Beyond Phantom of the Past (Completed 6/7)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Tych_sel, May 9, 2003.

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  1. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    nyv: One can only hope that Ben doesn't end up going the "noble end" route. Though you'll have to wait until the weekend to find out the answer. Evil, ain't I? [face_devil]


    The freighter, which looked to be nothing more than a standard cargo hauler, received clearance from the fleet of ships ringing Brentaal to approach the planet's capital. "Do not deviate from your course," the officer with whom the pilot spoke had said. As if I'd really want to, the pilot thought.

    "We've got a location," the pilot's companion said. Red-haired, but with his father's dark eyes, he was as muscular as the craft's pilot was slender. Just one more way he takes after our father, the pilot thought as she directed the craft towards the landing zone assigned to them. The ship landed without further incident, and the two exited the craft, both with a small red bundle under one arm.

    "Purpose of your visit to Brentaal?" asked the officer who stood at the bottom of the landing ramp, clothed in what appeared to be one of the old-style Imperial naval uniforms.

    "Business," the pair said.

    "You're both weapons-qualified. I hope you don't plan on using them. Makes more work for the constabulary, and might even upset some of the higher-ups. Something's brewing, something big."

    "We'll try and keep our problems to ourselves," the pilot said, running a hand through her long, dark hair. "Is there anything else?"

    "Not at the moment. Your visas are good for a standard week. I'd suggest that you not stay longer."

    "Understood. I'm sure we'll complete our business long before then." She and her brother left the spaceport, heading for one of the speeder dealers that seemed to pop up all over the galaxy whenever a new port opened. She let Tav take the lead this time.

    "We're looking for a speeder," he told the dealer, a squat Rodian who looked like he exercised maybe once a year, if that. "Nothing too flashy, but something that'll hold up on rough terrain. And something that won't cost us too much."

    "Then I've got just the thing. One of the old SoroSuub X-34s."

    "Must be hard to keep them running," Gavriella said, casting a look at Tav that suggested they look at something else. "Especially since the XP-38 came out."

    "You can't beat the price, and this old craft'll suit your needs," the Rodian replied. She's in fine working order, I assure you."

    "We'll take it," Tav said, but added a single condition upon seeing the Rodian's face light up with glee. "But you only get half now. The other half will come when we've completed our business. I won't have you thinking you can herd us like nerfs."

    "I would never seek to do anything of the sort," the Rodian said.

    "I happen to believe you," Tav said. "But the deal is as I've said."

    "All right," the Rodian said with a sigh. But I expect to get the speeder back."

    "We'll do our best," Gavriella said. "But if you don't, it means we won't be coming back." The Rodian turned the keys over, and the pair set out. Only one obstacle remained before their father's mission would be truly complete. And then the Guard would have been fully avenged.

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


    That's it for now. I've got a busy remainder of the week ahead, which probably won't afford me much time time to write. I'll try and have the next post up Friday night, though.


    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  2. Yodaminch Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 6
    Visas on Brentaal? Visa its everywhere in the star wars galaxy you want to be. :p

    Great post with Ben, Ankin and Yoric by the way.
  3. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    yoda: I don't think it's that kind of visa, my friend. And if you think Ben's in trouble, now, just you wait.


    Conserve your strength, Ben thought as the lightsaber remained poised at his hit throat, ready to slice off his head if he gave Ankin any reason to do so. You're not going to do the Council any good if you're dead. "And become your slave? Sorry, but that's not exactly the option I'd choose."

    "May I remind you that your options are rather limited?" Ankin asked. "You are beaten. It is useless to resist. Don't make me destroy you."

    "You're far more useful to us alive," Midia said, coming up behind Ankin, one pale hand on his shoulder. "Once the Jedi see that their greatest hope for driving us back has fallen, the rest will fall into line. You would be the flame by which the unworthy are consumed."

    "You can chip away at us all you like, Lara," Ben said, making sure to use her real name, "but the Council will never bow to your will. And even if you succeed in purging the galaxy of Jedi, we will rise again. The Force must be balanced."

    "Perhaps," she said. "But are you willing to wager the life of your son? Or of the other children on Chandrila? Their blood will be on your head, Skywalker. Only you can save them, by making the right choice."

    "But make it now," Ankin said. "Because unless you do, we will spread across the galaxy like an inferno, consuming those who stand before us. And we will show no mercy to those who attempt to stand in our way. And when your son dies, it will be your name he curses."

