Beyond Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Invincible: Special Edition

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Sinrebirth, Sep 4, 2012.

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  1. SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2012
    star 3
    Chapter 14.5: I have to disagree with the premise that Jacen fell at the end of TUF. I don't believe that he came back from his sojourn already determined to be Sith. Allana's birth caused him to believe that he needed to stop future wars, maybe if Tenel Ka would not have been to afraid of taking on the Hapan nobility, she would ALREADY be Leia's daughter-in-law and this would be academic. Her unwillingness to take on tradition cost the galaxy.
  2. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Tahiri's deduction doesn't have to be correct though. Jacen's encouraging her to believe it- but that may be for his purposes.

    I recall in FoTJ (Outcast?) it emphasised that, during his sojourn, he was still very much "light" even if the signs of his increasingly dubious mindset were already there.
  3. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Chapter 20.5


    “Move, move, move!” General Heol Girdun barked commands at the squad of four Galactic Alliance Guardsmen, as they rushed through the underworld of Coruscant. Barely a dozen levels below the threshold where sunlight could reach you, Girdun was leading this squad and directing five others in the pursuit of the sole survivor of the short lived military coup; General Carlist Rieekan.

    It had been almost two days since the coup, and Rieekan had deftly avoided being captured and placed in carbonite with the dozens of others who had supported the coup in the military, Senate and government at large. It had also been more than a day since he had last spoken to Darth Caedus, and since he had spoken with Supreme Commander Bwua’tu who, hours before his discussion with the Dark Lord of the Sith, had updated him as to the escape of Wedge Antilles and his merry band of terrorists.

    Since that time, Rieekan had successfully evaded larger and more organised ambushes, to the point that Girdun had considered, in his role as Director of Galactic Alliance Intelligence, recalling Wraith Squadron from Kothlis and setting them lose on the problem. He was even tempted to outsource the role to Admiral Davip and allow him to simply incinerate the area from his position aboard the Guardian, to the Force with the levels in-between, in his angrier moments.

    Moments such as this.

    Having successfully weeded out the Ferals and other scum of society from his search cordon, he had narrowed down Rieekan’s location to one muck-covered building which, as was the case with all buildings this far down, was incorporated into one of the support towers which held up the plate above. The plate itself was but one of several such plates of buildings that existed as a stratification of population. Standing in the courtyard to the block, two of his five squads had just combed every portion of the building on this level, while one blocked access to an upper level, and another to the level below. Girdun was marking the two exits on this level, dividing his squad in two and taking command of the front segment.

    At this particular point in time, however, th three of them were pursuing a lone figure who had escaped the building while using an EMP grenade, which had completely fried the helmets that the Guard had been relying upon. The subsequent smoke grenade had then been sufficient for Girdun. Activating the contact lens in his right eye with a blink – which was actually a small and simply computer, incorporated into the thin material over his pupil – he had been able to follow what was undoubtedly Rieekan by tracking his infra red signature. So while he was pleased he had sufficient presence of mind to have left such a lens off – and as such avoid the first grenade – Girdun was furious that Rieekan was escaping yet another cordon.

    The two other Guardsman – a Rodian and Quarren – followed him, barely able to see through their helmets and their eyes red from the after-effects of their HUDs scrambling, but nonetheless managing to somehow keep up. Girdun approved, and remembered to find out their names – rather than service numbers – so he could place a note in their files.

    Mentally recalling the streetmap to this area, Girdun waiting until the nimble white cloaked figure reached an intersection and commenced firing to Rieekan’s right, forcing him down an alleyway to the left – which Girdun knew was a dead end. Curling his lips into a grin, they turned the corner, and the GAG commander was already opening his mouth to offer Rieekan one final chance to surrender, when it became apparent that, somehow, the aged General was gone.

    Cursing, Girdun switched to the command channel, and it quickly became apparent that the other squads – those that he could reach, as the strata here interfered with comlinks – had lost Rieekan. While his two colleagues searched the dead-end for a sewer or concealed ladder, Girdun tapped his ear-comlink and verbally patched himself into the military channels to seek out Admiral Davip, waiting for a connection to be made through the maze of communication hubs he could commandeer.

    “Admiral Davip here!”

    Girdun noted the tension in his voice, and felt a chill drop down his spine. “General Girdun here, report, Admiral.”

    “Girdun! I’ve been trying to raise you for more than an hour!”

    “Well,” the officer cracked sarcastically, “tell me what it is, and don’t waste anymore time.” The military officers that supported Darth Caedus had all been required to accept Girdun’s position as the Chief of States intercessor when neither he nor Lady Veila were nearby. And while Girdun himself had not understood the relationship between Veila and Lord Caedus at first, he had been able to draw parallels from the men and women who had attempted to come between Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader, and died. As such, he was happy to be the third most powerful person in the galaxy. Within that context, Davip, although he was cleared stressed, responded swiftly.

    “It’s been all over the newsgrid, and military channels – Darth Caedus is dead. Admiral Poinard, commanding from the Megador, and Lady Veila, leading the ground assault on Shedu Maad, are deep in battle with the Hapans, and we have not been able to obtain any further report. Ephin Sarretti, as the temporary Head of State of Bastion, has also been unable to raise the Moffs, aboard the Anakin Solo.”

    The latter half of the update had been lost on Girdun, who was in a state of shock about the death of Darth Caedus. Without Caedus, would Veila be able to take command? Would the government fracture yet again? His jaw snapped shut, and his mind leapt to the future. “How is this leaking? Why haven’t the Guard put a stop on the story? We have agents in all of the major news stations, and no communications can even enter the military hub without being scrutinised.”

    “We can’t – the datastream is external, and some kind of program entitled ‘Castin Donn’ has been forcing it through most of the firewalls we have in place.” Davip’s voice dipped, clearly unable to explain.

    The name Castin Donn rang a bell in Girdun’s mind, but he did not have time to remember what it was. He was already making his way to the main turbolift, leaving the search of Rieekan to his underlings, jogging so as not to interfere with the channel in the way a full pelt sprint would. “We need to get this situation under control. Order the Marines onto the streets, until I can get topside and take command.”

    “And why are you in command, General Girdun?”

    Girdun clenched his teeth. “I can decide I’m called Grand General Girdun, for all you care, Davip. I lead the Guard and Galactic Alliance Intelligence. We either come together, under me, or we lose everything.”

    Davip was hardly the kind of man, even in all the years since his command of the Lusankya, to fight unnecessarily, and the Admiral would know he was right. One of them would need to back-down, or there would be more civil war. And unless Davip wanted a third military coup to his name – and the complete and utter collapse of any moral authority the military could claim to have – he would back down. Girdun decided to risk the static and broke into a run, as Davip simply muttered. “So what next?”

