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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. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] on the talk between Mark and Talon in #25. Struck in #27 by Marcus' air of maturity and focus. [face_thinking] The ceremony would be daunting in and of itself plus having to address articulately and eloquently a ginormous crowd! :eek:

    And congratulations on the internship :cool:
     
  2. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Love the welcome Talon was getting from his parents and son. With Princess in the kennel Talon should be worried about lectures about getting children. And the crowd is creepy.
     
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  3. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks, I am happy that I was hired as an intern. It doesn't pay much, but at least I don't have to intern for free. I am glad you enjoyed the update.
    When I wrote it I was visualizing the group of people surrounding Thulsa Doom in the movie Conan the Barbarian. They were not necessarily dangerous, but they would die for their religious leader...which can be terrifying.

    I have a lot of stuff going on this month so I thought I would quickly get the first post of the month done and hopefully have time for the second before the end of October.
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    Entry 29

    After dressing in appropriate attire we met up with Ben, Valla and my father in the corridor. My dad led us to an elevator, which brought us up to a huge elevated terrace surrounded by a marble balustrade. To the rear of the terrace was the entrance to the palace ballroom. We followed my father into the ballroom and up an ornate stairwell and onto a large balcony overlooking the terrace. Dozen of luxurious cushioned chairs were lined up along the railing with small tables--covered with an assortment of beverages and finger food--interspersed between the seating.

    “Your mother, brother and family will be along shortly.” My dad pointed to the terrace below. “I will be guarding the king when he gives his speech down there. I’ll see you after the ceremony.”

    We took our seats and waited for the ceremony to begin. Shortly after my father left an elderly woman garbed in a white robe with a large gold starburst pattern embroidered on the front entered the balcony.

    “Greetings honored guests. I am Sister Pyha. I am the Mor’ir of the Royal Monastery and follower of the Bright Path. I am one of the King’s many spiritual advisors. His majesty has sent me to answer any questions you might have concerning today’s ceremony.” We all started to rise to greet her, but she motioned for us to remain seated. “No need to get up. There will be plenty of standing during the ceremony.”

    Despite her insistence that we shouldn't rise to our feet, I didn’t feel right making introductions while seated. I stood and motioned to my family. “I am Talon Tantiss and this is my wife, Zylie, and her sister Valla and Valla’s husband Ben Skywalker. We’re related to Mark Tantiss, the king’s Force instructor and security officer.”

    “It is a pleasure. “ She lowered her head in a solemn gesture before looking at us expectantly. “Do you have any questions?”

    Valla spoke up. “Yes, what is a Mor’ir?”

    The old woman smiled revealing perfectly white, straight teeth that I assume were implants. “It means Mother-teacher in the ancient language.”

    Ben turned in his seat to regard the woman. “How many people are you expecting to witness this ceremony?”

    She chewed her bottom lip as she contemplated the answer. “We expect over two million people to be in attendance and approximately one billion people watching the ceremony live on the holonet.”

    My jaw dropped as I sat down. “Is this ceremony that important?”

    “Yes, very much so, especially to those within the ministry. I have been waiting for this day since I joined the order seventy years ago.”

    My brow furrowed. “I don’t understand. The King is turning thirteen. You couldn’t have waited more than thirteen years for this day.”

    She gave a soft chuckle. “It is true that his body is only thirteen years old, but his spirit is timeless. He is The Chosen, the Son of the Great Creator, the all knowing, omnipotent beholder of the past, present and future, and the protector of the Realm.”

    I suppressed the urge to refute that ludicrous claim. Arguing the point would only drag me into a highly volatile religious discussion, piss off this elderly church leader and possibly cause a nasty political incident. I instead opted to keep my mouth shut. Unfortunately, I apparently couldn’t hide the skepticism in my eyes because she pressed the matter. “You are not a believer?”

    I blew out a nervous breath. “I’m sorry. I am an outsider with no understanding of your religion. I don’t mean any offense. I cannot believe what I don’t understand.”

    She smiled widely. “It would be my pleasure to enlighten you.”

    I groaned inwardly. The last thing I wanted to hear was some aging devotee babble on about religion.

    “The Church of the Bright Path believes the galaxy was created by an all powerful God that lives within us all.” She looked at my robes and gave a tight smile. “I believe your sect calls it The Force.”

    “Yes, we do,” I said softly surprised that she is admitting that their god was the Force…or was she insinuating the Force is actually their god?

    “Our god, who we refer to as the Great Creator, had many children, some good and some evil. These children are celestial beings who attempt to influence all sentients and their actions.”

    “And you think King Marcus is one of those children?” Ben asked.

    She nodded enthusiastically. “Yes, although the same word is used for son, daughter and grandchildren in the ancient tomes."

    “So, King Marcus is either the son or grandson of the Great Creator,” Zylie said sounding a little thrilled by the news.

    "Or possibly the great grandson. The celestials are timeless, therefore the ancient writings do not clearly specify to which generation The Chosen will belong to."

    “If he is a grandson of the Great Creator. Do you have any idea which celestial fathered him?” I asked while trying to hide the sarcasm in my voice.

    I guess she didn’t notice I wasn’t on-board with all of this god-talk because she answered with much thought. “We believe he is son of Raksaka the mountain king.”

    I suppressed a groan. This was starting to sound like the old Corellian fables of gods and spirits that I’ve seen in fantasy holos.

    “According to our ancient writings, Raksaka was born within a great mountain and watches over his people from the mountain top. He is a protector, warrior and great teacher. He is the Great Creator’s favorite offspring.”

    “And why is that?” Valla asked seemingly entranced by the story.

    The old woman gazed at her intently. “Because he is the only child who does not wish to dethrone his father. He is selfless and does not desire anything but to protect the people who live within his realm. If The Chosen is the son of Raksaka, then that is a very good sign for it is believed the children of the celestials will acquire the traits of their parents. The prophecy states The Chosen will defeat the enemies of the light and will bring prosperity and lasting peace to the galaxy.”

    “And why do your people believe Marcus is this Chosen and son of Raksaka?” I asked.

    “Because, when he became king the mountains of Ec Pand revealed their bounty of crystals. He has made the Indupar Crown Worlds rich beyond imagination. He does not hoard the money for himself, but has shared it with his people, building schools, hospitals, parks, housing. He has instituted tuition free college and tech schools for his citizens and developed elder care facilities for the infirm and elderly.” A tear ran down her cheek as she talked. “He has fought off our enemies and has performed miracles. If he is not The Chosen he is the most loving, noble, generous and self-sacrificing human I have ever encountered…and that in itself is a miracle in a galaxy full of such pain and suffering.”

    ‘Damn,’ I thought. Her words carried such passion I almost believed the myth.

    “He is a fine king,” I admitted honestly, knowing I couldn’t have asked for a better son.

    I was going to ask he some more questions, but my mother, brother and his family showed up at that moment interrupting the conversation.

    As I finished introducing them to the Mor’ir of the Royal Monastery, we heard music wafting up from the lower levels.

    “The ceremony will start soon,” the elderly woman announced, her voice cracking with emotion.

    As I watched Marcus address his people I thought back to the Jedi prophecies written in the ancient books found on Ossus. It talked about a Chosen One who would bring balance to the Force.

    I thought about it for a moment but then dismissed any notion that Marcus was anything other than my son and king. Nonetheless Sister Pyha was right about one thing…he was a miracle.

    He was my miracle, my son, and my life… and I love him dearly.
     
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  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Fascinating conjectures and discussion. Love the final conclusion Talon came to about Marcus' personal importance. :)
     
  5. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Nice talk about religions. Talon sure has a dearly loved son
     
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  6. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    Sorry, I missed an update! But I really enjoyed reading two big fat chapters in a single go, especially with the fantastic world-building. I've been wondering for a while how the Force-based sect you've developed on Indupar connects with the Jedi Order, and it was nice to see that aspect developed here. Plus, quite the connection, if Marcus turns out to be some sort of Chosen One.

    I'm kind of worried about something Zylie said in the previous update – that Princess was behaving differently from other times they'd taken her to a kennel, and that she was acting as if something particular was about to happen.

    I also find it suspicious that Markus would have a vet who knows so much about vornskrs. Does he also know about ysalamiri by any chance?
     
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  7. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thank you. Talon loves his son. He just worries about him like any normal parent.
    Thanks. I always enjoyed the religious aspect of the Dune books. It was interesting that the followers of the Muad'Dib believed he was a god, but at the same time the church leaders were corrupt and often worked against him. In this story I am trying to imagine how scary it would be to a parent if people suddenly believed your kid was a God. It may sound cool at first, but I guarantee it would go down hill real fast. Talon is worried about the consequences.
    Marcus does know about the ysalamiri. Mark still has them as pets. I am sure Nibbles has probably passed on by now, but he probably has one of her offspring. With Talon's luck Princess will find a vornskr and get pregnant again. lol! Maybe he can get her spayed while on Indupar. The doctor is a veterinary surgeon. :p

    I had a class cancellation so I had some time to write. Tomorrow I am going to what I hope is my last ophthalmology appointment. I am being weaned off my medication. Hopefully I won't have a flare up. My prescription has changed a bit, but I am going to wait to get my glasses changed. My eyesight might return to normal in the next few months. I don't notice the change unless I cover one eye. Wish me luck.