    Ben dropped to his knees. "I can't do it. But I can't let you hurt my son." He looked up at Lara. "Please, don't ask me to make this decision."

    "Is that pleading I hear, Skywalker," she asked, her tone mocking. "Didn't I tell you that you would come to me and beg for mercy? I am afraid that I have none to give. The only way you can spare your son's life is to serve us. Become my champion, and you son's life is assured. I will not ask you to commit to the Dark Side."

    Ben hung his head, hating what he would have to do. But he couldn't let these two run rampant, much less allow them to kill his only child. "Very well," he said softly. "My hand is yours." But only until I can find a way to break loose from the leash you've got on me.

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


    That's all I've got for now, and unfortunately, I've run into a bit or writer's block, lately. I hope to break out soon, but I wouldn't count on anything before Monday.


    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  4. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    Kir Kanos?s kids? Red hair would match the Rebel lady in Crimson Empire / CE 2. Kir Kanos was built like a brick ****house so that would match Tav being muscular. And they are trying to complete their father?s mission to avenge the Guard.

    Not sure about Ben. Seems to be assuming that if he can?t stop the Sith then nobody can, that the other Jedi would be powerless to prevent either Hans death or the Sith spreading like an inferno.
    To quote Luke (at the end of Dark Empire speaking to ?the emperor?) ?No...I made a big mistake...I thought I had to save the galaxy all by myself, but the way of the Jedi is not a solitary path.?
    Or (right at the end of Dark Empire speaking to Leia) ?One Jedi cannot conquer the Dark Side alone...I guess we?ve proved that. Together we were a Jedi fire that outshone his evil.?

    All sorts of interesting plots and subplots. Not sure why I hadn?t clicked the link in your sig before.
  5. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    _JM_: Glad you decided to drop in, even more glad you've been enjoying it. Must have been a monster to read through, if you took it all at once.

    Those are indeed the children of "Kenix Kil." I had thought about naming Gavriella after her mom, but changed my mind. As for Ben, your observations from DE are right on target. He'll be getting an earful, don't you worry.


    And now, let's take a quick hop back to Nal Hutta!



    "It would seem we have a problem," Doran told Midanyl, after he'd had a chance to change into something a little more presentable. Once his mother had been checked out by the medical droids, he'd piloted a shuttle down to Nal Hutta to do what he could to aid those transporting the slaves.

    "And what is that?" the admiral asked.

    "Some of the slaves are a little resistant to the idea of leaving. Some of them have spent their entire lives here on Nal Hutta. They don't know anything other than this. They're...I don't know...afraid, I guess."

    "Understandable. The lives they've lived haven't been easy ones."

    "I don't know that it's that," Doran said. "My mother had a chance to speak with some of them. Those who do remember their homes are afraid that there won't be anything left for them to go back to. It's not that they're afraid of what the galaxy might have in store for them, but what it's done to those they left behind. Some of them were spirited away as children."

    "I take it you have a solution."

    "I can't take credit for the work others have done. But some of the slaves, er, former slaves," he amended at a sharp look from the admiral, "want to stay here. They want to find a way to make something of the work they've done. They've toiled for others, and now want the opportunity to make their own way."

    Midanyl seemed to consider it. "It's not going to be easy for them. This world, much as I'd like to wish it were otherwise, still belongs to the Hutts."

    "Then perhaps one of the other Hutt worlds. The Hutts will be making concessions beyond the simple surrendering of those whose lives they ruined."

    "It's up to Coruscant to decide what penalties to impose upon the Hutts. Perhaps it is to the Senate, and not to me, you should be making this suggestion."

    "Then with your permission, Admiral, I'd like to have a few of those willing to stay accompany us back to Coruscant, so that they may speak before the Senate. I suggest the rest be left here, under the protection of the military until the Republic decides just what to do with them."

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


    That's it for now. More will be coming on Wednesday, I think.

    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  6. Yodaminch Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 6
    nice posts. Poor ben. I guess...Kyp's their last hope. They're doomed :p .
  7. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    The Hutts got Nal Hutta from the indigenous population so as ownership has been transferred before that leaves it open to being transferred again. Maybe the New Republic can impose sufficient fines that they will have to sell the planet to the New Republic to pay them...then the slaves can get a 10 000 year lease at 1 credit a year. :)

    This could get murky.
  8. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    yoda: Kyp may be more important than he realizes. And are you going Threepio on me?

