Beyond Hand of the Empress {Your Father's Fate/The True Nature of the Force} Completed 8/31

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Tych_sel, Dec 2, 2003.

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  1. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    I suppose Pash was making the distinction between simply having to fight vast numbers of TIEs (?deadly?) and fighting vast numbers of TIEs while Imperial starships take potshots at you with turbolaser bolts as big as your fighter (?really deadly?). :)

    Han is going to cover the retreat of the fleet (cruisers, corvettes, gunships, squadrons of starfighters) with the Falcon (modified light transport)... I suppose he might be hoping they would concentrate on capturing him and ignore the other ships. Rather like his tactic in Tatooine Ghost but rather than the Falcon dumping a canister with a bribe it would be the Falcon acting the part of the ?canister?.

    Personally I think Han had been able to ?break into? the conversation because as Commanding Officer of the operation he would have all squadron frequencies available so he could order squadrons individually, and knew he needed to switch to that frequency because as Wedge?s friend he knew what Wedge?s reaction would be.
  2. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    LaYa_: Thanx!

    _JM_: Actually, I was thinking of Luke's thoughts in SotE when I wrote that bit. Nice catch about Han's tactic. It is similar to what he did in TG, though I don't think Thrawn would have it blown up like the canister...

    As for Han breaking in, he would be able to do so as the group commander, though Wedge might have been thinking about the Falcon and some of her "add-ons."


    And now, onto tonight's post!


    Luke followed Leia from the room, and she led him down the short hall to where Winter sat, Selena sleeping in her arms. "You have a beautiful daughter, Commander," Winter said, formally addressing Luke.

    "I suppose I should thank you," Luke said, "for seeing that Selena remained safe through all...this." Winter rose, and approached him, letting him take his sleeping daughter in his arms.

    "You'll need to leave soon," Luke said. "No doubt the Empress already has Intelligence shutting down the spaceports."

    "Luke, please, reconsider," Leia said, one last time.

    "I already told you, Leia, that for me to leave now would doom the Alliance. My return would split them, pitting those who support me against those who would see me put on trial. And on top of that, the Empress would not cease searching for me. I can't come with you, Leia."

    "I understand. But I hope you understand that I had to try."

    "I know, Leia. Believe me, though, that this is the only way."

    "I understand, Luke. But one day, I hope we'll be able to see each other again."

    "That day will come, Leia. Until then, may the Force be with you." And he turned, striding from the room.

    "May it be with all of us, Luke. And may it someday guide you back to who you are, and where you belong."

    ++++++++++++

    "Once we have Solo and Organa Solo, the Rebellion's leadership will fall apart," the Empress informed Ysanne Isard, who seemed more than a little nervous to Kanti. "It will be the duty of your agents to see that they are brought to justice."

    "It shall be as you command, Empress."

    There is something going on here, the Empress felt, something that she doesn't want to tell me. Calling upon the Force, she slipped into the mind of the Director of Imperial Intelligence. Most of Isard's concern seemed focused on her hands. "You have discovered something?"

    "I...I..." Isard's voice failed her, as though she didn't dare speak the thought.

    *Tell me,* the Empress commanded, driving the thought into Isard's mind with the force of a anvil.

    "My agent was a plant," Isard finally said, after putting up more resistance than the Empress would have suspected. "She was working for the Alliance."

    "And you failed to discover this?" the Empress asked, her voice turning deadly. "Hadn't you done a complete background check?"

    "It would seem that the Rebels were very thorough."

    "I returned because of a disturbance in the Force," the Empress said, rage rising inside her. Calm yourself, she almost heard her father say. An emotional response will do you no good. "I returned, to find that your incompetence has allowed the Rebels a measure of victory."

    "The agents in charge of the investigation will, of course, face whatever reprisal you see fit, my Empress," Isard said.

    "And what of you, Director Isard? How is it that you did not become aware of this?"

    "The situation sprang into existence rather quickly," her hand going to her throat as she felt a slight pressure there, though from what she couldn't be sure. However, it didn't take a neurosurgeon to make a guess.