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    Entry 30

    The ceremony was long and often confusing. Sometimes my son would speak in the ancient tongue of the state religion, and then he would switch back to Basic. I was glad Sister Pyha was able to coach us through the ritual. Sometimes we were to stand, other times we sat down, then, when a keyword was said, we were to kneel. Then we were back to our feet, sit down, stand again and then we were to repeat some passages and shake the hands of those around us and say, 'May you walk the path of righteousness'. With all the standing and sitting, I felt like I was taking a low impact aerobics class.

    The speech my son gave in Basic was inspiring. He talked about the followers of the Bright Path leading by example. He warned them not to proselytize with words, but by acts of goodness and generosity. Love one another and be helpful to our neighbors and community. Treat all creatures as you would like to be treated. There was much, much more, but that was the general gist of things. When the sun rose above the horizon the ritual ended.

    We all stood and I looked over the balcony feeling a bit overwhelmed. Marcus has millions of people chanting on the streets below and worshiping him like a god. It was unnerving.

    “That’s it,” my mother said nonchalantly. “Come on, let’s get breakfast.” She moved toward the balcony stairway and motioned for us to follow. “Your dad is going to meet us at our apartment. We can order something from the palace kitchen. Marcus will be busy with meetings until midday, then he will join us for lunch.”

    My brother hosted his daughter Jessa up into his arms. “Breakfast sounds good.”

    ‘What?’ Was I the only person disturbed by the exorbitant display of religious devotion and adulation bestowed upon my son?

    I couldn’t discuss the subject in public so I followed my mother back to her quarters. Once the family was inside and the door closed, I voiced my concerns. “Mom, doesn’t it bother you that most of the planet believes your grandson is a god?”

    She made a dismissive wave of her hand. “What can we do about it? They’ll believe what they want to believe.”

    The entire family crowded in around the dining table as mom sent around a datapad so we could order our breakfast. “Why are you upset, Talon? Did Sister Phya tell you her theory that Marcus is related to the Mountain god?”

    “Yes, she did.” I shook my head in disbelief. “How can educated people believe those myths?”

    My mother wagged her finger in disapproval. “You shouldn’t disparage other people’s religions. I taught you better than that.”

    I gave a caustic laugh. “Mom, I am only judgmental of religions who believe my son is the offspring of a celestial. That is a fairly narrow spectrum of prejudice.” I put my hands out about two centimeters apart for emphasis. “In fact, my narrow-mindedness is so narrow that it shouldn’t be held against me.”

    Mom rolled her eyes. “I think you are taking the story too literally. The ancient scriptures are symbolic stories, allegorical writings to teach people important life lessons.”

    “Maybe the ancient people used the word celestial to describe Force-users?” Zylie commented with a grin.

    Ben, Jaden and Jysella scoffed, but Zylie shushed them. “No really. Let’s substitute god and celestial with Jedi and it starts to make sense. Sister Pyha said Marcus is either the son or grandson of the celestial-slash-Jedi born within a mountain…maybe like Mount Tantiss.” She gave me a knowing look. “Your dad was created and taken out of a cloning cylinder from a secret laboratory deep within a mountain. Your father was a Jedi Guardian…a protector. She said The Chosen—who she believes is Marcus—was the knower of the past, present and future. He is a postcog and a seer. He is also the protector of his realm. You are just getting tripped up over this celestial wording. But what if the sacred writings were actually describing a person with almost magical abilities? If so, that sounds a lot like a Force-user to me.”

    I shook my head in frustration. “Let’s say I believe the church scriptures were actually describing a Jedi, then that still means Marcus’ birth was foretold hundreds, maybe thousands of years ago. Doesn’t that bother you?”

    They all fell silent for a moment. Valla was the first to speak. “Talon, the prophecy described by Sister Pyha was a good one. If true, Marcus is going to bring peace to the galaxy.”

    I threw up my hands in frustration. “That’s another thing that bothers me. She didn’t say he would bring peace to the Indupar Crown Worlds, but the Galaxy. How does a king on a rimworld planet bring peace to a galaxy? That implies he will rule the known worlds. What about the Chief-of-State, the Hapan Consortium, the Empire? Is he going to simply broker a peace among these various kingdoms or are we talking about uniting the galaxy under one leadership?”

    Ben shrugged. “Maybe he is the Force-user of the Jedi prophesies, The Chosen One. The Jedi who will bring balance to the Force.”

    “That title is already taken by another.” I startled by my father’s voice and I turned to find him walking up behind us. He must have come into the apartment from the rear entrance.

    Ben’s brow furrowed. “Who was the Chosen One?”

    My dad took off his dress coat and tossed it on the couch. “The old Jedi Council thought your grandfather, Anakin Skywalker, was The Chosen One.”

    Ben laughed out loud. “Well, they thought wrong. All my grandfather brought to the Force was darkness.” He cocked his head to the side questioningly. “Where did you read that? My father never discussed that with me.”

    My father shrugged. “It is a memory I gained from Palpatine. I don’t know if I ever told your father.”

    Ben made a face. “You know my dad hates it when you withhold information.”

    I could see my dad’s jaw tighten, a sure sign that he was getting irritated. “Ben, I am not a member of the Jedi Order. I don’t report to your father anymore and I have told him repeatedly that the memories I gained from the Emperor Reborn were mine to keep." He tapped a finger to his temple. "I'll keep them safely locked away in my head. The knowledge is far too dangers. It will die with me.”

    “Then why tell us about The Chosen One?” Ben asked.

    “I didn’t want you to start assigning prophesies to Marcus. There is more than enough speculation about his role in the future.” He walked around the table to my mother and kissed her on the cheek. “All we can do is hope that he was raised in a way that he will behave honorably no matter what his fate.”

    I threw a thumb toward my wife. “Did you hear Zylie’s theory that you are the Mountain god and son of the Great Creator?”

    My dad smirked. “Maybe I am.” He wrapped an arm around my mother’s waist and winked. “What do you think? Do I have any god-like qualities?”

    Thankfully, my mother simply giggled and pushed him away. “The kids don’t want to hear their parents talking mush.”

    “Thank you, Mom!” I groused. “I wish you told that to Dad thirty or so years ago. I could have avoided a whole lot of embarrassment in front of my friends.”

    My dad chuckled. “I’m sure you and Zylie will be embarrassing your future children in the same way one day.”

    I smiled slightly knowing my father was probably right. “Maybe.” I sighed deeply. “I just have a bad feeling when it comes to all this religious fervor.”

    My father nodded before coming over and placing a hand on my shoulder. “Come into my office so we can talk.” He glanced over to little Jessa sitting on her mother’s lap. “We don’t want to bore my granddaughter.”

    “Okay,” I said softly, suspecting he wanted to tell me something he didn’t want the others to hear. We walked to the rear of the massive apartment and through a large wooden door leading to his private office space…or what my mother calls 'Dad’s testosterone den'. The room had an old fashioned fireplace, wooden floors covered with expensive area rugs, leather padded chairs, a couch, a huge holoprojector, and a refrigerator unit probably filled with my dad’s favorite juices or flavored water. The walls were dotted with display cases containing medals for valor and heroism, weapons, flags and honorary certificates. I noticed some new additions: a sub-repeating blaster, a corodex snare, a Zygerrian electrowhip along with an assortment of daggers.

    I looked around impressed. “I see you’re still hoarding weapons.”

    “It is a collection,” my father corrected me. “If I was hoarding I would have to make little paths between storage boxes and there would be a dozen pittins running around, marking their territory and using the fireplace as a litterbox.” He turned around to gaze at all of his military regalia. “No, this is a collection of hard earned war artifacts.” He closed the door behind him and gestured to the daggers on display. “The big knife in the center is a war trophy from the Battle of Ec Pand. That’s a Nagai curved dagger. It was worn by the Nagai general that Marcus defeated.”

    I smirked. “So, it really isn’t your war trophy.”

    My dad shrugged. “Marcus said he didn’t want anything that commemorated his first kill…so I took it.”

    I fell silent for a moment. “Well, I’m glad he doesn’t enjoy killing. It is a nasty business to get into.”

    My dad sat down and motioned for me to sit on the couch across from him. “I know the situation here is upsetting to you, but there is a reason Marcus lets his people believe he’s something more than human.”

    I sat forward in my seat eager to hear his explanation. “And what reason is that?”

