Beyond Legacy of the Force: You Were My Brother - (AU, Caedus - Final Chapter Updated 5/20!)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Dashren2001, Sep 17, 2012.

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  1. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    And up to the battle. I hope Ben will escape
  2. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    The risen confidence and comradere of the men was infectious. Caedus took it in, made it his own, imagined himself wiggling his hypothetical fighter's wings in celebration. He felt the men swell with pride, all three cranking their throttles to maximum and rushing back into the central conflict. He had done it. Darth Caedus had taken his first successful step into the startlingly-powerful world of Battle Meditation. Grasping this joy, turning it into a voracious need for more victories, he used the pilots' pride to increase his influence, and he soon found himself connected to an entire flight of X-Wing pilots. The effect was both subtle and powerful.

    The men in the flight were communicating at an amazingly quick pace, often thinking to each other and executing actions before even utilizing the radio. Their bond was a false web woven in the Force, and it directed them in elegant and ruthless patterns of attack. Under Caedus' control, not a single contact was lost, while they proceeded to take down at least fourteen Coalition pilots.

    This continued on for several minute, Caedus connecting dozens of his pilots and officers in a network of near-instant communication and prideful teamwork. The battle was shifting, its implications and patterns changing. Darth Caedus could feel some of the Jedi observing his intricate works, several even attempting to tests waters, discover how deep they ran. With the Battle Mediation technique's history and relative obscurity, he doubted any of the Force users here for his life would be able to counter his influence short of crashing their snubfighter directly through his transparisteel view. He had made sure that the tower's focused deflector shields were the first things restored during the chaos to prevent this.

    Then Caedus' boastful pride took a proverbial nosedive. Shining like a beacon in stormy ocean waters, the Sith Lord immediately felt the presence of Luke Skywalker enter the field, followed by several pilots, intent and purposeful.

    Rakehell Squadron was in play, along with countless mercenaries and bounty hunters in various transports and cruisers.

    "Ah," Caedus said quietly, "The cavalry."

    Can´t believe that we are already this far. Page 3 of this gorgeous and thrilling fanfic. I must say that I love Caedus dry humour. But then I am a Vader lover since my 7th birthday and simply like characters such as Dexter Morgan, Hannibal Lecter, Spike the Vampire, House MC... [face_blush]
  3. Dashren2001 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2008
    star 1
    Author's Note: Sorry for the absence. Another writing project has caught my attention lately, so you have my apologies. This other writing project is not Star Wars-related, so if you're curious about it, feel free to PM me.
    ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    Part 22
    Dash Rendar hauled back on the hyperspace throttle in the center of the console before him. The mottled blue cylinder of warped space that encompassed him shortened, became fatter, expanded around him. Light blue shifted to navy, navy shifted to black, and searing streaks of ice blue compacted into thousands of little white dots.

    He had always liked jumping into hyperspace, but the return to normal space was really where the kicks were. Hyperspace always looked the same, every time a ship returned to the laws of physics, there was a different view awaiting it. Sometimes it was a stunning multi-stage eclipse, sometimes it was a solid wall of turbolasers and anger. But no matter what, one could never be quite sure what was going to be on the other side of the jump. Rendar loved that.

    This time, he was met with a familiar scene. Large battle ships of Imperial and Mon Cal design were exchanging fire while at least a hundred star fighters and gunships danced between them. His threat tracker lit up like a small model of Coruscant, the planet on the other side of the fight. X-Wings, A-Wings, TIEs in all sorts of flavors flashed over his target screens. Rendar was reminded of one of the things he had actually liked about the Galactic Civil War: the sides were proprietary. If you flew with a trident on your head, you shot at TIEs. If your jumpsuit was covered with cogs, you shot at stunt fighters and anything with S-Foils.

    Now, however, the battlefield was a horrible cavalcade of every fighter imaginable. For every model fighter that the Alliance was using, the Coalition was using a few as well. This meant pilots were forced to take split-seconds to check their threat indicators to make sure they weren't about to blast their flight leader into the vacuum. Dash sneered, lamenting the days of exclusivity contracts.

    Dash turned to his right and spoke, his voice a deep slush of gravel and broken shot glasses. "Leebo, give the rest of the bandits the green light."

    Rendar's droid and co-pilot replied, "Yes sir, because this roundtable of smugglers were going to wait for a signed affidavit before hopping into a fight."

    The bounty hunter smiled. He had learned long ago to not fight his droid's sarcastic programming, and it had since become somewhat endearing. Sometimes he wished the bucket of bolts would do its job without dry retorts, but then Dash imagined himself trying to work with a C3-series protocol droid or a panicky astromech and the comedic Leebo was appealing again.

    This wasn't the first job that Rendar had taken for free, but it was likely the biggest. In under half-an-hour, he had managed to wrangle together a flight of over forty independent fighters, light freighters, cruisers, gunships, and uglies. The really difficult part had been convincing them to take the job without any guarantee of pay. He was sure that Skywalker would give them a trifle of credits if they won, but the Jedi believed in something that smugglers and mercs very much did not: goodness for goodness' sake.

    Rendar was able to win over the last of the hold-outs by transmitting around pictures of Jacen Solo flashing that smug, housewife-crippling smile. They had no problem with an arrogant piece of trash sharking a few floating casinos, but the cavalcade of rogues took umbrage with him being at the helm of the primary force in the galaxy.

    At least Vader was honest about being an oppressive prick, the bearded mercenary thought.

    Dash leaned forward and activated the comm. "Skywalker, this is Dash. Unless that Force of yours has some special plan for us brigands, we're just going to jump into the fray and see how much of the Alliance we can turn into salvageable scrap."

    Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker, along with about fourteen other Jedi, was about half a kilometer off Rendar's starboard side. “Rakehell Squadron,” they were known as. They were in the latest series of X-Wing fighters, as opposed to their signature Stealth-Xs. The stealth fighters would have been useless in a battle like this, with their weak hulls and lessened armaments. Dash never pretended to know too much about the Force, but he was pretty sure the stronger Jedi could feel each other with some weird sixth sense, and he was equally sure that Jacen would pick up on Luke's arrival like a sun going supernova.

    The Jedi Master's tone did not share Dash's confidence. “No, Dash. Unless I say otherwise, your objective is to engage and thin out Alliance forces wherever possible. We will be shifting tactics in time, but for now, do what you do best.”

    The mercenary couldn't help but smile. He knew exactly what Luke assumed they “did best”, and the Jedi was absolutely right. The “what” was nothing short of chaos, and Kyle Katarn had made sure that the best agents of chaos were here right on time.

    Dash began flipping switches and turning dials, shifting power and his ship's processing power to his guns and shields. “Leebo,” he said without looking at the droid, “You're on guns. I've got the stick and launchers. Make sure not to toast any friendlies, it's gonna get complicated.”

    “When is it not, sir?”

    His smirk remained as he smacked the comm controls again. “This is the Outrider. You all heard the old monk. Run-and-gun, try not to hit one of our own, and so-on. Have some fun with it.”

    The voice of an older woman with a slight purr came back over the speaker. “Starlight Intruder here. We always have fun. We're fun-loving people.

    “Salla,” Dash said, “Any idea if that poor excuse for a pilot ex-boyfriend of yours is going to turn up?”

    Han would never miss something like this. He'll show up just before or after the nick-of-time.”

    “Figures. Alright folks, let's be big damn heroes.”

    Rendar shoved the throttle forward and started scanning for the nearest targets. His radar showed the rest of the mercenaries breaking off in other directions, likely to avoid catching each other's prey. Rakehell Squadron started a wide arc to his right that would bring them in much closer to the Alliance's half of the conflict. He decided not to concern himself with them unless they called for him.

    This was unquestionably the most dangerous space conflict he had participated in for quite some time, but it was difficult for him not to get nostalgic. The chaos of the multiple parties involved and the ever-present knowledge that several important figures were participating brought back vibrant images of the Skyhook Conflict. It used to be called the Battle over Coruscant, but the number of those had reached double digits long ago.

    Dash's signature ship, a heavily-modified Corellian YT-2400 light frieghter christened the “Outrider”, was a more compact and generally-improved descendant of the infamous YT-1300 design. The ship had a long-standing rivalry with the Millenium Falcon that had even become public before Rendar faked the Outrider's destruction, along with his own demise, after the Skyhook Conflict.

    After that, Rendar went back to running weapons and cargo without the burden of a flag to fly under. During the Yuuzahn Vong invasion, when it became apparent that the entire galaxy was at stake, he had flown a series of secret bombing and sabotage runs on Vong bases with a number of other smugglers.

    Most of the smugglers now engaging Alliance forces had made those runs with him.

    “Targets incoming, sir,” Leebo said.

    “I see 'em.”

    Red brackets formed around two Alliance X-Wings a few kilometers away. They were in the process of making a wide turn back towards the battle and apparently hadn't noticed the Outrider. Without a word, the droid to Dash's right began to pour a stream of red light into one of the fighters. Its shields appeared, crackled away, and the fighter exploded in a ball of paneling and framework.

    Before his friend could react, the Outrider's turrets shifted slightly and gave him the same treatment. Dash banked around the expanding sphere of parts and continued forward. What Leebo lacked in comedic ability or protocol, he made up for in laser work.

    Dash put his sights on a group of three TIE Interceptors, but before he came into range, a pair of Coalition A-Wings swooped into view and blasted two of the dagger-winged fighters to pieces. The remaining Interceptor gave chase as the A-Wings passed, but they broke off in separate directions. The TIE followed one and gave chase for a few seconds before the second stunt fighter completed its loop and put several pairs of laser bolts through the spherical cockpit.