    Tactics, Admiral – we have to assume that the Moffs have been compromised. Which means that they are a potential threat. We have most of the Third and Ninth Fleets here, which means we can start deploying vessels to Roche, Mandalore and to the next flashpoint – because there will be another one – and I need you to tell me what it will be, as the strategist.”

    Davip’s voice stuttered, for a moment, as he seemed to have an epiphany. “Borleias.”

    Borleias. Bequeathed to the Empire along with Bilbringi in exchange for their assistance at the Battle of Fondor, the world was situated upon a nexus of hyperspace routes in the Colonies, and had been used as a traditional point from which to attack Coruscant. The Confederacy had tried it; and the Rebellion, Empire and Yuuzhan Vong had all launched successful assaults on the capital via that world. Although it was far from Imperial Space, it was a potential rallying point for what was left of the Imperial Navy.

    Girdun nodded to himself. “Exactly. Although Lord Caedus has – had - ensured that much of the Imperial fleet has been sacrificed to defeat the resistance, it remains a potential threat. Take the Guardian and a handpicked task force led by you, Godt, Yeel and the others. You’ll need your most loyal officers. Jaxton, Parova, Bwua’tu and Thaal will follow whatever government follows.”

    A fair assessment, in all ways. The Remnant had taken the brunt of the casualties at the Battle of Fondor and subsequent Battle of Roche, if only because Caedus sought to marginalise the Remnant in his new regime. The Alliance actually had the larger military available, even though the Harbinger had been retired to the shipyards of Dac following its brusing by the Confederation. Unfortunately while much of it was loyal to the Galactic Alliance, not all of it was loyal to Caedus personally.

    “I will take a task force there immediately. I leave Coruscant in your capable hands, Grand General.” With that Davip signed off. Girdun smirked at the conversations closure, at how he had taken command of the situation.

    He slowed to a dignified stride as he turned the last corner, and nodded to the two Guards defending the turbolift entrance, slapping the interface. A moment later the grime-covered doors slid open with a squeal, and he gestured for the two Guardsmen to follow him. Girdun tapped his comlink again, and sought to reach the Marines, to issue the necessary orders. Even before the attempted coup he had embedded members of the Guard in the Marines, especially in the Katarn Commandos, and so he had no doubts that they would give him the ability to secure Coruscant. A wave of static, however, answered him.

    “This is Grand General Girdun. Please, come in.”

    The Guard to his left snickered, and Girdun looked to him. “Something funny, Guard?”

    “You should have picked a better title. All that alliteration is going to go to your head.”

    Girdun smirked back at the man. “So you say. Meanwhile, I say that your tongue has just cost you your life.” Girdun pointed, expecting the second Guardsman to interpret his motion accurately, but instead his back was consumed in pain, and he was down. Crying out despite himself, Girdun attempted to roll onto his side and draw his blaster, using his feet to push himself towards the doors of the turbolift so when they opened he could roll out.

    A booted foot kicked his blaster free, and an open palm clapped the side of his ear, breaking the comlink nestled within and bursting his eardrum. Wincing, Girdun looked up as the woman drew off her helmet. “That was a poor, poor, choice of words, Heol. I didn’t want to have to do that.”

    It was Iella Antilles, and Girdun gasped. “The Venture didn’t just turn about and head back to the Roche system. It let you go.”

    “Me and others,” said Iella, before looking to her colleague, Carlist Rieekan. “Do you think we have enough in place, General?”

    “Between the Marines, Caedus’ loyalists rushing to Borleias and enough confusion between here and Hapes to pull apart even an Imperial command structure?” The aged man looked down upon Girdun, and smiled, a kindly expression that belonged to an older gentlemen, one who pitied the youngster before him for being so wrong. “I had less resources at Hoth to defend against the Empire’s finest.”

    Girdun allowed darkness to take him and decided that him dying here was going to be much better than surviving into the aftermath.

    ---

    The Bloodfin’s turbolaser batteries spat fire, blowing apart an Alliance Star Destroyer considerably larger than it. Admiral Daala leaned forward, and watched as a frigate rolled up from its death duel with the Ralroost and fired a barrage into the vessels hangar bay, through the weakened shields and destroying the deck and all the fighters she’d managed to gather there. Daala had been on the back foot for the past few days, and she’d never fought a defensive battle in history. She’d always been the one who swooped in with reinforcements or overwhelming firepower, leaving destruction in her wake.

    Micromanaging the Corellians, Bothans, GA-in-exile and Hapan fleets was beyond her, but somehow she’d managed to form a defensive core which the GA had been thus far been unable to pierce. Every attempt to escape had been foiled by Bwua’tu’s incredibly precise mind, and again she was drawn to her comments about comparing herself and Thrawn to Pellaeon decades ago – in that, she was not comparable.

    There had to be a way to stop the Alliance. As her forces were fribbled away by the Alliance Fourth fleet she checked her comm. channels one more time. The holograms of Phennir, Kre’frey, Delpin, Antilles, Farlander and Astarta all responded, appearing. Daala looked down at the minute forms, folding her arms. “It’s the end of the line for us, my friends. The fleet has emptied its last torpedo, expended its last starfighter. These hulls of ours are to be our tombs.”

    Admiral Kre’frey, back in command of the Ralroost, shrugged. “You’ve done far better than any of us could have, Admiral. Bwua’tu has showed to me, again, why I’m glad that Thrawn is long gone.”

    Daala nodded, grasping at her last hope. “Any news on the diplomatic front, Delpin?”

    Teppler joined her in the hologram, “None whatsoever, Admiral. The battle in the Transistory Mists continues, and we haven’t had anything else confirmed apart from the apparent demise of the Hapan Royal Family.”

    “Which did wonders for our efforts to keep the Hapan’s as a worthwhile force,” muttered Phennir, glancing at Astarta. “Sorry, Lady Astarta, but the internal strife from that nearly cost us everything.”

    Astarta didn’t comment, looking to Teppler. “What about the Chiss, or the Corporate Sector?”

    “Nothing. The Chiss aren’t willing to intervene to help the Hapans, nor the Jedi. The Corporate Sector is just selling what it can to everyone. Not that it’s shipping into war zones anymore – that much we have been able to gather from the snippets we have obtained through this blasted jamming.” The Corellian co-Chief of State was of course making reference how Bwua’tu, with his steadily increasing numerical advantage, had been able to successfully jam much of their out-system communications, and, with the reactivation of the Carbos Thirteen gravity well generator – which had seemingly had its destruction faked – Bwua’tu effectively had them all trapped, and thus, slowly dying.

    “So we’re finished,” said Daala, herself somewhat irritated that the Jedi kept coming up as consequential – when clearly they weren’t any longer.

