NJO: The Darkness Shaped - NEW POST 8th September!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by J_K_DART, Apr 5, 2002.

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  1. Dancing_Jansons Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2002
    star 3
    Happy belated birthday, btw. ;)
  2. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Hi DJ! Yup, sure is!

    Ah, tx, bless ya! :D
  3. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    One final up, more either tomorrow or Friday!
  4. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Shortie, I fear...

    Shadows danced across the Warmaster?s face as he gazed around the bridge of his capital ship. The Yaakarath ? or Bloodstroke, as the name translated in the infidel?s tongue. Tsavong Lah had taken the task of learning their language, following ? to an extent ? the pattern set by Shedao Shai. He would not follow that pattern to its? conclusion, however; Shai had gone too far.

    In the back of his mind the Warmaster could hear the beat of the War Coordinator, its? fluid intelligence like a river of wisdom and insight to his own trained perceptions. With its? insight, he could see patterns where others saw chaos; he could comprehend manoeuvres that others would find miraculous. It was the wisdom of the ages, bred with each generation of yammosk, each the superior of the last. And it was all at Tsavong Lah?s fingertips. Through the yammosk, he saw the enemy?s every strategy, clearly laid out before him. Did these infidels truly think they could defeat him in a single battle? Others had tried such strategies before; the Supreme Overlord had ascended on the blood of many who had tried?

    But there was always a victor, and this time the Supreme Overlord was gone.

    The Warmaster shrugged that thought aside, commanding his troops and watching as the blaze bugs reflected the altered formations. Six hundred capital ships surrounded the Maw, the equivalent of the infidels? triangle-ships. Six-hundred! And all the infidels had despatched were four groups of snubfighters?

    Through Nas Choka?s information, Tsavong Lah knew they had amassed more than that here. They were hiding somehow.

    He watched in fascination as he saw the patterns displayed by the blaze bugs, ever shifting, ever changing, and reflecting the sheer anarchy of conflict. There were so many craft amassed here that a second crèche of the bugs had been required just to give the Warmaster tactical insight. He stretched languidly inside his vonduun armour, feeling the chitinous shell stretch with its? muscles, luxuriating in the slight tang of pain as some of the joints dug into his shoulders. The patterns were fascinating; and then, he saw it.

    The pattern was obvious, of course; the enemy had grouped into four battle groups, each numbering at least six hundred snubfighters. The infidels of this galaxy had grouped together, as shown by the presence of both Imperial and Chiss designs. That had, of course, been inevitable after the conquest of Coruscant. These combined forces had each been assigned to cover a flank of the Maw, acting in a defensive position; if the Yuuzhan Vong had just stumbled upon this, it would make sense. However, they?d been called out here, challenged in an audacious manner by a half-pirate serving the Republic. That meant the snubfighters were trying to reduce Vong numbers and allow the enemy to do battle with another edge ? possibly the capital ships.

    As the Warmaster glanced down at the blaze bugs, he saw one ? configured to represent a lone X-wing ? take on a flight of multiple coralskippers. Incredibly, it emerged triumphant, although Tsavong Lah could not understand what happened to several of the coralskippers; they froze, no longer moving, and then disappeared, destroyed as though with one blow. He consulted the yammosk, but it had no answer; something had kept breaking the yammosk?s link with those pilots.

    The Warmaster understood who that ?somebody? was, of course - a Jeedai, a cursed Jeedai. The slayers of the Supreme Overlord were here, and they were fighting for their lives. But still it troubled him; for the Warmaster could not remember any incident when a Jeedai had battled such numbers, and prevailed. And as he looked through the yammosk?s memories, Tsavong Lah realised there were similar breaches spattered across the entire conflict, as though the Jeedai were consciously disrupting the War Coordinator. When realisation came, it did so with a gasp of surprise so great that Tsavong Lah?s vonduun shell barely extended in time. There were tales of the Jeedai using gr
  5. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Oh, bother! I wrote a post, must've forgotten to post it, and it's therefore nonexistent... OK, here goes! Second time lucky! Cooooooooooooming up!