    Just as Dash was about to smirk at the textbook fighter jockey work, the lead A-Wing erupted into two large balls of blue flame. Four X-Wings his computer designated as Alliance-oriented were headed directly for the remaining A-Wing from the center of the battle. With a quick gesture, Rendar connected his comm to the now-lone stunt fighter's.

    “A-Wing, break toward the Corellian ship off your port. Dance a little bit.”

    There was a second of silence before the pilot responded. “Acknowledged.” The pilot's voice was shaking.

    The A-Wing turned towards the Outrider just as the X-Wings came into range. Dash gave the Outrider a kick and sped past the A-Wing. Before his targeting computer could even get lock, Leebo opened fire on the left two snubfighters. The X-Wings nudged apart just enough so that the blasts soared harmlessly between them. With a continuous motion, Dash shifted all shields to front, acquired lock on one of the center fighters and let a concussion missile fly.

    Instead of attempting to dodge the oncoming missile, the X-Wing attempted something even Rogue Squadron veterans rarely tried: he began firing at the missile. The rocket exploded several hundred meters before its target. The X-Wing banked up to go around the missile's concussive wave. Reacting with impressive speed, Leebo took that moment to fill the crafty fighter's underside with laser.

    The X-Wing exploded like the ones before, but something started to trouble Dash. It was a small issue, easily pushed to the back of mind but impossible to ignore. The remaining three fighters had just enough time to pepper the Outrider's shields with less than a dozen shots before they passed. Rendar evened out his shields and came around to give chase. He expected to catch the X-Wings coming around for another pass at him, but instead watched as two proton torpedoes soared from the trio of snubfighters directly into the other A-Wing's large engines.

    Just as the snubfighters came into the center of his viewport again, each fighter peeled off in nearly perfectly-separated directions. The Outrider's two turrets followed the one that went off port and managed to catch one of its engines, blowing off the attached wing and sending the fighter into an ugly spin. Dash attempted to track the remaining two Alliance fighters, expecting them to form up again, but it looked like they were headed toward other parts of the battle.

    A non-human voice shouted in Basic over the Coalition channel, “Where did these bastards learn to fly like this? I've got three squints dancing all over my six and-”

    The pilot cut-out in a brief scream. That little feeling continued to nag Dash, but he pushed it aside once more. Another voice came over the radio that caught Dash's attention.

    Starlight Intruder here, got some Defenders swarming me, wouldn't mind a little intervention.”

    “Leebo,” Dash began, but the droid interrupted him.

    “Already there sir. The Intruder is designated on your radar.”

    “Got it.” He leaned closer to the comm. “Hang on, Salla, I'm headed your way.”

    The Starlight Intruder was relatively close and the Outrider had the ship in view within seconds. Two TIE Defenders were weaving around the medium-size transport with precision, mixing strafing runs with incredibly-tight passes. It was strange to see the larger Imperial designs to move so deftly. He lined the Outrider directly behind the Intruder to minimize the chances of hitting it, and Leebo opened up on one of the Defenders the moment it finished another close pass with Salla's ship. The TIE broke apart, its multitude of wings folding in and tearing through each other.

    Rendar watched the turret's targeting reticule close in on the second Defender, but the six-winged Alliance pilot turned straight down away from both smuggler ships. At that same moment, the distinct alarm of a missile lock rang throughout the Outrider's cockpit. Dash swore as he saw that two X-Wings were hot on his tail. The alarm raised in pitch as a proton torpedo was fired in his direction.

    The aging mercenary cut the primary thrusters to quarter output, used his vectoring engines to tilt the ship up, and held his breath the length of the second it took the projectile to come within a hundred meters. Then he slammed the throttle to full again and the asymmetrical disc shot away. The torpedo passed through the Outrider's engine wake and, with missile lock broken, soared off to destinations unknown.

    “Leebo,” Dash began, “Are those the same X-Wings that were giving us hell before?”

    “Their designations match, yes.”

    “Strange.”

    He brought the Outrider up and around in the tightest turn the YT-2400 could achieve, and Leebo was already pumping red laser in the general direction of the snubfighters before they even came into view. The pair of fighters separated, closed again, spun around an invisible axis, closed again, dodging every shot that their shields didn't deflect.

    That nagging voice was now shouting in Rendar's head. Something was very, very different about the way the Alliance fighters were moving.

    Then the right X-Wing exploded.

    Dash followed the trail of shots back to the Starlight Intruder, which had apparently managed to keep up with them. Apparently caught short by his wingmate's demise, the last X-Wing finally ate four blasts straight into and through its fuselage from the Outrider.

    And now we're even,” Salla said slyly over the comm.

    Rendar couldn't respond. He was too distracted by the way the fighters had moved. Their intricate dogfighting was impressive, as if the Alliance pilots were communicating almost instantaneously. Dash was even starting to wonder if those TIE Defenders had known the X-Wings would be coming back around before he had gone to help Salla. His suspicions were given firmer ground when a clearly shaken Luke Skywalker started speaking over the channel.

    This is Rakehell Leader. Change of plans. Dash, I need you and the scoundrels to open up some space around the Anakin Solo. Clear a path if you can.”

    “That'll put us in the middle of the Alliance fleet. You sure, Skywalker?”

    Yes. Something is wrong in the Force, and if Jacen's Star Destroyer stays active for much longer, the Coalition is doomed.”
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  4. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Cool, you have Salla in it! Yeah! :D

    I also love your dashing Rendar! Well written.
  5. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
  6. Dashren2001 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2008
    star 1
    Part 23

    Darth Caedus sat cross-legged on the cold metal floor. His eyes closed, his hands resting upon his knees, the Sith Lord was nestled deeply within the Force, his consciousness nearly entirely separate from his one-handed physical form. He was at the center of a sphere of his own creation. He touched and heard everything within this sphere. Every deck hand, officer, pilot and Jedi was within his reach to varying extents.

    Caedus could feel where people were headed, where they had been, what their strengths and weaknesses were. Within this chaotic space he even saw semi-solid shadows, like humanoid-shaped concentrations of vapor. They were spots where lives had once been, where they no longer were now. There were two of these gaseous death markers floating in space they were special. Their notability was that, instead of slowly dissipating, they had become burning singularities in Caedus' vision of the Force before bursting into specks of light. His men had managed to take down two of Rakehell Squadron's Jedi pilots.

    The Battle Meditation technique Caedus had been using to influence the clash was apparently working. Casualties had been relatively low on the Alliance side, where-as the Coalition forces were dropping like flies. The standing exception to this were two groups, ringers the Coalition played to try and tip the battle in their favor. One was Rakehell Squadron, the Coalition's own Rogue Squadron comprised of Jedi and ex-Rogues. Caedus had fully-expected their arrival, welcomed it, in point-of-fact. The opportunity to thin the Coalition Jedi numbers without having to face them in melee combat was one the Sith Lord embraced.

    The other group was a motley crew of smugglers, bounty hunters, and mercenaries. They were all connected to each other through vague partnerships and shared smuggling routes. High Commander Preyl, Jacen's second-in-command, had already identified several of them as old friends of Jacen's father. What these scoundrels brought to the conflict was something Caedus hated: chaos. He had to admit their presence was a stroke of brilliance, and correctly concluded that Luke Skywalker had little to do with their presence. Taking an educated guess, he presumed that they were Kyle Katarn's attempt at revenge from his medbay bed.

    Chief among these usually-unaffiliated ships was the Outrider and her captain, Dash Rendar. Jacen knew of him only from historical texts and vague reports. After striking a crushing blow against the millenia-old crime syndicate, the Black Sun, he faked his own death. Rendar popped up decades later, apparently quietly helping the fight against the Yuuzahn Vong. But while Jacen had been on the front lines of that horrific war, eventually captured and tortured by the disgusting Vong, Dash had led a group of rogues and bastards in quick gun-and-run campaigns against the Vong's weakest fighters, the Peace Brigade. The Sith Lord's opinion of his father's old smuggling partner and rival was not high.

    This opinion was even poorer at the moment, as Rendar and his smugglers were beginning to corrupt his perfect sphere of influence. The appearance of these unpredictable and deadly craft was playing hell with his men's morale, and morale was what fueled Battle Meditation.

    Darth Caedus decided to take a more direct approach. His mind swam through the battle, floating harmlessly through explosions and screams, finally finding his target. A group of four atypical ships, including the Outrider and Starlight Intruder, were beginning to shift in his direction. A quick tap at Rendar's mind, like one's light rasping of a knuckle on a front door, told Jacen that an intrusion into Dash's mind, while possible, would be difficult and take too long. However, mere meters from him, Caedus found another mind. The consciousness was female, older, battle-hardened but not without great emotion.

    She was distracted, and the Dark Lord made his move. In the span of a second, he had ransacked her mind of thousands of names and images, precious moments of victory and loss. Among them he found an image of a rare romantic embrace with... his father? Curious, he though. Jacen knew that his father, as a male Corellian ship-owner, had participated in any number of one-night stands before he met Leia Organa. However, this memory seemed stronger. It reeked of love and dedication, with aftertones of longing. This would be easier than he had thought.

    Lord Caedus knew that his father, Han Solo, was nowhere to be found. The Sith was thankful for it. The Millennium Falcon's presence alone was often the morale boost that could mill impossible victories out of hopeless situations. In fact, he could tell that this woman was wondering why he hadn't shown yet. Grasping that thought with both hands, he expanded it, wove it into other parts of her mind, made it pulse like a beacon. There must be a reason he isn't at the battle, he could feel her think. Maybe Han thought the battle was truly hopeless? Perhaps he had abandoned them, maybe even finally deciding to turn on the Coalition and join his son's side.