    "And will have ended itself just as quickly," came a voice from the door of the throne room. Standing there, silhouetted by the light, was Luke Skywalker. Mara stood by his side, Selena in her arms. "The circumstances of my return, however, are for the ears of the Empress only," Luke added at Isard's stunned reaction.

    ++++++++++++



    That's it for tonight. Four more posts to go before this fic wraps up.


    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  3. Pelranius Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2003
    star 5
    Too bad Luke burst in before Mara could complete the Vader treatment on Isard... but such is life.

    Panaka was officially a Moff and a staunch supporter of the New Order and Palpatine according to the official site. Is he (Panaka) up to some sort of trickery?

    Somehow I think the battle's going to end in an unexpected manner... just a hunch on my part.
  4. SilSolo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 5
    Ah space battle scenes are good.
  5. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    Pelranius: Sorry, but it would have been Kanti, not Mara, doing the virtual garrote on Isard. As for Panaka, I'll say that he's definitely siding with the Alliance here.

    Sil: Glad you liked the battle scene, though I'm not planning anything like some of my other fics.


    Okay, here comes today's post. Sorry it's a little later, but work got in the way.


    Wedge didn't like it, but he knew the middle of the battlefield wasn't the place to argue with the commander. "You heard him, Rogues," he said. "Break off, and jump to hyper." The other squadrons were likewise breaking off. The Aces rounded their target Destroyer, drawing a few more blasts from the Imperial warship. The Bravos broke off their engagement with the remaining fighters, though Bravo Two seemed to have taken heavy damage. Then, the ship broke out of formation, forming up with the Falcon.

    Wedge switched comm channels. "Bravo Leader, what's going on? Get your squad together."

    "Bravo Two's not going anywhere, Rogue Lead," came the voice of Captain Sykes. "She took a hit to her artoo droid, and it also did damage to the hyperdrive. She can't jump."

    "So she's going to just stick around? Isn't there any other way?"

    "This is what she asked for, Commander. If she's going to die, she wanted to die here, in space, doing what she always dreamed of."

    Wedge couldn't argue with the feeling. He knew that someday, the odds would finally defeat his luck, and he'd be facing a similar decision. "Understood, Captain. I wish there were something I could do."

    "So do I, Commander. But we have our orders." The Aces were gone already, having squeezed out of the Imperials' net. The Bravos were almost there when Wedge caught sight of something out of the corner of his eye.

    That's a suicide run, he thought, as Bravo Two lined up on the Admonitor. And right behind the N-1 fighter was the Falcon. The N-1 burst forward, green laserfire spewing from the silver front end. And when the fighter reached the point where she would have to pull up, she unleashed six torpedoes, four aimed at the port shield tower. They slammed into it, destroying it completely. And then the fighter followed the other two into the starboard tower. The Falcon pulled up, and Wedge saw the ship vanish, jumping into hyperspace as soon as it cleared the gravity wells of the interdictors.

    "Rogues, the general is out. Get out now, before the Imps decide they need to salvage some sort of victory form this debacle." He pushed the levers in his own fighter forward, and the X-Wing leapt into hyperspace, and safety. And none too soon, as the Star Destroyers, led by the still undamaged Chimeara, let loose a broadside of turbolaser blasts that would have reduced the X-Wings to rubble.

    ++++++++++++


    That's it for now. More to come tomorrow.


    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  6. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    From Winters complement it sounds like Selena has made her first conquest other than her parents.

    As said before Lukes arguments are good.

    A little silly of Isard to try to hide something from the Empress as the fact of trying to hide it would only make the consequencies of the discovery even worse.

    Nice subtle reminder from the Empress (force choke is a little less flashy than force lighting) and a very nice dramatic entrance from Luke, Mara, and Selena though as Pelranius said they could have waited a few seconds longer to see if any more pressure was going to be applied to Isards throat.

    Felt sorry for Bravo Two, if the situation hadn?t been so desperate the Falcon could probably have picked her fighter up (like the Pulsar Skate did with Corrans disabled X-Wing) and hyperspaced them both out of there.