    He heaved a sigh before beginning his story. “Talon, you have been forbidden from living here and becoming a major part of your son’s life because we don’t know how the public will respond if they discover you’re his father and Marcus usurped the throne. If the truth came out, there could be problems.”

    I scoffed. “You don’t know how the public will react? I don’t believe that. The seers seem to know everything. I just think they don’t want anybody else having influence over the king.”

    My father shook his head. “That’s not true. They were okay for me being here and I guarantee Marcus listens to me…most of the time.” He ran this fingers through his beard, a sure sign that he was uneasy and intended to choose his words carefully. “You have to remember that the seers have problems seeing Marcus in the time stream…so when I say we don’t know how the public will react to news of his paternity…I am telling the truth.”

    “Okay,” I grumbled, frustrated with the whole situation. “So why exactly is he allowing his people to think he is the God-king?”

    “Because the question of his paternity would become a mute point if people believed his soul is that of The Chosen. His body is simply a vessel to hold this spirit. The gods and celestials of this planet’s religion are not made of physical matter. They are luminous beings. If the followers of the Bright Path—and that is a huge majority on the Indupar Crown Worlds—believe Marcus is The Chosen, then his paternity wouldn’t be an issue.” A broad smile blossomed across my father’s face. “You could come live on Indupar. We probably would never officially name you as his father, but you can be here and help raise him with little worries of questions being asked. Isn’t that what you always wanted?”

    I sat back in my seat with a feeling a nervous elation. “That is all I have ever wanted, but still…”

    My father frowned. “What else is bothering you, Talon?”

    I looked to the ground. “Dad, I’m afraid all of this hero worship is bad for a teenager. I don’t want him to turn out like me.”

    “What?” my father said, sounding genuinely confused.

    I looked up and gazed at him sadly. “Dad, I know I caused you and mom a lot of aggravation. I let being a Jedi go to my head in my youth. I was always in trouble. I was tabloid fodder for years. I was in court to face a multitude of erroneous paternity cases. I was repeatedly called into the Grand Master’s office and reprimanded. That was all because I believed I was a mighty Jedi. I can’t imagine how insolent I would have been if I actually thought I was a god.”

    My father came over and sat next to me on the couch. “Talon, I can only hope Marcus turns out to be a man like you.” He reached over and gave me a big hug.

    I tolerated the close contact for a few seconds before I pushed him away with a laugh. “Stop it. You know I was a major pain. Don’t lie.”

    Dad reached up and gave my shoulder a squeeze. “Yes, you were a royal pain in the ass as a kid, but most of the trouble you got into wasn’t of your own making…except for your little pranks you’d pull on your brother or cousins, but look at you now. You are a kind, honorable, and brave Jedi.” He dropped his hand and smiled. “If it makes you feel any better, you should know that Marcus absolutely does not believe he is a god. He also knows the gods, celestials and/or the Force didn’t conspire to create him. He is Marcus Indupar, son of Talon Tantiss and Ema Aiti, and grandson of Kira Starkos and Mark Tantiss…the Mountain god!” My father popped to his feet and put his hand up in the air in a heroic pose. “All bow down and worship my godlike grandeur and awe inspiring beard.”

    I had to roll my eyes as I stood. “I should have never mentioned Zylie’s theory. I’m never going to hear the end of it am I?”

    Dad gave me a wink. “Probably not.” He threw his arm around my shoulder and walked me to the door. “Let’s get some breakfast…and don’t worry about Marcus, he knows what he’s doing.”

    I tried to smile, but had trouble hiding my unease. “I sure hope so, dad. I hope so.”
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
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  8. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    religion sure can be bad, leading to dictators and fanatics.
    I hope Marcus takes after his father.

    Good luck with your eyes
     
  9. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Lots to think about and nice open discussions and full of the Tantiss snark
     
  10. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    I agree, nice open discussions among the Tantisses! And the father-son talk was neat.

    Now, though, I do have to wonder what Mark didn't really say, especially with this:
    Speculation by whom? Has he been talking with the seers? And what has he/have they been speculating?

    It's good to hear that your eyesight issues are sorting themselves out; I hope all this will soon only be a bad memory!
     
  11. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks for reading. Religion can be good or bad depending on a lot of factors. I know it has been in the news a lot lately.
    Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed the entry.
    He could just be referring to the Indupar people speculating that Marcus is a god.

    Thanks everybody for reading. I have been trying to get as much done before the end of the year. I want to finish this story and maybe start another diary with another character. I do want to reveal the secret before the end of the year.

    I saw my ophthalmologist and my eyes appear to be in good shape. I have been taken off the medication and I go back next month for a final follow-up. If everything is clear I won't have to go back unless another flare up occurs. [face_dancing] I have been going to see this doctor every two weeks since June. This is the longest I have ever had this problem. Or it could be this is the first time I an ophthalmologist did good follow up care.

    I decided I should have the characters discuss the situation because I am sure most people have forgotten some of the facts. I hope it isn't too dry.

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    Entry 31

    After breakfast my family and I sat around the kitchen table and caught up on what was going on in our lives. We were all having a good time, except little Jessa who fidgeted and looked bored out of her mind. Eventually my brother found some children’s programing on the holonet so the adults could talk.

    “How are your parents?” my father asked my wife and her sister.

    “They’re fine. Mom and Dad are still managing the Karrde cargo business,” Valla told him. “They are talking about retiring and handing over the business to me and Zylie probably next year.”

    I looked over to Zylie questioningly. She hadn’t mentioned anything to me about this. She noticed my gaze and quickly added, “Nothing is certain yet. Dad has said the same thing every year for the last five years. So I wouldn’t hold my breath.”

    My Dad looked to Zylie and then Valla. “If it does happen, does that mean you will stay on Corellia where the company is headquartered?”

    The two sisters looked extremely uncomfortable with this line of questioning. “We don’t know,” Valla looked over to Ben apologetically. “Since we don’t think Dad is serious…we haven’t discussed this with Ben or Talon yet.”

    “Oh,” my father whispered sheepishly. “Forget I mentioned it.” He turned to Ben. “How are your parents?”

    Ben shrugged. “They just returned from Ossus. They are talking about making the subtemple to a Junior Academy for the younger preteen apprentices.”

    “Is he keeping the adults on Coruscant?”

    Ben nodded. “As far as I know, but that may change. The rise in Force adept criminals is putting us in a bad light. The situation is getting so bad that Chief-of-State has already ordered the use of the midichlorians killing virus on convicts. The last we heard is he has weaponized the virus just in case Coruscant is attacked by an army of Force-users.”

    I expected my father to scoff and say, ‘What army?’ but he didn’t. He just ran a hand through his beard and said, “That’s smart.”

    “What?” I sputtered. “Why is that smart? What Force strong army is going to attack Coruscant? None, that’s what! He is going to use it on us, Dad!”

    My father’s face scrunched up. “I don’t know about that. He doesn’t trust the Jedi, but he likes having them in his arsenal. The virus could simply be a safeguard.”

    Ben’s eyes narrowed. “A safeguard to what?”

    Dad chuckled. “From Force-users trying to attack Coruscant and take over the government.”

    I gave a derisive snort. “The Jedi are not going to try to take over the government.”

    “I didn’t say Jedi. It could be a criminal gang of Force-users.”

    I rolled my eyes. “Dad, do you really believe the Chief-of-State doesn’t have the Jedi somewhere in the back of his mind when he ordered the creation of the virus?”

    My dad sighed deeply. “Listen, I know Streke doesn’t trust the Jedi, but who can blame him.”

    When I opened my mouth to debate that statement my father held up his hand silencing me.

    “Here me out, because, in my opinion, the Jedi are oblivious as to how countless people in this galaxy perceive them.” He shifted in his seat and pulled in a deep breath before continuing. “When I was on Coruscant overseeing the stygium crystals negotiations I got the opportunity to talk to many world leaders or their representatives and I noticed a majority exhibited apprehension over the growing power of the Jedi Order… and I am not simply talking about their Force abilities. The Jedi have enormous political power, whether they like to admit it or not.” He pointed his finger at Ben. “The Skywalker/Solo family is the most powerful dynasty in the Galaxy. Mokk Streke has to know that if Luke doesn’t approve of one of his decisions the Grand Master could make his life very difficult. A rift between the Chief-of-State and the Jedi could upset the treaty between the Galactic Alliance and the Empire or the Hapes Consortium.”

    My father’s words sent a cold shiver down my spine. When I had talked to Deke Tavik I theorized that the attack on the Hapans was a practice run. I thought it could be somebody preparing for an attack on Coruscant, but what if it was the Galactic Alliance preparing for a possible attack on the Jedi? If they took out Jacen and Tenel Ka it would weaken this Skywalker/Solo dynasty my dad described. Streke had access to Force-users. He has entire penitentiary wing full of convicted Force adepts. He could easily offer them their freedom in exchange for their cooperation. Plus, Dr. J’Shan stated Mokk Streke admitted to him that a member of his security force carried a lightsaber and used it to protect him from another lightsaber wielding attacker. So Streke does have at least one guard that carries a lightsaber. Could the lightsaber carrying man that attacked the Hapan royals be the man who had protected Streke?