    EDIT: Wait, it's back... *shrugs*
  6. Katie_Kenobi Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2002
    star 3
    I'm here! I'm here! Poor R2! He has to go through that twice when once is more than enough. And go Luke! I didn't think he'd be able to do that since he's soo old now! But that just shows you what the Force can do! Anyone know when that last NJO (and maybe the last SW) book comes out? and I'm happy that your back, JKRowling, if I dind't say that already. Loved the post!


    Katie
  7. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Hi Katie! It's good to be back!

    Well, Luke ain't ancient yet lol - remember what Dooky did in AotC..? He was NINETY at the time lol!!

    Iirc, we've got quite a wait for the next NJO alas...
  8. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Oh, btw, there are post-NJO books planned in 2005, Katie - Denning's writing a trilogy....
  9. Dancing_Jansons Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2002
    star 3
  10. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Mucho gracias, DJ! More soon!
  11. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5

    A single Republic attack force was advancing; a hodgepodge of differing ships, including TIEs, X-wings, TIE-Ds, Clawcraft, and assorted designs. The attack force also included two coralskippers and one Millennium Falcon...

    "We just got the signal from Lando that the Lady Luck has dropped into hyperdrive," Han called out to his two gunners; Leia and Kirana Ti, the latter a capable Jedi Knight. "That means so far, the plan's going fine."

    The Falcon trembled as plasma-fire ate at her shields; immediately Han took her in a corkscrew, then abandoned the strategy at random, arcing back to the attack. The 'skip responsible was a smooth flier, but its' pilot had obviously been caught unawares, and Leia's shots peppered it with flares of energy until it cracked apart.

    "Beautiful!" Han yelled, triggering the intercomm. "We can't let them divert us. Focus in on the yammosk-carrier. Casualties are irrelevant."

    Now that wasn't an order he liked to give. As a New Republic General, Solo had found himself hating his job so many, many times; he remembered the names so clearly, remembered the reactions of their families as he'd conveyed the bad news. Sometimes, they were the stuff of his nightmares. It was a massive change, from irresponsible pilot to General, responsible for the safety of all under his command - and, on many occasions, responsible also for the fate of the Galaxy.

    Sometimes he hated it, sometimes he loved it. If the Yuuzhan Vong fell, after everything they'd done? After the harm they'd caused to his family? After leaving himself and Leia with all hope lost, after taking the New Republic they'd sacrificed so much for to breaking point? After breaking and shaping Tahiri, after killing Anakin, after shaping Jacen? After taking Jaina to within an inch of suicide?

    If I win, I'll love it, Solo swore grimly to himself. If Tsavong Lah dies, I'll dance on his grave.

    . . .

    "Sithspit!" Jacen gasped, sending the coralskipper curving away just in time as enemy fire peppered the space they'd occupied a moment ago. Tenel Ka and Alema were responding immediately, returning fire - and they were good. It was obvious the 'skips were getting sloppy, so used to fighting against X-wings they'd forgotten how to fly against their own kind, and Jacen had a feeling that was an advantage he'd need.

    Now, more than ever before, he had a reason to survive. Now, for him, victory wasn't just about ending the invasion and declaring peace; victory was personal. He'd already won the only battle that mattered, and he could feel his heart singing with the joy of it. Obviously responding to his enthusiasm, the 'skip arced round in a loop-the-loop, causing Tenel Ka to glance over at him; there was a hint of a smile on her face. "You seem exuberant, friend Jacen," she stated, and then - for one of the first times - she laughed. Jacen laughed with her, and he vaguely heard Alema sigh.

    This process of self-discovery was going to be difficult, of that Jacen was sure. He had a reason to survive now, which meant he wouldn't take risks as he once would have done; he had more to lose. Was this what his father had felt..?

    It had seemed so uncharacteristic of Tenel Ka, to tell him she was afraid. It had nearly broken Jacen's heart when she'd told him why; except in a strange way, it made his heart whole at the same time, if that made any sense. Jacen didn't really care if it didn't. Of all the things she could have been afraid of - she was afraid of losing him. Sweet Force!

    The Yuuzhan Vong would have despaired, Jacen knew, and smiled tightly. He had a reason to win, and he had a reason to survive. So he'd just have to go and do both.

    . . .