    At least the Falcon ended up with a better chance of escape thanks to Bravo Two sacrificing herself to provide a human shield for Han.

    Either you like having a really sudden cliffhanger or there was meant to be a second part to that final sentence... ?as the Star Destroyers, led by the still undamaged Chimaera.? ? As the Star Destroyers what?
  7. LaYa_ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
  8. SilSolo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 5
    Ah the short life span of a starfighter pilot.
  9. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    _JM_: First, thanks for pointing out that rather obvious fragment. I guess my brain was running a little faster than my fingers there. That mistake has been corrected.

    As for Selena, yes, she has indeed made her first conquest outside the family.

    The Empress, as we've seen before, is less likely to go for the overly dramatic solution to a problem. But she did, in this case, need to give Isard a reminder of the price not only for failure, but for holding back information. Of course, witholding info was, as you point out, a kind of stupid decision on Iceheart's part.

    As for Bravo Two, I felt that to have everybody get out of Thrawn's trap would have seemed too contrived. I mean, I could have killed Wedge, or Tycho, but Bravo Two ended up being offered up. That, and I wanted to see somebody go the way of the A-Wing pilot in RotJ.

    LaYa_: Thanks!

    Sil: Yes, unfortunately they can't all have Wedge's luck.


    Okay, here comes the next part, and the last part for this week.


    Isard's jaw dropped. Even the Empress seemed a bit surprised at Luke's return. She didn't take long to once more take charge of the moment. "Director Isard, have your people seal off the spaceports. Leia Organa Solo is not going to get away."

    "It won't do you any good," Luke said. "She's already gotten off Imperial Center."

    "How do you know that?" Isard asked. "She would have been recognized in an instant."

    "I know, because I told her to leave. Before I rescued my daughter and returned here."

    Kanti's face turned just the slightest shade of pink. "You told her to leave? You mean to tell me that you could have brought one the Alliance's leaders before me, and you just let her walk away?"

    "That's right," Luke said.

    "That," Isard said, "is treason."

    "Call it what you like. But that was the bargain I made. Her freedom, for my service." His gaze was locked on Kanti's. "That has always been our agreement."

    "She is the enemy," the Empress replied, her voice cold. "I will forgive this insubordination this one time. But should you ever cross paths with her again, I expect you to bring her to me. Lest it become necessary for me to...dispose of certain distractions."

    "My hand is yours," he said. Then, he glanced over his shoulder at Mara, Selena asleep in her arms. Then his gaze returned to the Empress. "But know that I will always protect what is mine. To my own death, if need be."

    ++++++++++++

    Epilogue will begin on Monday, and the fic will wrap up on Tuesday. But on Wednesday, I plan to post the beginning of my newest fic, beginning roughly twenty years after Phantom of the Past.


    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  10. Tribun Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2003
    star 3
    There are some things I want to add to the starfighter scene:

    1.)There aren't shield towers on a star destroyer, this is just a common misconception and error. The last ITW made it clear, that the globes on the bridge tower are scanner globes. The real shield generators are deep inside the ship.
    2.)Starfighters are useless against the shields of capital ships, you could argue different because of some novel hero-worshipping rouge squadron, but it is also a fact, just see Ep.I for example.

    I hope you think about it.
  11. Yodaminch Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 5
    Sequel to this though?

    Oh Phantom eh? So I take it Alema's daughter will star in this one.
  12. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    ***

    Re Tribun?s post:
    1) I tend to agree that those are scanner domes, but at the same time it is something (like the true length of an Executor class SSD) that is not worth fighting about since so many sources have referred to them as shield-generators.
    My compromise is that the bridge shield-generators are in the same area as the sensor domes so if you manage to take those out (as seen in RotJ) then there?s a chance that power-surges or debris from that destruction will take out the bridge deflectors...but definitely only the bridge deflectors rather than the shielding over the entire ship.