    The thoughts were thick and black and ever-expanding. He felt her increasing depression, embraced it, doubled it upon itself. Caedus felt confusion from several of the other smugglers, including Rendar. She must be talking on the comm, he thought, spreading her fears. Then the connection was severed, and the woman faded into a thick smoke within the Force. The shift of the smugglers' typical courage was palpable. Another puff of vapor as one of the other unregistered ships met its destruction.

    "Wait..." Jacen muttered. A hole was forming in his Battle Meditation, a rippling tear in his network of puppetry. It began just behind the smuggler "squadron", but was quickly growing stronger. In the scant minute he had spent wrecking havoc with the agents of chaos, Rakehell Squadron had become a spearhead of destruction. Jacen could feel his men falling in wake of the Jedi pilots. It was a metaphorical fireball, and it was headed straight for the Anakin Solo. With urgency, he helped the majority of his forces notice Rakehell Squadron and direct them towards the Force-protected X-Wings, but it was too late. Caedus could already see that the Jedi were going unleash hell upon his flagship.

    Dark Lord Caedus stood, smoothing out the transition from his near-omnipresent state within the Force to his more literal physical being. He shook his head and stared out at the battle. Coruscant's sun reflected off the thousands of chunks of ship and glass, creating a hauntingly-beautiful field of fragmented light against a backdrop of weapons fire and death. He took a deep breath and was completely returned to his own body, and his left hand screamed furious pain at him. He brought his arm up and saw only open air where his mind swore that his left hand still was. Phantom pain, a glitch of the human mind.

    Caedus knew that he would still be able to use that arm to manipulate the Force, but not quite as well until he could get a prosthetic. Despite how little the Force itself cared about one's physical state, Jacen's control was still based in his knowledge of himself, and with his left hand now nothing but floating particles after being caught in the explosion of his own lightsaber, that knowledge was out-of-date.

    The Dark Lord pulled a small comm unit out of his cloak and spoke.

    "Commander Preyl, what is the status of our shields?"

    "Not good, my Lord," the older man responded, worried but still retaining control of his faculties. "Our back-up systems keep going down and our technicians are unable to get to the secondary generators. We sent a team of them along with a full guard, but we haven't heard from them for some time."

    Ben, Caedus thought. Apparently Tahiri had been unable to stop him. The last he had heard from his secret apprentice and occasional lover, she had subdued the young Jedi. What had happened?

    "I will take care of it. Prepare another team of technicians to go in and restore the shields on my command." Caedus sighed quietly. It didn't carry through the comm, and he continued, "Meanwhile, put the ship on red alert and send all non-essential personnel to ships for evac."

    There was a pause. "Sir?"

    "There is a squadron of X-Wings coming in at approximately 10 o' clock. Focus all fire on them. They are Jedi and have our destruction in mind."

    Preyl had learned long ago not to question how Jacen could know such things without access to any radar or radio equipment.

    "Shall I prepare your ship as well, Sir?"

    "Yes, and make sure you have a plan for egress yourself."

    "I shall leave after you do, my Lord."

    Jacen smiled lightly. Preyl felt more like family lately than anyone carrying the Solo or Skywalker moniker. The Sith Lord would see his death as a great loss and decided that it was not necessary.

    Jacen said, "I should not have to remind you about our discussion on the differences between loyalty and stupidity, High Commander Preyl."

    "Of course not sir. My shuttle shall be ready."

    "Good. I am headed for the secondary generators. Have that tech team ready."

    "Yes sir."

    Caedus reached into his cloak's pocket once more, swapping the standard comm stick for a black-colored one. He flipped a switch and attempted to suppress his aggravation.

    "Gamma One, what is the status of of the target?"

    Caedus heard deep breathing from the comm, followed by a few blaster shots, a scream, and some vulgarities. Finally, Tahiri responded.

    "That was the last of this part of Gamma Unit, aside from myself. The target is faster than thought. He's playing games. I have been unable to catch him, but his is still wounded. I have already called for the rest of Gamma Unit to assist."

    "Negative, cancel that order. I am sending them to their ship for transport to one of the other Destroyers."

    "Excuse me?" Her irritation was reinforced by the obvious frustration being generated by Ben's resistance. "Jacen, what the hell is happening?"

    Upon hearing his old name on her tongue, he closed his eyes, reaching into the Force for calm before responding. "Tahiri, the rest of the Jedi are here. There are equal odds that the Anakin Solo is about to be destroyed. I am on my way."
    Last edited by Dashren2001, Dec 6, 2012
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  7. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Jacen sure is a dark lord having those thoughts. I hope Ben and the Jedi will be alright
  8. SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2012
    star 3
    "I should not have to remind you about our discussion on the differences between loyalty and stupidity."-- Excellent line. You've managed to keep some semblence of humanity in Jacen; that he still respects people who are doing their duty. LotF got away from this for most of the series and only tried to show it again in Invincible, when it was too late to stop Jacen without killing him.

    I liked that Tahiri won't call Jacen by his Sith moniker. She might be his apprentice, but she is not the mindless drone that profic turned her into. I'm not so naive as to think that Jacen is going to live through this, but I hope that you will keep Tahiri alive. Maybe she can be the one to prove that it is possible to be Sith without being an idiot.
    Last edited by SiouxFan, Dec 7, 2012
  9. Dashren2001 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2008
    star 1
    Part 24

    People think that the best environment in which to be stealthy is at night, or some sort form of darkness. Lots of tight corridors or large pieces of cover like trees or buildings, moving slowly, measuring out each footstep, opening and closing doors over agonizing minutes, taking even longer to plan out each meticulous movement.

    Kyle Katarn felt that sneaking and crawling around in the dead of night was all well-and-good, but if you really didn't want to be noticed, you simply had to find something louder than yourself. Have to shoot someone during a storm? Wait for a crack of thunder. Want to slip past some guards? Wait for some pompous General covered in metal to make a big appearance and squeeze in behind the pomp and circumstance.

    Need to use a small craft to quickly board an enemy vessel? Just fly around the large battle it's participating in.

    Kyle, an aging, wounded Jedi Master, turned to the middle-aged Jedi at the controls of their craft. It was a Corellian YT-2000, a simple disc shape with the signature YT-series conical cockpit protruding straight out of the center. The ship had been given the name the Soaring Light. The name as was nonsensical as most of the titles given to these easily-obtainable ships. Kyle allowed himself to muse on the subject to help distract from the upcoming task. The Raven's Claw or the Ourider were perfectly sensible names, Katarn surmised, but he had no idea what a “falcon” was, much less why there were a thousand of them. Still, he admitted, they had more charm than the somber tradition of naming larger military vessels after beloved dead leaders. He had met both Admiral Ackbar and Mon Mothma on several occasions, and wasn't entirely comfortable riding inside something sharing their names.

    The Soaring Light was apparently one of several such vessels owned by the Jedi Order and used for various missions. It was armed with a rotating turbolaser turret atop the center of the disc, and a pair of projectile launchers on either side of the cockpit.

    An explosion a few kilometers off their starboard brought Kyle out of his tangent. The brief fire cleared to reveal the remains of a Coalition Y-Wing. The perpetrator was a TIE Defender, a vicious series of dagger-like wings encircling a classic TIE ball cockpit. At first it looked like the Defender would be heading back toward the center of the conflict, but moments later slowly came around and sped along an intercept course for the Soaring Light.

    “Kyle,” the pilot began, “Would it be too much trouble to discourage our new friend?”

    “On it,” was his brief reply as he opened himself to the Force.

    Katarn reached out through the network of phasing life and immediately saw the glowing spirit of the Defender's pilot. He touched the pilot's mind with a subtle gesture, convincing the pilot that the small Corellian craft was a low-priority target, and that he was needed much more back at the primary battle.

    The TIE Defender peeled off, again heading back towards the flashing collection of fighters and capital ships.

    “Do you dislike mind tricks as much as I do,” the Jedi pilot asked in a tone that didn't imply he expected an answer.

    Welcoming the new distraction, Kyle entertained the idea anyway. “What do you not like about them, Kyp?”

    Kyp Durron, once responsible for the destruction of an entire solar system, now reformed and esteemed Jedi Master, ran his hand through his lengthy dark hair. It was a motion he did without a thought, a tick that showed either nervousness or thoughtfulness. Katarn had picked up on it almost immediately after meeting the man some time ago.

    Kyp shifted the Light slightly to port, making their path around the battle slightly longer, and finally answered.

    “I was a slave for most of my childhood. After that, I had a Sith Lord inside my head, telling me which buttons to push. So, to be honest, I am not a fan of people controlling others.”

    The older Jedi Master shrugged a silent agreement. He could have made any number of points about how the goal of a Jedi's Mind Trick was almost always ultimately towards peace, or that such a Force ability could never be used to make someone do something completely counter to their will, like making them stick a blaster in their mouth and pull the trigger. However, given Kyp's horrific past, such points were moot. Kyp Durron was usually light-hearted and considered one of the most casual Jedi Master, but that buoyant attitude hid a deep and nuanced understanding of morality. Watching one's own brother vaporized in the wave of an exploding sun tended to have that sort of impact.

    Content that the matter was settled, Kyp changed the subject.

    “I think we've ignored the subject long enough. Where is Jan? After Luke told me about your plan, I was expecting her to come at me with your Bryar pistol for volunteering to help.”

    Kyle sighed. This was the one distraction he was hoping wouldn't come up. There was no point in telling a lie three feet from a Jedi, so he didn't.