    Phennir sighed. “So, it’s time to launch the final suicidal charge, then. Caedus hasn’t helpfully removed his fleet from the action like at Kuat.”

    Daala didn’t comment. Her vessel had lost its shields, and the hangar bay was a gaping hole in her defences. For all the weapons she could throw forward, there was no way some opportunistic Captain wasn’t going to take her out. The Ralroost was in no better shape, and she actually represented the most powerful ship in the combined navies since the Bounty, Ocean and Chimaera were knocked out of commission; Delpin had withdrew to a Proficient-class light cruiser, the Soothfast, and Phennir’s Master Stroke was looking not much better than Antilles’ Errant Venture... the Song of War and Mon Adapyne were equally chewed up, a handful of capital ships that were, fundamentally, beaten, bereft of support craft, starfighters, torpedoes, and on the verge of emptying the last blaster gas canister and using the last litre of fuel.

    “Well then, ladies and gentleman, let us attack. I’m designating Bwua’tu’s flagship, the Trucemaker, as our primary target. Maybe if we give him personally too much to think about he’ll make a mistake.”

    Antilles commented smoothly, whatever personal issues he had with her clearly diminished after more than a day at her side. “You know he’s not going to fall for the same trick twice, Admiral.”

    Daala was robbed of her opportunity to reply when Captain Vitor Reige – who reminded her so much of Pellaeon – looked up from sensors. “We have incoming!”

    The five commanders started barking commands to their ships as Daala stepped back to the display, her eyes wide. “They’re back.”

    As she watched, a somewhat reduced Remnant fleet emerged from hyperspace behind the Trucemaker, surging into the Roche system to form up behind Bwua’tu. The Megador joined them, the monolith showing signs of battle damage, but clearly capable of engaging the enemy, the Anakin Solo – absent much of its command tower and pockmarked with damage – decanting from hyperspace to hover near the bridge of the Super Star Destroyer.

    “More contacts emerging behind us, Admiral!” Daala glanced to the other side of the screen, blinking in growing dread. Caedus had won. The Sith had actually succeeded in defeating the Jedi and conquering the galaxy. But when the second fleet suddenly resolved into Battle Dragons, Astarta exclaimed with surprise. “The Hapan Home Fleet!”

    “Message coming across all channels, Admiral, patching it through now.”

    Daala watched as the holograms of her Admiral’s vanished from the board and were replaced by one of Luke Skywalker, surrounded by a considerably reduced Moff Council and standing beside Jagged Fel, who was in an Imperial Grand Admiral’s uniform. Reige twitched at that, Daala saw, but she stayed focused upon the transmission.

    “Forces of the Confederation, Galactic Alliance, Galactic Alliance-in-exile, and the Maw Irregular Fleet, this is Grandmaster Luke Skywalker, aboard the Megador. Jacen Solo, Darth Caedus, is dead.”

    “The war, as of right now, is over. Surrender to the Hapan and Remnant fleet, or we shall be forced to engage.” Daala flicked her eyes to the displays, saw the Hapan vessels in her flotilla shifting to open firing lanes on nearby vessels, and the two outer fleets encircle the Fourth Fleet. Daala and Bwua’tu had been outflanked by the Jedi Coalition, and been driven together as one... but they were both outgunned and outnumbered. She looked back at the holoprojector, at the face of a man she still loathed standing beside the beings who she had sworn the deaths of.

    Surrendering felt like betraying Liegeus. But fighting on, that would destroy the fragile peace that his and Pellaeon’s death had forced her to push towards. She was the commander of a multi-faction fleet. She had responsibilities now – Liegeus would want her to do this. She could hand the peace to the Jedi, and vanish, like before, to deal with Veila and the Moffs later.

    Daala returned to herself, and found Luke staring straight at her, impossibly, but his words resonated with her, somewhere in the dusky place she had called a heart, which she had thought lost half a decade ago.

    “It’s time for a new Galactic Alliance.”

    ---

    When the Guardian followed a collection of support vessels to the Pyria system, Admiral Eldo Davip had not expected to find a system webbed in fire and debris. In the interests of time, Davip had ordered the smaller and thus faster vessels he had available – the ancient Starsider from the Ninth Fleet commanded by Godt, the Elegos A’Kla by Yeel and the Obi-Wan by Rabb, both from the Third Fleet – to sidle up to the Remnant task force in system so they could betray it as one.

    Instead he was faced with the Obi-Wan having vented half its contents already, and the handful of red-hulled Victory-class Star Destroyers that was the Remnant force had drawn close and was pounding the Starsider. The hardy Dreadnaught, with the majority of its firepower pointed forward, was pouring streams of fire at the three Imperial vessels, while the Elegos A’Kla was nimbused with fighters and turning to face the source of those fighters.

    It was this that was more surprising to Eldo Davip, who grimaced. A Star Defender bearing the pennant code Viscount, it was being supported the Home One and another Mediator-class Star battlecruiser that looked as if it had already been a few rounds with a rancor, to the point that it was unidentifiable. On closer analysis, the Admiral could see that the fighters harassing the A’Kla included Blade fighters, space-capable Cloud Cars, A-9 Vigilances, Owool advanced fighters and the dark flecks that could only be StealthXs.

    It was as if every faction in the war up to this point had put aside their differences to destroy the Galactic Alliance. Even with a cursory glance at the battlefield, and the wave of ion fire already slamming into the bow of the Guardian, Davip was able to see that he had already lost this engagement.

    From behind one of Borleias’ moons came a steady stream of fighters of all shapes and sizes, and the battered Mediator-class battle cruiser lurched forward, the Home One pacing it and absorbing what damage the Guardian’s cannons desparately hurled its way. Davip had not issued any commands, but those pilots, soldiers and officers that had followed them to Borleias were all ones that had supported Darth Caedus – the best handpicked crew he could amass in a few hours. Anyone with a remotely suspect loyalty had been shipped off, and Guardsmen were rife aboard the fleet, which had been subsequently rendered undercrewed.

    All in the interests of time.

    But, Davip, reflected, that they really had no choice. He had gathered all the loyalists to Darth Caedus here, and they would be shown very little mercy. They were the one element of the Galactic Alliance that everyone could, without moral issues, fire upon.

    Davip resigned himself to spending a lot more time on Borleias.

    ---

    Aboard the Viscount, General Tycho Celchu watched as the Ocean advanced upon the Guardian, the Home One shrugging off a beating as it shielded the more modern but practically dilapidated vessel. The Guardian’s response was poor, and uncoordinated, and Celchu turned to face the trio of Alliance warships that the Viscount was focusing upon. The Obi-Wan had been subjected to a withering bombardment by the Imperials upon arrival, but since then the Viscount’s ion fire had been the damage that had been biting the most.