    _JM_: I don't know if I'll take it that far, but some portion of the planet will probably end up owned by the slaves, with the other part probably administrated by the Republic, to make sure the Hutts behave.


    Kyp's fighter shot out of hyperspace, and almost immediately, he felt the conflict below. The planet seemed to be wreathed in darkness, though to the normal eye it would look quite normal, other than the flotilla of ships arranged around it.

    "Unidentified starfighter," a harsh voice said though the comm, "identify yourself and state your intentions within our space." Kyp didn't answer, bringing his fighter onto a course that would land him almost on top of the area where he felt the conflict of light and dark. The voice came back. "Unidentified starfighter, you are ordered to lower your shields and prepare to be brought aboard."

    Not likely, Kyp thought, throwing the fighter into a spin that he hoped would deflect any attempt at a tractor lock. As he did so, he brought his lasers to bear on the largest ship. An Imperial-class Star Destroyer, he thought. Now where were you hiding that one?

    "Hostile starfighter, power down immediately or you will be fired upon."

    "Good luck," Kyp said, pushing the fighter down towards the atmosphere, just barely skimming it. "Try your best. Just remember that there are people down there who might not be too happy with having their homes flamed."

    The speaker on the other end didn't have anything to come back with. Nice talking to you, Kyp thought, bringing the fighter lower. Then he realized he recognized two of the presences on the world below. One belonged to Lara Donos. The other...oh, Sithspit. Ben, he thought, what in the Force are you trying to do? Didn't your father teach you anything. It was then that he felt the light of Ben's presence dim. He wasn't dead, but just felt different through the Force.

    You are the shatterpoint, he almost seemed to hear. It sounded like Maaizeh, but that couldn't be, the Jedi was dead. Still, it wouldn't be the first time a Jedi had been known to speak from beyond the grave. One wrong move, and the balance will tip to the dark side.

    Kyp sighed, even as he brought the fighter to the ground. Great, he thought. The fate of the Jedi Order lies on my shoulders. I'm definitely getting too old for this sort of thing. He popped the hatch, and leapt out.

    "Welcome to Brentaal, Master Durron," Lara said, stepping to meet him. And behind her, looking as though the world had been taken from him, was Ben. Lara turned, her eyes following Kyp's gaze. "I believe you already know the Sword of the Sith."

    "Your rampage ends here, Lara," Kyp said. "I've seen the Dark Side. I've made peace with my past."

    "But can you strike down a former friend?" Lara asked, stepping back, and nodding to Ben.

    "I don't want to do this, Kyp, but it's the only way."

    "You can't save the galaxy by yourself, Ben," Kyp admonished. "Don't you remember your father's experience, and his father's before that? Turning to the Dark won't help."

    "It has to," Ben said, his blade blazing into existence. "Otherwise, the Order is doomed."

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


    That's all for now. Not sure when the next part'll be coming. Probably sometime this weekend.

    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  9. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    Poor Kyp, yet again he is having to correct the mistakes of a Skywalker. :p

    Nice bit of flying to evade the tractor lock and get himself so any misses would kill innocent civilians, fortunate for the civilians that the ISD captain wasn?t willing to take that chance.

    Saying ?Like Father, Like Son? seems to apply rather worryingly to the Skywalkers.
  10. Yodaminch Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 6
    But sir The chances of Master Durron saving us are 1,337,994 to 1. :p

    Nice post
  11. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    _JM_: Yes, Kyp may have to clean up the mess that Ben's created. But how many times did Luke have to do damage control on Kyp's actions. And I think you're right about the "like father, like son" idea.

    yoda: One might think that. But who's got use for odds?


    Sorry, no post tonight. It's written, but not typed up yet. And it's been a long day, so I'm going to be heading off to bed a bit early tonight. The post, however, should be up tomorrow afternoon.


    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  12. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    As promised, here's the next part of the fic!


    "The Senate will hear your proposal," Doran told the assembled group of slaves.

    "Don't expect this to be easy," his mother told them. She had decided that if the slaves did indeed win their case, she would retire permanently from the military and intelligence services, and do what she could to aid them in their struggle to build a new life. "The Hutts may have been defeated, but that doesn't mean that they will have lost all of their support within the Senate. Some will undoubtedly challenge you.?