    “After she finally gave up the fight to keep me in bed, Jan told me that she would stay at the Bespin base at man one of the comm stations. Right now, she's in the Raven's Claw's cockpit, flying around with Rendar and the rest of the brigands.”

    Kyp chuckled and said, “I figured it was something like that.”

    There was an long period of silence in the cockpit before Kyp spoke again.

    “If we keep looking for other things to discuss, we're going to end up talking about the weather on Alderaan.”

    The “weather on Alderaan” was slang for anything that was meaningless. Despite the fact that Alderaan had been destroyed four decades ago, only recently had the term found its way into the common vernacular. Many people avoided using the term so as to not accidentally insult any Alderaanian refugees, not knowing that it was the children of that disintegrated planet themselves who had coined it.

    “So, the mission then?” Kyp asked.

    “What else do you need to know? I thought we worked out the details back on Bespin.”

    The younger Jedi waved his hand dismissively. “Yes, I know. We're going to make sure Jacen can't slip out the back door. But those are just the plans. The last time I spoke to Jacen was quite some time ago, long before he started wearing so much black. I know that he...”

    Kyp trailed off, clearing his throat before continuing. “I know what he did to Jaina and Zekk. I know what he did to Mara. But you took him on and got away.”

    “Just barely,” Kyle admitted, his slowly-healing torso wound coming to the forefront of his awareness once more.

    “Be that as it may, you know how he fights, how powerful he is now. No one is indestructible. Kun, Palpatine, the Vong, everyone can be beaten. If Luke and Rakehell can't finish the job, how do you think we go about taking him down?”

    Kyle shook his head. “I don't know what to say. Caedus carries himself like an Emperor, but deep down he's still just a kid upset that everyone won't just shut up and do what he says. He sees the galaxy like a block of child's clay; that with enough force, he can make it any shape he wants.” He turned back toward the window and watched the small, endless bursts of light from the battle. “He is very powerful. Good with a lightsaber, strong in the Force. Very... creative.”

    “Think we could take him?”

    “In a straight-fight? Maybe, maybe not. When we fought on Coruscant, I got close several times, but he always had something up his sleeve. Now though, he'll have his favorite toy exploding around him, and the scumsucker is down to one hand, so anything is possible.”

    Kyp chuckled again, this time much louder. “I believe Master Luke would say “Anything is always possible”.”

    “Yeah well,” Kyle began, “Blowing up a Death Star and taking down an Empire can make you say some fairly stupid things.”

    The two Jedi laughed, and suddenly the cockpit was a little more open, the air a little less stale. For a brief moment, the Soaring Light wasn't their transport to what was very likely a suicide mission.

    Another quiet fell over the two Jedi, and the brief camaraderie was gone. After a few minutes, Kyp leaned over the console's radar, pushed a few buttons, and began to ease the ship's throttle forward. They were coming up on the relative “rear” of the battle. Thin red brackets formed in front of the cockpit glass and surrounded a Star Destroyer that was several clicks further back than the other large Alliance ships.

    Kyp said “Ah, the Anakin Solo, the pride of the Alliance and the flagship of Jacen Solo's righteous Fifth Fleet. Should we knock, or ring the bell?”

    Master Katarn pressed a button below the target console and a wireframe readout of the Anakin Solo appeared.

    “It doesn't look like we'll have to,” Kyle said. “The shields and most of the guns are still down. Ben did the trick. The primary bay doors are still open and the hangar atmo barrier is still up.”

    “Got it.”

    The Soaring Light was quickly approaching the underside of the Alliance flagship from behind, and they had yet to be fired-on. The soft blue glow of the hangar bay's atmosphere barrier grew in their sight. Kyp shifted nearly a power to the YT-2000's shields and shifted control to thrust vectoring, allowing momentum to carry them forward. It was tempting to use to the comm or even the Force to figure out what kind of damage Rakehell Squadron was doing to the Anakin Solo, but either could easily be detected by Caedus.

    In seconds, the two Jedi would pass through the barrier and be inside the infamous Star Destroyer.

    Kyp turned to Kyle and said “For Jaina.”

    Kyle responded, “For all of them.”
    Last edited by Dashren2001, Dec 8, 2012
    AzureAngel2 likes this.
  10. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Love to see Kyle and Kyp together. Please let them survive. They are two of my favorite EU characters
  11. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Oh no, due to extra hours and my frustration to hardly get paid for that at all - the Dutch school system is a disgrace - I missed the last two updates.

    [face_frustrated]

    Round Christmas I always get in a gloomy mood and feel like a Charles Dickens character who works herself to death in some workhouse. So much to do and such lousy payment, even though I enjoy the two teaching jobs that I have. I try to be better with reading fanfic here on the boards.


    "Negative, cancel that order. I am sending them to their ship for transport to one of the other Destroyers."

    "Excuse me?" Her irritation was reinforced by the obvious frustration being generated by Ben's resistance. "Jacen, what the hell is happening?"

    Upon hearing his old name on her tongue, he closed his eyes, reaching into the Force for calm before responding. "Tahiri, the rest of the Jedi are here. There are equal odds that the Anakin Solo is about to be destroyed. I am on my way."

    I also like that Tahiri is a bright lass and has not flushed her brain down the potty when she turned into a sith.


    People think that the best environment in which to be stealthy is at night, or some sort form of darkness. Lots of tight corridors or large pieces of cover like trees or buildings, moving slowly, measuring out each footstep, opening and closing doors over agonizing minutes, taking even longer to plan out each meticulous movement.

    I loved your description of night time here very much. :D
  12. Dashren2001 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2008
    star 1
  13. Dashren2001 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2008
    star 1
    Part 25

    Rakehell Leader, this is Rakehell Two. Stick with me, there is an opening for another pass.”
    “Copy that, Two. Right behind you.”

    The two Incom XJ7 “X-Wing”-class starfighters dipped low as another series of intensely-bright turbolaser shots passed overhead. The blasts were not from other space fighters, but instead from one of the many banks of cannons on an Alliance Star Destroyer. Until a moment ago, Luke, Corran Horn, and the rest of Rakehell Squadron weren't sure if Darth Caedus was directing his forces to collapse on them . There was no question in their minds now.

    The majority of the Jedi council were in flight suits, frantically hauling X-Wing control yokes with one hand and influencing the fight using the Force with the other. These influences ranged anywhere from a simple burst of mental confusion to completely redirecting an incoming concussion missile. This trump card was managing to keep most of Rakehell Squadron alive when it, in all probability, should have joined the rest of the floating field of scrap by this point.

    It also drew enormous amounts of attention to them. A pair of proton torpedoes suddenly taking sharp turns directly into each other and exploding well short of their target was not a common sight. The other issue their powers presented was making them a gigantic glowing beacon to Darth Caedus. Luke was fairly certain that his nephew would have been able to feel them coming kilometers away anyway, Force-usage or not.

    Corran and Luke's X-Wings came back up from below the Anakin Solo's horizon and nosed toward the capital ship's bridge tower just long enough each dump a pair of proton torpedoes before peeling starboard around the back of the tower. Thanks to Ben playing helter skelter with most of the Star Destroyer's systems from within, there were no shields to prevent to blue comets from exploding against and into the tower.

    Brief moments of flame and ionization burst in the black of space, and were immediately replaced with gaps in the ship's plating. Just as Luke came around the other side of the tower, he was certain he spotted several flailing bodies tumble into space.

    Cruel, horrifying deaths delivered to simple, well-meaning technicians by the Grand Master of the New Jedi Order. This was not the way it was meant to be. The thought was quickly chucked to the back of Skywalker's mind. There was no “way” that war was supposed to be, no grand unified treaty of honor and dignity on the battlefield. Not one that was recognized, anyway.

    Luke simply wished this could be settled with a simple Lightsaber duel. Himself, maybe one or two others depending on who Caedus fielded. An unremarkable room, possibly a hangar or large office, with little clutter. Some words to clear the air, and then crossed blades. So many major problems in the galaxy had been settled in such a manner.

    The aging hero had always wanted a chance to duel Caedus, an opportunity to bring Jacen back to the light or stop him before he could cause more destruction. That chance originally seemed possible during the chaos of the Battle of Kashyyyk, but when Leia and Han reported back that the Hapans wouldn't be supporting the Jedi Coalition, Luke was forced into a starfighter with the rest of the Jedi and the battle quickly turned to a slaughter. A Jedi was never meant to have regrets, but Luke had been finding that ability to shrug them away absolutely impossible after his wife's murder.

    Following the killing of Mara Jade Skywalker at Caedus' hands, Luke insisted to the rest of the council that he was in no position to lead the Jedi. He offered his seat to several Jedi, including Kyle Katarn, Corran Horn, and Cilghal, but all of them declined. It was a kindness for them insist that Luke still had it in him to the be the tip of the Jedi blade, but it was without much merit.

    Hell Leader, Rendar here. We're tryin' to get to you guys, but these bucketheads are swarming us. A few of us slipped through, but I'm a bit too busy trying to keep me and mine from getting fried to head your way. We'll keep thinin' them out, best that can be done at the moment.”

    Luke sighed. He had felt Jacen's strange Force technique reaching out. He had practically seen the tendrils stretching from the Anakin to the various Alliance ships in combat, watched them dance in perfect formations. It was no surprise he had put a wall of fighters between himself and such an unpredictable element as the mercenaries.

    “Carry on, Dash. We are still pecking away.”

