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Beyond - Legends [DDC 2017] The Journal of Talon Tantiss: [Part 5] Secrets Revealed-Vol 2 (updated 12/11/17)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Jedi_Lover, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Fun with what he can uncover. I hope he stays safe when visiting Tavik
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    JL, hello. My goodness, you have so many interlocking mysteries going at once. Brilliant and suspenseful. I don't trust Tavik one bit; of course I never trusted Streke; J'Shan is an unwitting accomplice in the schemes Streke has going. My goodness … J/Tk are very active aren't they? It's a Sky/Solo thing apparently. :eek: on your eye problems. [face_worried] Hope that turns out well. @};-
  3. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    All caught up!

    I’m sorry I haven’t managed to keep up with your story as you post it – various things have been going on in my little world – but it’s a true pleasure to read, and given how you handle the mystery it’s in a way a good thing that I’m reading large chunks at a time.

    I’ve said this before but I’m very curious to see how you’re going to pull all the strings together in the end. Every time I catch up, there are new elements to the plot – in this case the lightsaber attack against Streke and the attack against the Hapan royal family – that must all be somewhat interconnected, but this time for the life of me I can’t figure out how. However, going back to the comment I left a looong time ago on this story, I think I know who is behind all this (and who is Tavik’s informant too!) but I don’t quite get yet *why* he’d be doing it.

    I think that Talon is getting closer though. He figured out who gave Tavik a particular bit of info, maybe he’ll make the leap and figure out the rest. At the same time, I expect that Ben will have been studying the security recordings back on Coruscant and there’s bound to be some news on that front.

    Oh, and lastly, I don’t buy that Streke is a Don Juan. All those different ladies accompanying him home must somehow be part of the story too :p

    I hope your eyesight gets better soon, and good luck with your studies [face_good_luck]
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  4. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks for reading and reviewing. I really appreciate it. I don't think he has to worry about Tavik. He is a close family friend to Talon's father.

    Thanks. I am still on medication for my eyes, but I see the ophthalmologist tomorrow. I am also seeing a cardiologist the same day. I made the mistake of getting a Fitbit and now I am worried about my health. I really don't think it is normal to get up and walk down the hall and have a heart beat of 134 bpm. I am going to be fitted for a Holter Monitor (a portable EKG) tomorrow. It will record my heart beats for 24 hours. It is not that I am out of shape. I walk miles each day at work, but it shouldn't be that high when I walk slowly down the corridor. I have chronic anemia, so maybe that has something to do with it. I don't know. I guess I am just getting old. It sucks, but it beats the alternative. ;)

    I completely understand being busy.

    I too am curious as to how I am going to pull all the strings together. I know who is doing what and why, but how to reveal it is the puzzle. I don't know why you can't see Streke as Don Juan. He is the CHIEF OF STATE. Power is an aphrodisiac to some people. Talon knows more about what is going on that Ben who is a trained investigator. He figured out Jacen was involved in the Hapan plague because he knows his father. He realized his dad's actions were strange and his father wouldn't do something so out-of-character unless he was protecting something. The fact that he disappeared with Tavik just reinforced the thought his father and Tavik did something to protect Jacen. So he knows Tavik and Mark are more than willing to do whatever it takes to protect the people they love (in Tavik's case...he loves his job...not necessarily Jacen).

    Thanks for reading. I will let you guys know what the doctors say tomorrow.


    Entry 16

    I arrived on Hapes two days later and was met at the spaceport by Commander Tavik himself. I guess Tenel Ka or Jacen told him to expect my arrival. He strutted to my Stealth X with the telltale Void Jumper swagger. I once tried to pull off that cocky stride, but Zylie told me it looked like either my underwear was too tight or I needed some hemorrhoid cream. I must admit, Tavik pulls it off without looking like he’s wearing restricting undergarments or is in the need of medicinal ointments. I climbed down from my ship, secured the cockpit, and pulled out a small carry all bag from the side fuselage compartment as the older man came up next to me and slapped a hand on the shoulder. “Tantiss! I figured ‘you-know-who’ would send somebody to check on the situation.” He looked me up and down. “Nice flight suit, but lose the lightsaber. Hapans are not very accepting of Jedi. Jacen and Tenel Ka are tolerated because they are no longer part of the order.”

    I nodded as I removed my saber from my belt and slipped it into a side cargo pocket. “Is the insurrection put down?”

    He dropped his hand from my shoulder and gestured for me to follow him. “I believe so.”

    I glanced over to him. “Have you gotten any intelligence from the survivors?”

    He chuckled as he opened the door to a parked speeder. “Get in and we’ll talk.” He looked around the spaceport. “There are too many eyes and ears in the public.”

    I entered the luxurious speeder with blasterproof windows and doors. Once Deke was inside he grinned good-naturedly. “It’s good to see you again. How is your mom and dad?”

    I shrugged as he started the vehicle and sped off in the direction of the palace. “Who knows about my dad? He’s always off doing something dangerous. My mom is probably safe on Indupar baking cookies or getting a massage from her favorite masseur.”

    Tavik laughed. “Living in a palace is a nice cushy life. I don’t blame your parents for leaving the frugal quarters of the Jedi Academy to live in the extravagant suites of a royal house. I know I would rather be here and saving the Queen than working as a void jumper, living in the mud, eating dehydrated rations and hoping there isn’t a malfunction of the urination evacuation system of my armor while I’m off killing the enemy.”

    I shook my head and gave a snort. “Don’t lie to me. You miss the thrill of the drop and the vanquishing of the enemy.”

    Tavik laughed. “That is the beauty of working with Tenel Ka…I’m always annihilating adversaries. She has a never-ending stream of rivals trying to kill her.”

    “That’s true,” I said. “So, have you questioned the survivors?”

    “No,” he said with a shake of his head. “There are no survivors.”

    My brow rose in shock. “You didn’t take prisoners?”

    He gave me an indignant glower. “I didn’t take prisoners because these people fought to the death.”

    “Who are they? Are they mercenaries?”

    He made an incredulous expression. “Do you know any mercenaries that fight to the death? Unless they thought I was going to capture and torture them, mercenaries would surrender and try to work out a deal. They would give up the name of their employer for leniency.”

    “What if they thought their employer would kill their families if they surrendered? I hate to say it, but I have seen that tactic carried out on various planets."

    Tavik thought about it. “Maybe, but these people look Hapan.”

    “Really? Hapans may be classified as near human, but to me they look just like every other human in the galaxy, so how could you tell?”

    He gave me a sidelong glance. “They are beautiful. The Hapan people may have the darkest souls in the universe, but their exterior is drop dead gorgeous. I may not like them, with the exception of the queen and her kids, but I have to admit they have a flawless beauty. That’s why I think these insurgents were Hapan, they are attractive…all of them. And if they were hired by the Hapan royals…well then your theory might be right. The royals would slaughter the families of any disloyal foot soldiers. They would be better off fighting to the death, rather to face the wrath of these backstabbing royals.”

    The speeder was nearing the royal palace and I was astonished by the extent of the destruction. The palace was in ruins. Construction workers, police, and rescue personnel were climbing over the rubble as heavy lifting droids raised huge chunks of duracrete. I assume they were looking for survivors or perhaps this was a recovery mission. I turned to Deke. “When was the last time a survivor was discovered?”

    “Yesterday. It was one of the maids.” He shook his head sadly. “She died in the hospital.”

    We drove by large barricades with armed soldier keeping reporters and looters out of the area. To my surprise, Tavik didn’t slow down but went right by the palace.
    I looked back at the scene of destruction. “I was hoping to poke around and try to use the Force to figure out the identity of the attackers.”

    Tavik shook his head. “The place is now a crime scene. It is off limits to nonessential personnel.”