    While I was pondering this mystery I didn’t realize my dad was talking to me. “Talon. Talon!” My dad waved his hand in front of me pulling me out of my musings. “What are you zoning out about?”

    “I was just thinking about what you said.” I paused in thought. “If Streke worries about the Solo/Skywalker family, could he have been behind the attack on Hapes…or perhaps the pirate attacks on the Empire? Could he be trying to take down any allies of the Jedi prior to an attack on the Order?”

    My father rubbed the back of his neck while he considered the possibility. “It’s possible that one group is responsible for both attacks…but I honestly don’t believe Streke has the brains to come up with such an elaborate plan.”

    A scathing laugh escaped my lips. “That is very true. He isn’t smart enough…but he doesn’t have to be. He is working for the mimetic suited man. And there is at least one more person pulling the strings because the guy in the mimetic suit said he has a ‘master’. Somebody took a lot of time and effort to get Streke into power and now they want the Jedi off Coruscant for some reason and if we don’t go willingly who knows what he’ll do with the virus.”

    My father threw his hands up in the air. “Then maybe you should go. You are not doing Coruscant any favors by staying there. Every year the number of uninvited and turned away Jedi hopefuls increases and so does the crime rate…and it is only going to get worse. Right now they are simply doing petty crimes, but if they begin to organize they could become very dangerous. All they need is one criminal mastermind to unite them. Then you’ll have an army of marginal adepts who are furious at the Jedi for not giving them a chance to train. Who knows what havoc they can create? At least if the Jedi are gone they can no longer be blamed for any continued influx of unsolicited Jedi applicants.”

    “I don’t think the Grand Master relishes the idea of leaving Coruscant when there might be trouble on the horizon,” I muttered before looking at my father questioningly. “Do you think Streke and the Mimetic suited man could be building an army of Force-users from the prison population?”

    He shook his head. “If that’s true, then why develop a virus that could Force sterilize them? It seems counterintuitive.”

    “Maybe the virus is to make sure they’re kept in control,” I offered. “Or to use on the Jedi, like we originally thought.”

    “I don’t buy into all of these conspiracy theories,” my brother chimed in. “I am working on a vaccine that will make the Jedi immune to the virus. Dr. J’Shan is helping me and I really doubt our research hasn’t reached Streke’s desk. He has to know. If the Jedi were the intended target then he should be vehemently opposed to the creation of a vaccine…but so far he hasn’t said a word.”

    I looked to my father. “Can’t the seers help us figure this out?”

    My dad forced a casual shrug. “I don’t know. You can ask them, but they usually don’t answer questions. If they want you to know something, they’ll tell you.”

    I decided to change my line of questioning. “How about your friend Deke? His intelligence contacts appear to be spot on. Maybe they could help us solve this mystery.”

    Dad lifted up his palms in a ‘who knows’ gesture. “You’ll have to ask him.”

    I blew out a frustrated breath. “Your friend Deke won’t answer my questions either. It would be nice to find out whom he is talking to. Did Deke ever tell you the source of his information?”

    “All of these questions are starting to sound like an interrogation,” my father said irately. “Did Luke send you to question me?”

    I was considering what to tell my father when my mother interrupted our conversation.

    “Stop it you two.” She glared at Dad and me. “We’ve had this fight before. You ask your dad questions, your dad accuses you of spying for the Grand Master, rinse, repeat. You’re giving me a headache.” Mom let out a frustrated groan while rubbing her temples. “This is supposed to be a family gathering and not a war room. You can discuss the details of any upcoming conflicts after Marcus’ birthday. I want peace in this house.”

    My father lowered his eyes. “Sorry, Honey. We won’t discuss this again.” He turned to glower at me. “Right, Talon?”

    “Yes, dad. No more political debates at the dinner table.”

    My mom let out a loud melodramatic sigh of relief. “Thank you. Let’s talk about something else.” She turned to Zylie. “So when are you and Talon going to give me a grandbaby?”

    Zylie answered without skipping a beat. “Not for another nine months, at least.”

    I had to laugh. Mom sure knows how to change a subject from one uncomfortable discussion to one even more awkward.
     
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  12. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Nasty things can happen to the Jedi. Great discussion between Talon and his dad
     
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Great recap of the situation and Talon's dad does seem a bit evasive [face_thinking] LOL Was Zylie just confessing to expecting? [face_dancing] Yay. Great news about that & about no more opthalmologist visits at least so often. :p @};-
     
  14. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    It was a great idea to have a recap at this point, because the plot is growing extremely thick and it would have been easy to lose track of the various options to explain what the bloody hell is going on! Also, there was this:
    ... which is an option I hadn't considered, and it wouldn't fit too badly with the theory I have in mind. Still, with Mark cutting the conversation short, I'll stick to my guns ;)

    Good to hear that your eyes are on the mend; I hope it's all over soon, because paying a visit to the doctor every other week is not my idea of fun!
     
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  15. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed that entry.
    I don't think Zylie was saying anything other than she wasn't pregnant yet.

    I went to my opthalmologist last week and got an all clear. I thought I was done, but he wants to see me in four months. :rolleyes: I think I am helping him put his kids through college. I couldn't make an appointment at that time since I need another referral and I don't know my job schedule four months in advance. I do have a change in my eye prescription, but I am not going to mess with it for a few months. I can see well enough.

    I figure somebody would figure out what is going on. You have to give clues. I don't like it when the secret is nothing that anybody thought of simply because there were no clues. It is like that freaking movie that I hate where the main character's wife ended up as a giant spider and I said, "What?" I had to watch a 30 minute Youtube video explaining what the spider symbolized and whatever. It doesn't help that I have arachnophobia just like my character Talon. I don't want to be surprised with a spider...especially when there was no indication that the lead's wife would end up as a giant spider.

    ACK! I hate that movie!

    Anyway, I don't think anybody will be surprised by what is actually happening, especially you. I think you remember more about this story that I do. I have to reread it occasionally to keep track.

    Sorry for the delay. I have been busy with school and work. I applied for a full time job, but I have competition. I don't think I'll get it this time, but I am confident on getting hired full time in the next six months.
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    Entry 32

    Marcus showed up around lunchtime. He had changed out of his ceremonial garb and now wore opulent, but comfortable looking, trousers and tunic. “Sorry that I couldn’t meet you for breakfast,” my son apologized. “I promised mom I would spend breakfast and dinner with the maternal side of my family today.”

    I walked up to him and gave him a fierce hug. “No problem. It’s just nice to be able to celebrate with you on this special day.”

    He gave me a boyish grin. “Thanks, Dad.” He then went around the room to greet everybody individually before we presented him with birthday presents.

    I was a little nervous about bestowing my gift. I am sure it will look cheap, but what do you give a boy who has more money than I could possibly imagine? I figured I would go with something homemade and personal. After much thought, Zylie and I put together a holoprojector presentation of the paternal side of his family. There were holos of my parents when they were dating, images of me and my brother growing up, and holos of the Skywalker and Solo family since Marcus is technically related to them due to his grandfather being an altered Luke Skywalker clone.

    My brother and Jysella volunteered to spend a week or two teaching Jedi healing techniques to either Marcus or any of his Indupar Knights that had a desire to enter the medical field. Ben and Valla purchased Marcus a leather jacket…and not just any leather jacket, but one that is usually only issued to Jedi Knights. It did not have the embroidered logo of the Order, but it was unmistakably of the same style and manufacturer.

    My mother went to the kitchen to retrieve Marcus’ favorite cake while my dad said he had to go down the hall to get his gift for Marcus.

    I was so preoccupied with watching my son trying to convince my mother that she should serve the cake first that I didn’t notice my father returning to the apartment. What happened next was so sudden that my Jedi reflexes couldn’t even help me. My father entered the apartment and then I heard a deep feral howl. I turn toward the noise and found a Vornskr mid-pounce and going for my throat. I remember thinking, ‘Why did dad bring Princess to the party?!’ The weight of the animal’s front paws hit my chest and I went down. My second thought was, ‘I may have to hurt Zylie’s pet if I am going to survive this encounter’. All I could see were long, white, sharp teeth centimeters from my face. I moved my arms up and had grabbed the animal around the neck in an effort to push it away when a long wet tongue slurped across my face from my chin to forehead. It took a couple more drool drenched tongue licks before I realize I wasn’t being attacked, but enthusiastically greeted by this animal. I pushed the vornskr away from my face so I could focus on the creature and called out in surprise. “Kriffer!”

    “Talon!” my mother admonished me while covering my son’s ears with her hands. “Language.”