    ?I never believed that it would be easy for us,? a Bothan, Phajest, said. ?But we deserve the chance to make this world our own. After all, the Hutts wouldn?t have been able to survive here without us.?

    ?Nobody is arguing the fact,? Niklys said, sensing the coming argument. He recalled that even as a slave, Phajest hadn?t been the easiest to reason with.?

    ?And I would suggest that you avoid that sort of tone with the Senators,? Kartina warned. She could have gone back to Kuat, and tried to forget what had nearly happened, but forgetting would have been like trying to forget an old battle wound that flared up every time the weather changed. No, if she was ever going to put the experience of nearly becoming a slave behind her, it would be by helping these people build a new life. ?What sort of opposition do you think we face??

    ?I would guess that those who depend on the Hutts will likely be against you. And even some of those who do agree with you might not like the idea of turning an entire world over to a group of ex-slaves. They?ll argue that you?ll be unable to survive.?

    ?It?s not as though the Hutts didn?t do their best to kill us off,? Phajest argued. ?We haven?t done anything wrong, so why should we be forced to leave what little we have??

    ?That is a question that, if rephrased, could gain you some support. I also think you?ll have some support from those who have wanted to see the Hutts slammed. While you?ll have your opponents, you?ll also those who will support you.,? Tyria said.

    A signal whistled through the ship, indicating that the Star Destroyer Right to Rule was preparing to drop out of hyperspace. ?We don?t have much time,? Doran said. ?You?ll need to select a few representatives to speak before the Senate.?

    ?It?s already been done, Niklys said. ?Phajest, Katrina, and myself will be speaking to the Senate.?

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

    That's it for now. More to come Monday, I think.

    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  13. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    I like the advice on ensuring the tone and way the statements are phrased are correct. Shows the Republic Senate is just as sensitive to perceived insults as any governing body.

    Also good advice that whatever the arguments the previous biases will prevail, those who supported the Hutts will support them and those who disliked the Hutts will support the slaves.
  14. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    _JM_: Well, I felt it important to give some semblance of humanity to the senators. Also, we've already seen that certain Senators already have a grudge against the Jedi, and might easily side against the slaves.


    Ben's blade sliced through the air, missing its intended target by just a few millimeters as Kyp leapt backward. He nearly caught his heel on a rock that jutted out, but pulled his leg in just in time. "Your father tried to be the galaxy's savior all by himself too," he told Ben, feeling almost like a parent scolding a misbehaving child. "Look where that led him. I thought I had to deal with Daala and the Empire alone, and all that did was give me a hunger for power, for revenge. And that left me susceptible to the lies, the evil teachings of Exar Kun.?

    ?I have to stop them here, Kyp,? Ben said, his face showing the turmoil in his soul. ?If the Sith spread...?

    ?Do you really think they?ll be happy with one world, Ben? Do you really? They may say that, but you know what happens once a Dark Sider gets a taste of power. Brentaal won?t be enough! What then? Will you lead their forces in a rampage across the galaxy, fighting those who care about you??

    ?It won?t be that way!? Ben cried, again going on the offensive, this time using a series of short, vicious strikes designed for one purpose: to wear down the Jedi Master. Kyp?s experience, however, was enough to give him an advantage, and the Jedi spun, leapt, and otherwise blocked Ben?s strikes, calling on his own vast abilities.

    I can?t keep this up forever, Kyp thought, risking a glance at the two Sith, who seemed quite pleased with the way the conflict seemed to be going. Sooner or later, Kyp knew, they?d grow tired of watching, deciding that Ben wasn?t going to be able to end the conflict in a manner to their liking. His reverie almost proved to be his destruction. His danger sense flared, and he threw himself to the right and down. Ben?s emerald blade cut through the air, and would have separated Kyp?s head from his shoulders if the Jedi Master hadn?t seen it coming. Kyp rolled away, then rose, disengaging his own blade.

    ?You think you want to kill me, Ben? Fine. Do it. I stand before you unarmed.? I just hope this works, he thought, recalling Luke?s story about the death of Ben Kenobi, one that he knew Ben had heard more than a few times. ?But know this,? he continued. ?If you strike me down, you?ll not only be betraying yourself, and all that you stand for, but you?ll be betraying the Order, and the trust your father placed in your ability to lead it.?

    Ben?s blade, raised as though to cut down the man who had once been one of his own teachers, halted in mid-air. He seemed to be finally considering Kyp?s words. ?Master...?