    I gave him a curious look. “And you are commander of the Queen’s security. Surely you could get me in.”

    He made a humphing noise. “The investigation has been taken over by the Hapan Consortium Investigation Bureau.” He gave me a sidelong glance. “Since this was an attack on all royals, every royal house is under suspicion, including the Queen and her private security detail.”

    “Then where are we going?”

    “My quarters. I can brief you there.”

    I nodded. “Commander Tavik, who told you about the impending attack?”

    He grunted. “That again? The Queen sent you to pump me for information, did she?” He pulled into a vehicle garage attached to what looked like a luxury apartment building. “I told her that I promised my contact that I wouldn’t reveal my source.”

    I nodded. “Fair enough…but what are you giving them in return?”

    He jerked the wheel of the speeder, pulled into a parking spot and stopping so abruptly it nearly caused me to hit my head on the dashboard of the vehicle. He turned and glared at me.

    “You know, not every person on this planet is a conniving, backstabbing bastard that always has an angle to play. I may be giving my contacts something, but it is of no concern to the Queen. I am not doing anything to hurt her or her family. I am not going to give up my sources.” He gave me a hard look. “You of all people should know some secrets are too dangerous to get out in the open. Sometimes we keep our confidences to maintain the safety of our friends and loved ones.”

    My breath caught in my throat. I was sure he was referring to my son. “Me, of all people? What do you know, or what do you think you know?”

    He chuckled as he unbuckled his restraints. “I know your family has been keeping a very big secret.”

    I laughed. “I’m not falling for that trick. You are fishing for information.”

    “Damn.” He grinned. “You are smarter than your father. I always get him with that ploy.”

    He opened the door and got out of the vehicle. I pushed open the heavy durasteel door on my side and exited the vehicle as I joined Deke at the rear of the speeder. He walked toward an elevator while giving me a wave to follow. “Come on, we’ll go to my quarters and we can have a chat.”

    My unease began to grow. If my dad always falls for Deke’s fishing expeditions, then what information is he privy to? Does he know about my son, or was he referring to Jacen and his fall to the darkside? I guess I will have to wait and find out.
    Chyntuck likes this.
  5. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Yikes, what does Deke know that's a big secret, and who is behind this attack if Hapans are trying to take down all the royal families? [face_thinking]
  6. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Interesting meeting with Deke. Who are these attackers? And hope your eyes and heart are OK
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  7. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Oh-ho-ho! So Tavik knows something? Or is he pretending that he knows something? Or does he think he knows something are is trying to get confirmation? You're such a tease, you know!

    I also notice that he kinda, umm, dodged Talon's question about how what he gives his sources in return for the information he gets... which, if his source is who I think, could be nothing more than a few drinks, but I'm still very curious to know.

    Crossing fingers for your doctor appointment [face_good_luck] I hope all your health issues sort themselves out very soon.
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  8. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    :rolleyes: The ophthalmologist said I am not completely healed so I have to endure a third week on my eye drops that basically make it so I can't focus well. He had also ordered blood tests and a chest X-Ray because getting Iritis three times might mean there is some autoimmune problem going on. I get a call from my doctor saying my chest X-Ray was abnormal and they are sending me to a rheumatologist. They need an expert opinion. I am just imagining my doctor and ophthalmologist staring at my X-Ray and saying, "What the hell is that?" [face_dunno]
    Chyntuck likes this.
  9. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    We already know Deke knows what happened on Myrkr and about the Hapan plague, so maybe that is what he is talking about.
    Thanks. I was told by my doctor that the chest X-Ray showed old scarring in my lungs. I have never smoked or been around smokers, but I have been exposed to asbestos while in the Army. I also think I had pneumonia for three months and the military doctors kept telling me I had a chest cold. I was coughing up gobs of stuff and coughed so hard I pulled all the muscles between the ribs. I was never treated for it, so I might have scarring from that. The only rheumatologist in my area that took my insurance moved to California, so I am waiting for the hospital to replace her. I have had this eye problem 28 years ago, twenty years ago and now. So if I have some autoimmune disease I have had it for probably three decades. I think I can wait. Otherwise I have to drive four hours for a doctors appointment. :rolleyes:

    Thanks. I go back to the ophthalmologist on Friday. I am hoping I am healed.

    Entry 17

    As we entered Deke’s family residence, he looked around and called out, “Honey, I’m home.” When there was no response he smiled. “Good, the wife’s not here. You can’t discuss any confidential information around her unless you want the ladies at the spa knowing all your business.” He pointed to the living area of his apartment. “Take a seat. Do you want a drink?”

    “No thanks,” I said as I sat on the couch and Commander Tavik took a seat across from me in a padded recliner. “So,” I said slowly. “What did you mean by, You, of all people should know some secrets are too dangerous to be known? I am very curious as to what you think I’ve been hiding.”

    “I don’t just think, I know. I know all about your cousin Jacen’s past digressions.”

    I tried to hide my relief as I blew out the breath I’d been holding. For a moment I had worried that he found out about my son. “I figured you knew. You disappeared with my dad for a couple weeks after the Myrkr incident. I assume you and dad were covering my cousin’s tracks.”

    “Yes, we were.” He cocked his head to the side and gave me a curious expression. “You look relieved when I mentioned Jacen as being your big secret…but now I am wondering what else your family is hiding.”

    I averted my eyes and took a calming breath. “My family isn’t hiding anything else.”

    “Oh, you are a lousy liar," he said with a laugh. "I can tell you are being deceptive. You avoid looking me in the eye and start doing those meditative breathing exercises to calm your nerves.” He paused, waiting for me to deny the accusation. When I remained silent he chuckled. “Okay, keep it a secret.” He stood and walked over to his liquor cabinet where he poured himself a shot of what looked like whiskey. He held the glass up toward me. “You sure you don’t want one?”

    “No, I rarely drink.”

    He shook his head in disbelief. “You and your father are the only two non-drinking Void Jumpers I know of. It must be some spook thing.”

    I shrugged. “A drunk Jedi is a dangerous Jedi.”

    “That’s true.” He downed his drink in one gulp before refilling it and returning to his seat.

    “What can you tell me about the attack?” I asked.

    He took a sip of his drink and set it on a side table. “My contact warned me about a possible impending attack on the royal family of Hapes. I assumed only Tenel Ka and her children were in danger. I never thought the other royals would be targeted.”

    I scoffed. “Are you telling me that the emergency drill of the school was sheer coincidence?”

    “Yes it was a coincidence.” His jaw tightened as his face turned an angry color. “Are you insinuating that my contact told me the exact time and scale of the attack and I didn’t bother to evacuate all the buildings? Dozens of people died and, although I can care less about the royals, I do care about the guards, servants, cooks and other innocent people who were killed.” He paused as another possibility occurred to him. “Or are you suggesting that I arranged the attack on the royal house myself? I got Tenel Ka and her family out of harm’s way because I knew mercenaries, hired by yours truly, were about to assault the complex. I then ordered the evacuation drill to save the children… because, after all, I’m not a total monster. I then made sure I killed all the mercenaries so they wouldn’t talk. Is that what you’re suggesting?”

    I felt my face blanch. “I ah…” I wasn’t sure what to say, especially since his second stated possibility sounded so well thought out and conceivable. I took a deep breath and let it out. “I don’t know what I am suggesting. It would be a smart move. You did say the Queen had people constantly trying to kill her. This could be a way to get rid of a good many of those conniving dark souls you mentioned earlier. It would make your job easier. The servants might simply be unfortunate collateral damage.”

    His brow rose as he sat back in his chair. “Damn Talon, you must think I like bloodshed. Just because you and your dad are prolific killers, it doesn’t mean all of us Void Jumpers are.”

