    But the Order was a different story all together. The destruction of Coruscant earned the Jedi exile from the planet and anti-Jedi sentiment in the citizenry's eyes. Without their Jedi Grand Master to vouch for the Order, the lone person who was the most trust-worthy in public eyes, the Jedi's path to recovery had been long and shaky. The Jedi Order was chipped away bit by bit; even with key figure like Wynn Dorvan vouching for them.

    He doubted even Kol Skywalker knew the whole truth or else that pompous Jedi wouldn't think so much of the Great Luke Skywalker.

    "A constant thorn in my side," He muttered, clenching his fist. In subverting the death that would befall him at the end of the battle between the Jedi
    and the Lost Tribe, Skywalker had inserted himself into the middle of Krayt's operation!

    "Master?" Darth Talon approached carefully. "Is something the matter?"

    "No, nothing's wrong."

    "You are thinking about that Jedi again." She guessed.

    "Perceptive, Darth Talon."

    "No, Master, it was quite obvious." She walked around to face him. "Why do you let some old Jedi worry you so?"

    "HE DOES NOT WORRY ME!" He roared. "Do not presume to know my thoughts, Talon!"

    "Of course not, Lord Krayt," She simpered huskily. "You are all powerful, no Jedi—Grand Master or otherwise—stands a chance against you."

    Krayt leered. "Your conniving nature is becoming, Talon, but I would hold your tongue in the future. Or I will have it held for you." He pushed passed the Twi'lek, nearly knocking her over. "Back to your post!"

    "Yes, my Lord." Talon purred.
    .
    .
    Maladi surveyed the Vong-infested planet with pleasure. It had gone just according to her Master's plan. Oh, how pleased he would be at her success!

    "Does it please you?" Zenoc Quan, the Yuuzhan Vong shaper hissed.

    "Very much so." She said, turning and flashing him her teeth. "You have done well, Zenoc Quah. I'll be sure to inform my master of your continued usefulness. I'm sure you'll be…rewarded."

    "I am grateful." He acknowledged, bowing his head. "But I would have done so without much reward. My reward is regaining the pride of my people which your One Sith Order has made possible." He cackled. "I cannot wait to see the look on that Jeedai's face when he sees how miserably his little endeavor has failed.

    "Have you encountered her recently?"

    He knew who she was referring to—the traitor who had aided the Jeedai to reform the worlds, who collaborated with the Jeedai Skywalker to form the
    Ossus Project. "The traitor?" He said dismissively. "I have seen no sign of her as of recently. She and her Jeedai consort of hers do not visit frequently. They have left this planet to its own devices, under the assumption that their plan has continued to prosper."

    Maladi took note of the way he sneered the word Jedi and even more closely how he seemed to spit out the name, Skywalker. She also noted his use of the word consort. It could be taken many ways; the most popular being companion or spouse. Yet, the way Zenoc Quah stressed the word; it was far more obvious he was leaning toward spouse. She figured it was his way to verbally degrade both Nei Rin and the Jedi that had cost his people everything one hundred years ago.

    He had said so much years ago when she'd first pointed it out.

    "That Jeedai of hers is nothing but a filthy human and the fallen Shaper, Nei Rin is nothing but a traitor to her race; nothing more than a common whore who prostitutes her service to that Jeedai." He had declared. "I shall not see our people's techniques fall into the hands of those cursed Jeedai!"

    It was quite petty really. Though as long as the Yuuzhan Vong's pettiness worked to the One Sith's advantage, she paid it no mind.

    Maladi turned back to him. "Very good then. Continue with your work, Zenoc Quah. I shall be calling on you within a year, and then we can put our plan to retake this galaxy—and cement the Jedi's disgrace once and for all."-

    Zenoc bowed. "I look forward to it."

    Maladi took one last look at the planet before stepping on board her ship once more. She stepped into the pilot's area and turned to her companion.

    "I hope you found something to amuse yourself."

    Darth Nihl turned to her. "Not really." He wrinkled his nose. "Do you really entrust that little rodent?"

    "The Master trusts him, that's all we need to be reassured."

    "Yet, we are about to go against the Master's wishes." He pointed out.

    "I care for only that I see with my own eyes." Maladi replied, her lips curling. "So, we will go to see if this elusive and famed Jedi really exists…"

    "And?" Nihl smiled cruelly.

    "We shall see he causes Lord Krayt no trouble." She slipped into the pilot's chair. "Now, let's get off this planet. It makes my skin crawl."
    .
    .
    Ben Skywalker eyed the woman as she hovered over the tray. She'd been seeing to him frequently, often accompanied by Cade and a little girl named Adelle. Cade and the girl weren't here this time. It was just him and Shion.

    She had just finish, changing his bandages and was now checking his vitals.

    "All looks good." She reported.

    "Great, now when can I get out of this bed?"

    Shion shook her head. "Not so fast. You're still recuperating."

    "But I've been doing that for four days haven't I?" Ben pointed out. "Dad would already be up and about, so dunk me in bacta and let's get me moving."

    She eyed him curiously. "I'll have to talk to Master Staad about that. I don't have enough clearance to authorize a bacta dip."

    Ben heaved a sigh of frustration.

    "I know this is hard, but you have to heal." She said, coming around from the opposite side of the bed. "I have strict orders from Master Staad himself—not to mention your father—that under no circumstances am I to let you talk me into anything that would put your life in danger."

    Ben tried a different tactic. "Then let me talk to Master Staad: you know, plead my case."

    "I shall get Master Staad, after that it's all out of my hands."

    Shion left and came back with Staad two minutes later.

    "Now, what seems to be the problem?" The Mon Cal healer asked.

    "I want to get out of this bed. I'm tired of laying here."

    "Do you now?" He sounded amused.

    "Yes." Ben replied tersely. "It totally bites. I'm going to go barvy if I stay here."

    "What do you expect me to do?"

    "Like I told Shion. Get me some bacta and dunk me in it. I should be good."

    "You've re-opened your wound already. I don't advise it."

    "Bacta was meant to heal wounds." He responded then pulled up his hospital down. "See, no blood, just puss."

    Staad turned to Shion. "What is your diagnosis?"

    "It's true what he says, there is no more blood forthcoming. The menial methods of healing seemed to be slowing down his progress. A bacta dip might speed up the process and get Ben ambulatory quicker." She added, "He'd be less likely to re-injure himself if we schedule a bacta dip."

    Staad nodded and turned back toward Ben. "Very well, young Skywalker. I'm going to authorize a bacta dip. Though I have to warn you, it isn't pleasant. The taste of bacta is rather foul.

    Ben chuckled.

    The two beings looked at each other.

    "Sorry." Ben stifled his laughter. "I didn't mean to laugh. You just reminded me of something my dad use to say."
    They looked at him expectantly.

    "See back in the day—oh, heck even now—my dad was second to none getting a bacta dip. He used to say, "If bacta tastes foul, then don't taste it."

    Blank looks.

    "Yeah, it wasn't funny to me either." Ben said, grinning. "Dad always did have a weird sense of humor. Then again, with as many blows he's taken, I'm surprised he functions at all."

    At the continue black looks.

    "What?"

    He could see Shion was trying to suppress her laughter.

    Staad came out of his reverie. "Yes, well." He shot Shion a chastising glance. "Schedule a bacta dip for Jedi Skywalker, Ms. Matavia. I'm personally assigning you to his care. See that he doesn't do anything to destroy the progress."

    Shion bowed, watching as Master Staad retreated from the room. She turned back to Ben .

    "Well, you heard, Master Staad. Let's get you dipped—and no funny business."

    "Of course not." Ben said with a smile. "What do you think I am, a moron?"

    "I'm not sure. I haven't fully decided."

    "Ouch, lady. Harsh."
    .
    .
    JediFalcon likes this.
  6. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Shion/Ben ;) looking forward to how that proceeds. Loving the Kol/Luke dialogue/conversations. They reveal much =D=
  7. immertreu Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2012
    star 1
    [face_laugh] Priceless! Ben really should learn to keep his mouth shut once in a while.

    Poor Kol, poor Cade. Being a Skywalker is never easy, despite the beautiful name.

    Thanks for the update! :)
  8. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    Jade_eyes: Yeah, it does seems that way doesn't it. I haven't gotten to that part in the fic yet..but its probably going to eventually come out..Shion is older than him though. lol He's hitting on an older woman. I think their conversation was one that was eventually going to come up...I thought it had to
    immertreu: Seems to be an affliction for both Skywalker males doesn't it.? I think Skywalker's in general have their own darkish problems.

    @Jade_eyes, @immertreu
    .
    Chapter 13
    .
    "We'll be coming out of hyperspace soon." Kol announced, glancing sideways at Luke. "Should be at the Temple by sundown."

    The Temple. It was only two months ago, but it seemed forever since he was banished from Coruscant; now, in an odd strike of luck, he was able to return. He wondered how much Coruscant would have changed, if the Temple itself would have changed. The Academy on Ossus hadn't.

    "How will we get in?"

    "Secret passageways of course, Great-Grandfather."

    Luke nodded.

    "Though we could walk through the front door."

    "I thought we were trying to hide my presence."

    "Yes, I don't want the whole Order knowing, but no one at the Academy seems to have recognized your face. I think it will be the same on Coruscant."

    "Why is that?" Luke asked curiously.

    "I suspect it has to do with you being believed dead for so many years." Kol said, his mood jovial. "It probably also has to do with your image being not too openly publicized. Stories were often passed down of you, and your notary persistence to stay out of holo-photographers limelight was included among them. It's the reason that we don't have many holos of you—and that's the reason we tell the students when they ask. Most of the ones we do have are of you in your younger years. As you became older you seemed to have had a pension for avoiding the holo reporters by then."

    "Now you tell me."

    "Yes, it slipped my mind." He paused. "I still think its best we don't go broadcasting your existence, but I don't think it'll be that dangerous to have you walk through the front door."

    "All right." He nodded.

    Kol watched Luke carefully. "Ready?"

    "As I'll ever be."
    .
    .
    The Roundabout entered a lower level hangar of the Jedi Temple. Kol brought her down gently to touch the floor.

    "There we go; perfect landing as usual."

    "So I'm going through the front door, eh, Kol?"

    "Well, the hangar." He gestured dismissively, powering down the ship. "Same difference—a mere technicality."

    "From a certain point of view, hm?"

    "Exactly." Kol unstrapped himself and disengaged the boarding ramp's seal. "Leave your things here for now; we'll head straight for the Council chambers."
    Luke followed his descendant out of the ship and into the hangar. Again, it was just as he remembered it; almost as if he had never really left. He took a deep breath, looking around, watching people milling. One thing he spotted was missing: StealthXs.

    "No StealthXs?" He asked.

    "Decommissioned; the Senate felt later on that the use of StealthX was unnecessary for the Jedi, despite the Council's protests. I assume they felt threatened by us having such a starfighter."

    Luke shook his head. "What happened?"

    "I cannot say; let's just say that things did not go as planned."

    Luke had an urge to press the issue, but had a feeling that Kol would not be any more forthcoming than when he first asked. Instead he remained silent. They took the turbo lift up to the main level then took another to Jedi Council level.

    "Are you sure they'll be there?"

    "Positive. I told them we'd be there shortly after we came out of hyperspace." He frowned, examining Luke. "Are you all right?"

    "I'm good."

    "Sure?"

    A glint appeared in Luke's eye. "Positive."

    Luke and Kol stepped out of the turbo lift and approached the door to the Council chamber. Kol could feel his great-grandsire's spirit lifting; this excited feeling thrumming through him.

    "I thought I'd never be able to return," he whispered. "I didn't want to ever leave this place you know."

    "You did what you thought was best for the Order at the time, Great-Grandfather."

    "It was either that or let Daala persecute Kyp. I had to do it; I had to let myself be made an example of so the rest of the Order didn't have to pay for my foolishness." He took a breath. "Besides, I needed to know why Jacen did what he did. Why he thought the murder of my wife was justified."

    "I know," Kol looked ahead. "That will have to wait though."

    "Yes," Luke agreed. "More is at stake now than what's in the past. Let's continue."

    Kol nodded and pressed into the room, pushing through the Council room entrance way Seated in the large Council chamber were the three beings which Luke had met previously via holo-transmission.

    "Maste Saa, Master K'Krukh, Master Qua, allow me to reintroduce you to my esteemed Great-Grandfather, Luke Skywalker."

    Luke stifled the urge to roll his eyes at this.

    Luke bowed his head low. "It's a pleasure once again."

    "Please," Master Saa advised. "Be seated."

    "Thank you."

    Luke took a seat across the room from them nearest to the door. Kol, instead of taking a seat with the other Masters like Luke assumed, took a seat next to him.

    "Now, K'Kruhk started, his large snout snuffling. "Where do we begin?"