    In the day since escaping the Roche system, Iella Antilles and her daughter, Syal, along with Wes Janson, Lando Calrissian and others, had collected friends, cashed in debts, and coordinated a last ditch attempt to resist Darth Caedus and setup an invasion of Coruscant. Now, with Darth Caedus dead, they were instead putting an end to the remaining loyalists to the Dark Lord of the Sith, who had helpfully gathered themselves into one place in their own last ditch attempt to secure their regime. A series of minor engagements across Coruscant had brought an end to the remnants of the Galactic Alliance Guard, with the Void Jumpers, Katarn Commandos and other units making quick work of removing those loyalists from power.

    The plan for the defense of Borleias, however, had been masterminded by one military mind, and Celchu, turned to face her; Admiral Cha Niathal. Despite this, she had refused to leave her cell aboard the Viscount, and even now silently watched the screen that Celchu had set up in her room. As the Ocean slided towards the Guardian, the Home One held its fire and as such redirecting its energy to generating shields. Celchu commented neutrally of the scene, trying to lead Niathal to speak. “As ever, it is simple to replace shield screens aboard the Mediator-class vessels. Ocean has enough shielding to complete its task.”

    Niathal didn’t comment, fluttering her hand when the Ocean reached the point of no return. On portions of the ship that did not require shielding, escape pods were launching from the Guardian towards the Borleias, not a moment before Nevil pulled up the nose of the Ocean and its shield’s – refocused to the nose and underside of the battlecruiser, interacted with those of the Guardian, the mass of the Ocean allowing it to tax and then plow through the shields of the Super Star Destroyer, crease the top hull of the massive warship and bounce off, narrowing missing the bridge tower. Suddenly the Home One opened fire, a point blank and intense barrage of ion fire, all but crippling the massive vessel, which continued to bleed escape pods.

    Nodding to herself, Niathal waved the screen off. “We’ve won.”

    “The battle is likely to continue for a few more hours yet,” said Celchu, worry in his voice.

    “But with minimal casualties on both sides,” said Niathal, and looked down at the floor to her cell, eyes crestfallen. “I’ve done my bit.”

    “You have redeemed yourself, Admiral,” said the General, pushing for Niathal to leave her depressive state and cajole her forward. Tycho smiled, softly. “Will you forgive yourself?”

    Niathal looked back at him. “Why should I? Can someone tell me what I have done wrong?” She snorted. “And even then, you ask me to leave my cell, but I know that it was not my name that brought my people to the front. You used Gron Marrab’s name, not mine, even though I am here and he has disappeared. Daala be damned, we’re just as undercrewed as Davip.” Niathal stood, taking not only a dismissive tone but a dismissive expression, and gestured to her door. “I would like to be alone now.”

    Tycho Celchu nodded, glumly. “As you wish, Admiral.” He sealed the room behind him, and sighed. Taking steps toward the turbolifts, Celchu reflected that it was not a given at this stage. Peace may have been enforced, temporarily, but it was by no means guaranteed.

    With a nod, General Tycho Celchu turned his mind back to the battle and made his way to the bridge. The battle was over, and the war would, hopefully, join it.

    After all, he had one final rendezvous to keep.

    ---

    Over ten years ago Kyp Durron had sat in on the negotiations which ended the Yuuzhan Vong War. Now here he was again, but this time the conference room belonged to the Megador, rather than the Ralroost, and there were no extra-galactic aliens to negotiate with. It was just a room full of people who all knew each other, and the anger at each was palpable. The chairs surrounding the platform in the centre rose the further back they went, curving around to enclose the area for speakers on three walls from the entrance.

    Kyp sat at the back wall of the expansive captain’s room with the members of the Jedi Coalition, Queen Mother Tenel Ka and Grandmaster Luke Skywalker being the most prominent members. The Moff Council sat around Jag Fel, while the Jedi Council sat with the Wookie delegation, Wedge Antilles and Captain Mirax Terrik of the Errant Venture holding close to the Jedi, Mirax sitting with her hand in Corran Horn’s. Leia and Han sat with them, Ben Skywalker given a seat in-front of them for his role in the war, as the youngest person in the room.

    The officers of the Galactic Alliance, led by Admiral Bwua’tu, had taken the left hand side of the room. Admiral Gavin Darklighter sat beside him, his arms folded while Senator G’Sil, just arrived from Coruscant, sat to the other side of the Bothan as the highest ranking political official still within the Alliance – and tarred with having given support to Niathal and Caedus’ coup. Jae Juun and Tarfang were either side of G’Sil, the little Ewok fixing his partner with periodic glares. They shared their side of room with Syal Antlles, Tycho and Winter Celchu, the seeming only military officers present at the conference of Admiral Niathal’s GA-in-exile, President Vadde leading them in taking seats closest to the Jedi Coalition.

    To the right sat the politicians and officers of the Confederation, led by Supreme Commander Turr Phennir. Near to him was Denjax Teppler, but otherwise the rest of the dignitaries were grouped by nation, with Kre’frey leading the Bothans. Admiral Daala sat off from all three major groupings between the Confederation and Jedi Coalition, surrounded by empty seats, Speaker Sass Sikili sitting closer to the centre of the room than her, Daala positioning herself to have a view over everyone at the conference and sitting as far back as she could in the corner.

    The room was full of shuffling and muttering until Grandmaster Skywalker stood, holding out his hand for silence. The dignitaries and officers obeyed, eventually, and Luke spoke, repeating the words which had, fundamentally, brought them all together today. “Darth Caedus is dead. The primary reason that this war escalated into the bloodbath which we all took part in for whatever reasons, was him, and Lumiya and Alema Rar, both of whom are also dead. Now we must discuss what to do.”

    “Is that all we’re going to say about the war, then, we’re just going to ignore what’s happened to Commenor?” shouted out a Commenori officer, quickly, and Kyp could see this was not going to be as easy to end as the Yuuzhan Vong War. Instantly he wondered when genocidal aliens became easier to deal with than people he’d known for years. It was the ‘us’ and the ‘them’ argument, he supposed. There was no ‘them’ in this war, only ‘us’.

    Luke looked straight at the individual officer, the members of the Jedi Coalition having been instructed pointedly to let Luke to the negotiating unless called upon, and even the Moffs had agreed to that by the time the others had joined them on the Megador. “Each side has its grievances. The Confederation intended to use Centerpoint, and sponsored an uprising against the Queen Mother of Hapes, condoning the creation of a secret assault fleet by Sal-Solo and unleashed the affliceria virus on Coruscant.” Luke looked from the Confederation side to the seats of the Galactic Alliance, looking straight at Nek Bwua’tu.