    ?You?re either a Jedi, or you?re not,? Kyp said, trying to break through whatever wall the Sith had built up. ?Just know that whatever choice you make, I?m not going to fight you any longer.?

    ?Strike him down,? Midia said. ?He stands between you and your destiny. Think of those whom you seek to protect.?

    ?I will fulfill my destiny,? Ben said, turning. ?But not by striking down a fellow Jedi. You?ve failed,? he said. The he turned to the tower. ?Do you hear that, Eclepsa? Your hold on me is broken. I?m not going to turn to the Dark Side. I won?t be a puppet for the Sith!? He then turned back to the Sith. ?Do your worst. I may have slipped, but I haven?t fallen. And light always wins over darkness.?

    ?Then you both die, and with you will die your Jedi Order,? Ankin said, as the two Sith pulled their sabers, igniting them. He charged at Kyp, while Ben found his own blade crossed with that of the Sith Lady.

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


    That's it for now. I hope to have more up by the middle of the week. We're closing in on the end of the fic here, folks!


    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  15. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    Nice work by Kyp with pointing out the flaws in Ben?s thinking and the consequences of his actions.

    Of course by doing that Kyp did annoy Ankin and end up having to fight him, so not a good idea from that point of view. :)
  16. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    _JM_: Yeah, who would have expected Kyp to be the voice of reason. Of course, now he can unleash against Ankin.

    But before we get to the next stage of the battle, let's check in on the Senate.


    The Senate Hall spread before the slaves, to some of them, the most magnificent structure they'd ever seen. And Katrina had to admit, it was impressive. But right now, stunned silence would not serve them. She turned from the others, and looked directly at the Chancellor. "Chancellor Saretti, may I address the Senate?"

    "The chair recognizes Lady Katrina Volshev of Kuat."

    "Honorable representatives of the Senate," she began, making sure to make eye contact with at least a few from key worlds. "It has recently come to the attention of this body that the Hutts have, in violation of the treaty they signed ten years ago, continued their slaving efforts. I, and those with me, have come before you as representatives of all those who have been used by the Hutts. While some of us want nothing more than to return to our homes, others have known nothing but a slave's life. They need time to either discover, or rediscover who they are."

    "And what does this have to do with us?" asked the Senator from Muunilist, Amee Platya. "I thought the military had already dealt with the Hutts."

    "The military did indeed liberate those the Hutts enslaved," Katrina continued, but the question of their fates remains open. Some, due to the time spent as a slave, have no families to return to. Others fear that they will be rejected, having changed due to their enslavement."

    "And what would you propose, Lady Katrina?" asked the Rodian Senator, Jeapa.

    "I would suggest that at least part of Nal Hutta, or perhaps one of the other hutt worlds, be turned over to those wishing to remain."

    "Impossible!" the senator from Muunilist cried. "You say that those who wish to remain have lived as slaves for all their lives, correct?"

    "Yes. They deserve a chance to make a life for themselves."

    "Really, Lady Katrina, I would have thought you less naive. Do you really think a group of former slaves is going to last long without somebody to guide them into freedom? They'd be dead within a week, and the public would blame us!"

    "So you will just deny us the opportunity to try, Phajest said, his emotions getting the better of him. "You would deny us the chance to make our own way in the universe!"

    Wonderful, Katrina thought. I knew we shouldn't have brought him along. But we needed to have somebody with us who hadn't been touched by a Jedi."
    "That is not what we have said at all," the Senator from Hapes said. Soltari, Katrina recalled, and also recalled that she was an ally of the Jedi within the Senate. "I'm sure that my esteemed colleague only questions whether the former slaves would be able to survive."

    And so the debate begins, Katrina thought to herself.

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


    That's it for now. I'll try and have something up by Friday, but no promises.


    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  17. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    Yeah! What?s it got to do with the Senate? Not like they?re the people in charge of the Republic and who would authorise ?humanitarian? aid, the setting up of tribunals and investigations, determine what reparations the Hutts should pay...oh hang on, they are.

    Dead within a week? I think they could at least eat and drink without requiring someone to ?guide them into freedom? and so last a little longer than that. Classic argument used against emancipation though.