    Now I was confused. “What do you mean by that?”

    He gave a shake of his head. “Your father did help destroy the planet Byss which I assume was full of millions of people. And you…” He pointed a finger at me. “You have the nickname The Butcher of Jabiim.” He sat back in his seat and gave a cold chuckle. “Hell, you killed an entire company of men with a flick of your wrists. Did you know the Mortuary Affairs Unit that went out to collect the bodies had to use industrial floor squeegees to scrap the enemy remains off the various cargo speeders you used to squash them?" He shuddered visibly. "You are the last person who should make accusations of ruthlessness.”

    I closed my eyes as I began to feel queasy. What happened on Jabiim was necessary to save my unit…but the memory still made my stomach churn. “I’m sorry for suggesting you were involved. It’s just that…well, it does seem like a huge coincidence that you called for an evacuation drill of the schools moments prior to the attack.”

    “Tantiss, did you ever think the evacuation drill might have caused the mercenaries to attack early? If they thought their cover was blown they would either have to stand down and regroup or accelerate the time table and take their chances.”

    “Oh,” I said quietly. It made sense that if the assassins saw people flowing out of the buildings they might have attacked immediately “Who do you think is responsible? There must have been one royal family that sustained less damage. What royals were off planet?”

    He shrugged. “As you can imagine, it is unusual for all the royals to be in the palace at one time. Some were off planet; some were simply in another part of the city. What I worry about is the investigation pointing fingers at Tenel Ka.”

    “Why would they do that? Nobody knows they’re off planet.”

    “Even if they believe Tenel Ka and her family were in the Palace, only the Queen’s security Force was actively preparing for an attack. The only bombs discovered and defused were in her sector of the palace. The security personnel of the other royals were not as lucky. Tenel Ka sustained less damage. Suspicion will fall on her. The royals will believe she arranged the attack to get rid of them.”

    I gazed at Tavik for a long pause. “You don’t think she’s involved, do you? Could she have planned the attack to kill her rivals and then funneled information to you to get her off planet? This way if you got caught and interrogated you couldn’t implicate her?”

    His jaw dropped as he considered the possibility. “My men and I could have been killed in the attack. There were bombs and assassins to contend with. Some of my men were severely injured.” He sat back in his seat wide eyed as he considered the possibility. “I would think she valued my life more than that.” There was a long pause. “I don’t think she would do that…but Jacen might. He can be ruthless when it comes to protecting his family.”

    Deke looked so crestfallen that I felt bad for even suggesting the possibility. “Hey,” I said softly. “I’m sure it wasn’t them. When I talked to Tenel Ka and Jacen I didn’t sense any duplicity on their part. And I don’t sense deceit from you. I’m sorry that I am throwing accusations around.”

    He closed his eyes briefly as he chewed his bottom lip. “No problem, but since we are accusing everybody, I don’t feel so bad about asking this question. Do you think the Jedi were involved? Are they punishing Tenel Ka for leaving the order or because of Jacen's actions?”

    I actually laughed at the possibility. “No, the Jedi are definitely not involved. Uncle Luke understood why she couldn’t stay with the order. And Jacen's family doesn't hold any animosity towards him. Why in the galaxy would you ask that question?”

    He drew in a deep breath and blew it out slowly. “Because on one of the assailants I found a lightsaber.”

    I sat stunned for a long moment before I started a barrage of questions.

    “A lightsaber? Do you have it or is it in the hands of the Hapan Consortium Investigation Bureau?”

    He made a reassuring gesture. “I found it and smuggled it out of the area. That’s the last thing that I wanted the investigators to find.”

    “Where is it? I can probably glean information from it.”

    He shook his head. “It was too dangerous to keep. I got rid of it. I flew up to the outer orbit of the planet and jettisoned it. It burned up in the atmosphere.”

    My shoulders slumped. “Did you turn it on? Did it have an amber blade?”

    “I don’t know what color blade it had.” He got up and went to his dining room table and picked up a datapad. “It wasn’t functional, but I took a photo of it.”

    He handed me the device with an image of an ornate lightsaber that apparently had been broken in half by either an explosion or blaster fire. I looked up to Deke. “Did any of your men report fighting somebody with a lightsaber?”

    He shook his head. “This was found inside the person’s side pocket. No others were found.”

    My mind was reeling at the implications as I tried to make sense of the situation. “Can you describe the man you found this on?”

    “Sure,” Deke said as he looked to the ceiling in thought. “He was about my height, muscular, clean shaven, with light brown hair.”

    “Did you recognize him? Could he be a Void Jumper?”

    He looked perplexed by the line of questioning but then an expression of understanding crossed his face. “Oh, you think he’s that guy training the Jedi killing army of Vong Void Jumpers.”

    “Yes,” I said barely suppressing a sarcastic tone. “He is also the guy who attacked the Chief-of-State and I believe he is the man attacking slavers and freeing captives.”

    Deke sat back down and rubbed his chin in thought. “Damn, that guy gets around. Why would a Jedi-killing, antislavery army attack Hapan royals?”

    I threw up my hands. “I don’t know. None of this makes sense. If I had that lightsaber I could probably tell you. Now we’ll never know if the dead assassin and the man with the amber lightsaber are one and the same.”

    He laughed out loud. “I can tell you are not the investigative sentinel in your Jedi family.” Deke grabbed his drink and took another sip. “You obviously remember that video I gave your father of the Void Jumper with the lightsaber.” He reached out and tapped the top of the datapad I was holding. “That is not the same lightsaber. The markings are different. Plus, the assassins we fought weren’t wearing Void Jumper armor. And I am fairly certain that handsome gang of assassins sitting in the morgue are not, and never have been, butt-ugly Vong fighters. Also your dad said the antislavery leader didn’t hurt your cousin Hanna and the other Jedi. So why would he attack Hanna’s cousin?” He crossed his arms over his massive chest as his eyes locked with mine. “No, I think the most obvious answer is probably the correct one. They are Hapan assassins. One idiot probably bought a lightsaber at some antique shop and had delusions of being a Sith-wannabe.”

    The mention of Sith sent me down another path of thought. “Or maybe Lumiya, the Dark Lady of the Sith, had more than one apprentice and this second apprentice wants to get revenge on Jacen.”

    Deke grinned sardonically, like that was the stupidest idea he has ever heard. “That’s a lot of maybes. I’ll let the Investigation Bureau figure this out. I am just happy that the attack failed. Once again my sources have proven correct.”

    I studied Deke for a long moment. “Commander Tavik, do you trust your source? Do you even know who it is? Or what they want from you in return?”

    He stifled a smile as he shrugged his shoulder. “All I can say is, yes, yes and yes.”
    Chyntuck likes this.
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wow, an intense discussion about who is behind everything and if it's one person behind each attack or different persons/groups. [face_nail_biting]
  11. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    revealing discussion between Deke and Talon.
    Who is the source?
  12. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Oh wow. Everyone is a potential suspect, and yet none of the people whom Talon and Tavik discussed are likely to be the culprit. And I don't buy the Hapan assassins explanation; there's something much bigger happening here. Also, it seems a wee bit too convenient that Tavik would already have destroyed the lightsaber... which means that he's somehow in league with you-know-who, if my suspicions are correct.

    Talon certainly isn't the sentinel in the family... Tavik would probably make a better Jedi sentinel than him, if he's such a bad liar :p
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  13. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    Thank you. I really need to hurry and pull things together before the end of the year. I appreciate you reading and taking the time to review.
    Thanks for reading. In my mind, only one key player knows the entire story and it is not Deke. Deke thinks he knows more than he really does.
    Yeah, Talon is not good at puzzles. He's a soldier...and a lover...but he's no sentinel.
    Entry 18

    Commander Deke Tavik has to be the most stubborn and infuriating person I have ever ran into. He is in possession of important information, intelligence that might be critical to solving more than one mystery, but he refuses to divulge anything. I finally convinced him to bring me to the morgue so I could see the man who owned the lightsaber. I also hoped that I could touch any belongings—weapons, clothing, jewelry—that the dead once possessed.