    “The Galactic Alliance devastated Kashyyyk, Commenor and Fondor, as well as used the GAG to murder thousands of innocent Corellians and Bothans.” Luke’s eyes darted to Tycho, who at very least supported some of those actions, and then he looked at the Speaker Sass Sikili. “Additionally, the Verpine took advantage of the war to profit from it, rather than taking responsibility for their actions and trying to end it.”

    Each side remained silent. At very least, everyone knew that if they launched into a rant the war would never end, and it was fairly clear who had lost and would lose out if they continued. However, that didn’t mean they wouldn’t get their shots in before it was over.

    “The Confederation would never have resorted to these methods if the Galactic Alliance hadn’t used the GAG against us,” said Kre’frey.

    “And the Alliance would never have had to do so if you hadn’t bombed Coruscant,” replied G’Sil evenly. “Or rearmed Centerpoint!”

    “We didn’t bomb Coruscant,” said Delpin, snapping before Teppler could place a hand on her shoulder to stop her doing so. “We would never do that.”

    “Sure you wouldn’t,” said Admiral Darklighter, coldly. “But can you guarantee Sal-Solo and Gejjen wouldn’t have? Because they had no qualms about deposing the Queen Mother or making a secret assault fleet, did they?”

    “And you had no qualms using Sith against us and a nano-virus to kill children!”

    Luke looked at Tenel Ka, who was suddenly boiling with rage. She spoke, sharply, the moment he looked at her, regardless of whether the look was giving her permission or not. “If you’re finished using my throne as reasons to bicker, I shall list my grievances against each side in due time.”

    “Look at the moral high ground taken by the Jedi!” snapped Fyor Rodan, seething. “Sitting in your group is the Imperial Remnant, who wiped out an entire caste of the Verpine!”

    Luke sat back down, and Kyp looked at him, trying to gauge what he would do next. Ben was scowling, like everyone apart from the Moffs within the Jedi Coalition, who appeared to be trying not to enjoy the farce. Han whispered something to Leia, and Kyp moved to see, looking around Kyle, reading his lips with the Force. How long is Luke going to let this carry on until he calls their bluff?

    It was several more minutes, when Kre’frey began snapping at Bwua’tu and deteriorating into personal jibes in Bothan, that Luke stood again, and waited for them to quiet down. The Wookies, who had just started exchanging roars with the Confederation, whom had demanded their support for helping Kashyyyk put out its fires, went silent immediately, and eventually both sides followed suit.

    Luke folded his arms. “If you’re done sniping, we can make a choice, or you can go back to our respective ships and we’ll start fighting again. But the Remnant and the Hapans outgun all your fleets in this system, and we all know it. Reinforcements will not be coming from Coruscant. We’re all here because the war has to end. In less than a year we have caused major damage to dozens of worlds and killed millions. Most of the worlds of the Confederation are crippled economically, and the Galactic Alliance has taken so many casualties here it can’t hold the galaxy properly.”

    Kyp saw Luke cast a glance at Leia, one barely noticeable to anyone else who didn’t know him well. “We don’t need to sort through everything today. We can’t – and we shouldn’t. It will take us time to sort through the debris, to grieve, to recover. In a year or two we can come back together and deal with the future. Jacen looked too far forward, as did we all, and it saw us condone a lot of actions which we wouldn’t have had we been focused on the here and now, and not the past.” Kyp felt that last comment was focused at him, for some reason. He wondered why for but a moment, as Luke continued almost immediately.

    “So all we have to do is decide who to appoint as the leader of the new Galactic Alliance, and we can put this behind us. I’m not, however, saying this will be easy, and the recovery from the Second Galactic Civil War will take time, let alone recovering from the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. We’ve put back the Reconstruction decades. I shall not see it become centuries.”

    At the end of the day, everyone in this room knew he was right. They could keep pointing their fingers at each other, but every single party had fought in this war only to end it. To keep it away from their homes, to give them time to recover. Most of the vengeance had been dulled by the long fight, by the losses and violence. There were always going to be some who wanted to continue the war, but they were in the minority – the willpower at the heart of both sides had been sapped by the death of Darth Caedus and the Battle of Roche.

    “We all know that there are still several missing Senators, officers and politicians from all sides, taken by Darth Caedus during his reign and concealed somewhere in the galaxy. We will find them eventually, but we are at the point where our choices are only of those in this room.” Luke took a breath. “With this in mind I nominate Admiral Bwua’tu as the Chief of State of the new Galactic Alliance, until the situation is stabilised enough to hold elections in no more than four years time – a full term in office.”

    Everyone in the room went silent, holding their collective breath, and Luke continued. “Bwua’tu is an Alliance loyalist, yes, but has treated his opponents with respect. His actions at Kuat and Roche were entirely honourable, and he has never mistreated any of us in the room, nor directly acted in the attacks on Commenor, Fondor or Kashyyyk.”

    Kyp mentally crossed his fingers, and resisted the temptation to use the Force on Bwua’tu. The Bothan stood and spoke, carefully, clearly not surprised by Luke’s choice. “I want everyone to remember how this crisis truly came about. When Cal Omas was arrested for planning the illegal removal of Niathal and Solo with Gejjen, after the Battle of Gillater – and it is exactly that situation that I would not want to be placed in – a position where making the right choice is the illegal one. I am not cunning enough for such a position, if we are honest – nor neutral enough to negotiate with my fellow Bothans.”

    The room’s silence deepened, and Kyp could sense half the politicians in the room calculating if they could take the title of the Chief of State – control of the galaxy. Teppler was one of the few who wasn’t doing this, but he’d made clear privately to Leia and Han that he would refuse any position in the Alliance government.

    Kyp found Jag looking at him, and the Jedi narrowed his eyes at the Corellian. Jag inclined his head slightly, and Kyp followed the cant, seeing Daala, sitting behind a neutral expression. Kyp darted back to look at him, eyes incredulous. You can’t be serious, Jag.

    Jag nodded, and then looked to Luke, on the other side of the Moffs, clearly telling Kyp what to do. Kyp sat back, for a moment, and considered this, realising why Luke had placed such an emphasis on the past, an emphasis that seemed to have been directed to him. Daala had done terrible things to the Jedi and New Republic during the Empire, and even attempted to destroy Coruscant in her grief over the death of her first love. But the theme of this conference was to sweep such things under the rug. The Confederation, Galactic Alliance and Remnant had committed numerous destructive acts during the war. Beyond that, she wasn’t from any of the sides, and had actually united everyone in the Roche system against the Galactic Alliance – something not even the Jedi had achieved.

    And so, Kyp, who had been captured by this woman in his youth, found himself agreeing with Jag. He instantly thought of Han, who had been tortured by her, but he knew that Han would accept this, eventually. She was the best choice in a galaxy gone insane. Trust her? Never. Accept her? Eventually.