    "That is the question, isn't it?" Kol murmured. "We could talk about how we're going to get him back?"

    "But can you?" Luke responded.

    "What?" came the response from the four other Masters.

    "Can you return me to my time? We're not sure what brought me here…other than my desire not have my son die. Anyway, that's not the most important thing at the moment. My son is not in danger anymore. But I fear this era is…"

    "What do you mean, Grand Master?" The Neti Master inquired.

    "I mean, I fear there's something great that's coming to...possibly destroy me. I know it sounds a bit far-fetched but with my track record all these decades, I wouldn't put it passed fate to try me. It will come, I feel it. I don't know if my presence here is responsible for the danger about to befall or I am merely a victim of circumstance, but I fear it will come regardless…"

    "From whence do you draw your fears?" Master Qua asked. "I sense there is more behind your words."

    "I draw my fear from the words of a young initiate….It is true she is but a child, but I see within her the truth….she foreshadowed my possible fate in this era."

    "And you believe this child."

    "I believe her powers of foresight are genuine, yes, and not to be so easily to be dismissed." He took a breath. "I know it seems small, but I feel this great urgency in her words and cannot dismiss them."

    K'Kruhk snorted, "Yes, it is a grave matter to put one's belief in." He focused on Luke. "You believe this child is gifted with Force-visions?"

    "I do, Master K'Kruhk. Maybe, not in the way others might perceive them, but I do feel she has a talent."

    "You have no further indication what it might be more precisely?"

    "No, I'm sorry." Luke apologized.

    The room fell silent, the Masters contemplating all this. Luke interlaced his fingers and bowed his jhead, intent on meditating for a moment. Of course they were skeptical, even the child's vision sounded strange to his ears….but inwardly he felt there was more to Adelle than met the eye.

    "What will you do now?" Master Saa asked.

    "I'm not sure. My first decision would be to return to Ossus to where my son is convalescing." He paused. "At least that's what I want, but at this moment if I go back to Ossus I could possibly be putting him in danger. I can't have Ben drawn into what might be in the middle of a battle when he is still greatly injured. I will not."

    Master Qua tilted her head. "You must do what you feel is right, Grand Master."
    .
    "Luke….Great-Grandfather, what is wrong?" Kol asked.

    "Am I making the right choice by keeping my distance from my son—or will he feel I abandoned him. I could be trying to protect him, but what if I bring
    trouble here to the Temple..."

    "And what if the sky turns blood red and we die tomorrow." Kol countered. "The galaxy is full of what-ifs, Great-Grandfather; the important thing is we must not let those what-ifs blind us, because one might hold the truth."

    Luke laughed lightly.

    "Something funny?"

    "No, not really. It just reminds me of something I once told my wife when she first found out she was pregnant with Ben. I said something similar to her when she feared for his life."

    "Ah, yes. She suffered from the comb spores then, yes?"

    "Yes." He smiled. "Mara was always so strong, but I could feel her genuine fear when she thought of a child of ours becoming harmed by her disease. I had always known she'd make a great mother—but that moment only intensified my feelings about it. But I'm getting off topic," He looked to Kol. "You're correct. I'm using what-ifs to rush into rash decisions. I mustn't let that happen; I think we should stay here a few days and I'll meditate on it."

    "If you feel that is the best course of action."

    "I do."

    "Then we'll stay."

    "What about Nat?"

    "Nat… I suppose I should contact him, tell him we'll be here for a bit. Perhaps he'll join us."

    Luke regarded Kol. "You don't have much faith in that happening, do you?"

    Kol looked around. "Come, I'll explain back at the Roundabout."
    .
    Upon entering the starship, Kol gestured for Luke to have a seat in the lounge area. "Please, sit."

    Luke did so.

    "Before I start, can I get you anything?"

    "I'm good." Luke assured.

    Kol sighed. "Very well then," He took a seat across from his great-grandfather. "I suppose I should explain the meaning behind what I said earlier. You see, Luke, the relationship my elder brother and I have is stable, but still at times very uncertain. His leaving the Order always left a sour taste in my mouth and forever a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach. It made me sick to see him leave over something so trivial; over me. He was a good Jedi Master, but unfortunately it wasn't enough for him to be good. He never saw himself as I did. "

    "So I've heard." Luke murmured.

    "Then Nat told you."

    Luke nodded.

    "Nat always saw himself as my inferior—something that I hated because he was my older brother; I looked up to him. But I learned long ago, that sometimes even if it hurts me, I can't interfere. I must let him do what he thinks is best for him. I realized that if I were to push my wants on him, he would be unhappy—and that's something I didn't want. It is his choice, his life, and I cannot live it for him. "

    "Yes, I suppose that is so." Luke said agreeably.

    "Luke…"

    "Yes?"

    "I just want you to know, that whatever decision you make. I will support it."

    The older man's eyes radiated kindness. "Thank you, Kol."

    "My pleasure, Great-Grandfather."
    .
    .
    "Stay still." Shion demanded strictly.

    Ben muttered, "It's hard to remain still when you're bored out of your skull."

    "Well, you'll just have to deal with it. You are injured and you're to lie down and rest."

    "I'm sick of rest." Ben growled. "I've been resting for forever."

    "It's only been four days," She corrected. "Quit being so dramatic!"

    "I'm not dramatic, I'm irritated." The youth sighed and flopped back. "You think I want to be here in this stupid bed. I don't. You know the sad thing is, this is all my own fault." He covered his eyes. "Stupid, so stupid."

    Shion stopped at this. "Why do you say that?"

    "Ignore that." Ben muttered, waving his hand. "It's nothing."

    "Oh, no you don't. You said it, so it must be important." She patted the bed. "Turn around and tell me what's on your mind."

    "Why do you care?"


    "Well, I could be cleaning out your puke bin, but I decided to take care of you instead. I do it because I care—and not just because it's my job. I care if you pull out your stitches, if you're in pain." She stated, hands on her hips. "You sort of get attached to patients after you take care of them for awhile—I shouldn't but I do. So deal with the fact I care and tell me what's wrong!"

    Ben turned his eyes to face her. "You're sure?"

    "Positive." Her face softened as she sat down. "Now, tell me what you meant."

    He sighed heavily, nodding. "I met this girl. Her name is Vestara Khai. I thought we had something…between us. I really liked her a lot." Ben scoffed. "Turns out it wasn't meant to be."

    "Why do you say that?"

    "Because she's a Sith; Sith can't be trusted. I trusted her and she betrayed me. I'm in this bed because I was dumb enough to trust her. In the end, Dad was right I'm such an idiot!"

    "Ben, you're not an idiot."

    "You don't know this girl like I do. She's manipulative."

    "There must've been something about her that made you trust her. I don't believe you were that blind; something must've made you think that way."

    "I don't know. Maybe she was the only girl to notice me ever, and that I actually noticed back. During my time at the Temple, I trained a lot, girls were there, but they were an afterthought mostly."

    "So, you mean to tell me you never truly notice any of the females at the Temple?" Shion's voice was filled with disbelief.

    "I noticed them. I talked to them, but none of them really…."

    "Caught your fancy?"

    He raised a brow. "Yeah, that. Then she showed up, and she was smart and beautiful and my age. She also had a quick wit; I'd never met someone who sparred with me on verbal level that way. I guess it charmed me."

    "It's more than that, isn't it though? Something beyond your words."

    Ben laughed. "What are you psychic?"

    "No, but I am a woman; female intuition and all, as cliché as that sounds." She cocked her head. "Tell me, I won't judge you."

    He smiled sourly. "You're right, there is more to it than that. It's just she reminded me of my mom in a way. Vestara had a lot the qualities my mom had; a lot of the qualities I liked and some of the qualities I inherited." He shrugged. "Maybe that's why it was so easy to talk to her. I know it sounds weird."

    "Not so weird." Shion said. "It's often an occurrence. Sometimes you gravitate toward people who were the role models in your life."

    "Always?"

    "Not always, but it happens sometimes." At the look on his face, she said, "You really did love her, didn't you?"

    "Yeah. Stupidly."

    "It's not stupid to love someone." She countered.

    "It is if you love a Sith; someone whose been raised that way all her life. I should have known she couldn't be changed. I guess I thought I could help her…like I
    helped Tahiri. Like Dad helped Mom." He sat up, drawing one knee up gingerly. "I wanted to believe she wasn't all bad like my dad led me to believe."

    "Somehow I feel this has put a strain on your relationship."

    "Not really. Well, maybe. He kept saying that she was a Sith and was only trying to manipulate me. He's got this opinion no Sith can be trusted. He's been so closed-minded recently." He sighed, resting his forehead against his knee. "He never used to be like that before. His heart was never so hard he didn't believe someone couldn't be saved. It was because of Lumiya that his attitude toward Sith changed. " Ben knew inwardly he shouldn't be revealing so much, but he couldn't help it. "She manipulated my dad and hurt him pretty badly; it was because of her that my mother died. She wanted to hurt my dad, to wound him. He trusted her and she led my mom to being killed. I think because of her, his attitude toward Sith changed. It hardened his heart."

    Tears leaked from his eyes.

    "I miss her so much…but I know that he's been hurting more without her."

    Shion didn't even have to ask to whom Ben was referring.
    .
    .
    "Are you sure this will work?" Darth Maladi asked.

    Nihl smirked. "You doubt me? Of course it will work." He drummed his fingers. "The man we're going to see is very knowledgeable about all such goings. He can infiltrate any organization."

    Maladi frowned. "Somehow I feel you put too much faith in this lackey of yours. It's better if we handle this matter ourselves."

    "He can do what we cannot, but we also can do what I don't want him to." He scoffed. "I would never put the Grand Master's death in his hands. He's not capable of that."

    "So we are going to correct this problem? You are aware it could cause extra problems if we get ahead of ourselves and Lord Krayt gets a hold of this information."

    "Having second thoughts? How disappointing, Darth Maladi." Nihl shook his head. "Just think of it this way, if we succeed Krayt may be grateful to us for removing this obstacle and entirely forget our indiscretions."

    The Devaronian female crossed her arms over her chest. "I can only hope you're right. But for now, let's stick with finding him. I'd like to study him first, perhaps he might even make a worthy experiment."

    Nihl smiled hideously. "I like the way you think, Maladi. Perhaps an experiment to see how a Jedi Grand Master tolerates pain?"

    "Perhaps," She agreed, eyes glowing with delight.
    .
    .
    Roan Fel blocked, intercepting the lightsaber blade from Antares Draco. He parried it skillfully causing Draco to move backward, dancing out of the way of his Emperor's deadly blade.

    "What's this, Antares?" Roan commented. "Shying away."

    "Never, Your Highness." Antares stepped forward, delivering an overhead slash to reign down upon Fel.

    Antares Draco was Roan Fel's most skillful Imperial Knight; he was an exceptional pilot and extremely skilled in lightsaber combat. He fought an equal footing with the Emperor, but there were times when he found himself bested by the young Knight. Such was his skill, there was no doubt in Fel's mind that was one of the reasons he was one of his most valued Knights.

    Suddenly, Fel felt faint, his lightsaber dropping from the en guard position. Antares would have surely leaved his Emperor in two, but stopped short perceiving falsely that Fel was changing to a different tactic. When Antares was aware that this was no faint on the Emperor's part, he switched off his blade and stepped forward to catch Fel.

    "My Emperor!" He cried out.

    Fel staggered and dropped down to one knee despite Antares' efforts, his lightsaber clattering to the ground, its blade extinguishing.

    "My Emperor?" Antares said, concern in his voice. When Fel did not respond, he turned away hollering, "Bring a healer."

    A hand came up to rest on his arm. Antares turned back, studying Fel. "Emperor?"

    "No need for that, Antares. It's passed."

    "What was it?"

    Fel frowned, his brow furrowing. "That…I am not certain."
    .
  9. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    :cool: scene with Antares and Roan and enjoyed the talk about Vestara. :p
  10. SHADOW_MASTER_W Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2005
    star 1
    This truly is an interesting story.

    I love the dialogue and character interaction especially.

    I eagerly look forward to the next installment.
  11. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    Jade_eyes: I thought it was only proper I bring them in. I wanted to write Fel and the Imperial Knights; might have to go back and re-read some stuff though
    SHADOW_MASTER_W:Thank you! Here is the next installment.


    Note: This is the last written chapter I have. So it will be updated when I write another one

    .
    Chapter 14
    .
    Fel entered his chambers after sparring; he removed this armor and set it aside, dismissing his subordinate as he did. Roan looked at himself in the mirror; his black hair was disheveled and sweat coated his brow. Never before had he felt as tired as he did today. It had to have been that strange feeling he'd had earlier, somehow sapped his strength and twisted his perceptions.