    When we arrived to the morgue Deke vigorously shook the hand of the coroner. “Doctor Sejas, thank you for seeing us at so short notice.”

    The doctor was an older man, probably in his early seventies, with short-cropped gray hair and clean-shaven. A broad toothy grin spread across the doctor’s face. “How can I not see you, Commander Tavik, when you send so much work my way? I have been getting overtime pay since the attack. I may not particularly like the long hours, but my wife is already planning an exotic vacation with all that extra pay.”

    “If the idiots stop attacking the Queen I would stop killing them.” Commander Tavik gave the man a friendly slap on his shoulder before turning to me. “I’d like to introduce you to Talon Tantiss.”

    I could see a glint of recognition in the man’s eyes. “Talon Tantiss? Any relation to Mark Tantiss?”

    “Yes. He’s my father.” I was a little surprised that a Hapan coroner was familiar with my dad. “How do you know him?”

    “I’m retired New Republic Military. He was one of Luke Skywalker’s first Jedi students. It is hard to not know the name, especially since he worked so closely with the military.”

    “Young Tantiss here,” Deke said before leaning closer to the man and whispered loudly. “Or as I call him, ‘Spook Junior’”. He laughed at his own joke before continuing in a normal voice. “He’d like to see the bodies of the attackers to see if he recognizes any of them.”

    The man turned and waved for us to follow. “Sure, I guess there is no harm in letting you do that. We have been trying to identify them since the bodies came in. We can use any help we can get.”

    We walked to the rear of a medical building and into a huge room filled with rows and rows of gurneys occupied by bodies. All were covered with white sheets with the exception of one unlucky male lying on a durasteel dissection table. I began to walk up to the autopsy area, but stopped and turned away when I noticed the man was split open with a ‘Y’ shaped incision revealing his internal organs. I wasn’t interested in seeing gore, what I really wanted to see were their belongings.

    I walked around the room and lifted a few sheets before turning to the doctor. “Where’s their clothing?”

    The doctor looked confused. “We took them off to do the dissections.”

    Deke let out a loud barking laugh. “Yeah, it is pretty difficult to do an autopsy on a fully clothed individual.”

    I scowled at the Commander. I could sense that Deke knew full well why I was asking that question. I returned my attention to the doctor. “I’m a post-cognitive. If I can hold any clothing or items belonging to the deceased I can sometimes get Force-visions.”

    “Ohhh,” that man said with a chuckle. “Sorry, all of their belongings were confiscated by the Hapan Consortium Bureau of Investigation. You’d have to check with them.”

    I let out a disappointed groan. I looked over to Deke. “Can you show me that one man we talked about?”

    Deke was still grinning at my expense when he started walking around the room and lifting up sheets. After about the tenth body he called me over. “Here he is. Does he look familiar?”

    I glanced down at a very tall, muscular man. Deke was right when he said these assailants were good looking. This guy could play the lead in a holodrama or work as a model. He had light colored hair, a square jaw, and a face that probably was flawless prior to meeting up with Deke and his men. Now there were pieces of shrapnel embedded his right cheek and his ear was torn off.

    “Do you recognize him?” Deke asked.

    I shook my head. “No, but you are right, he looks Hapan.”

    “That is very doubtful,” the doctor commented causing us to turn and look at him questioningly. “I ran DNA sequencing on many of these bodies and they don’t appear to be Hapan.”

    “Are they pure human?” Deke asked.

    The doctor looked at the bodies for a long moment before answering. “I believe so. There are some genetic variation from the standard human, but not enough to place them into a near human category. What is interesting is this group shows very low haplotypic diversity. I would say these people are all from the same planet; most likely one isolated from the main hyperspace trade lanes. Unfortunately, I can’t find any genetic markers that would allow me to pinpoint a specific part of our known galaxy.”

    I blew out a frustrated breath. “Well, this is a dead end.”

    “Not necessarily,” the doctor commented. “You can eliminate many planets as the source of these invaders, such as Corellia, Hapes, Coruscant and other highly traveled destinations.”

    “I guess that’s something,” I said reluctantly.

    We thanked the doctor and returned to Deke’s speeder for the drive back to his quarters.

    “Deke, did you use bodycams?”

    He nodded. “Yes, but the attackers scrambled communications, so none of the audio came through. Some of the video survived, but it was confiscated by the Investigation bureau…but I made a copy of my bodycam vid. I can show you that.”

    I was a little excited about this information. “I would love to see it.”

    Entry 19

    Deke’s bodycam vid was full of static and interference, but I was able to get a general impression of what happened. I was surprised that Commander Tavik’s men were all wearing matt-black Void Jumper armor with a few of the jumpers having a gold stripe on their shoulder. I pointed to the image floating above Deke’s home holoprojector. “Is the yellow stripe rank designation?”

    “Yes, that’s Sergeant Jasean, Void Jumper, explosive ordnance disposal, and sniper. He’s also cross trained as a combat medic and he has some slicing skills.”

    In the video Sergeant Jasean was laying down suppressive fire as his squad moved forward to confront the enemy. I examined the clothing of the terrorists for any insignia or clues to their origin, but I didn’t see anything that would indicate who they were. They were not wearing any protective armor, just one-piece, zip-up combat fatigues.

    I did notice that the invaders did not fight like a cohesive unit. In fact, they appeared confused and panicked at times. More than once I saw the attackers thrusting out their hands in front of them in a protective manner. That type of defensive move may work in a knife fight, but not against blasters. They were mowed down by Deke’s men. It was obvious that these terrorists were not thoroughly trained in urban warfare tactics. I turned to Deke. “Do your men always wear Void Jumper armor?”

    “No, my guards on site were wearing their normal lightweight uniforms. They have an armor chest plate and shoulder protection, but that’s it. They were the only ones injured. My Void Jumpers were on alert in our guard house located on the roof of the servant’s wing of the palace. It took us less than ten minutes to suit up and respond. A year ago, the Queen expanded the balcony at her personal quarters to allow three Void Jumpers at a time to land. We smashed through the balcony doors and encountered the first group of invaders. That’s where this footage is shot. Luckily Jacen and the Queen’s body doubles ducked down one of the secret passages and escaped.”

    In the holovid I could see Deke’s armored gauntlets as he used standard Void Jumper hand signals to communicate with his men as they moved through the Queen’s quarters. It was then something caught my eye. “Can you pause the vid?”

    Deke grabbed the remote control and stopped the holovid then looked to me. “Did you see something?”

    I nodded. “Back up a bit.”

    He did as I asked. “Stop there.” I stepped forward and stared at the image, which looked like a small brown cage. I pointed to the object in question. “Is that a ysalamiri nutrient cage?”

    He shrugged. “Yeah, whenever the Queen uses her body doubles we place one or two of the creatures in the area. We instituted the policy years ago. The Hapan people might hate the Jedi, but most of them have one or two marginal Force users on their staff. We don’t want them sensing that the doubles are not the real deal.”

    I shook my head in frustration. “Why didn’t you tell me that in the first place? That guy with the lightsaber could be a Force user and you wouldn’t have known it.”

    “That’s why I asked you if the Jedi could be involved. I didn’t see any spook magic going on, but the ysalamiri would prevent that. All I had to go on was the lightsaber.”

    I reached up and massaged my temples in a desperate attempt to ward off a headache. Deke chuckled. “I know, all this thinking can give a person a headache.”