    When Anakin's coralskipper accelerated, it did so without warning; putting on a burst of speed that pressed both Anakin and Tahiri back in their seats, and outrunning their pursuers in a moment. It was dangerous tactics, of course, to fly shieldless; but it just took a little Force, Anakin knew, and since dovin basals gave bot
  12. Dancing_Jansons Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2002
    star 3
    Good stuff, Dart!

    I can't wait to see what Lah comes up with. I hope it's nothing too clever, for our heroes' sake. <bites fingernails>
  13. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Heheheheheh... Wait and see... [face_devil]
  14. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Shortie, but hopefully goodie!


    "This is General Garm bel Iblis. Apparently the flights of six coralskippers contain a filament-thin webbing between them, that they use to capture enemy vessels and then charge plasma through them."

    "Well, at least they've worked it out," Anakin called over to Tahiri, sensing her exasperation; probably that Peace Brigade captain who'd turned traitor had clued bel Iblis in on it. He could have said the words through the Force, but sometimes he just liked to speak. Some people would have said he liked the sound of his own voice, he reflected with a grin, sending his ship arcing away from the plasma-fire spattering towards it. There was a single second's ease, and he quickly reached up to wipe sweat from his brow and push that darn hair out of his eyes - Force, I really need a haircut.

    Tahiri glanced over at him, still sensing as annoyed. "It isn't as long as mine," she shot back.

    "Yeah, but yours is kinda beautiful," Anakin returned, grinning and throwing her a wink.

    She laughed, then started firing again as a coralskipper entered range. "Flattery will get you everywhere," she shot back, a flirtatious tone entering her voice, and added to by a suggestive wink.

    "Is that a promise?" Both grinned and laughed - and quickly returned their attention to the battle, when Anakin sensed a surge of panic from his coralskipper. The Yuuzhan Vong were in range - and they were aiming to take his 'skip out. With a low growl the young Jedi started basic evasive patterns, making sure to leave them as unpredictable as possible; then, he flicked the intercomm installed within the living vessel. "Dad, we got a plan. Give us some defences, we're gonna be unable to fight for a few minutes. Twin Two, get over here," he added, using Jacen's code-phrase.

    A few minutes passed, and five Chiss Clawcraft surrounded Anakin's coralskipper in a basic shield. Chiss! I got the best! Now the Jedi reached out and tugged over the ship's villip; now that Danni Quee had learned how to manipulate the villips, she had been able to create a minor communications channel between one of this 'skip, and the one Jacen was flying. Jacen's unfurled immediately, and Anakin blinked in surprise as he saw the energy and zeal in his brother's eyes. He looks as though this is the best day of his life... "You got a plan, Little Brother?" Jacen asked, not wasting time with conversation. Quickly Anakin filled him in, and then let Tahiri take over the piloting. It was time to show the Vong just what a Jedi could do.

    . . .

    Tsavong Lah continued to watch the blaze bugs, his attention covering them all. He could see so many, many patterns... Over at the Rimward side of the Maw, the fighters there were proving quite cunning. They were forcing the Yuuzhan Vong pilots to pursue them beyond the event horizon of one of the black holes of the cluster, which they had correctly assumed would be harder for a coralskipper - gravity-dependent - to escape than for one of their mechanical craft. Tsavong Lah suspected that group were led by a Jeedai who had experience of the cluster; probably the notorious Kyp Durron, responsible already for the destruction of a worldship.

    Focusing momentarily on that part of the battle, the Warmaster came to a conclusion. "Instruct Domain Carr to withdraw their forces and to pull back. Let the enemy spread out."

    This would prove an interesting test, Tsavong Lah reflected, continuing to watch. He raised a single eyebrow when the forces in that sector immediately made some minor tactical bungles, and Domain Carr pressed their new advantage.