    He took a seat before the mirror, breath returning to its normal rate as he assessed himself inwardly. His heartbeat was fine; it was beating fast but no more than usual after a healthy sparring session with Antares. He searched his eyes and found them to be lucid and normally responsive to visual stimuli. He brought up his hands to look at them and reflexively curled and uncurled his fingers—they showed no evidence of shaking.

    All his vital signs seemed normal. Still, he couldn't help but shake this cloying feeling in his stomach; a feeling of uneasiness which seemed to worm its way through him.

    There then came a knock at the door.

    Roan turned toward the sound and called out, "Marsiah, is that you?"

    "Yes, Father."

    The door opened up and in walked his thirteen year old daughter, Marsiah Fel. She was slender and had brown eyes and hair with that infamous Fel white streak going through it.

    "What is it, Sia my dear?"

    The pre-teen walked toward him, dressed elegantly in her long white dress a simple gold diadem gracing her brow.

    "I felt a disturbance." Sia informed him.. "Are you all right, Father?"

    "I'm quite fine. It's passed now I think."

    Marsiah seemed to search his face. "You don't look fine. You are not old father…I know you far too well. A little sparing with Antares would not leave you so drained. Tell me what leaves you so."

    Roan looked at his daughter, noting the stalwartly gaze, that notable rise of the chin, as if daring him to tell her an untruth. The way his daughter gazed at him left no doubt to her bloodlines, not just the Fels, but the Solos too and the Hapans. Fel saw a culmination of those ties in her as it was in him.

    Marisah held the baring of a princess but it was when she spoke that the part of her that was of her mother, Elliah Fel—the part of her that was Hapan—shown through.

    "I could never fool you could I?"

    She shook her head. "No, Father."

    "So much like your mother…" He murmured and held a hand out for her to come to him.

    Marsiah walked forward and gently took her father's hand. Father and daughter stared at one another for a moment before she demanded that he tell her.

    "I felt…a disturbance. It could be nothing..." He dismissed.

    "But it could be something." She countered. "If you could only see yourself; even I can see something is wrong. And you have always instructed me to go with my first instinct; so what it yours?"

    Roan sighed heavily.

    "Good question," He looked into his daughter's eyes. "The truth is…my dearest, I don't quite know."

    She smiled slowly. "But you do plan to find out, don't you?"

    Her father gave a weak smile in return. "Of course."
    .

    .
    After Kol and Luke had talked about Nat for a short period of time, Luke decided to make a com-call back to Ossus to check on Ben.

    "I'm sure the comm-codes have changed." He said, looking to Kol.

    Kol grinned. "Just a tad in these hundred odd years." He gave Luke the code.

    Luke dialed in it and sat down, eager to see how his son was doing. "Ah, Master Owen." Shion Matavia's bright face showed up. "I've been expecting you."

    Luke blinked several times. "You have?"

    "Well, I should say, Ben has been expecting you."

    "Is he doing all right?"

    "Well, if you consider grouchy and moody and anxious all right...then yes he's all right."

    Luke laughed lightly. "Sounds like Ben. He's got his mother's dislike for medwards and both of ours for lying about. I take it he's available."

    "Yes, he's been up for quite some time. I can't get him to rest…'rest…I've been resting', so he says.'."

    "Yes, that sounds like him."

    "I'll put him on." She shifted as she stood up. "Hold on, you might get a bit of static like we're disconnected, I'm going to switch over."

    There was a bit of shifting and a great amount of static as Shion switched over to the mobile unit. When she came back online, seated once more in a different area. "Still there Master Owen?"

    "Yes."

    "All right." A second later Luke was greeted with his son's face, alert blue eyes staring back at him. "There you go," She leaned in to the frame. "I've got you wired in directly to Ben, this way you can speak to him directly, but don't keep him up for too long." Shion turned as if to glare at Ben. "He still needs his rest despite what he says." With that, she got up. "I'll let you boys chat now..."

    When the door had closed and Luke was positive he and Ben were alone, he turned up his gaze to meet Ben who was staring back at him. Although Luke wasn't there in person, he could see the unhappiness in his son's eyes.

    "How're you doing?" He asked carefully.

    Ben raised an eyebrow. "As well, as can be expected seeing as how I have a giant hole in my stomach."

    "It's not a hole, Ben."

    "Okay, a gash. I don't see the difference."

    So it was going to be one of those conversations; he was going to have to deal with a moody, miserable teenager.

    "Well, you're certainly in rare form." He commented as if unfazed.

    "I'm in a medward with a giant ho-sorry gash—in my stomach—and I've got absolutely nothing to do. They won't even let me leave this bed. I'm going barvy over here, Dad!" He sighed heavily, and ruffled his own hair looking slightly miserable.

    Luke's heart ached slightly at the look of misery crossing his son's features. The boy's health was obviously improving; the color had returned to his cheeks, of course this still didn't mitigate the fact that Ben was still severely injured—and of course that didn't mitigate that fact that Ben obviously wanted out.

    "Look, I know this is hard for you, Ben, I really do—and I'm not saying that just to pacify you—but the point of the fact is you were injured very badly."

    "I feel fine." He insisted stubbornly.

    "I'm aware of that, but just because you have a little color and a little energy is no need to jump into a Gundark nest."

    For a moment, his son didn't speak, he seemed to be mulling over his father's words. "Fine." He sighed, "You win."

    "Ben, it's not about winning or losing, it's about keeping you safe and making sure you don't hurt yourself more than you are."

    "I know. I'm just so kriffin' bored out of my skull." He flashed a slight smile. "So, what's going on your end; hopefully something that'll make my day less crappy."

    "Well, I've met with the Council members here."

    "Yeah?" He seemed to perk up at this. "What'd they say?!"

    "Nothing much, we didn't get into a lot. Just discussed the basics...Including my suspicions about what the girl said; I gave them my take on it."

    "And what is your take on it, Dad?"

    His son was studying him, obviously expecting an answer. Luke gnawed at his lip in thought.

    "Dad? Look, if you're trying to protect me, stop. I've had a lot of time to think while I've been 'resting'. You may think it's a good idea to only give me half the story but I don't. I don't want to be left out of the loop on something important—especially if it concerns the galaxy or you." He gave his father a pointed look.
    "Understand?"

    Luke shook his head inwardly, noting the stubborn set of Ben's jaw. It was a trait he knew far too well; one which he'd often seen his wife display.

    "Understand?" Ben repeated.

    He looked once more into his son's resolute blue eyes and knew Ben would not fold so easily this time. He wasn't going to let his father talk himself out of talking to
    Ben about whatever was going on. His son wanted the bottom-line on the situation—and Luke knew he was going to have to tell him or else the boy would worry himself half to death.

    "You're right." He nodded. "Now, where did I leave off?"

    "You told the Council what you'd found out—about the girl—and you told them what you thought it meant."

    "I told them what I felt was coming." He concurred.

    "Dad."

    Luke took in a deep breath and locked eyes with Ben. "I think a great danger is going to come to this galaxy, and I think we—no, I—might have a lot to do with it."

    Ben frowned. "Why do you say that?" His father had a habit of assuming responsibility for all in the galaxy—even for things that weren't his fault.
    "It was the girl's words; she thought something was going to happen to me."

    "That doesn't mean that you're some harbinger of destruction."

    "Let's just say I have a bad feeling about it."

    Ben groaned. "Why did you have to say that?"

    "Because it's the truth." Luke leaned forward, pressing his hands together. "Ben, what would you have me do or think otherwise? I can't ignore this feeling I have; there's something coming…something that's bigger than me."

    His son didn't look happy, but nodded solemnly. "I know. When all's said and done…you'll always think of others before youself—you're just that type of person." He chewed is lip slightly. "So what's the plan?"

    "We wait."

    "Just wait?"

    "Yes."

    "Just wait?" Ben repeated. "That's your brilliant plan."

    "What better plan than let whatever it is out there come to us."

    "And what makes you think it will? It might just totally ignore you and continue on its merry destructive way."

    He shook his head, speaking with certainty, "It's not going to—it will come.

    "What makes you think that?"

    Luke gave his son a serious look. "Because danger will always do what it always does…it will go looking for its opposing force. It's that simple."

    Ben seemed to mull this over; a look of consternation on his face. He nodded. "All right, just don't do anything stupid, Dad, you hear me? Come back here—without any injuries." He glared at him challengingly.

    "I'll do what I have to, Ben." Luke responded. "No more, no less."

    Ben nodded once more. "That's all that I ask." He looked around. "Well, I'd better get some rest before the warden comes back." He cracked a grin.

    Luke shared a grin. "You do that; I don't need you exhausting yourself. I'll comm you and update you again; hopefully the Council and I will have figured something
    more concrete by then."

    "All right. See you, Dad."

    "Get some rest." He advised.

    "I will."

    Ben then leaned forward to switch off the link and the transmission went dead.

    Luke got up and walked back to the lounge area. Kol looked up curiously.

    "IS everything all right?" He asked.

    "Yes, as all right as it usually is—Ben's being his normal worrisome self." Luke sighed, sitting down. "He's been doing that ever since his mother died."

    "I don't suppose he would act any other way." Kol commented. "I certainly don't blame him…he's afraid for you."

    Luke nodded. "More so than I need him to be."

    “I'm sure he means well—losing his mother couldn't have been easy. He and Cade are alike in that respect only Cade has never known his. Maybe it’s my fault really. Maybe if I had tried harder…she would have stayed for him.” He sighed. “I couldn’t make her stay for him…Sometimes I have to wonder if what she felt for me was real at all.”

    Luke could hear the pain in Kol’s voice.

    “You don’t mean that.” He said softly.

    Kol looked up.

    “I don’t think you even believe that for a moment.” His great-grandsire stared at him resolutely. “I may not know her, Kol, but from what little you have told me about her. I don’t believe that that’s true. The woman you described, who you tell me married you, doesn’t sound like a woman who makes those sort of decisions lightly. She reminds me of Mara in that respect. The Morrigan you’ve described to me has a good head on her shoulder. She thinks things through to their fullest, she considers all facets.

    “She’s also loyal. She knows what she wants, isn’t that so?”

    He paused, waiting for Kol to confirm.

    Kol nodded silently.

    “So tell me, do you think your wife…which she still is if I understand you correctly…is capable of being false?”

    Silence.

    “Morrigan was…Morrigan.” He said as a way of response. “She wasn’t the most sentimental woman. She was all business when I met her, didn’t want anything to do with me. We never quite got along the second time we met. Always biting eachother’s heads off. She was hostile toward me—for no reason I thought—but wasn’t trying to be cruel. I’ll admit, I was letting my emotions dictate to me. I was easy to anger; when I was around her the first time I always seemed to lose my temper too quickly. Morrigan incited in me those types of feelings, feelings I always thought I’d kept under control so well.

    “She was always to the point with how she felt. She preferred not to play games, and to always go by the book. She was a soldier, she had that militaristic spirit. That nose to the grind-stone, all work no play façade. She didn’t like to get involved in things that were messy…that didn’t have purpose. She liked things to the point” He looked at Luke. “So, to answer your question, no she wasn’t capable of being false. What she felt was how she felt, and she would have never been able to act otherwise.”

    Luke remained silent

    “What is it about those types of women that enchant us like that?” Kol murmured, glancing at Luke.

    “I’ve asked myself that quite a bit.” Luke replied honestly.

    “Did you ever come to an answer?”

    Luke shook his head.

    “Not yet.”
    .

    .
    Darth Nihl stepped back from the informant, "Are you sure?"

    "Positive," the former Shamed One said. "The Roundabout made planet fall a few hours ago."

    In addition, to the Yuuzhan Vong Shaper, the Maladi also employed other Vong, one's like Zenoc Quah who were resentful of the events long ago. She found that as opposed to human operatives or other aliens, the Yuuzhan Vong were much better to work with, they had less ties to the galaxy over all which made them exemplary for this type of work—and the Shamed Ones, or whatever they were now, were perfect for this sort of silent infiltration. After all, who was to pay attention to him?

    Maladi frowned. "But Skywalker rarely finds himself on Coruscant." She turned to Nihl, "Must be important for him to go to Coruscant."

    "It can't be Wayland." Nihl said. "There's no sign of Nei Rin approaching the planet recently."

    "Could it be the disturbance our Master felt?" Maladi wondered.

    "A possibility." He looked to the Vong. "Anything further; is it possible he was headed for the Jedi Temple?"

    The Devaronian scoffed. "Why else would he have come to Coruscant? Sight-seeing." She seemed to sneer this last part.

    Nihl ignored Maladi's scorn.

    "The fact that Kol Skywalker has sought out Coruscant for whatever reason certainly bears looking into. If our Master felt the disturbance…who's to say the great Jedi Master himself did not." He smiled wickedly.