    “Yeah,” I agreed. “Without any objects to handle my postcog abilities are useless and as you pointed out earlier…I’m no sentinel. I think Ben would be better suited to investigate this attack.”

    He patted me on the shoulder. “I’m sure it will all come to light soon enough.” He walked over to his small bar and poured himself a drink. He then opened a small cooling unit and pulled out a flavored water which he tossed in my direction. I deftly snatched it out of the air before sitting on his couch.

    “It’s just frustrating. We think there is going to be an attack on the Jedi on Coruscant and this might be part of it.”

    He sat in the chair across from me. “Why do you say that?”

    “These terrorists attacking the Hapans could be on a practice run. If you were going to attack Coruscant you would want to make sure your people were ready. They may have handpicked a group of individuals that could pass as Hapans. They knew the Queen always has people attacking her. They could test the mettle of their men against the Hapan people knowing everybody would suspect the attack originated from the royal house. If they succeed in killing the royals they would weaken one of the Galactic Alliances greatest military allies. If they fail, then their superiors would know they are not ready to attack Coruscant.”

    Deke’s brow rose. “And you say you’re no sentinel. That is a likely guess as any.” He tapped his fingers on his knee. “But who are they? If they are going to attack Coruscant, who is the target? The government or the Jedi? From what I have heard, the Jedi think the Chief-of-State is out to get them and developing the Vong Void jumpers to take out the Jedi Knights. Why would he attack Hapes? There are other targets you can use to test the battle readiness of your troops. They could attack a criminal syndicate…or slave traders.”

    I thought about it for a long while. “Maybe because Hapes is ruled by a former Jedi Knight and Jacen is the nephew of the Grand Master. The Queen would never support an attack on the Jedi and she might actually institute a counter attack against Mokk Streke.”

    Deke rubbed his chin in thought. “If that was true wouldn’t Streke have to worry about the Empire? Jaina and Jag would side with the Jedi. If they teamed up with Tenel Ka, then those two governments could take over the galaxy. They could oust the Chief-of-State and set up some sort of Jedi dynasty.” He made a sound of disgust. “A spook dictatorship. That’s all we need.”

    Deke’s idea did have some merit. “That would explain why Streke is developing a virus that would neutralize a Jedi’s power.”

    Deke chuckled darkly. “Has the Jedi thought about leaving Coruscant to a more defendable location?”

    I made a ‘who knows’ gesture. “I don’t think Uncle Luke wants to abandon the temple to looters.”

    “Doesn’t the Jedi employ non-Force users? The Grand Master can hire a civilian security detail to guard the temple.”

    I shook my head. “We get our funding from the government. I doubt the Chief-of-State would allocate funds for security to keep him and his army out of the temple.”

    Commander Tavik gave a dismissive snort. “Your Uncle is related to the richest and most powerful people in the galaxy. I am sure he could secure the funds. Anyway, I really doubt Streke will attack the temple. It would look bad. The last leader to order a march on the Temple was Palpatine, and Streke definitely doesn’t want to be compared to a Sith Lord. No, he’ll leave it alone. You just want to keep thieves out.”

    I thought about it for a moment. “I’ll mention it to Uncle Luke when I see him.”

    “You do that.” Deke took another sip of his drink as he shifted in his seat. “If the attack on the royals is the work of individuals plotting against the Jedi…then I think the Grand Master should make a decision soon. Things appear to be coming to a head.”

    That sounded ominous. “Did your ‘sources’ indicate the Jedi might be in danger?”

    He shook his head and chuckled. “Nobody has to tell me trouble is brewing.”

    I looked at him questioningly. “Would you tell the Jedi if you knew of an imminent attack against them, wouldn’t you?”

    His grin widened. “Of course. I pretend I don’t like spooks, but a Jedi once saved my life…so I owe you guys.”

    I didn’t sense any dishonesty in that statement, but I could tell he wasn’t telling me everything. When I remained silent he leaned forward in his chair. “You don’t believe me?” He motioned his arm out in a wide gesture. “You’re the postcog. Go ahead and touch stuff.” He grinned. “Or have you been doing that already? Did you come into my house to spy?”

    “No,” I said defensively. “I wouldn’t do that to you. It’s a huge breach of privacy.”

    He smiled as he rose out of his chair. “I figured you wouldn’t…even if ordered by the Grand Master. You are very much like your father. You make a good showing of being an obedient Jedi, but you follow your conscious…not a man or a Jedi philosophy.”

    “I don’t know about that…” I began to deny the accusation, but then thought better of it. My father had hid things from Uncle Luke and refused to follow direct orders in the past. And me…I was hiding my ties to Marcus. I would lie to the Grand Master’s face if I thought telling the truth would endanger my son. Maybe Deke was right.

    I stood and reached out to shake Deke’s hand. “Thank you for showing me around. I really appreciate it.”

    He pumped my hand up and down enthusiastically before showing me to the door. “Do you want a ride to your ship?”

    “No, I’ll get an airtaxi.”

    I left the man’s apartment greatly disappointed. I am terrible at investigating and spying. I hope a combat mission comes up soon. Killing the enemy seems to be the only thing I am really good at…unfortunately.
    Chyntuck likes this.
  14. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Ah some more pieces and possibilities considered. Now there are avenues to pursue as to likely targets and who these mercenaries are.
    Jedi_Lover likes this.
  15. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Nice entry with the coroner. But Talon didn't find out much. And the viewing of the bodycam was nice. More intrigue to follow
    Jedi_Lover likes this.
  16. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Oh, Deke, Deke, what are you hiding? How much do you really know? And who was really investigating the other during this dialogue?

    A planet off the main hyperlanes with an almost-but-not-quite near-human population... Ysalamiri... Panicked attackers who put their hands in front of themselves in a gun fight... Am I adding up the wrong clues here?
  17. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    I doubt if Talon will put it together, but Ben might.

    Thanks. I hope this story doesn't disappoint.

    LOL! I think you and Ben will see the same thing.

    Sorry everybody for the long delay. My oldest is off to college. We set him up in a condo across the street from the college. I have been going crazy. I am sure he is going to oversleep without me constantly dragging him out of bed all the time. But it appears he has been getting up and going to class. I guess it helps that I didn't put cable in the condo. No internet and no cable TV. I told him to get a job if he wants that stuff. I did buy him a tracfone for the condo so he will have a way to call people especially if there is an emergency.

    My oldest doesn't seem interested in driving a car, but my youngest is going to all of his driver's Ed classes and has a drivers test scheduled next week. Ack! Then I have to add him to my insurance. I'm sure adding a 16 year old boy to my policy won't raise my rates. :rolleyes:

    Sorry if this is rushed. I wanted to get it in just under the wire. I will probably edit it more tomorrow.


    Entry 20

    I discovered the Vazy Princess had left Bastion and is on the way to Coruscant. Therefore, I am going back to the Jedi Temple. Hapes is closer to the city-world than Imperial space, so I will probably arrive before they do.

    Entry 21

    I arrived on Coruscant and met up with Ben who was still researching the possibility of a lightsaber attack on the Chief-of-State.

    “Hey Talon, come on in,” Ben said as he ushered me into his parents’ living quarters at the temple. I looked around the apartment expecting to see my former Master or the Grand Master, but Ben was alone. He walked over to the kitchen and grabbed a couple bottles of water out of the cooling unit.

    “Where’s your family?”

    Ben motioned for me to join him at the dining table. “The twins have their own quarters in the Temple and Hanna is on a mission and my parents are on Ossus. They are looking to make the subtemple into a junior academy for apprentices under the age of fourteen.”

    I sat down and took the proffered water. “Is that because of the threats to the Jedi on Coruscant?”