    I laughed as I sat up and pet my runt Vornskr. “That’s his name, Mom.”

    My dad shook his head. “No, his name is Dak. We can’t have you calling him the K-word all the time.” My father knelt down and whispered to me. “Dak stands for Dumb Ass Kriffer.” He winked as he stood and offered me his hand, pulling me to my feet.

    I looked to my father. “I thought the people who purchased Princess’ litter wanted all the animals.”

    My father shrugged a meaty shoulder. “They did, but I asked Karrde to let me know if they backed out on this little guy. I figure the animals were probably going to be used for guard duty, and such a little pup might not be wanted.” He looked over to my son. “Marcus once mentioned to me how much he liked Princess, so I thought a vornskr would make a great present.”

    I looked down at Kriffer…I mean Dak and had to agree he was a little small for guard duty. A full-grown male is usually a meter in height and can weigh around sixty to seventy kilograms. Little Dak was no taller than a half meter in height and probably weighed 30 kilos.

    Dak gazed up at me, his tongue lolling to the side, and looking so incredibly happy. “Dad, it’s been weeks since he left Bastion, have you had him all this time?”

    My father shook his head. “I sent him to obedience school. We don’t want him biting off any of Marcus’ important parts…like he did you.”

    My son laughed and I had to roll my eyes. I am never going to live down the nipple-biting incident. My father looked over to Marcus. “Well, what do you think? Do you like him?”

    Marcus grinned ear-to-ear. “You know I do, Grandpa.” Marcus went to hug the animal, but Dak backed away and pressed his body against my side.

    I reached down and ran my hand through his coarse, striped fur as I talked to him like I would a pittin. “Hey little guy, you know your Mom won’t tolerate you being on the ship with her. Marcus is going to take good care of you.” I waved my son over. He knelt next to the vornskr who tolerated Marcus petting him.

    I turned to Zylie. “This explains why Princess got all weird on us at the kennel. I bet she smelled his scent.”

    I went over to the couch and sat down and discovered Dak still thought of himself as a lap vornskr. He climbed up on the couch and tried to settle down into my lap like he often did as a pup. Let me tell you, having the clawed paw of a thirty-kilo animal land on your crotch is not comfortable. I ended up having to stand because Dak was committed to lounging on me.

    As we ate lunch, Marcus made a big fuss over all the gifts exclaiming they were the best presents ever. I am sure that is not even close to being true. I’m sure that politicians and other influential people throughout his kingdom sent him a variety of very expensive gifts. Hopefully the old adage, ‘It’s the thought that counts’ is true.

    Entry 33


    Later on that day my son pulled me into my father’s den to talk. I figured this discussion was coming and I wasn’t looking forward to it.

    “Dad, now that I am King and leader of the church there is little chance of me ever being dethroned, why don’t you stay? I want to establish my own Void Jumper Company and I’d like you to be the commander of the unit. Or you could be in charge of the Indupar Knights.”

    I sat down on my father’s leather couch as I blew out a nervous breath. “I want to son, but I need to talk to Zylie before I make a decision. I just found out her dad may be retiring and the ladies might have to take over the company that is based on Corellia. I don’t know how this will all work out.”

    I was surprised when he smiled with a nod. “Understandable. It’s a decision you can’t make alone. I just wanted to make the offer. Perhaps sometime in the future living on Indupar might be a good option. I know you mentioned settling down if you ever had more children.”

    My eyes narrowed. It sounded like he knew something. “Am I going to have children in the near future?”

    He laughed. “Are you asking me if I peeked into your future? If so, yes, I did, but the future is always in motion and the time stream shows hundreds of possible and very diverse futures. Sometimes I have siblings, sometimes I don’t. There are futures where you remain a Jedi Knight all your life and in others you become an Indupar Knight. I really can’t go into details. If I tell you more then that might alter the course of the time stream.”

    I gave him a knowing look. “So you admit the Seers can alter the future.”

    He leaned against the wall and stared at the top of his boots. “It is possible to do things that might nudge one time stream into fruition.” He looked up to me wide-eyed. “But I would never do anything to influence your future…unless I thought the situation was life-or-death. Whether you come to Indupar or stay a Jedi is up to you. I know you will do what is best for all concerned.”

    I stood and walked over to Marcus and embraced him in a fatherly hug. “Let me talk to Zylie. I want to be with you. I just have to work out some details.”

    “That’s all I can ask for, Dad.”

    Entry 34

    That night when Zylie and I were preparing for bed I broached the subject. “What do you think about living on Indupar? I can quit the Jedi and become either an Indupar Knight or an officer in their army.”

    Zylie thought about it. “What about my father’s business?”

    I pulled back the blankets on the bed and climbed under the covers. “Marcus has unlimited funds. He can purchase the company and allow your parents to retire in luxury. There are dozens of possibilities that will allow us to leave without putting your parents in a bind.”

    She climbed in bed with me and sighed. “What about my sister and Ben?”

    I shrugged. “They could live on Indupar also.”

    Zylie rolled her eyes. “We’ve discussed this before and you yourself said the chances of Ben leaving the Jedi order are zero to none. His parents would be heartbroken if he did.”

    Zylie was right, Ben would never leave the Jedi. “How about we move to Indupar and your sister and Ben can visit.” I leaned over and kissed her softly along her jawline before nuzzling her neck. “Zylie, maybe not now, but eventually. I can’t see myself living on a ship with Ben and your sister forever and I don’t want to raise a family on a ship.”

    She squirmed when I kissed the pulse of her neck. “Stop trying to influence my decision with the promise of mind-blowing sex. I’ll discuss this with Valla. We grew up on a ship, so it doesn’t bother me or my sister, but I know it can be claustrophobic at times for you and Ben.” She gave me a curious look. “Won’t you miss being a Jedi Knight?”

    I shook my head. “Like you said, we’ve discussed this before and my answer hasn’t changed. I’d do it in a heartbeat if it meant I could be with my son. Besides, I’ll be using my skills here. Nobody gives Jacen or Jaina any grief about leaving the Jedi Order. They’re off defending their kingdoms. I'd be doing the same on Indupar.”

    Zylie looked doubtful. “But Mara Jade Skywalker was your Master. How do you think she is going to take the news of you leaving?”

    My stomach knotted at the thought of telling my former Master. She definitely would be disappointed and confused. When my father left Coruscant with no explanation I could sense it bothered Mara deeply. My dad always thought of Mara Jade as his sister and I know she saw him as part of her family. “She’ll be hurt…unless I explain to her about Marcus. But I can’t do that without getting permission from him, his mother, the Queen and probably the Seers.” I shook my head in frustration. “The Jedi can’t expect a lifelong commitment from me. I have been fighting wars and doing Jedi missions for half my lifespan. The other half was spent training to be a Jedi. The Jedi Order has monopolized my entire existence. When will it be enough? When I’m dead on some battlefield?”

    “Oh, hey,” Zylie said and she reached out and pulled me into a hug. “That type of talk is a little depressing. Don’t get upset. I’ll work something out with my sister. You’ll need to talk to Ben about the best time and way to break the news to his family.”

    A wide grin spread across my face. “Does that mean you are considering staying here?”

    “Yes.” She looked to me with genuine compassion in her eyes. “You missed too much time with your son. He’ll be a man in a few years. If you want to help raise him, you need to do it now.”

    ‘Gods, I love this woman!’

    I planted a searing kiss on her lips as I caressed her soft curves. “Thank you,” I whispered against her ear.

    “You’re welcome, but I have to admit my decision was definitely influenced by the promise of mind-blowing sex,” she said in a teasing tone.

    “That,” I said lustfully. “Is one promise I intend to keep.”
     
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  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    #32, wonderful gifts that mean more and have more value than expensive stuff he could get from political types. :p
    #33, Like Marcus' offer. He's very understanding and accommodating.

    #34, love the TalonZylie talk. And SQUEE! for the banter.
     
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  17. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Great to see Kriffer Dak as a present for Marcus and with Marcus offer Talon would be able to see Kriffer often
    Zylie is great with her teasing and banter
     
  18. Chyntuck

    Chyntuck Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2014
    The Journal of Talon Tantiss, Soon-to-be Former Jedi Knight and Enthusiastic Vornskr Owner :p

    Nice family, father-and-son and family mush in these entries. I liked the presents Marcus got too, they're definitely things that money can't buy! I also find it always interesting when we get to see him, because he comes across as so much more mature than his age. Being a Force-sensitive king made him grow up fast, even though he wants to eat grandmother's cake before the meal :D

    I'm (as always) very curious to know what else he's seen in the timestream, other than Talon's possible futures. I'm pretty sure it's connected to my theory about why the person I'm thinking of is doing what they're doing, although I haven't figured out the why yet. To answer your reply above, I'm definitely sure you'll surprise me in the end! I have a pretty good memory of the background to this story because I did this marathon read last year to catch up with your previous DDC, and I think you did a great job at leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for the reader to follow – but it's still *just* breadcrumbs, not enough to get hold of the entire loaf :)
     
  19. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks. I like Talon/Zylie fluff. :)
    I loved the little guy so much I couldn't let him disappear from the story.
    I am trying to hurry up and end this before the end of the year. I don't know if I will do another DDC in 2018. I hate to stop writing about Talon and friends. To me it is like letting him die. I guess I could do some stand alone stories. Or maybe a DDC in another character's POV.