    "Even if Kol Skywalker's presence has nothing to do with it, the threat is still there." Maladi agreed. "It is a possibility we cannot overlook"

    The Yuuzhan Vong looked from one Sith to the other nervously. "Is there anything else you need me for?" He asked eagerly.

    "No." Maladi said tightly. "No, wait. I want you to head for Ossus."

    "The home of the Jee'dai?" He questioned.

    "Exactly. I want all bases covered."

    "And the Jee'dai Temple?

    "You need not concern yourself with that. You are dismissed. "

    "As you wish, Maladi." He bowed out, and the transmission cut itself.

    Nihl stepped into her peripheral vision. "So, what exactly did you have in mind?" He asked. "We can't exactly go skulking around the galactic center…I think we'd be noticed. Not to mention we released our main operative elsewhere."

    "He will prove more useful on Ossus; the Jedi have sought to redeem the Yuuzhan Vong. They are an overly-compassionate lot, and that fact will serve us well."

    "And us?" He prompted once more.

    "We shall wait, and find out what Skywalker knows." She turned, smiling cruelly. "Who knows, he might put up a fight. That is….if it must be done."

    It was clear to Nihl the prospect of meeting Kol Skywalker head on thrilled her—but he also knew that she was not reckless. She would not do anything that might jeopardize their operation—nor would she do anything that would anger Lord Krayt. After all, they were both already walking a fine line between loyalty and treachery, whatever came next could either tip the galaxy in their favor or utterly destroy any chance they had at conquering it. Nihl, however, was willing to take a slight risk if it meant eliminating their most recent threat.

    Luke Skywalker. He shuddered with pleasure. Oh, how glorious it would feel to lop the vaunted Jedi's head from his shoulders.

    "Darth Nihl."

    He looked to her wordlessly.

    "We should leave—our time is better spent otherwise." She sneered once more, as if picking up on his salacious fantasy.
    .

    .
    "Apprentice…" Master Sazen rumbled. "What is the matter?"

    Cade shut off his lightsaber, and was rewarded with another zap from the training remote. He bit back a curse that was forming on his lips then turned to his Master, abject frustration in his eyes. Sazen switched off the remote and gestured for Cade to come sit with him.

    Cade made his way over to him, rubbing at his leg for a brief moment.

    "Now, what seems to be the matter?" Sazen asked again. "It's not like you to become so unmindful of your surroundings, Cade."

    "I'm sorry, Master." Cade said, approaching him. "It won't happen again."

    "I'm sure it won't, but I'd still prefer you tell me what is on your mind, Apprentice." He watched the boy. "Is it the newcomers?"

    Cade sighed. "It's more than that, Master." He looked to Sazen.

    "Your father then."

    He gave the Zabarak Jedi a lopsided smile. "Reading my mind again, Master?"

    "No, you're just overtly obvious, my young apprentice."

    Cade rolled his eyes. "Maybe," He frowned. "I'm. just worried anout this whole ordeal…not just the newcomers, but this vision that Adelle had, and my father and the old man's reaction to it." He paused. "If there was really a vision to begin with; it's not like Dad to jump at a moment's notice. Something is terribly wrong, I think there's more to it all then we can see."

    "Why do you say that, Cade?"

    "Because I've been having these dreams…or nightmares…they all seemed so surreal.

    Sazen frowned; this was the first time he was hearing this.

    "How long has this been going on?" He asked.

    "A few months. At first I thought they were nothing but dreams, possibly visions, but I really didn't put much stock in them. Now, I'm not so sure, Master."
    "You feel they're connected with what's going on now?"

    "I think it may have some relevance, yes."

    The look in Cade's eyes was slightly haunted.
    .

    .
    "WHERE ARE THEY!?" Krayt growled menacingly, his voice rising.

    "I do not know, my Lord." Darth Wyrrlok answered, a touch hesitant at the Sith's outburst.

    Krayt turned to Wyrrlok, glaring at his subordinate then sat back angrily. He drummed his fingers, grinding his teeth. It irritated him to no end; he knew he should have taken precautionary measures. Maladi was always compliant, Nihl on the other hand was a Sith who liked to toe the line. Oh, he was loyal enough but still uncontrolled in a sense.

    "We could go find them if you so desire?" Talon offered.

    Krayt turned to eye his hand, considering her offer.

    "No," he said. "That's not necessary; I know exactly where they are—or more exactly where they're likely to be." He had no doubt they had gone against his wishes and were seeking out Luke Skywalker. "I will deal with them personally."
    .

    .

    Note: While there is nothing concrete that shows that Elliah Fel was Hapan, the Hapans taking offense to her death is high indicative.
    Last edited by EmeraldJediFire, May 10, 2013
  12. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    =D= =D= I'm sure waiting isn't the easiest course, but it probably is the best. [face_thinking] Enjoyed Sia and Roan :)
  13. SHADOW_MASTER_W Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2005
    star 1
    Krayt going after both Skywalkers...... this should be fun! :D
  14. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    Thank you for you patience. I love writing Roan Fel (he even has a bigger role in the next chapter...and I am ENJOYING IT). I should be done with the next chapter by Thurs. night; Friday afternoon perhaps at the latest.


    Well, he certainly has an mind on galactic conquest..and if Luke and Kol get in the way..so be it.
    Last edited by EmeraldJediFire, Apr 10, 2013
  15. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    @SHADOW_MASTER_W, @Jade_eyes, @immertreu

    Here is the next chapter folks! Hope you enjoy it..I'm SO proud of this chapter.
    .

    Chapter 15
    .
    Kol and Luke got a visitor two standard hours later, a young Knight on an errand from Council.

    Kol had apparently been expecting this, for he didn’t question the Knight as to the nature of the request—or she more than likely hadn’t been made privy to it anyway. When she had left, Luke turned to his comrade.

    “I take you are familiar with the matter?” Luke asked.

    “Yes.”

    Of course he did; Kol was part of the Council—Luke would go so far as to say Kol was the head of it. It didn’t seem like it however since he seemed to spend most of time on Ossus. He said nothing further until they reached the Council Chambers. Unlike before, Kol took a seat in his reserved chair, leaving Luke to stand in the middle of the floor, feeling very much like a youngling. He looked around uncertainly.

    “The Council has come to a decision, Luke. We need you to return to Ossus.”

    Luke radiated momentary shock in the Force.

    “What about you?”

    “I think its best I handle things on this end. While it’s true having two Skywalkers handle the task might be beneficial, I think it’s better if we have all bases covered this time. I leave the Academy to you for the time being. If you’re right about the girl, she will need to be safeguarded. “

    Luke closed his eyes, seeming to mull this over. “Maybe, the girl I understand, but the whole Academy. Do you really think that’s wise?” He asked. “You’re familiar with the Jedi on Ossus, I’m not. Don’t you think it’s strange if you leave some unknown Master in charge?”

    “You will be in charge per se.” Master Saa spoke. “But you will not be in charge, the Jedi are under your safeguard, Grand Master, but it will be unbeknown to them. We need someone who is familiar with girl and the situation; no one else can fill that role nor would have a great grasp of the direness of it. We have faith in you.”

    Luke was slightly stunned by their decision. He didn’t entirely agree with it, but he acknowledged that it did make sense. They did need someone who was familiar with the situation to stay on Ossus—in hindsight, who better to safeguard the child who foretold this prophecy.

    “I will, of course, do what I can on my end, Great-Grandfather.” Kol announced.

    “Very well. Won’t it be odd though for you to return to Coruscant without an explanation?’

    “Perhaps,” His descendant conceded, levering himself off the chair. “But it is necessary; I will send word that my presence on Coruscant was needed. We’ll leave it vague and open; nothing that would make the Jedi apprehensive.” He gazed at Luke with a penetrating green-eyed stare. “You’ll return to Ossus as instructed, Master Owen.” He let a smile curve his lips as he said this.

    Luke nodded.

    “Very well then,” He folded his arms over his stomach and bowed. “Please leave the Academy to me,” When he raised his head once more, Kol could see a determined look in his eyes. “It’s in good in hands.”
    “Of that we have no doubt.” Master K’Kruhk snorted.
    .

    .
    “I don’t expect you to head back right away. After all, you’ve just gotten here.” Kol said, walking along with Luke. “In fact, I insist you take a night to rest up. You can head out tomorrow.”

    “How will I get back? I doubt you have many transports to spare.”

    “You raise a valid point. Normally I wouldn’t have a problem with you taking the Roundabout back to Ossus, but I’ll need her here. No, I have another option in mind. “

    “Which is?”

    “Nat should have made his deliveries. I should expect him to be here soon; if not tonight than in the morning.” Seeing Luke was about to voice his concern, Kol assured, “He will come.” He smiled. “We are brothers after all. Nat may not feel he has a duty to the Jedi anymore, but family is another thing entirely. He won’t abandon family.”

    Luke wanted to argue further; from what he had witnessed Nat hadn’t been very inclined to participate in anything Jedi related. He had been reluctant to accompany Luke and Kol to Coruscant—but he had agreed in the end. Yes, perhaps Kol was correct concerning this. No, it was most likely Kol was correct, Nat and he were brothers. Who better to know another’s heart than ones family?

    “I’ve made acco-” Kol started to say.

    “That’s not necessary.” Luke dismissed. “I’m only staying here for the night. I can sleep in the Roundabout for one night; it suited me fine for the time in space.”

    Kol resisted the urge to point out that they didn’t have much a choice in that case, but seeing the resolute look on his great-grandfather’s face decided otherwise.

    “All right. I’ll stay with you.”

    “You don’t have to do that.” Luke protested. “I’m sure you have a room here.”

    The other grinned. “I don’t have to, but I want to.” He then took on a serious tone. “Plus, I have something extra I want to discuss with you concerning your return to Ossus. “ He paused. “Let’s stop off at the dining hall first. Can’t brainstorm on an empty stomach.”

    Luke grinned slowly. “I’m seeing a pattern with us.”

    “You’re not hungry?”

    “Oh no I could eat; I was just pointing out the irony.”

    Kol smirked.
    .

    .
    Krayt was angry, no he was more than angry; he was downright furious. Against his wishes two of his most valued Sith, one a Hand, had plotted and were undoubtedly seeking the downfall of Luke Skywalker.

    Their overconfidence would bring his plan to ruin and he could notallow that!

    He had initially planned to seek out the duo on his own, but even he could see the illogical nature of leaving his stronghold at this point in time. He knew any communication device he would try to reach them on would be blocked. Instead, he reached out in the Force, searching and seeking the two dark presences. It should have been impossible to reach another so far, but not so for Krayt. Even though they were able to hide themselves from the Jedi; neither Maladi or Nihl could possibly hide themselves from him.

    He found them, skulking like two large womprats.

    There you are.

    He then projected into their minds a feeling of agonizing pain. Not enough to kill them but just enough to let them know that he knew; that he would always know, and that there was nothing they couldn’t hide from him. This pain would demonstrate that his orders were absolute and anything less than compliance was tantamount to treason.

    He could feel there pain and confusion.

    Good, he thought. Perhaps that will make them think twice.

    Just as Krayt was about to pull away, he felt another presence he hadn’t been seeking. It was bright, burning like a supernova in the blackness. He gasped slightly as he was overwhelmed by the all consuming presence.

    He had found him.

    “Skywalker.” He rumbled, opening his eyes.
    .

    .
    “Are you sure your wish to do this, Your Highness.” Antares asked, standing near the entrance to the Emperor’s private comm station.

    “Of course,” Roan Fel said, taking a seat in front of the terminal. “I know you do not think favorably of the Jedi, Antares, nor any of you, but I would think you would accept them in light of your Emperor’s position concerning them. Are you questioning my judgment?”

    “That’s not it,” Antares denied. “I just believe that such matters should be better handled within the confines of the Empire.”

    Fel swiveled his chair around. “Tell me, Antares, what is it you think makes the Empire—or more specifically the Imperial Knights—more suited to handle this alone?”

    The young man remained silent.

    “Very good,” Fel rumbled, obviously pleased with Antares’ choice to remain silent. “You’re very intelligent, Antares. You know your place, and that is very important It is a clever man that holds his tongue when it needs be; when the situation requires it of him.” He leaned forward. “And you also know that this is the correct choice, even if you cannot fathom cooperating with the Jedi, don’t you?”

    “Yes, my Emperor.” Antares replied solemnly.

    Fel nodded. He then keyed in a code and when he was finished laid back in his chair. He lifted a hand, beckoning. “Antares...”

    “Yes, my Emperor.”

    “Approach me. I wish to have you at my side when I speak with the Jedi.”

    Antares looked upon his Emperor, his chest bursting with inner pride. The Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Roan Fel wanted him, Antares Draco at his side.

    He stepped forward.

    “If that if you wish, Your Highness.”

    “It is.” He turned back, not waiting for Antares to close the gap.

    They both waited calmly for the Jedi.