    Ben shrugged. “Dad said it isn’t just because of the threat of the midichlorian killing virus, but the general environment of a highly urbanized world. He thinks some fresh air and open country might better suit the younger apprentices. When they are fourteen they will come here and study advanced Jedi skills and then at sixteen they can start go off on their trials.”

    I unscrewed the top of the bottle and took a long sip. “Having the Jedi dispersed will also make it harder to wipe us out…if that is Mokk Streke’s intent.” I raised an eyebrow. “Have you figured out if somebody attacked the Chief-of-State like it was reported?”

    Ben sighed deeply. “I’m not sure. There is evidence that somebody was blanking out the cameras from the entrance of the building to his door. It occurred off and on for a week. On the last day the camera blackouts occurred Streke entered his quarters and there was a slight pause before his door reopened. It looked like he was going to leave but he hesitated and then turned around and closed the door to the apartment. Then nothing for about two hours. A cleaning droid came to the apartment, was there for an hour and then left. Then a luggage transport droid entered the apartment and left with two large suitcases followed by the chief-of-state. He went to his private docking bay, entered his shuttle and then took off. His destination was on the other side of the planet. He spent two days at some spa and then returned.”

    I felt a chill run down my spine. When we first reported the assassination attempt to the Grand Master I hypothesized that the assailant's body could be smuggled out of Streke's apartment in suitcases. And now we have evidence of large suitcases leaving the apartment. “Did he return with the luggage?”

    Ben nodded. “Yeah.”

    "I doubt he would bring back the luggage if they once held a dead body. That would be forensic suicide." I thought about it for a moment. “Do you think the chief-of-state was lying to his geneticist about the attack?”

    Ben blew out a breath. “It would make sense if Streke was trying to get the doctor to hurry up with his research…but that doesn’t explain why the cameras were blanked out one-by-one from the entrance to the chief-of-state’s apartment. That would seem to support his claim that a Force User was laying in wait in his apartment and attacked him…but there is no indication that he had any of his security personnel with him. He said he was saved by a guard with a lightsaber. Nobody was with him, so that goes counter to his story.” He shook his head in frustration. “ I really don’t know.”

    “Maybe the guard was already in the apartment. Perhaps he was the one blanking out the cameras because he wanted his identity to remain secret. Then the attacker enters from the balcony and finds not only the Chief-of-State inside but security. There is a fight and the man is killed.”

    “And then his lightsaber carrying guard cuts up the body so it will fit into two suitcases and a sanitation droid is brought in to clean up the mess.” Ben ran a hand through his red hair. “I thought of that, but I checked the cleaning droid and there was no blood…but they do get sterilized twice a week so evidence could have been lost.”

    “So another dead end.”

    “Unfortunately.” He looked up to me expectantly. “Please, tell me you found out who attacked the royal family on Hapes.”

    I groaned. “I couldn’t get into the palace. A planetary investigatory entity is in charge of the investigation.” I paused and lowered my voice. “But I have video of Tenel Ka’s private security fighting off the attackers and there is another thing. Something that Commander Tavik doesn’t want the Hapan people to discover.”

    Ben leaned forward in his chair. “What?”

    “One of the attackers had a lightsaber in his pocket.”

    “What?” Ben sat back in his chair, jaw slack with surprise. “Was it a coupe? Did the Hapan Knights attack their own queen?”

    “No, I would think Deke would recognize them and he's never seen these people before. We aren’t sure if the man with the lightsaber was a Force user because there were ysalamiri in the Queen’s apartment.”

    Ben pursed his lips in thought. “Can I see the video?”

    “Sure.” I pulled my datapad out of my side pocket and queued up the recording before handing it over to Ben. “It is a bit grainy. Deke said their communications were scrambled and it degraded the bodycam recording.”

    Ben turned on the video and watched intently. I got up and stood behind him so I could point out scenes of interest. “I don’t think this is a well-trained unit. They were running around like drunk monkey lizards. You can see the look of panic on their faces.”

    Ben stared at the video before he looked up to me. “Talon, you didn’t see anything peculiar in the holovid?”

    “No,” I said with a shake of my head. “Other than they were throwing up their hands defensively like they were fighting off a vibroblade instead of blasters.”

    Ben rubbed his chin as he played and replayed the images of the panicked attackers. “Talon, do you remember when Jacen shot at your father with a blaster on Myrkr?”

    I was caught off guard by this change of topic. “Yeah, why?”

    “Do you remember how your dad warded off the attack?”

    I nodded, "Yes, he used the Force to absorb the blasterbolt in his hand and arm." I raised an eyebrow when Ben unholstered his blaster and set it on stun. “Pretend I am Jacen and you are your dad and defend yourself without your lightsaber.” When Ben raised the blaster I immediately went into defense mode. A Jedi is trained how to absorb a blasterbolt. It was not my specialty, but I know the basics. I wasn’t sure if my cousin actually intended on stunning me so I threw my hands out so I could catch it with the Force. Once I was in that position he said, “Freeze! Don't move.” He put away his blaster without firing. “Notice anything familiar?”

    I looked at him, then my hands and then back to him. “No.”

    He rolled his eyes and sighed deeply. “Talon look at your hands and look at the hands of the attackers.”

    I kept my hands out while craning my neck to see the datapad. It was then I noticed the similarities. “Do you think they were Force users trying to deflect or absorb the blasterbolts?”

    “I think it is a possibility. Why would a bunch of incompetent assailants attack a heavily fortified palace?” He didn’t wait for an answer but continued on. “They wouldn’t. I think we have a group of Force users attacking the palace and they ran into something they never experienced before…ysalamiri. When they lost the Force they panicked and were immediately mowed down by Tavik’s men.”

    “There were a lot of attackers. If they were all Force users who trained them?”

    Ben shrugged. “There are only a few places in the galaxy where armies of trained Force users can be found. Here at the Temple, Hapes, Bastion and now on Indupar. Can you think of anything else about the attackers?”

    “Uh, yeah. The coroner ran genetic tests and he said they were human and not Hapan. He also said he believed they were so genetically similar that they were probably all came from the same planet. He also thought the planet was isolated because they didn’t match known genetic profiles of humans on well-traveled planets.”

    "Okay, that helps," Ben said softly. “Hapes is ruled out because they are technically classified as near human. Bastion and Coruscant have a lot of starship traffic.” He gave me an apologetic look. “That would leave Indupar or another isolated planet that is training Jedi in secret.”

    I got a sick feeling in my stomach. “Ben, don’t suggest that to your dad. Marcus is not training people to kill the Hapan royal family. Why would he?”

    He chewed on his bottom lip in thought before shaking his head. “He wouldn’t. He is family to all the leaders of the various Jedi orders. He is cousin to Jacen, Jaina and my mother and father are technically his great Uncle and Aunt. They don’t know it, but he does. I can’t see him hurting family.”

    “Me neither. He is a Tantiss and to a Tantiss family means everything.” I gazed at my cousin. “What do we tell your father?”

    I was sort of hoping Ben would say, ‘We don’t need to tell the Grandmaster. Let’s keep this quiet’, but unfortunately my cousin is a much better Jedi than I. “We tell him everything…but we don’t need to mention Indupar.”

    I nodded. “Agreed.”
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  18. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Talon's father is in trouble or not? I hope Talon and Ben can come up with a nice plan
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Yikes, Indupar. [face_nail_biting] That puts Talon in a personal bind and Marcus in the thick of probably some faction-led plot led by those pesky Seers. :rolleyes:
  20. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Yup, Ben and I guessed the same thing! And now Indupar... I wonder if Luke will figure it out too.