    I don't know. Now that I have a job it is going to be harder to get free time to write.

    Thanks everybody for reading. I wrote this entry and it was about 3500 words long. So I took the lead up entries and posted them first. That is about 1000 words. The remainder of the entry will be later next week.


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    Entry 35

    The next day I went over to my parents’ quarters to discuss my decision. My mom was out shopping, but dad was there drinking caf and reading his datapad.

    “I know Marcus will be thrilled about me staying,” I said while sitting around the breakfast table. “But I am concerned about his mom not wanting me around. I think I need to talk to Ema.”

    My father nodded with a smirk. “Yeah, she is not fond of surprises.”

    “Do you think she’ll be okay with me being here?”

    My dad shrugged. “I don’t see any reason why not. The question is, is Zylie going to be okay with you living in close proximity with your former lover and mother of your child?”

    I groaned. “She said she supports us living here to be close to my son. I know I will have occasional interactions with Ema, but it’s not like I have been pining away for her the past decade. Once I discovered her deception…that she fully intended to never let me know I was a father…that burned away the tender feelings I once had for her. I don’t hate her, I understand her reasoning, but the pain of losing so many years with my son still stings.” I gave my father a forced smile. “Zylie knows my pain. She has no fears of me running back to Ema”

    He nodded slowly. “I’d offer to come with you when you talk to her, but I am positive she is still a tad upset with me concerning Marcus being on a battlefield, and, you know, decapitating a invading general before he became a teenager.”

    I gave a snort. “She’s mad at the wrong people. I think the seers are to blame.”

    My father made a gesture of resignation. “The seers probably are responsible, but their heart is in the right place.”

    I scoffed. “How do you know that, Dad?”

    He took a long sip of his caf before answering. “They have meddled with much and so far everything I have seen has been for the best.”

    “Like what?”

    My father ran a hand over his beard. “Your son, for one. I know you hate how they manipulated the Queen and Ema to seek out the Jedi for protection and then when Ema was pregnant they convinced her not to tell you about the baby…but without the first manipulation you wouldn’t have Marcus at all.” He paused slightly. “In fact, you can say their machinations have made our family what it is today.”

    I blew out a skeptic breath. “That doesn’t mean I like them or trust them.”

    “That’s okay,” my dad said softly. “You don’t have to.” He rose from his chair. “You better go see Ema. You don’t want to go back to Luke and resign your Jedi robes and then find out there's going to be problems with you living here.”

    I stood. “You’re right. There is no reason to delay.”

    I said goodbye to my dad and went off to see Ema.

    Entry 36

    I am currently aboard the Vazy Princess returning to Coruscant. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with my son and playing with Kriffer (aka Dak). My talk with Ema went well. She said she had no problem with me being around my son and living in the palace with my wife. Marcus was ecstatic, but I told him I needed time to make all the arrangements and it might be a few months before I was ready to leave Coruscant and the Jedi Order. The thought of being separated for a few more months didn’t dim his enthusiasm. I have never seen him so happy.

    The really hard part will be breaking the news to Uncle Luke and Aunt Mara. I am not looking forward to that.

    Entry 37

    When we arrived on Coruscant I was told the move of the children to Ossus had commenced. It turns out that the Force-related criminal activity has increased, and with it, public outrage. Even the media have turned against us. We are blamed for every criminal Force-user on the planet. Some reporters suggest the Jedi are involved in organized crime and are behind the attack on slavers. Now, one would think being blamed for attacking slave masters would be a good thing, but it isn’t because nobody seems to know where the liberated slaves are located. For all we know the slaves are being resold. Uncle Luke decided he would send more Jedi out to look for the anti-slavers and try to discover the fate of the ‘liberated’ slaves. Because of all of the bantha crap the Jedi are dealing with, I decided to not quit the Jedi right now. I will wait until we can get the younglings to their new home on Ossus.

    Entry 38

    For the last month we have been doing cargo runs from Coruscant to Ossus. There is a ton of equipment and furniture that needs to be transported to the sub-temple. We offered to do the runs for free, but Uncle Luke insisted that the Jedi Order should at least pay for the fuel. Once all the younglings are on Ossus the Grand Master needs to consider what to do with the teenagers and adults. He is contemplating sending the teens off on their trials until the mayhem settles down on Coruscant or until another home for the Jedi can be found.

    Entry 39

    Ben, Zylie, Valla and I just returned from another cargo run. Shortly after we arrived on Coruscant, the Grand Master contacted Ben and me. Hanna Skywalker had just returned from a mission to find anti-slaving operatives and according to Uncle Luke, “She brought back some images from her body camera that I want you two to see.”

    Ack! I assume this is going to be another interrogation as to the identity of the Void Jumpers. I don’t know why they always ask me. I’m not the only Void Jumper qualified Jedi. It's like they think I know more than I do...that I'm holding back something. I have no idea why they think I would lie to them. I don't know who is leading the attack on the slave masters.
     
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  20. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    I hope he is able to settle with Zylie on Indupar and be with his son
     
  21. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    I enjoyed the candid talk between Talon & his dad. Sensible strategy about helping out with the current mystery before resigning. Although there's no telling how long that'll take, but I have a feeling Hanna's information will provide vital clues.
    Congratulations on the job front. =D= @};-
     
  22. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thanks! That's the plan.
    Thanks. I just got an on-call job with no guaranteed hours, but I can usually get 20 to 30 hours per week if I really want to. I like working weekends, so people often offer to give up their shifts.

    We are getting to the end.
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    Entry 40

    When we entered Luke’s office Hanna, Luke and Mara were already there and sitting around a holoprojector located on a small conference table. Although I frequently talked to the Grand Master and Aunt Mara via comlink in the last month, this was the first time I had been face-to-face with them since I made my decision to leave the Jedi. I felt a pang of guilt at the thought of leaving the order. When I noticed by Aunt and Uncle giving me a curious look I immediately clamped down on my emotions. Fortunately they didn’t question me about my obviously guilty conscious.


    Uncle Luke greeted us as we took a seat and then gave a brief synopsis of what we were dealing with.


    “Because we are being accused of attacking slavers and keeping their slaves, I wanted to find this anti-slaving organization so we can reveal to the galaxy that we have no part in their escapades. I sent Hanna and Valin to the planet Torwroon. Our intelligence told us there was some chatter about slavery on that planet’s holonet. On the way there we got a message from another source that on the rimworld planet of K’bron a relatively new criminal organization called the Guavian Death Gang was getting into the slaving business. Valin continued on to Torwroon and Hanna changed destinations midflight and traveled to K’bron. Her mission was to watch the organization from a distance and see if they came under attack by the mysterious Phrik armored Vong Void Jumpers.”

    “And they showed up?” I ventured a guess.

    Hanna nodded. “It took almost a week of surveillance, but my efforts paid off.” She motioned to the holoprojector. “It will be easier to explain after you see what I captured on my body camera.”

    Uncle Luke flicked a button and after a few seconds an image materialized above the base of the holoprojector. It was a little disorientating at first as the imaged bobbed erratically with Hanna’s movements. Eventually she slowed and squatted down next to a large tree. Her body cam picked up a number of buildings in the distance with a bunch of rough looking men wearing black leather clothing and red armor walking around the area. Some of the men were wearing very unusual full-face helmets…so unusual that I first thought they might be droids. “This is a fairly new upstart gang,” Hanna said. “Or at least they have just become known. These criminals are given cybernetic augmentation in exchange for their allegiance to the group. They are faster, stronger and more intelligent than normal humans due to their cybernetic implants and high frequency data streaming to their faceplates. They are a scary bunch. I was about to give up surveillance and move on when this happened.” She pointed to the image as six large troop drop-ships entered the camera’s field of view and swooped in over the criminals’ compound.

    The invading ships laid down a heavy stream of cover fire while Void Jumpers disgorged from the fuselage. The men landed with precision and moved to positions of cover and concealment while firing at various targets. The battle raged for fifteen or twenty minutes. At first they appeared equally matched, but inevitably the heavily armored Jump troopers gained the upper hand and beat the enemy into submission. The remaining Death Gang members withdrew and fled into a heavily wooded area behind the compound.