    Antares cast a surreptitious glance down at Fel, feeling his anxiety mounting. It was not like him to become so easily agitated but the wait felt like it was lasting forever. He glanced irritatedly at the screen.

    How dare these Jedi make Emperor Roan Fel wait like a common apprentice.

    “Calm yourself, Antares.”

    Antares bowed his head. “Forgive me, my Emperor.”

    Fel made a dismissive gesture. “Let your heart be strong, Antares, but may it also conceal what you do not wish your enemies to know. You are my brightest Knight, shine and show them what it is to be Imperial Knight.”

    “Yes, my Emperor; for the glory of the Empire.”

    Out of the corner of Antares’ eye, he could see the transmission had gone through. Seated before, were three Jedi, or more precisely the Jedi Council.

    “Master K’Kruhk, Master Saa, Master Qua.” Fel acknowledged, bowing his head. “It’s good to see you all. May I introduce you to my newest Imperial Knight, Antares Draco.”

    K’Kruhk nodded his acknowledgement. “Emperor Fel.” He rumbled, this time giving the emperor his full attention. “What do we owe this transmission from the ruler of the Fel Empire?

    “A great disturbance in the Force.”

    He was very aware how cliché that statement sounded, but it was apt and he wasn’t one for lengthy explanations.

    “A disturbance?” The Neti Master said, her hair floated around her is if in water. She then looked to the two other masters. “What precisely is this disturbance you speak of?”

    Fel gauged each of their faces, noting the intonation in the Neti’s (Master Saa) voice. He couldn’t read their inward thoughts, but he was able to pick up slight nuances from assessing their features. He could tell there was something they knew of, and that they weren’t readily willing to share that information with him as of yet. He squashed the irritated feeling that was rising.

    He could not control his Knights if he did not have control over himself. Already he could feel Antares becoming restless once more.

    Fel gave a resigned inner sigh.

    Very well, it would seem he would have to make the first move then.

    “About an hour and half, I sensed something…I can’t exactly explain what but it I felt an urgency in the Force. I feel something is coming; but that of course is only my intuition. None of my Knights here have had the same feeling, not even my daughter Marsiah.” He looked to each of them. “So, I am reaching out to you, seeking your insight.”

    Master Saa looked to the other two and seemed to hesitate.

    Roan narrowed his eyes. “If you’re not so inclined to be forthcoming, perhaps I can speak to Master Skywalker.”

    Fel knew Skywalker to be reasonable being and a capable man; he was leader material just like the Skywalkers before him. He was positive he would get answers if he prodded Kol Skywalker directly; the man was nothing if brutally honest and open to cooperation. It was known to very few, but he was also family…distantly removed of course.

    The Fels, through the Solo clan, were connected to the Skywalkers. Cousins; though neither man broke that barrier. In fact, each acted as if those familial ties didn’t exist due to circumstances. Fel was an Imperial Knight in addition to being Emperor, and Kol was Jedi, and even though he would beg to differ, was prominent leader in the Jedi Order.

    That was a Skywalker, modest to a fault.

    However, Roan knew Kol was not a man to be taken lightly.

    “Master Skywalker is not here presently.”Saa explained.

    The other member of the Council who had not spoken as of yet was the diminutive Chadra-Fan Master, Tili Qua.

    The Chadra-Fan’s ears flared. “We can give him a message if we find it valid.” She asserted.

    Fel , dismissed the Chadra-Fan, zeroing in on Sa; he noted her wording. She hadn’t said that Kol Skywalker wasn’t on Coruscant in general; she’d simply indicated he was not there at the moment. Not nearby. A trifling distinction to most, but to Fel it spoke volumes.

    No leaving a message was out of the question.

    “Is it possible to get in contact with him directly?”

    “Surely, you have the wherewithal to do so.” Master Saa responded. “You were able to reach us weren’t you?”

    Fel felt Antares shift agitatedly behind him once more as he resisted the urge gnash his teeth. Yes, he’d reached them, but it was only through a series of secure channels—and that was only because he had such good relations with Kol Skywalker himself.

    “I’d much rather had to not do this the hard way, Master Saa.” He tapped the arm of his chair. “I have a distinct feeling Kol Skywalker is there. What I don’t understand is why you are so reluctant to speak with me or have me speak to him when I have been so straightforward with you.”

    K’Kruhk flared his nostrils. “The Jedi are not so easily intimated, Emperor Fel.”

    “It was not my intent, Master K’Kruhk.” He took on a genial tone. “I only hope to achieve a viable solution that would be mutually beneficial for both parties.”

    “We will have to consult with Master Skywalker on this and get back to you.” The Whipid Master uttered, a slight whistling sound passing his tusks.

    “That’s hardly necessary.” A familiar voice interjected.

    Kol Skywalker stepped into view, all six feet of him, projected to scale.

    “Emperor Fel.” He greeted solemnly.

    “Master Skywalker.” Fel returned.

    Skywalker’s green eyes seemed to pierce him and the Emperor returned the Jedi’s steely gaze. Both men were locked in silent combat bellied by contemplative stillness. Even though the two men were separated by barriers of class and allegiance, there was still a certain connection between the two of them. Roan respected Kol; once again he found Kol to be the epitome of righteousness. The Jedi always seemed to hold a high moral ground that Fel could respect, but that didn’t mean he was a push over. No, Kol could be quite the opposing force; he was inner strength wrapped in intelligence and cunning.

    Something Fel was sure he’d gotten from the Jade side of the family.

    “Now, what seems to be the problem?” He searched the Council. “What is the Council saying they need to consult with me on?”

    Kol had always found the fact that the Council relied on his judgment to be baffling, he didn’t fancy himself a leader even though it was knowledge he was Master of the Council. The name of Skywalker brought a certain weight to it.

    Roan glanced past Kol at the other three before refocusing his gaze on the Jedi.

    “I was just commenting on the tight-lipped nature of your Council.”

    He could see Kol’s cheek twitched; he disliked the Council being called his.

    “Oh?” He raised a curious eyebrow then looked to the members. “Well, I’m sure there reason was valid.” Kol walked to his seat and sat down, resting an elbow against his knee. “Though let’s start at the beginning; see if we can get down to the bottom of this.”

    “Very well.”

    Fel then began to summarize the conversation prior and up to the moment of Koll’s appearance.
    .
    “Well, that is something isn’t it?” Kol murmured, resting back in his chair. “How long ago did you say you started to have this feeling?”

    “It would be closer to two hours now.”

    The Jedi gnawed at his lip.

    “A delayed reaction it seems.” He seemed to whisper.

    “Pardon?”

    Kol looked once more to Fel.

    “I said it seems like it’s a delayed reaction to repercussions happening as of late.”

    Master Qua sat up. “Master Skywalker, are you quite certain you wish to discuss this?” She glanced furtively toward Fel, Qua had spoken very little the entire time. “I hardly think we should share such intimate details with the Empire.”

    “I am.”

    The Chadra-Fan seemed taken aback by this, but did not argue further.

    The rest of the Council’s response might have seemed odd to most, but Kol understood their hesitance. To them this man was Roan Fel, Emperor of the Fel Empire, and he was the leader of seemingly unorthodox Force users; the Imperial Knights, or as they were called by their Jedi counterparts, Gray Jedi. Realistically, he understood their unease, for as much as he respected Roan Fel, he couldn’t agree with his unconventional practices and couldn’t condone with his ‘desert and die’ policy regarding the Imperial Knights.

    He pushed that aside. If the Emperor sought the Jedi Order out, it was most likely a serious matter.

    “Emperor Fel, I fear that darkness has come to settle upon our galaxy once more.” He recalled his son’s words four days earlier. “There have been visions lurking lately; they’re very obscure as this point but I feel it is not so easily dismissed for there is a certain overwhelming darkness to them.”

    Roan sighed heavily, chin tucked to his chest. “It is as I feared then.” He murmured, rubbing a hand over his face. “What else can you tell me?”

    Kol rested his chin upon his interlocked fingers.

    “Nothing at the moment; nothing through this channel.” He looked to the other man seriously. “Anything I discuss with you further must be discussed face to face; it’s far too risky at the moment.”

    Fel nodded. “I understand.”

    The expression in Kol’s eyes turned somber; leaving them like two unyielding emerald gems.

    “So, what do you say, Fel? Will you meet with me?”

    Fel nodded solemnly. “I will.”

    Good.

    Now the only thing he had to do was speak to Luke and tell him there’s been a change of plans.
    .

    .
    “I fold,” Cade muttered miserably.

    “Yes!” Ben was grinning widely, as he raked in winnings. “Thank you, Cade.”

    “How do you do it?” The younger boy asked, sitting back from the medward bed.

    “Do what?” Ben asked, crunchy a piece of his ‘winnings’.

    He gestured widely. “Win at this game?”

    “Well, it helps if you have practice playing it.” The youth grinned, pleased with his own quip.

    “Guess you’re right.” Cade took on a thoughtful look. “Guess it’s a good thing we were only playing for crackers.”

    Ben raised an eyebrow, smirking. “You have no idea, Kid. Don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it.”

    “Somehow I doubt that. After you leave, there won’t be anyone to practice with.”

    He scoffed. “Oh c’mon, are you trying to tell me that no one here plays sabacc.” Cade nodded. “I find that hard to believe, if they have sabacc cards.” He began to shuffle them. “Then someone can play. Heck, even Dad can play sabaac. He’s no ace, but he does pretty well.”

    “You learned sabacc from…” He looked around, checking. “…the Grand Master then?”

    Ben laughed. “Yeah, no. Dad’s not bad...but he’s like I said, he’s not that good.” He set them aside. “My Uncle Han’s the one who taught me. Uncle Lando, Uncle Wes, and Uncle Hobbie helped also. Since there are different styles to sabacc it helps to have a lot of teachers who know them.” He looked over Cade’s shoulder. “Could you pass me that?”

    “Pass what?”

    “The glass of water behind you.”

    Cade spotted it. “Oh, sure.” He leaned over, picked it up, and passed it to Ben. “Here you go.”

    Ben accepted it gratefully and took a long sip.

    “Thanks,” He murmured. “Throat was getting a little parched.”

    “No problem.”

    There was a knock at the door.

    Ben looked up and hollered, “Come in.”

    A Zabarak Jedi whom he had come to know as Master Wolf Sazen entered the small medward room looking from Ben to Cade.

    “I hope I’m not disturbing anything.”

    “No, we’re done.”

    “Ah, good.” He gestured to the only other chair in the room. “May I?”

    “Go ‘head.” Ben said, watching the Jedi Master take a seat.

    Cade watched his master with growing concern. He sensed the conflicting emotions within him.

    “Master?” He ventured. “Is something wrong?”

    “Not, wrong.” Sazen took a breath. “I’ve just received word from your father. He’s not coming back to Ossus for the time being. I'll be making the announcement to an assembly this afternoon."

    “What?” Cade sounded surprised. “Why?”

    Sazen looked to Ben. “It seems there have been some unseen complications regarding the matter at hand. Your father will be returning to Ossus, while Kol will be staying on Coruscant.”

    “You know what’s going on then.” Ben asked.

    “Yes, Master Skywalker has made me privy to circumstances.”

    “Then I assume you know who I am…and who my father is.”

    The Zabarak nodded. “I am aware.”

    Case spoke up: “Why didn’t you say anything then, Master?”

    “I was told by your father not to utter a word unless the situation required of it.”

    “I see.” Cade seemed to mull over this. “What are these circumstances?”

    “Your father is enlisting outside aid.”

    “Aid?” Ben parroted.

    “Yes,” He looked to him. “I can say no further though; but believe me when I say the situation has become that much direr.”
    .

    .

    Note: I'm not sure why I made the Council that way, but it seemed appropriate.
    Last edited by EmeraldJediFire, Apr 11, 2013
    SHADOW_MASTER_W likes this.
  16. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Absolutely awesome =D= =D= I really like your Antares and Roan. @};- Isn't there always a change in plans? [face_laugh] :rolleyes:
    SHADOW_MASTER_W likes this.
  17. SHADOW_MASTER_W Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2005
    star 1
    Good stuff!

    I sense a toe to toe with Krayt coming for Luke........^:)^

    Good to see more of Emperor Fel and Antares.

    I like the way you portray their relationship and interactions.
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  18. immertreu Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 4, 2012
    star 1
    Thanks for the updates! Can't wait to see what happens next. :)

    Luke playing sabacc, now there's an image. I guess he learned from the Rogues. ;)
  19. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    First of all, thank you all, @SHADOW_MASTER_W, @Jade_eyes, @immertreu. I am currently working on the new chapter. I'd like to point out something out something you should redirect to before the next chapter. I recently re-wrote a part of chapter 14...someone pointed out something on FF.N, so I'd like you all to experience the re-written version.




    Always! And thanks..I love writing them!