    Hopefully the debate won?t take too long, the slaves might not have an appreciation of the elegance of lengthy and convoluted arguments and decide to simply deal with their problems themselves.
  18. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    _JM_: You've brought up some nice points. The Senators have an opportunity to show that they haven't become so separated from the general public that they've forgotten how important freedom and self-determination are. As for the "dead within a week" comment, the Senator might have been going a little over the top.


    Here comes the next bit!


    "And I thought you would be an asset to the Sith Empire!" Midia shouted over the clash of the lightsabers' blades. "You're just as pathetic as the rest of them."

    "At least I know how to maintain my dignity. What did he offer you, Lara? Power?"

    "He offered me the chance to protect those who couldn't protect themselves. The chance to do what all Jedi should be doing!"

    "That is what we do, Lara," Ben said, leaping back as Lara cut downward with the blade. "The Jedi protect through our service."

    "Then how is it that the Hutts have been able to keep slaving for the last decade? How do you account for that? Were any of them protected?"

    "We can't be everywhere, Lara," Ben said, blocking another slash from the crimson lightsaber. "We can only do our best."

    "Then apparently your best isn't good enough!" She moved through a series of attacks, combining powerful slashes with short thrusts. Slowly, she was driving Ben backward, even as Ankin drove Kyp backward as well.

    "How you doing?" Kyp asked as he and Ben were forced back-to-back.

    "Better than I was a few moments ago," Ben said. "Thanks for straightening me out."

    "I owed your uncle at least that much," Kyp said, blocking an uppercut from Ankin's lightsaber, which was down to one blade after Kyp had sliced through the weapon. "Got anything in mind for our next move?"

    "Not sure yet," Ben said. "I've kinda been a little busy." He then opened up to the totality of the Force. "Kyp, duck."

    Kyp acted, ducking and rolling away from Ben. "Nice idea, kid!" Free to move again, Kyp threw caution to the winds. He wasn't going to get off this world by playing it safe. In fact, Kyp didn't hold any illusions about surviving this. Ankin was younger, and stronger. Kyp had more experience, but he knew it would only take him so far. And if he was right, Ankin had already killed four Jedi, bare minimum. And then, the lightsaber was torn from his hand as Ankin's blade crashed into it, a powerful two-handed blow that left Kyp's hand a little numbed from the impact.

    He saw Ankin bring the blade back, knowing that this would be the last thing he'd ever see. The blade raised, and began its descent. There is no death, there is the Force, he thought, closing his eyes. The blow never came. Opening his eyes just a bit, he saw Ankin's body crumple to the ground, a silver blade protruding from the younger man's chest.

    Then he was thrown back as the Dark Side energy within Ankin exploding, flowing out across the plain on a hurricane-force gale. It was only then that he saw the wielder of the weapon. Dressed in flowing scarlet robes and armor, it was something Kyp thought had vanished from the galaxy years ago. A royal Guardsman, still holding the bloody Force pike. And his other hand was extended to Kyp. The Jedi Master took it, and rose.

    The fight seemed to be over. Ben stood before Lara, he lightsaber now in his hand. The woman was on her knees, another Guard standing behind her, ready to strike. Then the weapon was pulled from the Guard's hands, and sent spinning into the tower, where the blade shattered.

    "While I'm grateful for your assistance, Jedi protect their own."

    "Her training is the product of one corrupted by the Emperor's death," the Guard said, and Kyp realized the voice was feminine. "She must die."

    "Not today," Ben said. "She will be taken back to Chandrila, where she will be tried by her fellow Jedi. This world has seen enough death for one day."

    "There's no use arguing with a Jedi, Gavriella," the other Guard said. "As far as I'm concerned, we might as well consider our father's mission complete."

    He turned, but Kyp put a h
  19. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    Lara had a good point about the Hutts, someone with the abilities of a Sith could have terrorised the Hutts into not keeping slaves. Unfortunately Ankin had already shown a willingness to murder and corrupt to extend his political power so they had already gone beyond that.

    Good timing for Tav and Gavriella to arrive, any sooner and Ankin and Lara/Midia might have sensed them and any later and Kyp and Ben would have been dead (and again Ankin and Lara/Midia might have sensed them) but coming along towards the end of the fight while the Sith were still distracted worked.