    I thought they escaped. Thick armor is great when you are getting shot at, but the bulky suit makes it difficult chase after and round up prisoners in a forest. I thought their only option was to aerially bombard the area, but instead one of the troop ships landed and a number of animals exited. I remember my eyes widened in surprise to see a half dozen vornskrs running down the ramp followed by a Phrik armored soldier with a gold cape. He gestured toward the woods causing the animals to run at full pace into the tree line. The Guavians never saw what hit them. Despite the fact that Hanna was at least a hundred meters away, I could still make out the blood curling screams of men being devoured by the beasts.

    I shuddered and had to turn away. I remember the bite Princess gave me so I can imagine what horror those men endured. Of course, they probably deserved it. Nice guys usually don’t join an organization with the name ‘Death Gang’ in it.

    My uncle Luke paused the projector. “You alright, Talon?”

    I nodded. “I just get a little nervous whenever I see a vornskr.”

    My uncle barely suppressed a smirk. “That’s understandable,” he muttered under his breath before turning the holoprojector back on.

    The battle raged on for a few more minutes, but eventually all went quiet and all I could see were Void Jumpers walking around, rounding up prisoners, and tending to the wounded.

    The vornskrs eventually exited the forest covered in blood and burrs. They ran around the battlefield, sniffing the ground, when suddenly one looked up and gazed directly to where Hanna was hiding. He let out a howl and started barreling towards her position. The other Vornskrs saw what their buddy was doing and soon followed.

    The bodycam image shook as Hanna stood and ignited her lightsaber. In the distance I could see the caped Void Jumper turn his attention to the animals. There was a loud whistle and then he called out, “Halt.”

    To my great surprise all of the animals screeched to a standstill probably twenty meters from Hanna. The caped Void Jumper bounded over to her position while continuing to yell at the snarling animals to stand down.

    Once he was between the vornskrs and Hanna he stopped and stared at her, his face concealed by his helmet. “This is unexpected. What are you doing here?”

    I could see Hanna lower her lightsaber slightly. “Just doing a little recon. What are you doing?”

    The soldier turned slightly to make sure the animals remained behind them. “I’m taking out a deadly band of criminals.” He returned his attention back to Hanna. “You really shouldn’t be here. These animals don’t like Force-users. I may not be able to control them.”

    I heard Hanna chuckle. “I am well aware of their propensity to bite Jedi.”

    To my great surprise, the man laughed and said, “Yeah, you would know.”

    I didn’t look away from the projected image, but I could sense Ben turning to gaze at me. As far as I know I’m the only Jedi ever to be bitten by a Vornskr…and it sounded like this man was familiar with my story.

    “You keep turning up wherever I am.” The man chuckled under his helmet. “You’re like my very own crazed stalker. Don’t get me wrong, I am honored to have such a beautiful woman following me around the galaxy, but your infatuation with me is unhealthy and will only lead to heartache.” The man’s voice was modulated through his communication system, but I was still able to make out the teasing tone.

    “Infatuation? In your dreams helmet head,” Hanna said in a scathing voice. “Are all Void Jumpers as conceited as you?”

    There was another deep booming chuckle. “Ouch. I see you have your mother’s cutting wit along with her beauty.”

    “You know my mother?”

    “Who doesn’t know of her? The marriage of the Emperor’s Hand and the hero of the rebellion was all over the holonet when it happened.” His gaze went from Hanna to the surrounding area. “Where is your little Jedi boyfriend? Is he lurking about?”

    “Don’t worry about him,” Hanna said curtly. “I need questions answered. Who are you?” She pointed to his belt with her lightsaber. “And why do you wear a lightsaber? You’re not a Force-user.”

    He looked down at the saber, but didn’t move his hand toward the weapon. “It was a gift from a friend.”

    “Who?”

    He shook his armored head. “I don’t answer questions from you. You have no authority here.”

    “This lightsaber gives me authority. The media is blaming the Jedi for these attacks and accusing us of keeping the slaves. The fact that you are wearing a lightsaber is probably the reason why. I need to bring you back to Coruscant so I can prove the Jedi are not involved in the slave trade.”

    The man laughed and swept his arms around. “Don’t you see the army I have? I know the Skywalkers are strong in the Force, but I doubt the Grand Master himself would be foolish enough to stand up to an company of highly armed men with lightsaber-proof armor.”

    “It would be stupid of me,” Hanna admitted. “if I actually thought I was in danger. We’ve met before and you didn’t hurt me.”

    “That may be so, but it doesn’t mean I’m going to let you haul me off to the Jedi Temple.” He then turned and walked away.

    I heard Hanna mutter a mild profanity under her breath before she chased after him. “Stop.”

    “Nope. We are not in GA space. You have zero authority. You can’t even make a citizen’s arrest because you are not a resident of this hellhole planet.” He turned with arms outstretched. “Are you going to strike me down with your lightsaber? It probably wouldn’t work and if it did you’d be killing me in cold blood. And I know how much Skywalkers hate killing needlessly.”

    I could see at the edge of the bodycam vid that the vornskrs were now running ahead of the man and heading toward another Void Jumper carrying what looked like a munitions bag.

    “I don’t need to use my weapons to stop you.” She thrust out her free hand and Force shoved him.

    The caped man flew forward and landed face first on the ground. This prompted the other Void Jumper to run to his aid. It looked like he was going to unholster his blaster, but the man on the ground raised a hand. “No weapons. The Jedi will deflect your rounds right back to you. Just come here and help me up.”

    “Tell me your name!” Hanna insisted and I am sure she was using the Force to bolster her request.

    The man remained silent. Most likely he was spouting out his name under his helmet, but was clever enough not to activate his exterior speaker.

    As the second Void Jumper approached I could see Hanna hold her lightsaber out defensively. She started to move forward, but then stuttered stepped to a halt. “Oh no,” was all she said before the holovid became static.

    My uncle paused the fuzzy video. “Tell everybody what happened, Hanna.”

    My cousin blushed a nice shade of red. “The other void jumper obviously had a ysalamiri in his bag. When I lost touch with the Force the guy in the cape pulled his blaster and stunned me. I tried to deflect the blast, but without the Force it’s impossible.”

    “You shouldn’t have tried to take him on,” my aunt said in a frustrated voice. “He was right, it was you against an army.”

    I saw Hanna’s jaw tighten. “Mom, I really didn’t have many options once my cover was blown. I took a chance that I could at least learn his identity.”

    “Did you ever consider that if you did learn his identity he might have taken you captive to ensure his secret was kept?” My uncle shook his head. “Ysalamiri and vornskrs. I don’t like this at all.” He looked to Ben and me. “How many people do you know that deal in vornskrs and ysalamiri?”

    Ben’s jaw tightened. “Dad, I hope you are not insinuating that Talon Karrde is involved. You know he’s not selling ysalamiri to anybody but the Jedi. Vornskrs, yes, but not ysalamiri.”

    “I hope their existence hasn’t become known to the general public,” Luke muttered. “Up till now only the Jedi and Karrde’s crew had knowledge of the creatures.”

    “That’s not true,” I countered. “The mind witches used ysalamiri to capture me and Ben.”

    “That’s right.” Luke blew out a breath. “So, where did these Void Jumpers get theirs? Did they go to Myrkr or did they obtain them from a Jedi. We have some at the Temple, Jacen and Tenel Ka use them, Jag and Jaina may have some.” He looked up at me. “I assume your father still has one.”

    I nodded. “Unless Nibbles died. I'm sure she's approaching the end her lifespan.”

    “Great, we have a least a half dozen possible sources for the animals.” Luke pinched the bridge of his nose and gave a frustrated sigh before he pushed play on the holoprojector. The static remained for a few more seconds but eventually the bodycam rebooted and flickered into focus. The scene was eerily silent, most likely because the void jumpers in view were speaking to each other via their helmet comlinks. The man was now on his feet and was standing next to the Void Jumper with the munitions/ysalamiri bag. The caped leader took the bag from the man and then gestured to the vornskrs and then a ship in the distance.

    One word punctuated the silence. “Come!” The Void Jumper motioned to the beasts as he walked to the ship with the animals following closely behind.

    The leader stood there for a few minutes before two men wearing black flight suits and full-face helmets exited a troop ship and jogged to the caped man’s side. I assume they didn’t have audio feed to their helmets because their conversation was audible.

    The leader pointed to Hanna. “Our scanners show her ship is about a half kilometer due east. Take her to her ship and remember to bring her lightsaber.”

    The two men nodded and moved forward. The bodycam jerked and shuttered as they picked her up. By the camera angle I assume they were standing on each side of Hanna with her arms propped over their shoulders.

    “And be gentle with her,” the Leader warned the men. “I don’t need the Jedi hunting me down for hurting one of their own.”

    One of the men holding up Hanna made a snort of disgust. “Why do you fear Jedi? Force-users are no match for us.” The words were barely understandable due to a thick rimworld accent, but I could tell the owner of the voice was insulted. “Do you not trust our abilities? We are trained warriors.”