    I enjoy writing them! And yeah, that part is going to be intense!



    And Han, and Lando, and Corran...etc lol
  20. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    Okay, folks, @SHADOW_MASTER_W, @Jade_eyes, @immertreu, here's the new chapter. I'm sorry it took so long.
    .
    Chapter 16
    .
    Kol prepared himself to leave. He already had his duffle bag packed for this trip so he didn’t need to make many preparations. He and Roan had hammered out the details of the rendezvous point and afterward Kol had discussed it further with the Council members. They had agreed there would be no further communication until he and Roan had talked things out. Anything less Fel would see as an act of distrust and put the meeting in further jeopardy.

    “Are you sure you don’t want me to go with you?” Luke asked, arms folded as he watched Kol.

    “You’re needed back at the Academy. I need you as my second pair of eyes there.” Kol turned to walk out the door. “Plus, I can’t risk you being exposed to this time period any further than you are. History has taught me that some things are better left undisturbed.”

    Luke countered dryly, “Don’t you think it’s a bit too late for that?” He followed after him.

    Kol smirked. “Perhaps, but we can’t change the past. Some things are necessary.”

    “Are you even going to tell me who you’re going to see?”

    “Not now. Maybe later, after he and I come to a conclusion—if we do.”

    “Why do you say it like that?”

    “The man who I’m going to ask for aide is….very unyielding. He might help if our problem is a common one; in other words if it benefits him and his.”

    Luke was very familiar with people who did things for their own benefit. After all, he’d allied himself with the Lost Tribe for the same purpose. In the end, the Sith had shown their true conniving nature.

    “Then there is no assurance he will go for it.” He stated.

    “No, there is none. But I have to try; the fate of this galaxy may depend on it.” He conveyed a silent meaning Luke knew all too well. He was in the same boat as he had been back then, he understood.

    “I understand.” Luke uttered.

    “I know.”

    Luke could hear subtle flippancy in his response.

    He tightly smiled in recognition and shook his head. It appeared the same family humor still existed; even if by a little.

    Kol stopped suddenly and pivoted in place. “I know this riles you to stay put; I know far too well the kind of man you were—are—but this is something I have to handle. So, I want you to make yourself at home.” A smile. “And wait for Nat, he’ll get you back to Ossus.I have to go now.” He turned then hesitated. “Promise me you won’t do anything reckless, Great-Grandfather.”

    “Go, I’ll try not to get into too much trouble.” His eyes sparkled in good humor.

    “Oh, you won’t. It’ll just find you, isn’t that so?”

    With another smirk, he left Luke standing in place by himself.
    .





    .
    Roan Fel boarded his private shuttle, a contingent of Imperial Knights following him.

    Marsiah followed him out stopping at the ramp. “Father, I want to accompany you.”

    Roan turned to face his younger daughter.

    “I’m afraid not. I do not know what will happen.”

    Sia frowned. “So you suspect treachery then?”

    “I cannot presume anything as if this moment.” He raised a hand. “But I would still not have you risk yourself should anything run afoul. You will stay here under the guard of Antares.”

    “But , Your Highness!” Antares objected.

    “I have spoken, Antares.” He looked at the Knight sternly. “As great as your skills are, I would feel much better if they served me by guarding my only child. I will contact you when the meeting is through.” Roan then extended his hands, beckoning his daughter to him. “Marsiah dear.”

    She approached her father carefully, taking hold of his hands.

    “Yes, Father.”

    “Take care, my dear.” He bestowed a kiss on her forehead.

    “I will, Father.”

    “Don’t give Antares much trouble.”

    Sia raised a brow in humor.

    “Yes, I know.” He chuckled.

    She smiled at him then turned her heard over her shoulder, to eye her guardian. Antares stood a few feet behind her, looking secretly put off by his designated assignment.

    “Would he not serve you better if he were to accompany you?” She asked, turning back to face her father.

    Fel knew that Antares did not relish being left behind and thought it a misstep for his liege not to include him. He would of course never voice these thoughts out loud. He was an Imperial Knight and a servant to his Emperor. Fel knew the other’s heart all too well.

    He was aware he should have been incensed by Antares’ faith—or lack thereof—on the matter, but found this fierceness of his allegiance to only strengthen his opinion of the lad.

    “I’m afraid not.” He said carefully, yet quietly. “He serves me best where I trust him the most. You are my greatest treasure and my heir—I would trust no other with you than he.” He touched her hair lightly smiling before drawing back and resuming his somber demeanor.

    “Very well, Father.” She murmured and stepped back to join Antares.

    “Farewell, Sia-my dear.”

    “Farewell, Father.” She called out. “Safe journey.”
    .
    Fel made his way from the hatchway to his private cabin. He was flanked by two Knights.

    “I’ll have warm cider.” He announced, “Bring it to my quarters—and see that I’m not disturbed.”

    “Yes, sir!”

    “Also alert me when we’re approaching the rendezvous point.”

    “Yes, sir.”

    He turned in place in the open hatchway. “The only interruption I will tolerate is any vital comm messages.”

    “Yes, Your Highness.” A female Knight cleared her throat. “Anything else, Emperor Fel?”:

    “No…You’re dismissed.” Fel uttered dismissively before disappearing inside.

    Fel removed his outer trappings and laid them on the back of his writing desk chair. He made way to his bookshelf a selected and datadisk then went to retrieve his own datapad from the wall safe. He always made sure there was plenty to do when he went abroad. The everyday goings on of an Empire did not simply go away just because the ruler had left the system.

    He booted up the disk, scrolling through a document that had to deal with taxation; fiscal taxes to be exact. Taxes in the Empire were steady and hadn’t risen much in all the years he’d been reigning, though it was true they weren’t exactly as they had been in his father and grandfather’s time. In fact, he’d like to think the taxes were much better. His subjects, however, were in disagreement.

    Many believe that the taxes were too high and that they were being snowballed by the additional taxes being buried under subsections.

    There then came a knock at the door.

    Fel picked up his head, sensing the other’s presence on the other side.

    “Enter.” He bade

    The door slid open and a man of considerable height stepped through the door, waiting for the portal to close before speaking. He had short cropped back hair and fairly tanned skin with brow eyes. His name was Mohrgan Fel, an Imperial Knight and cousin to Roan Fel himself.

    “Mohrgan!” He said, a tad surprised.

    Fel put his datapad side.

    He looked at the rigid posture of his Knight. “Please have a seat, I dislike having to crane my neck up.” While Roan was no man of small stature, his cousin seemed to tower over him.

    “It would not be proper, my Emperor.” The man responded, eyes focused ahead.

    Fel leaned back in his chair and began to rub the bridge of his nose in irritation.

    “Very well,” he relented. “It seems I’ve drilled proper procedure in to you too well.” He dropped his hand, folding them in his lap. “Is there something on your mind?”

    “I wished to speak about the mission.”

    He raised a brow. “And what would you have us talk about?”

    “From what I understand, our mission entails us rendezvousing with a party from the Jedi Order, Kol Skywalker. “ Mohrgan paused. “From my understanding of the situation, Skywalker brought something to your attention, which necessitates your appearance to him personally. Do pardon me, Emperor, but are you positive you can trust this Skywalker?”

    Light dimmed from his eyes.

    “It’s not a question of trust, Mohrgan.” Fel sighd heavily, plucking at a loose strand of fabric. “The Jedi know something, something has occurred and I’d like to find out what they know.”

    Mohrgan observed the Emperor with discerning eyes.

    “You suspect much more, don’t you?” He queried.

    Fel sighed, letting his hand drop, and smiled wryly. “I suppose you know me too well, Mohrgan.”

    “As much as I ought to, Your Highness.”

    Another knock came at the hatch.

    “Enter.” Fel called out again, turning his attention to the door.

    A man just as large as his cousin, except for the fact he was much older, his hair already grayed, entered the room. He had served as a Knight within his father, Jagged Fel II’s time. Treis Snide.

    “Treis.” Fel welcomed. “What brings you back here?”

    “I saw Knight Mohrgan depart for your cabin and followed him. I…was concerned there was something wrong, my Emperor.” Treis informed.

    “Mohrgan was merely concerned,” Fel explained, smiling disarmingly. “With the purpose of our mission.”

    “I as well am concerned, Emperor Fel.” Snide rumbled. “I think we should be cautious..”

    Fel gave an irked look. “What do you take me for a fool, Snide?” He snorted in disgust. “There were times that my family was close to their side.”

    “Unfortunately, Your Highness, times have changed. The Jedi do not agree with decisions your father made. Nor with the one’s you carry on.”

    “Nor do I agree with them. They consign too much emphasis on Darkside and Lightside. Years ago, in the beginning the Jedi were more balanced; they neither employed light nor the dark, but kept things balanced. That is where I fear the Jedi have failed in the past and flail even now.”

    “Then I fail to understand how you can trust Skywalker.” Snide sounded decidedly confused.

    “As I have said to Mohrgan, it is not a question of trust.”He levered himself out of the chair.

    Another knock.

    “Yes, what is it?” Fel said annoyed.

    “Your cider, my Emperor.” A young servant offered. “I apologize for the wait.” He bowed his head, waiting to be called further in.

    “Come.”

    The boy wandered in a set the cider down on the side table. He bowed his head again in subservience before backing up toward the door. “May I get you anything else, my Emperor?”

    “No, Cecil, you may go.”

    “Of course.” He gave a slight bow at the waist and left.

    Fel turned, bent down and picked up his cup of cider. He hefted it to his lips and took a deep drink.

    “If I dismiss Skywalker, I am putting the Empire in possible jeopardy; and that I will not do.”
    .

    .
    Before he made the jump to hyperspace,Kol placed a call to the Academy on Ossus. He had to update Master Sazen of the current situation. Sazen’s visage came on the screen and Kol carefully explained to him the situation.

    “When will you be back?” Wolf asked.

    Kol answered, “It depends on if Roan remains cooperative. I’ll be sending Luke back toward you, I think it would be best to have him there should anything happen.” At the questioning look, he added, “Nat will be dropping him off…I don’t know if my brother will stay after that, but I know he will do that much.”

    Sazen looked uncertain.

    “Wolf.” He called out softly.

    “Understood, Kol.” He drew in a breath. “Please be careful around those Imperials. You know far well those Knights distrust us.”

    “I know, but there’s more at stake here than our own personal feelings.” He checked his instruments. “I have to make the jump or I’ll be late.”

    “Take care.” Wolf said as a way of farewell.

    “I will.” He assured.

    His friend’s image winked off and Kol turned his attention back to his flight panel. He checked all his instruments, watching as the blackness of space closed in. The Roundabout soared high above the planet, breaking Coruscant’s atmosphere. He heard a brief click and switched on his comm panel.

    “Yes, Control, this is Jedi transport Roundabout.” Kol spoke up. “Is there anything wrong?”

    “A bit, Sir.” A female voice said. “I was told to inform you that there will be a large transport coming out of a nearby vector. It might infringe on your departure. I suggest you change flight path to vector b-64.”

    Kol could feel a bit of irritation bubbling below the surface. He released his breath, willing himself to remain calm.

    “Copy that, Control.” He responded finally. “I will do as advised. Thank you.”

    “You’re welcome, Sir.”

    Kol changed his flight path, watching out of the corner of his eye as a large vessel burst overhead. It was around the size of a Mon Cal cruiser, but he could tell it was a luxury liner. He keyed in the coordinates needed for the hyperspace jump as he speculatively pondered the large vessel. Shaking it off, he turned his eyes forward and pulled back on the lever.

    The stars turned into brilliant pin points of light as the Roundaboutmade the jump.

    He checked his navigation station. It would take him approximately a day and a half to reach the agreed upon meeting place. Roan and he had agreed to a meet on the forest moon of Endor. It was a well known spot to both Imperials and Alliance citizens, going back to the days when another Alliance and Empire had waged war. And while they were not exactly allies, it was a place that was in an odd way neutral to them both.

    He knew, of course, what was the primary reason for the rift between them—it was the different schools of teaching the followed. Oh, he wouldn’t begrudge Jagged Fel, the first Emperor, of creating the order of Imperial Knights. Likewise, Kol’s great-cousin, Empress Jaina Solo Fel, was also blameless. She’d followed the Force’s guidance just as she’d been taught to by his Great-Grandfather. He doubted either of them could have truly foreseen the dogma their son, Jagged Fel II, would put into place.

    He shook his head.

    No, dwelling on the past would not help him in the long run. What mattered was the here and now.

    Kol pushed himself up from the pilot’s seat and retreated to the back. Stifling a yawn, he decided that it was best he took a nap. It would not do to have him yawning in front of Fel and his Knights. He fixed himself a cup of hot tea and unlocked the dining table, transforming it into a makeshift day bed. He arranged the cushions and took down a pillow and blanket from the cupboard overhead. He could have easily have take his nap in his cabin but he felt more at ease closer to the controls.