    I hope DRL gives you a break! First for your own sake, and second, very selfishly, because I feel that we're reaching the point in this story where answers are coming and I want to know what happens next!
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  21. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    It seems that Tantiss men and trouble are always together.
    Or it could be a totally different government secretly training Jedi.
    DRL is getting better. My last medical check up was good and I am now getting weaned off my eye medication. I failed my first test of the semester, but so did everybody else. We were given a chance for extra credit that would boost our grade up to 25%. LOL! I now am back to an A in the class. It helped that I got an A on the second test. This is going to be a busy end of the year. I hope to get this story done by the end of the year.

    Thanks everybody for reading.

    Entry 22

    The Vazy Princess arrived the next day. It was nice getting reacquainted with my lovely wife. Did I say nice? I meant awesome! Ha!

    Valla and Zylie had arranged a major shipment of goods from Bastion to Coruscant, so it was a profitable trip. Zylie informed me that Jacen and Tenel Ka’s doubles were officially and very publicly on their way to Bastion. Once they arrive the queen and her consort would no longer have to hide out in the Imperial Palace.

    I had sent Jaina a cryptic message saying, “Mission negative. Questionable priority intel. Will arrange complete report delivery”. It was a code we set up prior to me going to Hapes. It basically meant I didn’t discover who attacked the Hapan royals, but I did find some intel of interest. I didn’t mention the lightsaber over the transceiver. That information was too volatile to transmit, even if encrypted. I will write up a full report and send the information via courier, most likely a trusted Jedi traveling to Bastion in the next few days.

    Entry 23
    Grand Master Skywalker and my former master, Mara Jade Skywalker, returned today from Ossus. They decided they would start expanding the sub-temple to house the Jedi younglings. I think that is a good step in the right direction, but that doesn’t solve the problem of weak Force users showing up on Coruscant hoping to become a Jedi. Those people are usually adults. We need to do something. Things are getting out of hand. The Chief-of-State actually ran through the Senate a new bill increasing the penalty on crimes up to fifty percent if they were committed with the assistance of the Force. He calls them Force-assisted-criminal-activity (FACA) laws. I don’t know how he is going to prove some crimes were done by the Force. It may be possible when are talking about telekinesis, but to prove mind tricks were done in a commission of a crime might be difficult and I fear prosecutors or even victims might have a tendency to abuse these laws. If a victim is cheated out of money by a conman and wants to exact a harsher penalty on the crook, they could now claim it was a Force-using swindler that cheated them. Even if every criminal suspect was blood tested for midichlorians…how do you prove they used the Force in the commission of the crime? I guess I shouldn’t get worked up about these things. I’ll let the lawyers sort this out.

    I went over to the Grand Master’s quarters soon after they returned and told Uncle Luke and Aunt Mara about the lightsaber on Hapes. They were concerned, especially when I explained how Deke destroyed the evidence.

    “He could have simply locked it up somewhere,” Mara pointed out. She regarded her husband. “Could he be hiding something?”

    Luke looked over to me. “You were with him in his vehicle and apartment. Did your post-cognitive abilities pick up anything?”

    I made a face. “I didn’t use my abilities on Commander Tavik. That’s a total breach of trust. He is a friend of my family.”

    My aunt rolled her eyes. “He would never know. I don’t see any harm.”

    I shook my head as I leaned a hand against their living room wall. “How would you feel if it was you? What if I decided to take a peek into the past? You’d never know. In fact I could be doing it now.” I gestured toward their living room. “I could be seeing everything that happened in this very room in the past.”

    Mara grinned. “I really doubt it. You aren’t turning red in embarrassment and running out of the apartment.”

    I jerked my hand away from the wall, not wanting to accidentally ‘see’ anything Ben’s parents might have done in this room. My uncle blushed and closed his eyes at his wife’s comment. “She’s joking, Talon.”

    Mara gave an evil chuckle. “Not so fast Farmboy. Remember when the twins moved out and Hanna was on a mission?”

    My uncle Luke blanched as his eyes went wide. “Don’t touch anything, Talon.”

    “Ewwww! You two are as bad as my parents,” I groused. “You know what I mean. It is different when I handle police evidence or use my abilities to solve crimes. Unless you have evidence that he is involved in wrongdoing I am not going to go around and touch his stuff. Besides, I didn’t sense any deception from him.”

    Uncle Luke nodded slowly. “I understand, Talon. You’re right. It would be an invasion of his privacy.” He paused for a long moment. “Who do you think is giving him information?”

    “I have no idea,” I said truthfully. “But he told me that he knows who he is working with and he trusts them.”

    Luke nodded. “Do you trust him?”

    I wasn’t sure where the Grand Master was going with this line of questioning, but I decided honesty was the best answer. “He would visit my parents throughout my childhood, but he’s not somebody that I hung out with or would consider a close friend. He is my father’s best friend. My father trusts him.”

    “And I am sure Tavik trusts your father,” Luke said cryptically.

    I looked to at my aunt and then to Uncle Luke. “What does that mean? You don’t think my father has anything to do with Tavik and his mysterious intel sources, do you?”

    “No, he doesn’t,” my aunt said before my uncle could reply. It looked like my uncle was going to argue the point, but when he saw my aunt’s stern expression he decided against it.

    Luke took in a deep breath and slowly blew it out. “No, but if Deke was going to reveal his source to anybody, I have a feeling it would be to your father. Maybe next time you see him you can ask your dad.”

    I nodded slowly. “I will see him in a couple weeks on Indupar. He invited me and Zylie to King Marcus’ thirteenth birthday celebration.”

    Luke nodded. “Good. Let me know what he says.”

    “Will do.” I took a step toward the door but then hesitated. “Why are you so concerned about his source? The information probably saved Tenel Ka and Jacen. There doesn’t seem to be any hostile intent.”

    Mara was the one to answer. “I worked for an information broker for years and they rarely have only one customer. There is very good chance that Commander Tavik is not the only person his source is working with. What if they start selling information to entities unfriendly to the Galactic alliance, the Jedi or the Empire?”

    I was a little confused as to who that might be. “What entity are you talking about?”

    My aunt shrugged. “Any government that is chaffing under the leadership of Mokk Streke. Or criminal organizations such as Black Sun, the Hutts or even slave traders.”

    That made sense. “I’ll ask my father when I see him.”

    “That’s all we ask, Talon,” my uncle said with a smile.

    As I left their apartment I got a niggling feeling that the Grand Master wasn’t telling me the whole truth. I think he is suspicious of my dad. Could he be right? Could my father be giving information to Deke? He does have access to the seers. I’ll have to ask my dad the next time I see him.
    Chyntuck likes this.
  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Nice indeed the couples reunited. :) Wow, if Talon's dad is the source, :eek: of course he could be providing information in all innocence. [face_thinking]
  23. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 11, 2014
    Hmmmm... Talon didn't mention Indupar as a possible world for the attackers, but Luke and Mara seem to be onto something here. I wonder how they came to the idea that Mark was somehow involved in this informant business – there's a reason Mara interrupted Luke in this chapter, and I'm curious to find out what it was.

    I hope your tests go well, and since you're an A it looks like I needn't worry too much :)
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  24. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Talon has to get that information from his dad.

    And an A is great=D=
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  25. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 1, 2004
    That is true. Thanks for reading.
    Of course not, he doesn't want Luke looking at the planet and snooping around. He knows there is some distrust between Luke and Mark. Luke is still a little peaved that Mark didn't tell them the NR was going to use the Galaxy Gun to kill the Vong. Luke feels responsible for their deaths because he was one of the people who recovered the weapon from Byss. I think this weighs on Luke's soul. He doesn't have any animosity toward Mark, but he knows Mark will lie by ommission.
    Thanks. I am doing better in my classes. This is the last semester. Yah! I already got a paid intern job in my field.

    Entry 24

    There haven’t been any missions for the last two weeks. Instead I was tasked to teach some combat tactics classes to the older Jedi apprentices.