    Their movement stopped as if they were awaiting an answer. After a few seconds the caped leader responded. “I have every confidence in your fighting capabilities, but I have other plans for the Jedi. I don’t need them interfering with our mission at this time, so I need her safely returned to her ship so when she wakes up she can be on her way.”

    There was a long pause before the man with the accent answered. “Yes, Sir. It will be done.” Hanna’s bodycam image jerked as the two men carried her away from the battlefield and into the forest.

    Luke toggled off the holoprojector. “I was hoping those two would converse with each other but they remained silent for the remainder of the trip. They got Hanna into her shuttle and left.”

    Uncle Luke gazed at the people in the room. “He knows our family. He has access to vornskrs and ysalamiri. He’s a Void Jumper. He carries a lightsaber, but isn’t a Force-user. It sounded like he personally witnessed the publicity surrounding my marriage, so that would make him at least middle aged.” He looked to me. “Any clues as to his identity?”

    “No.” I shook my head, getting a little irritated with them questioning me just because I’m a Jump Trooper. “I never told any Void Jumper about ysalamiri and I am fairly certain vornskrs never came into any conversations.” I gazed at the Grand Master. “I don’t know who this man is, and I don’t think finding him should be our priority.”

    My aunt folded her arms across her chest and stared at me. “He came out and said his men could easily take on the Jedi. You may not think they are dangerous, but the last person who thought he could take on the entire Jedi Order was Palpatine…and he succeeded.”

    “She’s right, Talon,” my uncle continued. “Despite his aversion to hurting Hanna, I believe these men pose a great danger to the Jedi.”

    I scoffed. “Maybe, but having a Chief-of-State in possession of a virus capable of Force-sterilizing a Jedi is also dangerous, but we still haven’t fully left Coruscant,” I countered. “I think Mokk Streke is the biggest threat we have.”

    It looked like Aunt Mara was going to argue with me further, but Luke put up a hand halting the conversation. “You’re absolutely correct, we need to get the Jedi to safety. Now that the younglings are off planet, I am going to send the older teenagers on their trials. This will leave only a dozen or so cadre in the Temple. Jaden is working on a vaccine. Maybe we can get them vaccinated soon, so they can stay without worry.” He looked over to his daughter. “Hanna, is that the clothing you were wearing in the video?”

    She looked down at her outfit. “Yes, why?”

    My uncle gestured to me. “Maybe Talon can touch it and pick up some postcognitive information about the men who captured you.”

    “I can try that,” I said as I reached over to my cousin. To my surprise she slapped my hand away.

    “No way. He can see the people and images surrounding the clothing, including me getting dressed. That’s a little too voyeuristic for me.”

    I nodded in agreement. “She has a point. How about your lightsaber? That should be safe unless you do lightsaber training in the nude.”

    I was amused when Hanna had to think long and hard about my request. Eventually she unclipped it from her belt and handed it over to me. I grasped the weapon with both hands and closed my eyes in concentration. I could see Hanna, the Void Jumper Leader, but not the other men. I opened my eyes and shrugged. “Nothing. I suspect we are dealing with the Vong.”

    My uncle gave a curt nod. “Just as I suspected.” Luke rose out of his seat. “We’ll discuss this later.” He pointed to Ben and me. “I know you two are busy with the cargo runs between here and Ossus. I’ll let you get back to work.”

    As Ben and I left the Grand Master’s office and were out of earshot, Ben whispered. “You haven’t told my dad you are leaving the Jedi, have you?”

    I shook my head. “No, I don’t want to leave him in a bind while all of this was happening."

    “But you are leaving?” Ben asked sadly.

    “Yes.” I nodded. “Soon.”
     
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  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Wow! Super action and these Void Jumpers sound like a formidable resourceful group. Still don't know who's behind it all. [face_thinking]
     
  24. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 21, 2006
    Yes, who are those void-jumpers? Great action-scenes
     
  25. Jedi_Lover

    Jedi_Lover Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Thank you. I don't like writing action, but I think I am getting a little better.
    Hopefully you will find out this month. I am writing as fast as I can. :)

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    Entry 41

    There is an old proverb that says, ‘Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.’ I told Uncle Luke he should worry about getting the Jedi off of Coruscant and he listened. He decided to send most of the masters and their apprentices off planet for their Jedi trials. There is a problem though. There are dozens of the teenage younglings that do not have Masters assigned to them. Due to the shortage, Ben and I were called into the Grand Master’s office to discuss the situation.

    “I would like you two to take on an apprentice,” my uncle said to us as we sat across from his desk. “I know you two live on a ship and there are only two Stealth X’s. So I would suggest that one apprentice stay on the ship with one Jedi and we’ll base the other out of Ossus. The Jedi Order will assign Stealth X’s to that Jedi and apprentice. You just need to decide who will go to Ossus or you can take turns living on the ship and on planet. Don’t worry, we can provide housing for your wife or make other arrangements.” He turned to me. “Apprentice Donatoi will finish up Void Jumper School in two weeks. I thought you could take him on as an apprentice.” He pointed to Ben. “Apprentice Tri’falto wants to be a Sentinel. I thought you would be the perfect Master for her.” He looked to both of us expectantly. “Well, what do you think? I believe both of you are ready to become a Jedi Master. I have been impressed with your work so far. I know you two will perform superbly as teacher and mentors to the younger generation.”

    My uncle smiled because in his mind he is bestowing upon us a great honor, but to me it just meant I had to confess my plan to leave the Jedi Order.

    My uncle must have sensed my discomfort because he gazed at me inquisitively. “What’s wrong, Talon? You don’t like Donatoi?”

    I blew out a frustrated breath. “It’s not that. I just don’t think I can take on an apprentice at this time.”

    The Grand Master’s brow went up in surprise. “And why is that?”

    I looked down to the floor taking some time to formulate my response. “I decided to resign from the Order and spend more time with my family on Indupar.”

    I heard my uncle take in a sharp breath. “This is sudden. If you don’t want an apprentice we can assign you some other work, if that’s the problem.”

    I shook my head. “I made up my mind weeks ago. I have been simply putting off telling you…but I’m forced to tell you now. I won’t be around to mentor an apprentice.”

    My uncle slumped in his seat looking dumbfounded. “Are your parents ill? Is there a reason for wanting to be with your family now?”

    I shook my head. “No, I just want to settle down and be around my family.”

    Uncle Luke stared at me for a long time. He knows I’m hiding something. He turned to his son, “Did you know about this?”

    Ben looked exceedingly uncomfortable. “Yes.”

    “Uncle Luke, I’m not leaving right away. I want to make sure the transition between Coruscant and Ossus goes smoothly. I just can’t take on an apprentice when I’m planning on leaving soon.”

    I blew out a slow, frustrated breath. “And what are you going to do on Indupar?”

    I cleared my throat nervously. “I’ve been offered command of a company of Void Jumpers…or a position within the Indupar Knights.”

    Uncle Luke ran a hand over his face. “I understand that your parents are there…but the Jedi are also your family. All your cousins are Jedi, your aunt, me, your brother and his family.” He shook his head in dismay. “I just don’t understand why you would abandon us.”

    I lowered my eyes. “Jaina and Jacen left and you didn’t see that as abandoning the Jedi.”

    The Grand Master groaned. “I understood Jaina and Jacen leaving to be with their spouses. What I never understood is why your father resigned and moved across the galaxy to train a stranger.” He heaved a sigh. “I guess I can’t compete with these royal houses. They can give a Jedi anything they desire.”

    I have never seen my uncle so despondent. “It’s not the money. I’m going to Indupar to be with my family.”

    Luke gazed up at me. “That doesn’t explain why your father left.” He gave a forlorn shake of his head. “I should have never asked him to do the memory rub on Jacen. He left soon after that fiasco. He was heartbroken when he realized he rubbed out years of Jacen’s memory needlessly. Poor Jacen doesn’t remember getting married and fathering a child. I knew it bothered Mark, but I never expected it would cause him to leave his friends and family.”

    Ack! I so much want to tell my uncle the truth, to ease his guilt, but I can’t. “My father doesn’t hold any animosity about that situation.”

    My uncle didn’t respond, but simply gave me a sad nod. “So when are you leaving?”

    “Not right away. I don’t want to leave you in a lurch. In a few weeks maybe.”

    Uncle Luke continued to stare at me. “Is there anything I can say to make you stay?”

    I averted my eyes. I could feel my uncle’s disappointment through the Force. “No.”

    He blew out a breath. “Alright. You’re dismissed. Ben will stay behind to discuss the details of his apprentice.”

    I slowly stood and shuffled to the door. I glanced back and I could tell by the expression on Ben’s face that he wanted me to explain the situation to his father, but I need to consult with Marcus first. “Sorry, Uncle Luke.”

    I left with a heavy heart and a knot in my stomach. As hard as it was telling the Grand Master, I knew it would be nothing compared to telling Aunt Mara.
     
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