    Kyp leaned forward, over Saba’s shoulder, and she bristled, but didn’t move. He tapped Luke’s shoulder, and he looked back at Kyp, his eyes still missing most of the light they naturally seemed to have when Mara was alive. Kyp leaned his head towards Daala, and Luke’s eyes followed him, resting on the Admiral, and then looked back at Kyp, a twinkle of hope in his eyes. Luke nodded, and turned to Bwua’tu, acting, for the benefit of the Moffs, no doubt, as if he hadn’t anticipated this outcome. Kyp sat back, saw Leia lean over to Han, who had caught the exchange and was wide-eyed.

    Everyone was still staring at Bwua’tu, so Luke could hardly do as Jag had done with Kyp and indicate with his head. Kyp felt the Force stir, and then Bwua’tu’s eyes shifted, but Kyp was too far away from Bwua’tu to see where they had looked. They moved again, and then he closed his eyes, his presence in the Force resonating understanding.

    “Instead I suggest the most cunning of us,” said Bwua’tu slowly, and the politicians minds stirred jointly. “There is one here who had little to do with the reasons for this war, and has done nothing but fought honourably against Darth Caedus nonetheless of that fact.” He raised his hand, the eyes of everyone in the room following it, Han clearly shuffling in his chair, Leia just as obviously resting a hand on his.

    And pointed.

    Half of the Moffs howled treachery, Jag looking back at them and narrowed his eyes. Moff Lecersen did the same, and those Moffs terrified of Admiral Natasi Daala quieted down. Kyp stifled a laugh, focusing on Daala to see what her reaction would be. He was just as intrigued and concerned as all the Jedi on the Masters Council who had fought her, but if the Jedi couldn’t let bygones be bygones, how could everyone else in the room?

    Daala, arms folded, sitting in her chair with one leg over the other, didn’t move, or shuffle. “Admiral Daala, will you take the position of Alliance Chief of State?” said Luke, for the entire gathering.

    “And what of the Moffs who killed Liegeus and Pellaeon?” she said, pointedly, “I’m not in this war to decide whether you get to build fleets in excess of your population, or your economic status, or to decide the law.”

    And that was when Han settled down. Leia did, too, and Luke seemed to smile. Kyp knew why. The words were different, and the sentiment slightly changed, but the message was the same as one Han had used to Princess Leia over four decades ago, and Talon Karrde three.

    Look, I ain't in this for your revolution, and I'm not in it for you, princess.

    Luke spoke evenly, returning to business, but keeping the warmth in his voice that the memory had invoked. “The Moffs directly responsible for Pellaeon’s murder died on the Bloodfin. For Liegeus…” he trailed away, and spoke not as Grandmaster of the Jedi Order and leader of the Coalition but as just Luke.

    “I know Mara wouldn’t have wanted me to ruin the galaxy for her. You loved Liegeus for longer than I was with Mara, but I can sympathise.” Luke’s voice weakened, and he stopped for a moment, preparing to continue – talking about Mara was going to hurt him for years. That was true, but he felt that by talking about her to someone outside the family he was growing stronger, as if taking it into his everyday life – the life he would soon be returning to – was making it more apart of him rather than some weight he had been forced to ignore with Caedus rampant. His voice returned, but someone else spoke for him, saving him from pain he had finally accepted in its entirety.

    “Liegeus wouldn’t have wanted you to start another war for him,” said Leia, though she couldn’t directly see Daala. “You’ve chased those responsible for years, Natasi.” Daala went to say something, probably scathing, decided Kyp, but Leia held up her hand, by rote. “Jaina didn’t tell us anything – but we, after a fashion, know you. You wouldn’t have chased your vengeance for any less. But Liegeus wouldn’t have wanted you to throw away peace for just him. He was an idealist, and he believed in the power of one person to change the galaxy – like he himself did during the Death Seed Crisis.”

    Daala, completely unfazed by her private life being put on display before the leaders of the galaxy, leaned forward, smiling carnivorously at Jag Fel. “I’ll give up my vengeance against the Moffs, and become Chief of State of the Galactic Alliance, and end this war, on one condition.”

    The Moff Council looked at Lecersen, but he was looking at the new leader of the Remnant, a veneer of calmness permeating him, as if he was judging Fel. Jag Fel just looked back at Daala, returning the smile with one just as sharp, but tinged with a mirth that every Jedi and seasoned politician in the room knew was real, because they, too, had an idea what Admiral Natasi Daala would demand from the Empire, and, particularly, from the Moffs.

    “Name it.”
  4. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Alright, as we can all see, the Missing Chapters take a step back to allow for the finale to come to fruition, and then returns to Coruscant and fills in the blanks during the casts day off-screen.

    We actually have one more chapter, set after the Epilogue, called the Outro. So, hopefully this chapter will get you all interested enough to attend the finale!

    @Vialco; @imiller; @Sable_Hart; @JackG; @spycoder9; @AzureAngel2; @SiouxFan; @Iron_Lord; @aalagartassle; @Rainbow Knight Star; @AdmiralNick22; @Bardan_Jusik
    Last edited by Sinrebirth, Nov 12, 2012
  5. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    Another strong addition.
    I deeply appreciate your best efforts to justify the terrible decision to elect Daala. You managed to take an absolutely inept decision and make it semi-plausible. And if that's not proof enough of your talents as a writer, I don't know what is. :p
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  6. SiouxFan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 6, 2012
    star 3
    I still think it a bit simplistic to blame the war on only a handful of people. I can't remember, what happened to Niathal? If she was co-chief-of-state, wouldn't she just assume control? Your explanation of how Daala came to power is nicely plausible, if only Denning would have been as thoughtful as you. We've had the EU around for 20-odd years now, and it is STILL up to us fans to figure out how the damn government works.

    As an aside, I always find it odd how Skywalker always claims to above to political fray, but he always seems to be king-(or queen) maker. (Omas comes to mind.)

    Nice update.
  7. imiller Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 26, 2004
    star 3
    Beatifully done, as usual. Fitting that one of the last things I'll probably do on these boards for a while is read something that makes one of the most painful moments in Star Wars EU lit significantly more bearable. :)
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  8. cthugha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2010
    star 3
    I only just found this... and love it. This is fan fiction at its best -- making canon make sense, broadening the scope of the existing novels, establishing links, continuing the stories of forgotten secondary and tertiary characters... a fanboy's dream. I was hooked from the first chapter on, but the moment you mentioned A'baht I was sold.

    Oooh now I wish for similar additions to, I don't know... basically any recent novel. Or any novel, period. Even the Thrawn Trilogy could benefit from some continuity-pushing fanfic treatment, if done well :p

    Looking forward to the Outro!
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  9. ShanOffirin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2006
    star 2
    I love this! When's the next chapter out?
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  10. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    The plot darkens and darkens each time, while the emotions get more intense. Well written, sinre!