    2) A concentrated barrage of torpedoes from a group of starfighters can overwhelm a section of starship shielding and potentially cause enough damage to the underlying section of hull to prevent that area of shielding from being rebuilt.
    In Episode 1 there were not that many N-1 fighters, they only seem to have one launcher barrel rather than the two on an X-Wing / Y-Wing / B-Wing / etc each so a squadron salvo is only 12 torpedoes rather than 24, and in any case they were under heavy attack by droid-fighters and it would be difficult to form up for the coordinated strike required to do any damage.

    ***

    I love how calm Luke is why defying the ruler of the Galactic Empire, especially considering how badly she beat him when he tried to fight her before. I think that letting Leia escape might very well have greatly shortened the time before Kanti becomes tired of the games Luke is playing.

    Looking forward to seeing how this concludes and to the new story.
  13. SilSolo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 5
    I'll be lookin forward to your next post. I was surprised with Luke's part in that scene. Thought he'd take out a lightsaber on Kanti.
  14. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    Tribun: While I'll take your word for it that they are scanner globes, I'm going to leave things as they are. Chalk it up to misconception if you will. I will, however, argue against starfighters being useless against capital ships. RotJ features a starfight blowing through an SSD's bridge. Wraith Squadron pretty much detroys Trigit's flagship, and one pilot, one pilot, takes over Night Caller. And this isn't the Rogues we're talking about, since they were able to take out both a Vic and SSD.

    yoda: There will be a sequel to this one eventually, but I do want to hop back to my other series of fics. And yes, Luma will appear prominently in the new one.

    _JM_: Regarding Kanti's actions, I think she's just a little worried that if she takes too extreme an action towards Luke, it could cost her Mara's loyalty as well. But she probably won't put up with his games for long, you're right.

    Sil: _JM_ points out that it's surprising Kanti doesn't react more to Luke's behavior. To have him pull his lightsaber might have pushed the limits too far, though I did think about it for his comment at the end of the post.



    No post today, but Monday will mark the beginning of the end.


    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  15. Pelranius Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2003
    star 5
    It's almost over!... :_|




    But you say there's more? :cool:


    Anyways, great work. Can't wait for more. (out of curiosity, will the Vong rear their scarheads in the next one?)
  16. LaYa_ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
  17. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    Pelranius: Yes, while this one is almost over, there will be more coming, though not right away. As for the Vong, I haven't yet decided, though the chance is there. Perhaps we will get to see the "Nova Colossus, ot the Galaxy Destructor, or the Nostril of Palpatine", though Kanti doesn't seem quite as superweapon-happy as her father.

    LaYa_: Thanks, once again.


    Okay, and now, onto the beginning of the end.


    Epilogue

    Thrawn may have defeated the Alliance, the Empress thought as she looked over the Grand Admiral's report, but he failed to capture Solo. Worse, the Alliance had nearly destroyed one of Thrawn's capital ships. As she looked over the record of the battle, she wondered how the Alliance managed to create pilots fanatical enough to give their lives in such a fashion.

    As she did so, the door opened behind her, the Guards allowing a single woman to enter. The Empress sat, her back to the door. She wanted a bit more time to contemplate the victory at Eriadu, even though it had been a minor defeat as well.

    "Director Isard tells me that you have served well since my father's death," Kanti said, he back still to her visitor.

    "I have," the woman said, wondering vaguely why the Empress had summoned her. She had served the Emperor, but the Empress had never chosen to call on her before now.

    "You wonder why I summoned you," Kanti said, pulling the thought from the woman's mind, even as she rose from the throne, coming around it to face the woman, who had dropped to one knee. "Skywalker will soon begin instructing my son in the ways of the Force. However, I do not believe Skywalker has given himself fully to the Dark Side. As such, he can never fully complete the training my son will require if he is to rule the Empire."

    The woman wasn't sure what the Empress expected of her. "I am not fully trained myself, Empress."

    "But you have, thanks to Lord Vader, seen the true nature of the Force. Skywalker can teach the basics, but I wish you to ensure that my son has the knowledge of the Dark Side."

    "I understand, Empress."