    Nice way for Ben to say thank you to Gavriella by sending her Force Pike ?spinning into the tower, where the blade shattered?...and Jedi wonder why people don?t like them. :p

    Glad that the Guard can finally rest.
  20. Yodaminch Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2002
    star 6
    Something tells me if kyp had died he wouldn't be a ghost. Glad to see Eclepsa's hold is broken. That was a pretty quick fight. :p
  21. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    _JM_: The timing indeed couldn't have been much better. With the attentions of the Sith on the fight, they wouldn't have expected the "Guard" to arrive. And yes, Lara's thoughts have indeed been twisted severely.

    yoda: Yeah, I know the fight was quick. But working it out, it seemed quick was the way to go. But what would make you think Kyp couldn't come back as a ghost?


    And here's the next part a bit early!


    "We may have been slaves, Senator, but that doesn't mean we can't fend for ourselves. In fact, the ability to survive is probably the only thing that's allowing us to stand before you," Niklys said. "Just because we haven't been raised on a civilized world doesn't mean that we shouldn't be given the same rights."

    "That isn't what I said at all," Platya said. "I merely question how long you'll be able to survive before you turn on yourselves."

    "What gives you the impression that it would happen?"

    "You've lived as slaves your entire lives. You had to learn to prove to your masters that you were indeed valuable. That meant competition with other slaves. If this is the life you know, doesn't it follow that you would return to that sort of behavior when the situation becomes difficult?"

    "Senator, wouldn't you say that the competition between individuals occurs on all worlds?" A new voice, that of the senator from Bespin, entered the discussion.

    "The situation is totally different. On other world, the millennia of civilized government keep such competition from becoming ruinous. There is no such history among these people."

    "At least give us a chance to try," Niklys said.

    "Use this opportunity," Katrina said, adding her voice once more. "Use it to show that you are indeed a different Senate than that which has come before you. Give us this chance."

    "You would join them?" Mari Kalldom asked, a little surprised. "Lady Katrina, your parents..."
    "My parents may not understand my choice," she said. "I don't expect that many of you here will either. But give them this chance, and I promise that you will be surprised by what you see sprout from the seed."

    When no more debate came forth, the Chancellor once more took control of the session. "Is there a motion to support the request of the former slaves?"

    "I move that we support them. While it will take some time to find a world for them, I believe that they need the opportunity to rebuild their lives." Katrina was a little surprised. It was Kalldom, her own world's senator, that had made the motion.

    "I second the motion," the senator from Hapes said. "Many of our own worlds were colonized by those who felt chafed under the rules of their own worlds. Can we deny these people the same right to leave their worlds behind in favor of a new one?"

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


    Next part should be up on Wednesday.


    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  22. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    I can see what Senator Platya is thinking but I think the Senator is not allowing for just how incompetent the Republic has been.

    Had the slaves been being bred and kept secret for many years then a subculture could possibly emerge with the problems stated. However thanks to the Republics failure to prevent the slave trade there were regular infusions of new slaves from civilised worlds who would be bringing the values of those worlds to the slave community which would at least moderate the society the Hutts were creating.

    Or I could be talking out of my arse.
  23. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    _JM_: You're not talking out of your arse, and I think that the subculture you refer to is exactly what the Senator feared. Such a thing could have ultimately led to revolt, however, so the Hutts probably would have stamped it out.


    And now, a bit more Jaden, plus the Council decides Lara's fate.


    "She's been resting comfortably for hours," Tekli said, stepping back and turning to look at the other occupant of the room. "Do you have any idea how this happened?"

    "None," Jaden replied. "Though I could hazard a guess. The Hutts probably found out who she was, and decided that this would be the only way to truly break her."

    "The only question now," Tekli said, "is what we do about it."

    "That's not our decision to make. Perhaps it isn't even hers. We must wait, and allow her to make her own determination."

    "I want to go through with it," Alema said, her eyes only half open. "If I choose not to, I still show that the Hutts have an influence on my decisions. This child will be a Jedi, and will know the freedom that so many have been denied."

    "Are you sure?" Jaden asked.

    "Yes. It's the only way. Perhaps one day, my daughter might even be able to find out who her father was."

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

    "This isn't a small matter, Ben," Anakana said, as the Council met for the first time since Ben had returned to the Complex. "She not only turned against us, but was involved in an attempt to bring down the Republic."

    "I refuse to allow her to summarily executed," Ben said. "Not then, on Brentaal, and certainly not here. I would have thought us above such barbarism?"

    "And what would you suggest?" Valin asked. "We can't continue to allow her to wander about free. She isn't Lara anymore, Ben. I've talked with her. She's changed. It's as if Lara died, and something else has taken her form."