    :D
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  11. Blackfish Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Ok, I've just stumbled onto this and spent a day reading it!! This is... OMG brilliant!!! No words for what you've done here! You've pretty much redeemed all of LoTF. Best of fanfic!
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  12. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Outro

    Natasi Daala, former Admiral and occasional Supreme Commander of the Empire, depending upon which faction she represented or led at that time, surveyed the landscape of Imperial Center – of Coruscant,she reminded herself, a forty-year old tendency resurfacing – and marvelled at the nature of the galaxy.

    Even as Coruscant was ravaged by the lingering remnants of the storms Caedus had inflicted upon it, Daala’s optimism could not deflated. She had just been appointed as ruler of the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances. A four year term, in which she had emergency powers to reassemble the economies and alliances that had fallen to the wayside during the brief Second Galactic Civil War. She could hardly believe her luck.

    Of course, Caedus had placed in carbonite the majority of the opposition – and Daala had every intention of keeping them in carbonite if she happened to locate them - and the rest of the Senators and officers had simply not been options for the leaders of the Confederation, Galactic Alliance and Imperial Remnant. Fyor Rodan was too angry; Teppler didn’t want the job; the Jedi didn’t want to rule; and the Moffs, well, they were Moffs. Daala, as an outsider with no support within their respective factions, was the perfect figurehead for them all.

    She snorted to herself, softly. The galaxy thought her a figurehead, with no support base – they thought of Natasi Daala as toothless. But she had the Maw Irregular Fleet, the Mandalorians, and other friends and allies across the galaxy. Niathal and Bwua’tu had provided her with the support of the military. Now all she need do is expunge the legacy of Darth Caedus – those officers such as Eldo Davip, Face Loran, Atoko and others who had either publicly supported the Sith Lord or simply refused to denounce them – and promote those officers who had served diligently but without political affiliation – good, reliable officers who had acted in the background of the conflict such as Parova, Thaal and Bwua’tu.

    And then she would wait until she could have her revenge.

    The Jedi had to know that she still loathed them. But, it would seem, they did not. She had spent years training herself to present an entirely different interpretation to Force users, having practised with captive Jedi and her own Intelligence agents for many years. And, if Caedus’ fragmentary journals suggested anything, only a darksider could detect the simmering resentment within her. A Sith, Caedus had described her as, in the way she presented herself in the Force.

    Daala laughed to herself as the lightning crashed across the sky. For a brief moment, she was illuminated by the fork of energy, and she saw her reflection, for but a second – the shadows had been cast from the corners of her laugh, to touch her very ears, and then it was gone.

    She was so much more than just a Sith.

    ---

    It had been nearly fifteen years since the Solo and Skywalker family had last gathered to this grove of wroshyr trees on Kashyyyk. Then it had been five years, but not to the day, of the passing of Chewbacca, and nearly three years since Anakin Solo had joined him in the Force. And now they were here to remember two other members of the family who had since passed – Mara Jade Skywalker and Jacen Solo.

    The grove had changed quite a bit since they had last visited, and for new additions to the extended family such as Tenel Ka, Amelia Solo and Ben Skywalker, it was a sad sight to behold. Their retinue included Chewbacca’s widow, Mallatobuck and their son, Waroo, as well as Chewie’s nephew Lowbacca. Several of the other Wookiees who had met them there fifteen years ago could not join them – Ralrra was missing, Jowdrrl was searching for his mate at the fringes of the raging inferno, which still had yet to burn out and Attichitcuk had exiled himself, for the sins of his extended family. Somber, they had trekked for a day from Thiss, near the burnt out remnants of the village of Rwookrrorro. The fallen branch that had served as a memorial to Chewbacca was similarly burned, having been caught in Jacen’s pyromania over five months beforehand.

    Han, with Lando at his side, was peeling away at the branch, which had folded inward in the heat. The trunk of one of the trees that supported the fallen branch was concealed, and as Han pulled away at the dead wood he found that the likeness of Chewbacca, which had been carved into the trunk to remember him, had survived the cataclysm.

    Tears touched at the edges of Han’s eyes, and Lowbacca explained. [The branch had protected Chewbacca’s memorial, by folding itself around as it burned.]

    Leia crouched down beside her husband, tears in her eyes. Luke was somber, as was Jaina, who had been pale and withdrawn since killing her brother. Even now, she clutched her hands to her chest, and was reticent. Amelia huddled near her mother – Tenel Ka – while her ‘adopted parents’ grieved. Ben squatted down by Chewbacca’s face. “Do you think that the Wookiee’s will ever forgive us?”

    [All wounds heal with time, Ben], said Malla, sadly. [We will rebuild, and recover.]

    “And learn,” said Luke. “Learn from our mistakes. We will find out what happened to Jacen, for all of us, and the galaxy.”

    “Redemption,” said Leia, softly. “That is what our family is known for. The family which redeemed Darth Vader.”

    As Han pulled clear more debris from Chewbacca’s face, a lump of wood came free, revealing the lightsaber of Anakin Solo, unharmed, and untouched. He reached down for it, and saw, beneath the brittle and burned exterior of the great felled branch, there was pristine, untouched wood, even insects and other creatures within the nooks and carved-out burrows. The family took in the significance of that as one – even under the devastation that Darth Caedus had caused, there was life still beating beneath.

    Tenel Ka, with Amelia clinging to her leg, reached for Jaina’s shoulder. “And scars only go so deep...” She looked into Jaina’s eyes. “If we allow scars to break us, then we give in to despair, and that is the seed of the dark side.”

    Jaina, her eyes forlorn, seemed to understand that , and she lowered her hands, revealing what she held to her chest – in one hand, the lightsaber of Anakin Skywalker, passed by Obi-Wan Kenobi to Luke, and then, eventually, to Mara, as a symbol of them breaking the past. In her other was the lightsaber hilt of Jacen Solo, taken from him by Luke during their duel on the Anakin Solo, above this world.

    It was a symbol of the light and darkness within the Skywalker and Solo families. She strode to the fallen tree, and held the two lightsabers out, passing Mara’s, hesitantly, to Ben. Jaina looked to her father. “Are we sure it’s okay for us to leave these here?”

    Lowbacca answered for Han. [Tojjlenoot was the one who suggested you do so – to help your family heal as the greater family of Kashyyyk does so too.]

    Her eyes brimming with tears, she, Han and Ben ignited the three blades – blue, violet and emerald – and dug a furrow each into the tree, just as Han had done with Anakin’s fifteen years earlier. They each stuck the hilts in fast.

    Luke took a step forward. “Should the need arise, these blades can be drawn by our future sons and daughters, who find themselves walking down paths that they recognise from the past of our family. The Wookiees will keep this grove secret, and guide our descendants here should they ever lose their way.”