    A pang of light filled the top right corner of Luke's vision, like a ray of sunlight momentarily piercing a cloud cover. He pushed the stick forward, forcing his X-Wing perilously close to the flagship's upper surface. A volley of green lasers soared meters from the top of his canopy. He pulled back up, and a seemingly suicidal A-Wing rocketed just underneath.

    Corran shouted over the comm, “Several more incoming!”
    “Backroll and hit the tower again,” Luke said.
    I see the fighters, Leader. Coming to intercept.”

    The last voice was Tycho Celchu, a veteran pilot and ex-Leader of Rogue Squadron.

    Corran and Luke's X-Wings banked sharply straight up away from the Anakin's top bow and back toward its command tower. The two snubfighters began rotating along their path in case any of the topside laser batteries picked them up. They opened up with their quad laser cannons in unison, creating a segmented river of red energy. The shots all landed within a meter of each other, and Luke saw transparisteel burst into vacuum. They had apparently blasted open a rather large and important room in the tower.

    Then, just as the two fighters were about to jib past the tower, Luke Skywalker saw him. In the back of the room in an open turbolift, he could clearly make out the image of Jacen Solo. The moment was no longer than a pair of seconds, but it immediately began to stretch into seeming minutes. Luke felt Jacen's awareness upon his mind and the X-Wing around him. As the turbolift's doors started to close, Jacen extended his remaining hand directly in Luke's direction. The field of freshly-shattered transparisteel between them immediately spread away, and Luke's X-Wing shuddered violently, the console within exploding in shrapnel and sparks.

    With the Force granting Luke an extra few seconds of extended time, the Jedi Master looked directly into his nephew's eyes, searching for anything resembling hesitation or regret, but found nothing.

    As Corran twisted his X-Wing past the front of the tower, he looked back to see Skywalker's X-Wing shake, panels and parts fly free, and its shields disappear in a violent burst of energy.

    Luke!”

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    The seemingly endless clusters of pipes and access hatches wound and wrapped back upon themselves in a chaotic pattern that displayed a ruthless intent of efficiency or obfuscation. The difference was moot to Tahiri, as the cramped upper engineering level bounced loudly around her, constantly threatening to send her soaring off of her footing and into a large pipe or bulkhead.

    The level for the secondary generators that supplied back-up power to the command tower's shields, communications, navigation, non-basic flight controls, radar, and perimeter defenses was an intricate network of control surfaces and nearly-exposed cables and piping. The level's layout was small, consisting of just two short hallways with several rooms branching off from each.

    The systems were incredibly complex, easily the highest-end software and hardware in the Fifth Fleet. Duplicates were backed-up by triplicates, in-turn supported by redundancy after redundancy. Simply shooting and slashing at random systems would only cause temporary inconvenience to any of the officers on the bridge. The strikes cutting through the miles of computer banks and cables, however, were anything but random. The level was being torn apart by Ben Skywalker, a young man who had spend more than enough time aboard the icon vessel to learn how to bleed it best.

    His climb up one of the turbolift shafts had been testing, but not without benefit. Along the way up, Ben had used the Force to heal what could be healed of his wounds, and to numb the rest. A few specific movements were slower, and he was aware of them, but the pain was no longer there to distract him.

    Upon reaching the level, he had used the last of his thermal detonators to destroy the secondary and tertiary systems controlling the power regulation for the tower's shields. After that, it was a surprisingly calm process of finding specific systems and using his blue, glowing override command on them.

    Until Tahiri and the Galactic Alliance Guard had shown up, that is.

    For a moment Ben had considered continuing his work to completely disable the Anakin while blocking what attacks he could and accepting those he couldn't, but he knew that wasn't in the best interest of the attack. Only during a brief pause as he took cover from the first volley of shots did Ben realize that he had put his own life so low on this priority list. It didn't phase him.

    He took no joy in his actions, simply focusing on the task at hand like a beast of burden with blinders blocking the sides of its vision. Ben knew that if he allowed even the faintest hint of emotion to cloud his judgment, he would remember that the man he had just deflected a blaster bolt into the throat of was a man he used to make jokes with in between raids on Coruscant.

    Rolling and leaping, deflecting and throwing Force-powered pushes and pulls at a speed he had never before attempted, Ben had managed to defeat the the Guardsmen Tahiri had brought with her. Unfortunately, in the process, Caedus' Sith apprentice had managed to graze Ben with her lightsaber several times. One of these wounds, a deep slash across the side of his left leg, still burned.

    Tahiri was in a difficult predicament. She could camp in front of the room's only exit, a turbolift door, or she could continue to chase him around the cramped spaces in an attempt to stop him from destroying any more systems. She had chosen a balanced strategy of the two options, rushing after Ben whenever she felt him close to something important, then rushing back to the turbolift door. So far, her hybrid plan was working and Ben had yet to do any more significant damage to her makeshift home. She was unsure if it mattered, considering how many blows had already been dealt to the Star Destroyer's infrastructure.

    The dynamic had just changed. Tahiri knew now that her master, Jacen, was on the way. Ben likely knew as well, hiding somewhere near-by and easily able to hear the small comm unit. Ben also knew that while he stood a slight chance against Tahiri if he could use the environment to his advantage, Jacen could put him down quickly no matter the circumstances.

    His hand had been forced. Again, he didn't concern himself with his own life, hoping instead that his work had been enough to bring down the flagship and its commander.

    “I'm sure you heard that, Ben,” Tahiri said, her voice level but weary. “Jacen is coming our way. You may be able to run and hide from me for a little while longer, but with Jacen at my side, your mission is over.”

    Tahiri's words were merely tools. She had found that speaking to him was one of the best ways to pick him up in the Force, provided she used the right triggers. Through various taunts and declarations, Tahiri had concluded that Ben wasn't susceptible to dispair or even the concept of failure, but had a strong attachment to his dead mother and her memory.

    Ben had attempted the same verbal warfare a few times as well, but to no avail. He appealed to her memory of Anakin, and what he would think of what she was doing now. This was a ridiculous strategy, as Tahiri was practically fueled by her firm belief that Anakin was watching her now. She knew he was proud of her, proud that she had found the strength to turn against her false family for the sake of galactic peace. Her cause was righteous.

    Attempting to use the Force to bounce his voice and hide its source, Ben shouted back.

    “Tahiri, you were one of the smartest Jedi I've ever known. Heck, one of the strongest people. You've seen so much, how can you not see that he's manipulating you? For the longest time, I was convinced that Jacen was my best friend. He was only using me, grooming me into just another Sith weapon, just like he did to you!”

    These final words were too powerful for their own good. Ben had risked that last emotional outburst and broken his tenuous Force hiding. Without a sound, Tahiri broke into a sprint toward the corner that Ben was hiding around. She crossed the distance nearly instantaneously. The ominous crackle of two lightsabers bursting to life at the same time echoed in the small room.

    Ben took the initiative and wheeled around the corner in a slash. Still moving at speed, Tahiri leapt, spinning, over the strike. She ended her flip against the far wall and kicked off it, bringing a fierce strike down at the young Skywalker. Ben rolled to his right and the crimson beam passed through several pipes. Gas and sparks burst into Tahiri's face. Ben stepped forward and took a quick slash at her shoulder. She blocked, but he stepped around and shoved her back with his shoulder. He immediately followed this with a rising slash that went well over an inch through her left hip.

    Tahiri embraced the pain and channeled it into her hand, sending a powerful wave of Force at Ben. The invisible pressure lifted Ben up and his collision with the bank of screens behind him culminated in an explosion of glass and metal. He shook his head and brought his blade up just in time to block a downward strike. The blades locked inches from his face, and the scent of ionizing air filled his nostrils.

    Ben pushed against the blade and looked into Tahiri's eyes. What little sympathy he could feel was being drowned by frustration and focus, that old hunter's focus that he had always been told she operated on. In combat, she was natural predator, fierce and unrelenting. Mixed with the Dark Side of the Force, this was the perfect recipe for a killer. He had to use it against her.

    Somehow.

    Ben used his legs to push back at Tahiri's blade, pressing harder and harder. Finally, when he felt that his muscles could take no more, he kicked off the control surface behind him and used the compressed energy in their blade lock to propel him between Tahiri's legs. He carried the momentum into a roll and came to his feet. With nothing against her blade, the Sith Apprentice stumbled forward as her blade went through more machinery.

    The son of Skywalker took that moment to throw a blast of Force at her turned back, but with his aching muscles and screaming wounds, Tahiri easily knocked it out of the air with her hand as she spun around. He breast lifted and fell with heavy breaths, and for the first time, he saw a small glint in her eyes. A spark of amber in her irises.

    She rushed at him again. This time, she began a series of strikes before the gap between them was even closed. Up to down, brought around to his left, a quick duck, bringing his saber back up to block the follow-up. The strike was light enough for him to deflect and counter-attack with a pair of swings, but Tahiri blocked them with ease.

    Ben ducked and side-stepped the next two attacks and jumped nearly two meters back.

    He shouted, “The Dark Side has you! Your judgment is gone, Tahiri. You're a slave to the hate!”

    “Lies!” Tahiri returned as she leaped at the Jedi once more. She continued her seamless strikes at Ben, speaking over the loud crashing of 'sabers. “Nonsense and dogma prattled by old men afraid of losing their grip on the galaxy!”

    She struck high, then bounced her blade off his and came around at his legs. He hopped over the swing and swung at her shoulder, and she blocked it. Stepping forward and exhaling loudly, she pushed Ben back. He caught his footing and caught the next few swings, using the momentum of the last one to carry her blade into the wall, then stepped forward and kicked her forward knee. There was an audible crack, but it didn't buckle.

    Tahiri screamed.