    Zylie and Valla have been out buying merchandise for delivery to Indupar. As expected it was a lot of starship electronics for the refurbishing of the Alliance's decommissioned Delta Reserve Fleet that was exchanged for the stygium crystals discovered on Ec Pand. I was told most of the parts are being used to repair a Vengeance-class dreadnought, which will be used as the King’s flagship. I have never been on board a vessel of that magnitude. I hope to get a tour of it when it is done.

    Entry 25

    We arrived on Indupar today. My parents met us at the docking bay. Dad was once again wearing that stupid pompous uniform with an enormous amount of gold braiding on the sleeves and epaulets and piping down the trousers. My mother was wearing a casual summer dress that only helped emphasize the gaudiness of my father’s outfit.

    Ben and Valla were the first down the gangplank followed by me and Zylie…and her insufferable vornskr, Princess, who we decided to board in the palace kennels.

    My parents embraced Ben and Valla and then my mother ran up and gave me a big hug. “I miss you sweetie.”

    I used to hate it when she called me that when I was a kid, but now it brings a smile to my face. “I missed you too, Mom,” I whispered while giving her a kiss on the cheek. She broke away to greet Zylie while allowing my dad to crush me in a hug that would probably kill a Rancor.

    “It is good to see you.” He stepped back and smiled broadly. “Your brother will arrive late tonight. He and Jysella are at a medical conference on Corellia that ends today.”

    I had to grin. It would be nice to get the whole Tantiss family together. “How about Jessa?”

    “She’s already here,” my mom said happily. “Jaden dropped her off before going to the conference.”

    My dad chuckled. “Your mom is in Grandmother heaven.” He leaned in towards me and whispered. “Get ready for the, ‘when are you and Zylie going to have a kid’ sermon.”

    “I’ll get working on that today, Dad.” I looked down at Princess who was pulling on her leash in an attempt to smell everything within the bustling port. “Getting Princess into a kennel will help. She she is a mood killing, foul tempered, anti-aphrodisiac.”

    My dad slapped me on the back and gave a booming laugh. “You afraid she’s going to bite off your bits and pieces?”

    "Stang," I muttered. “She would if she could.”

    “Well, then let’s get her to the kennel immediately,” my father said with a grin. “Your mom isn’t the only one wanting more grandchildren.”

    Entry 26

    Why did I think dropping off a vornskr to a kennel would be easy? We brought her into the facility and Princess must have smelled something that upset her. She howled, paced back and forth and would have jumped the service counter if we didn’t have her firmly leashed. I have never seen her this upset. I suppose the sight of kennel cages trigger her. She knows what is going to happen and she is not happy. She really misses Zylie and Valla when they are away. Zylie jerked on the leash and commanded Princess to sit. The animal turned and gave a pitiful yowl, but eventually obeyed. She looked so sad that I almost felt sorry for her…almost.

    We handed the leash to the veterinarian and Zylie started to spout off instructions on how to care for a vornskr but he put up a hand halting her dialog. “I know how to care for a vornskr.”

    Zylie didn’t look very convinced. “You do? How?”

    The doctor gave a tight smile. “I graduated top in my class in exotic fauna anatomy and physiology at Coruscant University. I also interned under Dr. Gasadus at the Coruscant Veterinary Hospital and specialized in animal surgical techniques and pharmacology.”

    That was good enough for me, but Zylie was not going to hand over her precious pet without being thoroughly convinced. “How many vornskrs have you worked with?”

    “I have performed veterinary care for over a half dozen in recent years.” He gave her a warm, reassuring smile. “I guarantee you, your vornskr is in good hands.”

    Zylie nodded and let the man take the animal into the back kennel area. We started to walk off but hesitated when we heard a mournful moan from Princess. Zylie almost turned back. I threw an arm around her shoulder and led her out of the building. “She’ll be fine. She’s just sad. You know she acts this way every time you drop her off at the kennel.”

    She shook her head. “She was worse today. Something upset her more than usual.”

    I forced a smile on my face. “Maybe she’s going to miss me as well.”

    That got a laugh out of my wife. “The only thing she’ll miss is biting you.”

    “See,” I said overly enthusiastically. “She’s missing me already.”

    Entry 27

    It was great seeing my son. When we arrived to his quarters we found him memorizing a speech for his religious coming of age ceremony…or as I call it, his thirteenth birthday. The ceremony will take place in the early morning hours and culminate with the rising of the sun. The sunrise not only represents a new day, but the boy’s new life as a man and, because he is the king and leader of the state religion, the rising of the sun also signifies religious enlightenment.

    As he looked up from the datapad a huge smile spread across his face. “Dad!” He put down the device and ran over to envelop me in a warm embrace. I was amazed at how much he had grown lately. He was now taller than the average man. If he continues to grow at this rate he will be taller than me in a year or two. He might even get as big as my father. “I am so glad you could make it to the ceremony.”

    “There was nothing that would prevent me from being here,” I said as we broke apart.

    He nodded. “I know you would try, but one can never predict when a Jedi emergency will take you away.”

    I chuckled. “I think you could predict such things.”

    He blushed slightly while giving a shrug. “I probably could.” He turned his attention to Ben and the ladies. “It is wonderful having you here. We have rooms for you just down the hall. If you need anything just push the intercom button and the operator will direct your call to the proper people.” He gazed down at his wrist chrono. “I will have more time to visit once the ceremony is over. Right now I have less than ten hours before the festivities will commence.” He gazed at us apologetically. “I’m sorry but I have a number of meetings to attend with the church officials and the ceremony coordinator.”

    “We understand,” I said slowly sensing nervousness in my son’s voice. “I guess we should settle into our rooms and get some sleep before the ceremony.”

    Entry 28

    Zylie and I decided to take a nap since we were going to get up early in the morning. And I am talking early, early or what Void Jumpers call an R.K.E mission which stands for Ridiculously Kriff’n Early. It was still dark outside when I woke, probably two hours until sunrise. I pushed open the transparasteel doors leading to the balcony of my quarters and stepped out. I was expecting to see dark buildings and vacant roads, but I was shocked when I spotted tens of thousands…or possibly millions of people surrounding the palace. They were wearing white robes with hoods and holding candles. As I gazed down at the eerie sight I was struck by the silence. Nobody was talking, not even a whisper. The only sound was the occasional scuff of boots against the asphalt roads.

    I jumped when Zylie came up behind me and put her hand on my shoulder. “What is it?”

    I put a finger to my lips making a hush gesture. I leaned in and whispered to her. “I think the faithful have arrived.” I pointed to the people five floors below.

    Zylie looked down, her eyes going wide before she backed away from the balcony railing while motioning for me to do the same. When we were in the apartment she closed the doors. “Oh Kriff! That’s creepy.”

    “I know,” I said with a nod. “It is like a scene from a horror holodrama we saw together. What was it called?”

    Legion of Martyrs,”

    I pointed to my wife. “That’s it.” I gave an involuntary shudder. “The cult leader convinces his followers he is a god and the planet should be cleansed of all non-believers.”

    "Don't worry." Zylie wrapped her arms around me. “I’m sure Marcus is not going to become a religious tyrant.”

    I gave her a squeeze. “Of course not…it just unnerving to find a million people lurking under your balcony.” I then realized something. “This is probably why Marcus looked so nervous and distracted earlier. He has to make a speech to a hoard of zealots.”

    “I would be nervous too.” She turned and moved toward the sleeping area. “We better get dressed. The ceremony starts in an hour.”

    “Yeah,” I grabbed my suitcase containing my Jedi robes and tossed it on the bed. “I missed most of my son’s childhood. I don’t want to miss the start of his adulthood.”
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