    So. The infidels do not just want us to fight them. They want us to draw in towards the Maw. Looking at the battle as a whole, the Warmaster couldn't quite work out why. He knew there were capital ships hidden in the cluster - he was yet to discover why the coralskipper squadrons despatched to draw them out had proved unsuccessful. But there had to be something else, another strategy that the
  15. Dancing_Jansons Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2002
    star 3
    <gleeful cackle>

    What good wholesome fun this is, Dart! ;)
  16. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Heheheh, glad you're still enjoying the show, DJ ;) Tsavong's being outsmarted BIG-time heheheheh...
  17. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5

    The pressure upon Tahiri's mind was like that of a thousand atmospheres, crushing down upon her; only the added strength of Anakin stopped the yammosk totally swamping her. She could sense Jacen struggling against the mental pressure too, could feel him working to achieve the same effect. Anakin hadn't liked vacating the pilot's seat, but it was necessary; the pilot had the better link with the yammosk, and, enabling the link again, Tahiri had been able to enter the yammosk's mind and to distort its' perceptions. Jacen was accomplishing the same, helped by Tenel Ka.

    As Tahiri's mind struggled against the yammosk's, she could feel its' alien intelligence; Jacen was fascinated with the creature, but she, Tahiri, was repulsed. The creature was far more insidious than even the Yuuzhan Vong believed, a thing of ruthless animal cunning, obsessed with proving its' worth. For the yammosk, every battle was a test of its' capabilities, every victory was evidence of advancement, and every goal could be summed up in one sentence: To be the winner. There was a colossal arrogance behind the mind, believing it alone deserved victory, that nothing and no-one could subvert its' genetic right. It had been bred to win, and winning was what it would do...

    The yammosk's mind weighed heavier upon Tahiri; using the Force, she was preventing it getting a lock on her mind, but she sensed it managing to find Jacen. Mental energy swept through space, attempting to blast apart her fellow Jedi's mind, but somehow Jacen deflected it - Vergere had taught him well. Recognising the energy of the yammosk was building up for another attack at her friend, Tahiri projected the Force into the creature's mind, somehow managing to distract it.

    Force, this thing was powerful. Its' mind was like a cobweb that had ensnared the entire quadrant, and battling against it was as difficult as it would be to cut every threat that bound while seeking to avoid the deadly spider at the centre. Tahiri could feel the yammosk's mental powers stretching out again, seeking this new attacker; it had temporarily lost track of Jacen, thank the Force, but it was so powerful...

    "Together," whispered a voice, and Anakin's mind was with hers; his conenction to the yammosk, through the gunnery, wasn't as strong as Tahiri's. But he was still there, still channeling the Force into the yammosk's mind, still attempting the same misdirection that Tahiri had achieved. For a moment she'd let the misdirection take a pattern - she'd felt Tsavong Lah's mind through the yammosk, and had wanted him to know whom it was that was thwarting his plans. Now, though, the three Jedi were accomplishing this at random, leaving the Yuuzhan Vong in chaos. Coralskipper fired upon coralskipper, and New Republic snubfighters were given open access to the enemy capital-ships, strafing at leisure; the warships still didn't register them as a threat, and they were able to do as much damage as they liked, the War Coordinator itself resisting the attempts to fire upon them.

    The yammosk wasn't slow, of course; tendrils of its' thought were sweeping out and repairing the damage as quickly as possible, almost as quickly as the Jedi did the damage in the first place. Almost, of course, wasn't enough, not in a battle situation. General Solo's squadron had advanced a huge distance towards Tsavong Lah's flagship, and would soon be in firing range. They were shooting down the Yuuzhan Vong at random.

    Overall, Tahiri sensed that bel Iblis' plan was proving successful. In its' confused state, the War Coordinator had forgotten its' fears of being drawn into the Maw, and now the flagships themselves were heading in towards that. This was all too good to be true.

    . . .


    This is too good to be true, Jaina reflected ominously. Their advances are a mess; the War Coordinator would be their only chance to navigate the Maw, and it seems to be so confused. She swept her X-wing round, neatly avoiding a plasma-burst from a coralskipper; every ship was just as confused,
  18. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
  19. Jedi-Princess-Solo Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 24, 2002
    star 4
    I go out of town for a while and come back to find I've been missing posts! :p Great work JKD! I can't wait to see what happens next! :D

    ~JPS~
  20. Jedi_Johnson Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 6, 2002
    star 5
    I'm back now Dart. Great set of posts. But the tenstion just keeps building, I'm not sure if I can take it. ;)
  21. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Hey JPS, welcome back!