    She spun Ben's lightsaber around, parrying it to the side. Ben looked from his blue blade back to Tahiri just in time to be blinded with red energy. His face filled with furious pain that he didn't imagine possible.

    Lightsaber in hand and operating off pure instinct, Ben dropped to all fours and broke off into a run, going around the corner at full speed. His mind was a blur, his survival instincts clashing with the pain in his face and the inputs flooding in from the Force. He took a quick breath and summoned every bit of the Force that he could. The pain in his face stopped intensifying, but it certainly didn't lessen. Ben sensed Tahiri coming around the corner behind him. He slashed at what he hoped were pressurized pipes around him and ran again, coming around the corner that their duel had begun at moments ago.

    He heard escaping gasses and used that second to wipe at his eyes. Blinking hurriedly, his vision came back in patches. Some parts of his sight contained perfectly normal details, other sections were nothing but weak blobs of colors. Ben brought his hand into view and saw that it was covered in both the water from his eyes, but a good amount of blood.

    It was time to run again. He ran around the corner and stopped in the middle of the hall, then cut through the one short hall that connected the two primary paths. Another breath brought with it more of the Force's gentle touch. The pain became centralized, and finally he could tell that she had cut deeply into or even through the right side of his face, just below his eye. He didn't dare touch it or poke at it with his tongue. Instead he spat, and the fluid was unmistakably red.

    This was a fight he could not win. Regardless of Jacen's approach, this duel was over. He knew that the key to her mind, to the personality that was the Tahiri he'd come to respect, was Anakin. Not just Anakin's image, but the pure devotion to life that he carried with him. Life, at any cost.

    If she could not be convinced with what a hypothetical Anakin would or would not do, Ben thought, then the only option left was to make her feel what Anakin felt: compassion.

    She was coming around the corner again. He blinked some more, and his vision was almost returned. Trusting in the Force, he closed his eyes one last time and imagined his mother and father. He brought his lightsaber to bear and allowed the Force to embrace him. A shiver ran through his arms, down his legs and back up to his head. It was a wave-like sensation, and it brought with it a sense of calm. He wasn't sure why, but in his mind he recalled his father telling him of Obi-Wan Kenobi's noble death.

    Tahiri came into view, her mouth closed, nostrils flared, the amber flakes in her eyes now more numerous. Without a word, she began to strike once more. Black and parry, spin. Deflect, too slow, block again. Ben made no attempt to strike back. He simply defended as best he could, feeling Tahiri's rage build.

    He blocked a strike at his left waist and inhaled as she came around for another strike. He caught it, but finally allowed his muscles to submit to the fatigue, and his lightsaber went spinning over his shoulder and landed a meter behind him. Seeing her moment, Tahiri brought the bright red beam back for a final blow.

    Ben opened his arms wide, looked directly into her malevolent eyes, and spoke in a shockingly calm tone.

    “He wouldn't do it.”

    Howling in fury, Tahiri brought her Sith blade straight down upon the crook of his neck. Ben closed his eyes and prepared for the light. It didn't come.

    Ben looked to see the glowing lightsaber hovering mere centimeters from his neck, followed it past its hilt, the hands holding it, arms, shoulders, and to Tahiri's face. Her jaw was shaking and she couldn't stop swallowing. Her eyelids were fluttering, water building at their edges. He looked directly at her. Into her. She was awash with emotion, a horrible torrent of feelings from incomprehensible fury to crushing sadness.

    He wanted to tell her that it was okay. He wanted to say that everything was going to be alright, and that she had only been lost, was now found again. But he couldn't. Jacen would be here any second, and as soon as she saw his face, Ben knew that Tahiri would be instantly refocused. Without moving another muscle, he opened his hand and summoned his lightsaber back into his hand. In one swift motion he activated the blade, brought it up in a rising backhanded slash, felt certain resistance as he cut through, and finally stepped forward and shoved her away with both hands.

    She fell to the floor and dropped her weapon, making a sound more of sadness than pain or anger. The slash had cut deep, and blood was quickly soaking into the gray edges of her bodysuit.

    The urge to stop and summon everything he could to help her was strong. She was never evil, simply another tool. Tahiri had been played, just as Ben had, just as the galaxy had.

    However, he was no Jedi Healer, and he could already feel the presence of his one-time master approaching. Ben allowed himself a few seconds to use the Force to numb he new wounds and shove energy into his muscles. He quickly cut a few more clusters of wiring that he thought might have been on his target list, but with his mind in its current state, he couldn't be sure.

    With little time to spare, Ben hurried over to the turbolift door, used the Force to cast it open, and reveled in the brief gust of air. Looking down, he could see clearly the lift containing Jacen approaching quickly. The wounded Jedi spotted an access hatch across from him, behind which was a series of small crawl spaces and tight ladders that ran parallel to the entire length of the lift's tube for maintenance. A Force push and the access hatch was blasted back into its own tunnel.

    Ben could hear the roar of the approaching lift. A quick shake of the head, a breath, and Ben dove across the gap toward the small opening. His arms were inside, but the rest of his body slammed into the wall below. Scrambling, kicking, he inched up toward the opening. He felt Jacen's presence, and knew that Jacen could feel his. With images of the hours of torture at his cousin's hands, he threw the last of his energy into one last kick and hauled himself into the crawl space.

    Less than a second later, he felt the rush of air as the turbolift rose to block the hatch and come to a stop. Ben crawled forward and reached a tight ladder that seemed to extend downward into eternity. He stepped down the rungs just far enough to be confident that Jacen wouldn't attempt to crawl in and drag him out of the maintenance space. Ben wrapped his arms around one of the rungs, finally allowed his muscles to begin to recuperate, and began to cry.

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Kyle Katarn deflected one final volley of blasts back into the chest of an Alliance soldier. A few meters away, Kyp cut through the last resisting soldier's arm and kicked him away. In the hangar below, it was pure chaos. Officer, crewmen, mechanics and soldiers alike were scrambling to various fighters and shuttles. After the two Jedi had dispatched of two squads of Alliance gunmen, almost everyone else in the vicinity figured that they had far better survival chances by simply continuing their evacuation plans.

    The two nodded at each other and began jogging toward the hanger's east exit. Immediately recognizing their robes, the panicked crew parted and rushed around them. They pushed through more soldiers and reached a bank of lifts before stopping in unison.

    Kyp turned to Kyle, the two wearing the same shocked expression. Kyp asked Kyle a question, but he already knew the answer.

    “Can you feel Luke anymore?”

    Kyle sighed. “No.”
    Last edited by Dashren2001, Dec 14, 2012
    mulberry likes this.
  14. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    With the Force granting Luke an extra few seconds of extended time, the Jedi Master looked directly into his nephew's eyes, searching for anything resembling hesitation or regret, but found nothing.

    As Corran twisted his X-Wing past the front of the tower, he looked back to see Skywalker's X-Wing shake, panels and parts fly free, and its shields disappear in a violent burst of energy.

    “Luke!”
    [face_nail_biting]

    Kyp turned to Kyle, the two wearing the same shocked expression. Kyp asked Kyle a question, but he already knew the answer.

    “Can you feel Luke anymore?”

    Kyle sighed. “No.”

    I hope that Luke is just hidding... to give Darth C. a bad surprise out of the blue.

    What a chilling, emotional update! =D=
  15. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    WOW what a fight^:)^ let Luke and Ben unite
  16. Dashren2001 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2008
    star 1
    Thanks for all the great comments, guys. New chapter is in the works. In the meantime, I've finally put together a proper cover for this story. :D
  17. Dashren2001 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2008
    star 1
    Part 26

    Perceiving seconds as minutes, Luke Skywalker watched his X-Wing tear itself apart.

    The first thing to go was sound. High pitches become low, low pitches become pure bass, and anything lower than that warps to a barely-audible vibration. The air rushing out of the disintegrating cockpit took the sound with it, dragged it behind as it rushed into vacuum. The next thing lost was power. Lights disappeared in quick succession, his screens became black slates. Sparks leapt into space as switches and buttons failed.

    The cracks in the canopy and hull were large enough to allow the air to escape and growing quickly. Luke wasn't sure if R2-D2, his beloved astromech droid, was being torn apart or shut down as well. He hadn't heard any noises, none of the unique beeps and whistles signature to astromechs. So anything was possible.

    He wanted to focus on survival. Luke attempted to force himself to think of something that would save his from his current speed and the vacuum of space, but all that came to mind was that face. It was the face of warped familiarity, like a house you once lived in but now full of unfamiliar furniture and people. He saw in the face some of his best friend, Han Solo, some of his sister, Leia Solo, and by that extension, himself. It was Jacen Solo's face, put through a horrible filter and left in the form of Darth Caedus.

    As he felt his seat shake free of the X-Wing's frame, Luke was reminded that he was one of the last few who saw Jacen Solo and Darth Caedus as two different entities. He had felt similar conflict in many Dark-side Force users, most memorably in his own father. Jacen's mind and Force-awareness felt slightly different than most of those, as it seemed he had more control on the pull of madness and thoughtlessness.

    Jacen had done terrible things as a Sith Lord, but they had always been tactically-sound. It was unlike Palpatine's mind, which had become so clouded by greed and arrogance that he was killed by a crippled, middle-aged man and his farm-boy son hardly learned at all in the ways of the Force.

    Luke finally returned his attention to his sudden lack of atmosphere. Panels of the cockpit began to shake away, the walls tearing away into space in chunks. He was still hurdling at several hundred kilometers-an-hour, but now it was just him and his seat headed straight for the durasteel bridge tower of a Star Destroyer.