    He settled in for the trip, gingerly sipping at his hot tea.

    He needed to take advantage of the time he had. In less than two days, he’d either have a battle or truce depending on circumstances.
    .

    .
    A Day and a Half Later
    (Endor)
    Kol listened the warning alarm go off, he sat up, tossing his datapad into the messenger seat and prepared to reemerge from hyperspace. The stars shifted again and the Roundabout emerged into a brilliant starfeild. Kol looked around for a moment, flipping the switch to scan the area as he did. If his calculations were correct, the Imperials should have been at the location by now or almost there.

    He turned his attention back to his own ship and maneuvered the Roundaboutin the direction of the nearby moon. It was large and green; he could feel it teeming with wildlife. The most of which were the sentient forest-dwelling primitives, the Ewoks. He angled his ships’ nose downward, the Roundaboutdropped through Endor’s atmosphere and zeroed in on the agreed upon coordinates; the old Imperial base.

    Another bit of irony Kol found highly amusing. His family line had a history with this particular site. The first time had been when his ancestor, Luke Skywalker had given himself willingly over to Vader in hopes of saving his friends and meeting his own destiny. The second was when he had sequestered himself on this moon along with others of the Jedi Council during the Second Galactic Civil War.

    He piloted his ship skillfully down until he breached the moon’s canopy of trees. Even now, Endor remained relatively uninhabited except for the Ewoks themselves. He maneuvered himself to wide open spot in the forest which he’d picked exactly for this rendezvous. He set the ship down, listening to the crunch as the struts set down upon the forest floor, crushing debris beneath them.

    Kol visibly scanned the area, noticing large rusted metal pieces hanging around— remnants of the Death Star. It was a reason this was the perfect place, the Ewoks wouldn’t dare come near this spot because of the corroded metal was such a strange anomaly in a forested planet. He went through the post-flight check list, powering down everything except the link to the comm station. Once he was finished he released his restraints and got up from the seat, heading for his cabin.

    He estimated he had a few minutes before Fel and his men arrived. He entered his cabin and began to dig through his things. He found his lightsaber, considering it. On one hand, they might see him openly wearing it as a threat; on the other no doubt Fel and the rest of his would be wearing their weapons. He couldn’t afford to be without, he decided, clipping it to his belt.

    Examining his room with a sweeping glance, he was satisfied that he had all he needed. He walked back to the front and released the hatch quickly. The ramp lowered and Kol stepped down the ramp, finding his feet firm on the ground. He cast a look skyward, reaching out with the Force. All he could sense was the forest life. He was just about to turn around and head back inside when he heard it.

    The large rumble of an approaching ship.

    Just then, a ship emerged over the treetops. It was a large luxury class cruiser that was designed for the practical rather than the refined yet there could be no mistake whom it was carrying. Emperor Roan Fel, third Emperor of the Fel Empire, rode aboard that ship. Kol had only seen it a passing amount of times, but he could spot it several kilometers off.

    His comm panel went off and Kol smiled slowly. Only one person in this vicinity would have his personal ship codes.

    Kol quickly made his way back to the cockpit, accepted the call and took his seat once more. He watched as a small hologram appeared on his console.

    It was an Imperial Knight standing at attention. An older Knight, he mused, noting the man’s graying hair and beard. .

    “Greetings, Skywalker I presume.” The older man said in a deep voice.

    “That’s correct.” Kol sat forward, alert. “I stand upon the edge of the planet, and seek daylight.” He recited promptly then raised a brow. “And you are?”

    “Very good,” He rumbled. “But let’s leave that for face to face. I was instructed to confirm and now I have.” He glanced aside. “Our Emperor will see you shortly.

    “I look forward to it.” Kol responded.

    The Imperial nodded and the holo disappeared.

    Kol put his cheek on his palm, considering the exchange that had just taken place. He had expected Fel to be a tad wary; he had even expected a pre-confirmation before. Especially when he was just seconds away from landing. Kol snorted and got up. He made his way back outside, ready to greet them.

    He watched as the cruiser maneuvered itself into the opening and settled on the forest floor five yards away. He could hear the ship cycling down and even caught a glimpse of the pilots through the ship’s canopy before one of the Imperials opaqued it. He shook his head and walked out to meet the Emperor halfway.

    The hatch then began to unlock and the ramp lowered slowly to the ground. Once it had touched down fully upon the ground, a company of four men filed out of the ship. All were clearly Imperials Knights; they were decked out in red armor with matching capes. Most of them were young beings, but all were human.

    That was another thing that bothered Kol about how Roan Fel ran things.

    Fel exited the ship a few steps behind. He was decked out in a toned-down, flight version of his Emperor’s robes. He was tall man with black hair with the notable Fel white stripe running through it. He was light-skinned with blue eyes.

    The Emperor looked around. “How charming.” He commented, looking slightly amused by Kol’s choice of rendezvous. “An Imperial graveyard of sorts.”

    “I believe you knew what you’d be getting into.” Kol responded.

    He approached Kol somberly, eyes sharp.

    “Indeed I did.”

    Behind Fel, two men flanked him, one Kol recognized as Fel’s own cousin, the other as the older Knight he had spoken to over the comm. He acknowledged them briefly before returning his attention to his own distant blood-relative.

    “Your Highness.” Kol greeted, bowing his head.

    “Master Skywalker.” He greeted.

    “Thanks you for coming out.”

    Fel nodded. “Shall we go?” He gestured.

    Kol noted the gauntlets on his forearms and the lightsaber at his hip. So Fel had thought this meeting warranted his own lightsaber—Kol shrugged inwardly— so be it.

    “Yes.”

    Kol and Fel, along with the Emperor’s six Knights made their way to the site they had chosen; the old landing pad.

    It was a meeting of Alliance and Empire once more, this time under different terms.


    --------
    Last edited by EmeraldJediFire, May 21, 2013
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  21. Nyota's Heart Combos & Paragraphs Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2004
    star 6
    Looking forward to the talk between Kol and Roan. Excellent details on Roan's side of the situation. =D= I think they'll come to have a respect and trust for one another because they're both above-board. If they think it's in their mutual interest to cooperate, they will.
  22. Falcon Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 7, 2002
    star 8
    Looking forward to more :) can't wait for the meeting :)
  23. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4

    I believe so as well. Roan is a very practical man and if the Empire is at stake he will do all he can to guard it. Kol will do what he must for the fate of the galaxy as a Jedi.


    I can't wait to write it either. I know I've been remiss and falling behind on my writing. I've come up with a solution thankfully.
    Jade_eyes likes this.
  24. EmeraldJediFire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 23, 2012
    star 4
    Thank you to all my readers who have waited this long: @Jade_eyes, @JediFalcon. I'm so sorry it took this long, but I finally have a new update!
    .
    Chapter 17
    .
    The Imperial Knights had cleared the refuse away, arranging a suitable seating area for the proceedings that would follow. One of the Knights had stripped off his cloak and offered it to his lord. Roan waved off the proffered item. He took a seat in one control tower chair, while his cousin seated himself across from the Emperor in the other.

    Kol remained near the edge of his chair, one forearm braced against his right thigh. He sat ramrod straight and completely alert. Fel, on the other hand, had sunken back considerably into the chair, looking relaxed as if it were his personal seat of power. However, despite his state of repose, Kol could feel the sense of readiness emanating from him. He had both hands resting on the armrests, fingers drumming against them. His green eyes also dispelled the illusion that he was lax; they had an acute attentiveness to them.

    Fel knew the severity of what was at stake during this meeting. He wasn’t a man to dismiss anyone’s serious entreaty so flippantly. He was ready, like an animal ready to pounce.

    Kol eyes slid over to glance at Fel’s Knights. His question was obvious, ‘are they staying or going’?

    Fel raised a hand, flicking it in a dismissive gesture.

    “Are you sure, Your Highness?” One of his Knights inquired.

    He had a military style haircut and the same skin and bone structure as Fel.

    Morghan Fel. He was fiercely loyal to the Empire and his Emperor. Along with Fel, he was Force-sensitive, a trait passed down through the Fel line via their distant cousin, Jaina Solo-Fel. Kol could see the way the man eyed him, he could even feel the intense glances of the other Knights. Most noticeably was the piercing stare of an older bearded man he had spoken to earlier.

    None of the Knights trusted Kol. They had no love for the Jedi, and only acquiesced because of their Emperor. He knew from the glare the older man was shooting him that he promised to break Kol in two if he tried anything.

    He, however, was not a foolish man, but nor was he intimated by the Knight. He cooly gazed at him, remaining unperturbed.

    “Go,” Fel said sternly, obviously feeling the tension. “I call if I have need of you.”

    The older Knight looked hesitant but jerked his head, urging the others to follow him. “We’ll be outside then.” He said then left. The Knights filed out, the door closing behind them.

    “Now, then,” Fel rumbled. “We may speak freely. As loyal as my Knights are, they are an encumbrance at times. They would only hinder this meeting.”

    “If that’s what you wish.”

    “It’s what you would prefer, isn’t it?” He questioned directly.

    Kol shook his head. “What I prefer is irrelevant at the moment.”

    “You are correct…as usual.” Fel commented.

    He waved it off.

    “What’s important at the moment is why we’re here; what we have to offer eachother, and to decide if what we each knows has any links. Frankly, I was surprised when you commed the Temple; I really hadn’t expected to hear from you—we don’t talk much after all.” He paused. “But if you have sought me out, then I give you my full attention.”

    “We both have our own allegiances, Kol, I’m not going to deny that. You know very well I am not an altruistic person. What I do, I do for the Empire, and if something threatens this galaxy than it threatens myself as well. The Jedi will protect this galaxy regardless of the compensation to themselves.” His eyes darkened. “This, however, I fear is bigger than the both of us.”

    “Indeed.” Kol shifted in his chair, leaning to one side of it. “So, tell me, what do you believe is happening? You have as much insight as I do.”

    “You have all the cards; I’m afraid, Master Skywalker

    “What did you feel then?”

    Fel closed his eyes as if searching for the answer behind the darkness of his lids.

    “Roan?”

    The Emperor was recalling everything; his sparring practice with Draco, the sudden dizzy spell as he sank to his knees, his lightsaber falling from his grip, and…

    The sound of a million screams.

    “Death.” He said finally, opening his eyes. “But not…present death…the cries though clear were too faint…almost as if, it was a premonition of deaths to come.” There was a far-away look his Fel’s eyes; a distraught one as if he had peered into a black abyss.

    One would never accuse the great Emperor Roan Fel of fear, but it was the only word that suited at the moment.

    “Roan…Cousin...” He whispered the second word.

    Fel shook off the dreaded feeling.

    “I’m sorry,” he mumbled, touching his forehead. “I felt as if I was reliving it again; it was so powerful.” He lifted his eyes. “Something dreadful is approaching.”

    “That’s what I was afraid of...” Kol hung his head. “You know what I’ve told you….there has been premonitions of something coming. Perhaps even the something you’ve sensed. It was a child who had the premonition. Not a Knight...or even an apprentice.”

    “And you felt like you needed to withhold this information...why?”

    “I withheld nothing, Roan; I simply waited until we met. But….tell me, would you have come if I said my findings were based on the utterances of a child.”

    He canted his head. “You have me there, but you seem to have forgotten I sought your foresight. Aren’t I allowed to be given the benefit of the doubt?”

    “Perhaps.” Kol conceded.

    “A child you say?” Fel eyed the other. “How young?

    “Young, under the age of ten.”

    “Do you expect her to be a soothsayer?”

    Kol gave a mocking smile. “Not especially; you know how the saying goes…”

    “Yes, I am familiar with it.”

    “Which is why you’re wondering right now, why either of are here, given that fact.”

    Fel’s face registered seriousness.

    “I know why I’m here; the question is….do you?” He gave Kol a pointed look. “I think you do, and I think you believe this miniature soothsayer’s premonition more than you’d have me believe.I can tell you have more to say but…something restricts your tongue.”

    “If I hold my tongue, it’s only because I am ever a cautious man.”

    “I expect no less from Kol Skywalker.”

    Kol wore a sardonic expression. “I’d expect no less from you, Your Highness.” His eyes flicked to the door behind him. “Which is why, I believe our interest is indeed mutual in this case. I’m aware of the differences and aware of your motivations, but I am willing to disregard since this affects the Empire and the Alliance.”

    “Then you’re going…to reveal your sabbac hand?” Fel sounded intrigued.

    The Jedi had to grin at his choice of phrasing.

    “If I have your cooperation—and the cooperation of your Knights. The Jedi can go at this alone, but I’d rather not have to.” He paused. “It’s your choice, Roan.”

    Fel seemed to consider this.