    "I would suggest that you not try to turn him against me, Lumiya," Kanti said. "I would see any such attempt as a betrayal, as well as treason." The Empress didn't need to say that the exception she made for Skywalker did not in any way apply to the woman who actually thought of herself as a Lady of the Sith.

    "I understand, Empress."

    "I will have further orders for you later. Begin planning the training. But ensure that you do not reveal yourself to Skywalker, or his wife."

    "You doubt their loyalty?"

    "That is not your concern. What I wish is all that matters."

    "Of course, Empress," Lumiya said, not for the first time considering the ironic fact that Luke Skywalker was so close, yet so unreachable to the woman who had once gone by the name of Shira Brie. And whom Luke had, for a time, been in love with.

    ++++++++++++


    Second part of the Epilogue will be up tomorrow.

    EDIT: I've posted the trailer for the new fic, "Queen's Gamble," taking place following "Phantom of the Past." You can find it here.


    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  18. Yodaminch Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 5
    so lumiya rears her head in another of your fics. odd though to see a role reversal between eclepsa and lumiya.
  19. SilSolo Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 5, 2004
    star 5
    Kanti's son? Isn't she a bit too young or is he adopted?
  20. LaYa_ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    Hmmm... interesting ;)
  21. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    The answer to Kanti?s question about how the Alliance managed to create pilots fanatical enough to give their lives in such a fashion. is fairly simple, they don?t- Imperial treatment of any prisoners does (assuming some of the darker fanfics are even halfway correct) by giving Rebels no reason to surrender.

    Like that the slack that is cut for Luke doesn?t apply to Lumiya in any way, shape, or form.
  22. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    yoda: That's right. I couldn't resist bringing Lumiya in for the end. And having done so, I couldn't resist flipping roles either.

    Sil: I think that by the time this half of the story takes place (around the time of CoPL in canon), Kanti would be early to mid-twenties. So it would be possible.

    LaYa_: Thanks. Though I will be leaving you hanging a bit at the end.

    _JM_: You're right about what leads the Rebels to such heroism. As for the fact that the slack that applies to Luke doesn't apply to Lumiya gives the option to use it to drive a wedge between them in the future.


    Okay, everybody, here comes the second part of the Epilogue, and the last post for this fic.


    "He didn't want to come back," Leia told Han, once they were finally alone. The Alliance Command had wanted a full report of the near-disaster at Eriadu, while Intel had wanted to thoroughly debrief Leia regarding the mission to Coruscant.

    "Maybe we were wrong, Leia," Han said. "Maybe he's found a place in the Empire."

    "He can't have turned fully, Han. If he had, he wouldn't have been able to let me escape. He wants the Alliance to live. But somehow, he thinks it can only do so if he's not here."

    Han leaned back. "Maybe the kid's right, Leia. Remember how Vader was, once he found out about Luke? It seemed like he was always trying to track Luke down. I have to admit, sometimes I've wondered if he was hunting the Alliance, or hunting Luke. Besides," and here he tossed her one of those patented Solo grins, "Luke did at least hint that someday, he would come back."

    "We can only hope, Leia."

    "Hope, and trust in the Force," she replied, leaning back into him.

    ++++++++++++


    Okay, everybody, that's it for this fic. I'll be taking a bit of time away from this AU to put my full attention on my new fic, but there will be a sequel to this coming, once I work out how the history of the GFFA has changed in this AU.

    Thanks to everybody for the support. Let's face it, without you, I might not have kept going.

    The Force will be with you, always.


    Tych_sel
  23. Yodaminch Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 5
    Another great piece. With your stories, its never the end. There's always some little thread left. Always dragging us back for more. I'm off to Queen's Gamble then.
  24. LaYa_ Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 21, 2003
    star 5
    Great ending to a wonderful story! :)
  25. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    Luke has found a place in the Empire and it is a place where he can moderate the actions of the Empress and thus do a lot of good.

    Han is right, were Luke to have defected back to the Alliance then every bounty hunter, spy, and a great proportion of the Imperial Fleet would have been put on the job of tracking them down and they would be in even more serious trouble.

    Great story.
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