    Luke took one last long breath, removing the last of the oxygen from the air around him. The chair had small thrusters as part of the ejection system, but he was closing with the tower far too quickly to take advantage of them. The Jedi reached down and released his harness, elbowing the loose seat away. The vacuum of space wasn't going to be much of a threat, since he was going to collide with the craft in just seconds, not nearly enough time for the lack of atmosphere to do anything significant to the human body.

    It wasn't a comforting thought.

    The Jedi Grand Master expanded his arms and legs, reaching out into the living Force, urgently requesting its aid. The Force is everywhere, even where there is nothing, even in the black of space, Luke reminded himself repeatedly, like a mantra. He could feel soft energy building around him, the Force forming an invisible bubble around him. Luke could also feel himself slowing, but it wasn't nearly enough. He needed a second or two more, and a safer place to land should he even survive.

    Then he saw where he was headed. The observation room he had seen Jacen in that brief second was directly ahead of him, and the transparisteel had been blown away. Using the Force to nudge his trajectory, Luke was now headed straight for the center of the room's window and continuing to slow. There was a slight vibration in the frames of the opening Luke was aiming for.

    Metal panels began reaching in from either side of the window. Apparently not all of the back-up systems were down, such as this room's emergency seal system. Three seconds and Luke would be in the room or crushed against the collapsing panels.

    No, he realized, the doors were going to seal first.

    Skywalker reached out to the doors in the Force, and he could feel every little mechanical piece moving as intended. Even for a Force-user as powerful and experienced as Luke, he was drawing heavily on the life-giving energy and he could feel his mind reaching its limits. He grasped on every part his mind's eye could see, slowing it. The doors strained, now slower but still closing. One second.

    Luke closed his eyes and tucked himself into a ball position. The second passed, and he was still on the mortal plane, still moving very fast. Exhaling in a burst, Luke opened himself up and allowed the built-up Force energy to explode around him. Enormous visible ripples shot through the air, bounced against the walls, then against each other, and against Luke. It hit him solidly, but helped to slow him down a bit more. Luke twisted sideways and hit the room's back wall with a powerful sound.

    The Jedi Master limply fell to the floor. His consciousness was threatening to leave him. Vertigo rocked him, the floor seemingly in five different places. Attempting to move, Luke found that his right shoulder hardly shifted, and that his arm was completely numb. This was all irrelevant, because he was still breathing.

    Luke's X-Wing had been shredded around him and he had soared through empty space at starfighter speeds into a three-meter-tall opening and almost completely mitigated the impact. He coughed through a smile, imaging himself as a proton torpedo soaring into a small exhaust port.

    Luke felt he had earned a break, and allowed himself a good thirty seconds before his next attempt to get up. He reached out to the Force weakly, attempting to simply find the presences of familiar people. He immediately recognized a soft blue glow several floors above. He knew its form because sensing it in the Force felt like looking in the mirror. It was his son, Ben, still very much alive but in duress. He could feel his son's physical wounds, as well as a deep sadness.

    The target of Ben's despair was plain: a few meters from his location, Luke clearly felt the waves in the Force signaling a dying Jedi. Had Kyle or Kyp already fallen? No, he could feel them now as well, many decks below. They seemed fine, and Luke could faintly hear their heavy breathing as they ran. Luke briefly considered that his son had somehow defeated Jacen, but his instincts told him this wasn't the case.

    Ben. Brave Ben. Luke closed his eyes again, forming a perfect image in his mind of his red-headed son. Just like Jacen, Jaina and Anakin, Ben had been born almost immediately into war and violence. Also like the Solo children, he knew that he carried with him an enormous genetic responsibility, despite constant reassurances from Luke and Mara that Ben could be anything he chose to be.

    Still only fifteen years old, not even old enough to legally operate his own ship, Ben had already taken many lives. The young Jedi had followed his childhood hero into the military, served under his leadership hoping to do good works, only to find himself hauling men and women out of their homes in the middle of the night. He had been alive to see the greatest threat in the galaxy's history tear through planet-after-planet, savage warriors killing his friends and family.

    Now, his son was voluntarily throwing himself in front of a vastly-stronger enemy, working his way through a ship he is attempting to destroy around himself. Luke reached out to Ben in the Force, but he was too weak to make his presence noticeable by his son. Instead he attempted to listen, see, and feel what his son could.

    The image was horribly vague and there was little noise aside from Ben's labored breathing. However, there was great pain. Luke tried to count the various possible wounds, but they faded in and out. Ben was apparently using the Force to numb the pain of broken bones. Brave young Ben. Luke swallowed hard, finally bringing his breathing up to a healthy rate. He felt several tears that had already ran down his face, now about to make the jump to the floor.

    Time was up. With audible pain, Luke rolled onto his stomach and lifted himself to a kneel with the arm that he could still feel. Now that he was sitting up, Luke could see why the feeling was gone from his right arm. It was because his right hand and wrist were gone from his right arm. His forearm ended in torn artificial flesh and several pistons and metal rods covered in countless wires. He strained to look back toward the wall and saw that his prosthetic right hand had exploded against the wall. A scattering of fingers, actuators, and chunks of skin-colored foam spanned two meters.

    As he gingerly moved the natural elbow above the torn prosthetic, Luke felt several sharp pains in his right shoulder. It was likely broken. Still, Skywalker admitted to himself as he gently rose to his feet, it could be much worse. The pile of artificial bits spread out on the floor could be much larger, and much less artificial.

    Shaking his head, Luke's vision began to clear. He saw that the room's emergency doors had sealed properly and assumed, since he wasn't gasping on the floor, that the atmosphere in the room had been restored. Luke lifted his flight helmet off and tossed it away. He did the same with the harness and survival systems on his chest, leaving him in his orange flight suit, a belt with nothing but his lightsaber, and his boots.

    Luke spotted the near-by turbolift door behind which his nephew had disappeared. With each step he took towards it, his sight got better. He reached for the panel where a ship-linked comm unit would usually be, but found that the actual comm device was missing. It also seemed to be installed farther into the wall than usual. Luke knew that the turbolift was gone, and guessed that Jacen had taken it up to chase after Ben. He had to guess, since he hadn't been able to feel Jacen in the Force for over a year.

    Luke noted that it was strange for there to only be one turbolift door in the room, since he knew that a minimum of two lifts ran the length of the tower, more as you approached the command bridge. This room was clearly meant for something relating to Jacen, and Jacen alone. Reaching out to the Force once more, Luke felt shadows around him, powerful imprints in the Force. If Luke's guess was right, then Jacen had learned the ancient technique of Battle Meditation. Likely one more souvenir from Jacen's five-year trip along the galaxy's less-beaten paths.

    He could also feel where two Jedi had died. One near the wall, barely a meter from where Luke had collided, and the other closer to the center of the room. That second echo in the Force held a similar familiarity to it, and he knew he was looking at the spot where Jaina Solo had been killed. His mind instantly recalled the ceremony where he had promoted her to the rank of Jedi Knight and given her the title “Sword of the Jedi.” He wondered if it had gone to her head, that if the need to live up to her title had helped her decide to sneak here on a suicide mission.

    Luke's depression grew even deeper, and now he felt something he had not felt for some time. It was a sensation he had managed to bury beneath decades of training and mental strength. It was the first red tendrils of anger. It was minor, but he could feel himself wanting to give in to the fury. He also knew that he couldn't continue to stand there by himself while the war raged on.

    With a renewed strength, Luke again reached out to his son through the Force. This time there was a solid connection, and he could feel his son's elation. For a moment, they shared a reassuring connection, a single emotion stretched several stories high. After the invisible embrace ended, Luke gave Ben a sense of where he was in the ship.

    Sentences and conversations were difficult to send through the Force directly, even between two powerful, related Jedi. Communication was done with sensations of direction and distance, emotions and brief images, occasionally a single word like a name. Ben suggested that his Father stay put, and informed him that he was directly above and would be coming down to meet him. Luke sent him an image of a faceless Jedi clearly dead and a feeling of curiosity. It was his way of asking Ben for the identity of the dying Jedi above.

    Ben grew sad again, and a single word rang out in his mind: “Tahiri”.
    Last edited by Dashren2001, Dec 21, 2012
    mulberry and AzureAngel2 like this.
  18. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Gripping action with Luke now involved.
  19. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Sentences and conversations were difficult to send through the Force directly, even between two powerful, related Jedi. Communication was done with sensations of direction and distance, emotions and brief images, occasionally a single word like a name. Ben suggested that his Father stay put, and informed him that he was directly above and would be coming down to meet him. Luke sent him an image of a faceless Jedi clearly dead and a feeling of curiosity. It was his way of asking Ben for the identity of the dying Jedi above.
    Ben grew sad again, and a single word rang out in his mind: “Tahiri”.
    I don´t know if I survive Christmas this way. I hope you update soon!
  20. Dashren2001 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 20, 2008
    star 1
    Part 27

    The curving doors of the turbolift parted, and Darth Caedus looked upon the ruins of the secondary shield regulator room. Pipes jutted into walkways, some of them still spouting various gasses. They seemed to protest against their positions in life. Most of the venting conduits had clearly been the victims of lightsaber blades, but a few appeared to have been involved in violent collisions with flying objects. Between each cluster of fussing pipes was a bank of small screens and a control panel. Several of these work stations had also been decimated, shards for the screens glinting in the room's weak artificial light.

    The Dark Lord was well-aware that Ben Skywalker was mere meters behind him, slowly making his injured way down a turbolift maintenance shaft. With enough focused effort, Caedus could send the turbolift shooting down and begin ripping the walls of the shaft out panel-by-panel, eventually reaching the young saboteur.