    "I agree with Master Horn," Ghonka Dx'ana said. "The Lara that trained here no longer exists. She is lost in the night of the Dark Side."


    [This isn't your grandfather, Ben,] Lowbacca roared. [No Jedi has been able to find a trace of Lara within the Dark Lady.]

    "You think I don't know that? But I simply refuse to believe that killing her is the only way we can ensure she doesn't cause more trouble in the future."

    "There is one other alternative, Masters," Tahiri said. She'd been asked to look into the Archives and discover how past generations had handled such situations. "She could be stripped of her connection to the Force. Not made like the Yuuzhan Vong, but made so that while the Force might still touch her, she would be unable to touch it."

    "Like Ulic Qel-Droma," Anakana said, recalling the story of the fallen Jedi Knight. "You're suggesting that we do it?"

    "I'm not suggesting anything," Tahiri said. "But Master Skywalker clearly feels that something needs to be done, but does not want to put one of our own to death."

    "Does anybody know of the technique Nomi Sunrider used against Qel-Droma?"

    "I believe only one student actually has looked into it," Tahiri replied. "My daughter, Sora. She is not a Master, but believes that she can do it, if the Council wishes."

    "Bring her before us," Ben said. "We will inform Lara, and then Sora can make the attempt."

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


    That's all for now. I'll see if I can get the next segment up tomorrow.

    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
  24. _JM_ Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 26, 2001
    star 4
    Good, a baby. Wasn?t her fault how she was conceived so she didn?t deserve to die for it (horrible touchy subject).

    At least Lara is being treated fairer than Ulic Qel-Droma as the punishment is being debated rather than just summarily imposed. This might not actually work as completely or permanently on Lara as it did on Ulic when Nomi Sunrider attacked him on Ossus so the Jedi could be storing trouble up for themselves.
  25. Tych_sel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2001
    star 4
    _JM_: I wasn't sure if I was actually going to post the Tekli/Jaden section, just because of how touchy a subject it was. Also part of why it's so short.

    As for Lara, well, you'll see just what happens when they try it within the next couple of days...

    And now, back to the issue of the former slaves.


    "The Hutts will be allowed to keep Nal Hutta," The Minister of State told Katrina and the other former slaves as they sat in a suite in one of Coruscant's poshest hotels.

    "How can they do that?" Phajest all but screamed. "They're turning a blind eye to our suffering! Suffering that could have been ended far earlier if they hadn't been so blind!" He then turned on his companions, but fixed Katrina with a glare. "I told you this was a waste of our time."

    "You didn't let me finish," Ailbè Iselis said to him, her voice calm in spite of the Bothan's outburst. "While the Senate is not turning Nal Hutta over to the former slaves, they have decided that the Hutts need to pay for the lives they've stolen from you, and that they need to provide you with a world in which to make a new life."

    "So what are they giving us?" Phajest asked, as if he expected to hear something contrary to common logic.

    "The Senate has decided to turn Nar Hekka over to you. Since it is at the edge of Hutt Space, it's the world that's been least occupied by the Hutts."

    "And thus, the one best suited to give us a clean start," Katrina replied thoughtfully. "I think that should work out rather well."

    "That's not all," Ailbè said. "In addition to forfeiting one of their worlds, the Hutts will be subjected to a tax by the Republic, the bulk of which is going to be passed on to those whose lives they've stolen over the past ten years."

    "The Hutts are going to be paying us?" Niklys asked, the very idea just a bit of a shock to him.


    "Not directly. But there are those in the Senate who feel that simply losing a world isn't enough of a loss to keep the Hutts from trying this sort of thing again."

    "By taxing them, it will be easier for the Republic to keep them honest."

    "Not Sithin' likely," Phajest muttered.

    "The Senate will be sending aid to those on Nar Hekka, and will also be sending in officials to check on your progress."

    "You don't think we're capable of taking care of ourselves?"

    Ailbè turned, spitting the Bothan with her gaze. "These officials will ensure that the Senate is kept aware of your progress, nothing more. One day, we hope that Nar Hekka will send a senator of its own to join us. You'll be able to develop your own culture, Phajest. We just don't want to see you turn to barbarism."

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


    That's all for now. My old roomie's wedding is Saturday, so this will be my last post until after that. But look for something late Sunday, before we wrap this thing up early next week.


    Force be with you,

    Tych_sel
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