    JJ: Ah, I tell ya, the tension will soon EXPLODE - with the final battle half-way through...

    Next one soon!

    :D
  22. Dancing_Jansons Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 1, 2002
    star 3
    You always leave the best (or worst!) cliffhangers, Dart!
  23. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Heheheheheh... [face_devil]

    __________________________________

    It was the most difficult flying of Corran Horn's life, there was no other way to put it; because it demanded not just all his piloting skills, but also all of his Force ones too, and to succeed he was required to put the two together. He had chosen to lead the dive into the Maw, not because he wanted to escape the battle, but rather because he'd wanted to get used to the 'feel' of the place. Now, he doubted he ever would, because the Maw was anarchy on a different scale to anything he'd ever encountered, with nebulous gases sweeping around deadly and invisible singularities, and the constant threat of shields crashing under either the tumultous energies or the gravitational pulls. Pilots who were skilled in the Force could navigate the Maw, and the best non-Force pilots could as well; but to do that while fighting a battle was an incredible strain.

    Which was why the Jedi mind-link was needed, he knew. Through the Force, Corran was watching over a quarter of the snubfighters assembled - he didn't want the figures, he knew they'd make his head hurt. His task was to preside over every pilot, to watch for their every mistake - and also to keep track of the mines scattered across the Cluster, all yet to be triggered by General be Iblis. When they were triggered, Corran's job would be that much harder, trying to make sure none of their own pilots hit the mines...

    Do or do not, Corran reminded himself of Yoda's maxim, There is no try.

    It was pleasing indeed that the Yuuzhan Vong were falling for the trap so far, even though the yammosk was yet to be taken out. The Yuuzhan Vong used gravity for so many things, and therefore they practically took it for granted they could navigate the Maw; hence even the capital ships were pursuing. No doubt the Warmaster already knew of the stable area at the centre of the Maw, and had presumed the Galaxy's defenders were entrenched in there, preparing an ambush. For whatever reason, Corran could sense that the yammosk had relaxed its' influence on the Yuuzhan Vong coralskippers - even on the capital ships - and now those warriors were advancing, driven by impatience and bloodlust.

    Somehow, Corran had a feeling Anakin Solo was probably part of the reason; he didn't really care, though, so long as the Vong pursued. The Jedi Knight was very glad his job wasn't to warn each pilot when they were in the line of fire, but was only to watch the Maw's gravitational vagrancies and warn any pilot who got too close to a singularity. "Imp-589, jink to the right," he called out as a warning rang through his Force-senses.

    Whistler, Corran's old Astromech droid, buzzed something; Corran couldn't spare the concentration to listen, but the anxious tone finally got through to him. "What is it, Whistler?" When he saw the results, the Jedi swore. One coralskipper flight had used a singularity to enhance their speed, curving round it and heading the Galaxy fighters off. "Sithspit! All ships, be warned we have a two-pronged attack..."

    Then plasma was once again raining down on the Jedi's starfighter, and he wished these Vong would just vac themselves. It wasn't as if he had the energy to spare... In spite of his complaints, Corran jinked his X-wing in a tight curve, avoiding the plasma and magma missiles with ease. Jedi gifted with t.k. would have been able to send the shots back at them, but t.k. had never been Corran's strong suit. As he'd once put it, "I can't make a rock move, but boy, can I make that rock think it's been moved!"

    His eyes lit up as Corran suddenly realised. The Vong exist in the Force now. Let's give them a taste of the old Horn classic...

    Corran pulled his Force-sense away from about a hundred of his fighters - the best, the ones who had gone nowhere near the singularities but obviously knew what they were doing, and the Jedi found it amusing that most of them happened to be Chiss. Those ones could survive without his watching them like a mother hen
  24. TahiriSoloFan Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2003
    star 4
    It's all coming together now! What about Kyp though? I can hear the SW music..... :D
  25. J_K_DART Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 31, 2001
    star 5
    Hi there, TSF! Yeah, NOW you can see why that asteroid field was placed where it was! ;)

    I'm taking turn cycling through the sector leaders; we've had Luke, and Corran; we'll be having Jaina and Kyp sometime soon!
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