    The time that would take, however, made it highly impractical. The damage was done, and it was unlikely that the boy would be making any more stops to further wreck his flagship. He knew that Ben knew this, too. As his previous mentor and Master, Caedus tried to pretend that he was proud of Ben's dastardly accomplishments. The pride was entirely false and impossible to maintain, replaced by wholly-natural animosity.

    His anger helped him focus on the fading life force further into the room. Caedus stepped further down one of the halls and stared down at floor, his feelings entirely correct. Before him laid the steaming, bloody body of Tahiri Veila. Her black jumpsuit was thick and heavy around an arm-length slice that ran straight up from her stomach and along her sternum. Ben's lightsaber had charred most of the visible surface of the wound, making it unclear exactly how much bone and tissue had been turned to ozone. His eyes traced up the wound to a thin, convulsing neck.

    Her face was the very image of furious beauty tossed through a pane-glass window of violence. Her eyes were slits of amber and red. Blood gathered at the edge of her lips, cascading lightly past them to paint her cheeks and chin in crimson. Her mouth twitched, and he could hear Tahiri's wet struggling breaths. Caedus leaned down next to her, his rage quickly building to a point it had not reached in years.

    “Jacen,” Tahiri said. Her voice was still strong, but the air the words traveled on was humid with the blood of slowly-flooding lungs.

    The Dark Lord of the Sith didn't know what to say. He always knew what to say, his words had become one of his powerful tools. How was he unintentionally silent now? This was not supposed to be difficult, he thought. A valuable asset was mortally wounded. He could either let the wounds run their course, or make an attempt to restore the weapon to a useful state. The weapon. The woman. Tahiri.

    “Jacen,” she said again, her eyes still aimed directly for the ceiling.

    “Stop talking,” he commanded. Caedus wasn't sure how long he could maintain an authoritative tone.

    Tahiri moaned as she lifted her left hand from the deck and weakly wrapped it around Jacen's right. This was not the time, the Sith thought. There was a war going on, quite literally, around them. The ship was on the brink of a full system failure, and explosions were painting its length.

    “You have...” Tahiri's words retained their strong tone, but the energy required to produce them was obviously taxing. “You have to listen.”

    “No!” Caedus shouted, gripping her hand tightly and leaning closer. “You will listen to me! You are a powerful Sith warrior, an elite soldier capable of incredible influence and destruction. Tahiri Veila, you will save your strength and focus on keeping air in your lungs. My most powerful weapon is not going to die in a maintenance back-room, felled by some youngling.”

    Tahiri let out a sound, and a small burst of blood along with it. At first Caedus thought it to be a cough, but as he saw the weak smile forming on her face, he realized it was a laugh.

    “A weapon?” She asked. “I thought... I had hoped I was more than that.” Another sickly laugh. “Apparently I wasn't.”

    Jacen didn't know how to respond. The fury within was mixing with something else, a feeling entirely counter-productive to his cause.

    “You,” he began, but he was slow to finish the sentence. “You are many things. One of those things is a survivor. Now concentrate on the Force, find your anger and sorrow, and grasp it tightly. It will carry you through this.”

    Her smile grew slightly wider, and Jacen finally noticed the streaks of fresh tears running from the corners of her fluttering eyes.

    “Th-there's a problem, Jacen,” she said, managing to push a tone of dry humor through the pain. “I'm not angry.”

    He could feel her emotions in the Force without even trying. Her mind was an open book, and every page was lined with luminescence. Jacen felt her attempting to pull his hand closer, and he allowed himself to be drawn towards the face of the dying woman. For a moment, neither said a word.

    As she began to speak again, Jacen could feel his remaining hand begin to shake around her's.

    “We were wrong, Jacen.” She turned towards him, her eyes meeting his. “We were wrong.”

    Jacen protested with a weak “No,” but it was not the command of a leader, merely the saddened remark of another man.

    “I know,” Tahiri said, coughing. “I know what you did... putting Anakin in my head that night.”

    The mere man in black above here swallowed deeply, shaking his head meekly. It wasn't in disagreement, but out of disbelief at the scene before him, and his own lack of control. He felt the Force swell within Tahiri, giving her the strength to grasp Jacen's hand tighter and continue to speak.

    “I think I always knew what you did, but I wanted to believe. I wanted to believe it was what he wanted, and...” She trailed off, and new tears left her amber-sprinkled eyes. “I wanted to believe in you, Jacen.”

    He felt his stomach fall freely from his body, rage giving way to pain and regret. He sneered, fighting back the moisture welling within his own eyes. He needed to lie, to command, to take control of the situation.

    He couldn't.

    He spoke, gasping through his teeth, “I thought I was doing the best thing for the galaxy.”

    “I know,” Tahiri said, still smiling at him. “I thought so too. But you were wrong. It's okay, I was too.”

    Jacen shook, electricity running straight up into his neck. He couldn't handle it. He had trained for everything except that which could not be anticipated. Jacen had never anticipated holding the hand of a dying subordinate, his apprentice, and feeling his carefully-crafted composure escaping him. He blinked, and the tears felt like smoldering cinders on his face.

    He knew exactly why this was completely removing his defenses, breaking down every wall he had constructed against dangerous and unpredictable emotions. This was his own doing. He had taken Tahiri, reached out to her in a moment of weakness, and shaped her into exactly what she had said: a mere weapon. She was splayed across this cold floor, the life rushing from her body, because of him. Jaina had chosen her path. She had fought him of her own free-will, knowing that she was going to die at his hands.

    Tahiri, though. He had taken Tahiri, a strong, complex woman, and whittled her down to simple blade's edge. Jacen had crudely hammered a weapon out of beauty, wrapped it in a simple-minded scabbard and tainted it with senselessly-shed blood. The weapon could take no more.

    Jacen remained wordless, simply pulling her hand against his chest. He felt their intertwined fingers stop against his chest armor. Jacen wanted to bring her hand closer, to feel his furiously-beating heart.

    “I've seen so much,” Tahiri said, the strength finally beginning to fade from her voice. Jacen watched in silent horror as glowing tendrils formed at the edges of her face, her shoulders, her entire body. The amorphous shapes of glowing Force danced lightly in unseen winds before releasing into the air and fading from sight. Her voice continued to shrink. “I've seen the light, and I've seen the dark.” She swallowed and coughed, her final words barely above a whisper. “I guess there's only one thing left to see.”

    Jacen practically crushed her hand against his chest plate as he felt the last of her presence in the Force float away like flower petals in a soft wind. Still shaking, he leaned forward, resting his face against her's.

    “No,” he whispered. “No.” He continued to repeat it, his voice cracking throughout as he rocked on his knees. Jacen sat up, his shoulders and GAG armor piece now spotted with Tahiri's blood. The despair was giving way to rage once more, and Jacen torqued his jaw. Still on his knees, he screamed at her.

    “You can't just leave me like this! You can't tell me that everything we did was wrong and then just leave me!

    Jacen slammed his fist on the floor. The metal gave under the pressure and buckled, a crater around his closed hand. The fist sparked, lit up, and the concave metal panel filled with leaping electricity. He threw his head back and inhaled deeply, his shoulders back, eyes closed, his jaw popping loudly.

    Caedus stood and opened his eyes, now almost entirely spheres of cracked amber. The anger flowed through his veins, the fire it brought with it was powerful and fulfilling. He felt as though his entire body was engulfed in the deep red flames. Tahiri's lightsaber lifted from the floor and floated gently into the Sith Lord's open hand.

    He could feel them now. He could feel everything. Every furious pilot, every frantic crewman, and each of the four Jedi aboard the Anakin Solo: Ben, Luke, Kyp... and Kyle Katarn. He could feel their presence below.

    Caedus turned to look back down at Tahiri's body.

    “No. I was not wrong. I will show you that I am not wrong.”

    Darth Caedus walked back to the room's turbolift. The doors parted once more. His chest heaving, Caedus reached toward the open lift. Jerking his arms violently forward, the turbolift suddenly expanded outward, then exploded into panels and electronics. He took one step forward, and fell freely down the empty shaft.
    Last edited by Dashren2001, Dec 29, 2012
    mulberry and AzureAngel2 like this.
  21. earlybird-obi-wan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 21, 2006
    star 6
    Emotional update with Tahiri. What is he doing now? Going after Ben?
  22. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    He knew exactly why this was completely removing his defenses, breaking down every wall he had constructed against dangerous and unpredictable emotions. This was his own doing. He had taken Tahiri, reached out to her in a moment of weakness, and shaped her into exactly what she had said: a mere weapon. She was splayed across this cold floor, the life rushing from her body, because of him. Jaina had chosen her path. She had fought him of her own free-will, knowing that she was going to die at his hands.

    Tahiri, though. He had taken Tahiri, a strong, complex woman, and whittled her down to simple blade's edge. Jacen had crudely hammered a weapon out of beauty, wrapped it in a simple-minded scabbard and tainted it with senselessly-shed blood. The weapon could take no more.

    [face_love] Wow, this was epic writing, carrying us all into the fearsome mind of a powerful sith lord... and even deeper into his own dark heart. From now on things will get worse. Her death is not an eye opener for him, I am afraid.
    DarthUncle likes this.
  23. DarthUncle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2005
    star 5
    Wow, good stuff. Sorry for not having commented since page 1, I did follow along though, very impressed.
  24. mulberry Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2009
    star 1
    This last update with Tahiri was amazing. I just discovered this writing the other day and have finished it, I has been fabulous and you must update!
  25. Kingsdaughter613 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 26, 2013
    This is so awesome! Please update soon!
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