    “You seem awfully confident,” An intelligent light entered his eyes. “Almost as if you have an ace up your sleeve.”

    There it was...

    “I’m not sure if I can call it an ace; but it is my reason for being here.”
    *

    *
    Nat glanced up from his fueling station. He was behind on returning and was sure that they would have left without him by now. He had received a message from Kol on Coruscant saying he had important matters to attend to and would be leaving Luke in his hands. He tipped the service being and walked around the other end of his ship, watching across the landing pad.

    It would take him a full day to return to Coruscant; meanwhile his Great-grandfather would have to stew awhile. Kol hadn’t explained why he was leaving Luke alone when he’d initially brought him, but Nat had a sneaky suspicion it wasn’t anything good. He told himself though it wasn’t any longer his concern what was happening. He wasn’t a Jedi any longer.

    But still….he couldn’t dismiss the prickly feeling he was getting. He may not have been a Jedi, but the Force was still with him to this day.

    Nat looked up, scanning the pad once more for anything unusual—or anyone—that would explain the strange feeling he was having.He looked up a found a squid- headed creature with facial tentacles working nearby; a Quarren. The being was just finishing up with small maintenance work when he sauntered up beside him.

    “Excuse me,” Nat interrupted gently.

    The Quarren looked up, his tentacles quivering. “Yes, Sir.”

    “What’s your name?” He inquired.

    “Vagus, Sir.”

    “Allright, Vagus. I have a job for you—an extra one—if you’re interested.”

    The being got up from his stooped position. “Depends on the credits, Sir.”

    Nat dug into his pouch and pulled out three 100 credit chips.

    Vagus’ black eyes became larger than their standard size—if that was even possible. He looked up at Nat, his tentacles quivering again in anticipation. Nat could sense the desire.

    “Well?” He lifted a brow. “What’s it going to be, my friend?”

    “What is the job?” Vagus finally said.

    “Has anyone docked here recently…that you found odd?”

    “Odd?” The Quarren repeated. “In what way?”

    “Didn’t feel right,” He pondered how to word it. “Someone that looked out of place; maybe they behaved in a way that you found….suspicious.”

    Vagus stared at the credits that Nat was rubbing between his fingers as if mesmerized. He seemed to consider his answer. Nat waited patiently. He was well aware that the Quarren might try to make something up just to obtain the creds, but there was something in the beings Force aura that said otherwise.

    “Anything at all.” He prompted, hoping to jog his memory. “Any minute detail. Even if you think it’s meaningless.”

    Even as he waited for Vagus to speak, he was casting a wide net with his Force sense; subtly feeling around for anything out of the ordinary. He felt it again; brushing against him like a serpent flicking its forked tongue against his cheek. He shuddered.

    “Sir-sir-“ The Quarren’s voice penetrated into the reaches of his subconscious.

    Nat focused on Vagus once more. He was no longer eyeing the credits and instead had a concerned look on his face. “Sir, are you quite all right?” He inquired

    “I’m fine.” He noticed the way Vagus eye’s dipped toward the money. “You’ve remembered something I think?”

    Vagus returned his attention back to Nat. “I have, Sir. It’s very small though.” His tentacles quivered once more.

    “Any detail is good, Vagus my friend.”

    He nodded. “Very well then, there was something...” He hesitated. “It was a bit before you arrived; an unmarked transport set down on the other side of the platform. The pilot never got out, he never requested any services.”

    Nat raised a brow. “Really?”

    “Yes,” His jowls and tentacles shook. “Though one service member reports that he did see a glimpse of the captain; he was hooded. Rumor, though, is that he wore the face of a Scarred one beneath the cowl.”

    “Scarred one?” Nat repeated.

    “The outside invaders.”

    A light entered his eye. Outside invaders, Yuuzhan Vong.


    “A Yuuzhan Vong.” He said out loud.

    “It’s only a rumor though. I only mentioned it because it’s odd to see a scarred one out here. The galaxy is not so kind to them even now.” He eyed Nat. “And you asked if I’d seen or heard of anything out of the ordinary.”

    “That I did.” Nat felt an inner satisfaction. “Here’s your money as promised,” he passed over the credits. “And I bit extra.”

    Vagus looked at the money resting in his palm. “Thank you, Sir.” As he spoke, his speech became more watery than before.

    “A man always pays his debts; that’s what my da’ taught me.” He gave his freighter a once over. “She ready?”

    “You ship,” the Quarren pocketed his credits. “Oh, yes, Sir, you have take off when you’re ready.” He hesitated. “Is there anything you else you need?”

    “No,” Nat said quickly, and then reconsidered. “Yes, is the scarred one still here?”

    “I believe so, but I’m not positive.”

    “Could you point out the transport?”

    Vaugs shook his large head. “But I can direct you to who probably could.”

    .

    “Are you Darnus?” Nat asked, looking over at a dark-haired man. He was bent over a piece of equipment, conversing with a service droid.

    The man straightened upon hearing Nat’s question and looked toward him. He waved the droid off. He had dark eyes and was tanned; much more than he would expect a fueling station worker to be.

    “That’s right; who’s askin’?” He had a datapad cradled between his hands.

    “Not important.” Nat responded.

    Is that so?” Darnus had a laconic way of speaking. It was clear that although hadn’t particularly cared for Nat’s response, he didn’t care that much in reality. “How can I help you, Sir?”

    “A co-worker of yours, a Quarren named Vagus directed me to you. He tells me you might be the one to point out the transport with…”

    “The Vong.”

    “Yes, actually.” Nat frowned inwardly. How had the man known?

    He sighed and set the datapad aside. “Seems like my maintenance guys have been talking again.”” He shrugged. “Then again I half expected it, but I didn’t expect anyone to hassle me about it.”

    “Excuse me?” He was thoroughly confused now.

    “Look, I know what his kind did over one hundred years ago, but it was a hundred years ago, and I’m not about to turn now a paying customer. I run business after all. So how long have you been investigating me?”

    “Investigating?”

    “Did I stutter?”

    Nat shook his head. “Look, pal, I’m not sure what kind of idea you have in your head. But who you do business with is your concern. I’m not too worried about the Yuzzhan Vong, especially one that takes time to hide his face.”

    “No?”

    “No,” he paused. “I have different reasons for inquiring.”

    Darnus looked curious.

    “It’s just that, the Yuuzhan Vong don’t usually travel too much. They usually stick to Zonoma Sekot and a few other designated planets. I believe it might be…” He hesitated, wondering if he should go ahead with what he was about to say. “…my contact.”

    “Your contact?

    “I was told my contact was on the unusual sort and I could find him at this station.”

    Darnus snorted. “Well, ‘unusual’ certainly fits the Vong, though I’m not sure it’s entirely adequate.”

    Nat chuckled appreciatively. “Got that right.”

    “Yeah,” The fueling station boss stared at him for a second or two then shrugged. “The transport is located on the southern platform.” It was obvious once again, he didn’t care either way.

    “Much obliged.” He dug his hand into his pocket, searching for more credits.

    Darnus turned back to his work.

    “Keep it.” He said shortly.

    “Are you sure?”

    “Yeah, just don’t cause any trouble.”

    “No problem there.”

    The man didn’t say a word more.

    Nat headed in the direction that the man had indicated, being careful to not stand out so much. He found the unmarked transport—there where only three ships currently dominating the south platform. Two were freighters while the third was some sort of shuttle, but he wasn’t sure what kind. He understood why they called it an unmarked transport. It had probably been many types of vessels cobbled together so much so that it was a hodge-podge style ship.

    He cast a look around. A few service beings were work on one of the freighters, but none of them seemed to be paying attention to him. He approached the ship cautiously, examining it. He tried to peer through the forward viewport but it had been darkened for privacy.

    His only hope was to wait and hope he was able to get a glimpse of this Vong. He positioned himself behind a large crate that hid him from the view of both the boss and his crew and the supposed Yuuzhan Vong himself.

    He puzzled over the fact that the being had been seen wearing a cowl. It was most unusual, well not nearly so if he wanted to avoid detection, but still odd nonetheless. Another thing he found curious is there had been no mention of clothing; anything that would designate his class. From what Nat gathered, only the Vong’s face had been hidden, which would lead him to believe the rest had not. If he was wearing armor, he was sure the Quarren or Darnus would have mentioned it.

    Maybe they hadn’t seen him.

    Nat frowned.

    Just then, the ramp lowered for a moment and a crew member was approaching the ship. A being stepped into the hatchway for a moment, and called down the ramp to him:

    “What do you want?” he rasped.

    “We’re finished…Sir.”

    “Oh, good. Much thanks,” He was clearly dismissed the man.

    The Vong then turned to head back into his ship, and as he did, Nat caught a glimpse of what was below the hood. His face was disfigured and tattered; key attributes of the Yuuzhan Vong. Only this one face was more tattered than the usual disfigurement—it did not seem like a badge. It was almost as if he was…shamed.

    A Shamed One? Nat thought. What was a Shame One doing here so far away from Zekot?

    He frowned. He wasn’t usually one to judge. The Jedi had been the Yuuzhan Vong’s top proponents; it was the Order’s hope that they could be trusted by the galaxy—even redeemed. The Ossus Project was even being headed by his brother; it was an attempt to ingratiate and integrate the Vong to the galaxy by reforming the world’s their ancestors had destroyed with their technology.

    Still, he couldn’t help but feel an odd sinking feeling. This one was way too close to the Core.

    He got up and backed away before he could be spotted. He would wait until the service crew member had cleared the area; just enough so he could keep up his façade. He looked around anxiously.

    Only one thing bother him; where was the darkness he sensed earlier?

    “Guess, I’ll just have to follow him.” he mumbled. “Sorry, Great-Grandda'.”
    *

    *
    Luke sneezed.

    Ben looked up at his father who had been looking through some documents.

    “You coming down with a cold, Dad?”

    “No,” Luke lowered the hand that had covered his mouth. “Must’ve been dust or something.”

    “Ah,” His son lay back against the pillow, counting the stippling on the ceiling. It was clear to Luke the boy was bored. “Thanks, for coming down to sit with me. I was going barvy.” He smiled at this.

    “It’s no problem.” He set the ‘pad in his lap. “I was going barvy myself waiting for Nat to return ever since Kol left; he’s late.”

    “Where’d he say he was heading off to?”

    “He didn’t.”

    Ben scrunched his forehead. “Did he say who he was meeting?”

    “He didn’t tell me that either.”

    “Well, that helps a lot.”

    “Maybe, but I got the impression that his contact was someone very important. Someone they couldn’t reveal.”

    Ben pursed his lips. He didn’t like it that they were being kept in the dark.

    Luke could see that his son was thinking deeply, could sense his distaste for the current situation by his facial expression. “I’m sure when Kol deems it appropriate he’ll let us know.”

    His son heaved a heavy sigh. “How can you remain so calm?” Frustration was evident in his voice.

    Luke returned to looking through the datapad, all the while carrying on a conversation with Ben.

    “It’s not like I have the power to do anything, Ben. We’re out of our element here.”

    Ben countered stubbornly, “And we were out of our element back in our time.”

    Luke sighed, setting the datapad aside.

    “Ben, you know we can’t go rushing into this. We have to gather as much information as possible before we do anything. Even you know that.”

    “Yeah, I know. It’s just so frustrating; lying here.”

    “And you’ll stay in bed until you better. Don’t push yourself.”

    “But…”

    “I said, no, Ben.”

    Ben sighed this time.

    “Ben, nothing hurts more to see you in that bed. If I had said no back then, you wouldn’t be lying up there with a hole in your stomach.” There was much sadness and distress in Luke’s voice. “I would give anything to have you well.”

    “It wasn’t your fault.” He argued. “Dad…Worrying about me isn’t going to speed up my healing. It’ll take a few bacta dips and a healing trance or two.” He scratched his head. “So, far I haven’t tried the later—Healer Staad says I’m too weak to endure it. And they’re not comfortable with dipping me in bacta yet, though I suspect today will be the day.” He reached out a hand and put it on his father’s. “Dad, I’ll be fine.”

    “I know.”

    Ben nodded. “Good, now that that’s settled, do you have any idea when Master Kol will be back?”

    “No, though he did say it would take two and a half days to get there. I suppose it will depend on how his meeting goes with his contact. I had a general idea that he was familiar with who he was going to see, but he was very secretive about it. I think, he didn’t want to tell me until he had secured their help. It probably has a lot to do with their status.”

    “Let’s hope that happens soon. If that little girl’s premonition is true..."


    They locked eyes. Ben didn’t even have to finish his sentence; both of them knew what the outcome would be. Even now, he could sense disaster looming on the horizon.
    ***
    Last edited by EmeraldJediFire, Nov 3, 2013
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  25. newdawn12 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 9, 2013
    star 4
    I'm really enjoying this fic, loved the banter
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