    Jaina gave her uncle a smile that could only be described as bittersweet. “And now we have a galaxy to put back together again.”

    “Oh come on,” said Han, cracking a grin. “Do we have to? Can’t someone else do it this time? We have a whole Jedi Order now to abuse!”

    Luke shook his head, and turned to leave the grove. “Not yet. We can’t hand the torch over just yet.”

    “I don’t believe I’m old enough to hold a torch, for one,” remarked Ben.

    “No,” said Luke, mussing his sons hair. “You’re still my son, and you get to be him for a little while longer. No running off and saving the galaxy while I’m not looking?”

    Leia adopted a playful expression, and smirked. “You can go and focus on girls and other teenage habits for a while.”

    Luke and Ben shuddered, as one, and Ben answered. “I’m a bit busy for that, you know.”

    [I heard from Valin that Seha found you attractive], noted Lowbacca.

    “Octa told me the same thing,” said Han, with a chuckle.

    “Hell, even I heard about that crush from Karrde.” Lando added, as Ben’s cheeks reddened.

    Tenel Ka nodded gravely. “Trista mentioned it as well.”

    Ben pulled a face, and looked at Jaina. “Well, I heard from Booster that Jaina was seen sneaking Jag into a room aboard the Venture.”

    Jaina’s mouth opened, and then she placed her hands on Amelia’s ears, who giggled. “No comment.”

    “Oooooh,” said Han. “Is that what the Empire told you to say?”

    Luke shook his head. “I can see that Solo blood has attracted her to royalty again.”

    Leia laughed, a little bittersweet, as she reflected on how Han had hooked up with a Princess, and Jaina with, Jagged, as the Emperor, for all intents and purposes. Even Jacen had fallen in love with a Queen. Leia looked over, and saw Tenel Ka’s face cloud over, and Leia drew her into a hug.

    Han joined, embracing the two of them, and Luke, wordlessly, placed a hand on Leia’s shoulder as Ben moved close to his father, sadness in his eyes. Little Amelia clutched her grandmothers leg, while Lando, Lowbacca and the others looked on with soft smiles.

    Later on that day, as they shared a meal with the members of their extended family and friends – the Antilles, Celchu and Horn clans, Talon and the Smugglers Alliance, the retired Wraiths and the Council – Ben Skywalker found himself thinking of the war and what they had lost. He thought of Lon Shevu, the man who had saved him from his own personal darkness, and of Lekauf, and Nelani, and so many other friends.

    As he stared out, across the treeline, ignoring the Ewok tune in the background, he saw a single person sitting with her back to the party, her legs swinging over the edge of the wooden platform. He walked towards her, to bring whoever it was back into the party, as much as he, too, had to return, and recognised it as his mother.

    Ben took a hesitant step towards her, as she turned to look at him, a sad smile across her face. “Is it time for you to go?”

    Mara nodded, cupping Ben’s face in her hand, the blue haze surrounding her giving her hand a kind of weight. He closed his eyes, momentarily recalling the warmth of his mother’s skin on his, and a tear trickled down his cheek. She caught it with a finger, and wiped at the corner of his eye. “You are my legacy, my love. You could not have made me prouder than you have now in passing through your own trial – but I know that you will do so much more for me to be proud of.”

    Ben choked back a gasp, and squeezed his eyes shut to stop the tears. “Love you, Mom.”

    “I love you too, Ben.”

    He opened his eyes, and she was gone, and for a long moment he stood there, separate from the others, remembering his mother for all time. After a while, his father came out, and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Come back, son.”

    Ben squeezed his father tight in a hug. “I love you, Dad.”

    Luke smiled. “I love you too, son. And your mother does, too. I can feel it.”

    Looking up at his father, Ben Skywalker smiled, because he could tell, right here, right now, that everything would be alright. That they would both heal, and they, and the family, and the galaxy with them, would recover and that from this point onwards, everything would get better. Because his family was strong in the Force, and the Force was full of light, no matter how much the shadows tried to convince people that this was not the case.

    Because love is a candle, and a single candle can illuminate a galaxy.

    “I know it.”
    Last edited by Sinrebirth, Mar 1, 2013
  13. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Thank you Blackfish! Hope you enjoy the last bit :D

    Now!


    I can't do it all! I have a few projects on the go at the moment, but there are a few novels which could do with some TLC!


    Hope you come back for the finale!


    Niathal refused to be responsible for what came next. Politically, mind you, she launched the coup with Caedus. Even if she was politically salvageable, I doubt she would believe she should rule. Denning needed to indeed give us a but more indeed.


    I tried! Had to spend the whole novel killing off/incapacitating every other major political figure along the way to get there though!


    After considerable delay, which is my fault, I present the Outro.

    I'd like to end this on note with some shout-outs:

    Nick: Thank you for your relentless enthusiasm and support proof-reading through this. Really appreciated! And thank you for the Bounty look-out. Can't believe I missed a 17km retcon!

    Vialco: Had your own views on LotF, which I loved and it firmed up some of my own decisions in the prose, such as Phennir's homeworld, which has became new information from me!

    Sable: Always thoughtful in your responses, and prone to plug. What's not to love!

    SiouxFan: Another reader with their own views, but that just made me want to keep things just tight enough to suggest a direction, but also vague enough that your own interpretations can come in. Was Caedus a murderous mastermind from DNT? Or is he just lying one more damn time? It's down to you!

    imiller: A late addition to the reading, but so very important when it came to Wraith Squadron appearing in Mercy Kill. Feedback always appreciated!

    aalagartassle: Someone who shared my dislike of the tassels loose end; I hope I did you proud :D

    Bardan: The quintessential Mandalorian, and thus essential for those Fett scenes. Fett has had so many iterations that I needed to get it right... I feel like I did, but your mileage may vary!

    cthugha: Enthusiastic to the very end, and egging me on to do more! The very best kind of muse :D

    @Vialco; @imiller; @Sable_Hart; @JackG; @spycoder9; @AzureAngel2; @SiouxFan; @Iron_Lord; @aalagartassle; @Rainbow Knight Star; @AdmiralNick22; @Bardan_Jusik
    Last edited by Sinrebirth, Mar 1, 2013
    Bardan_Jusik and Sable_Hart like this.
  14. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    Long overdue, but poignant and worth the wait. Great stuff, my friend. What's next on the fanfic itinerary? :D
  15. Blackfish Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Oh. The Outro was so satisfying. I love the way you portray Ben Skywalker. It mirrors the way I think of him too. Loved every bit of this story. Fantastic job ^:)^
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  16. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Looking good. Though, this line near the start:

    Now all she need do is expunge the legacy of Darth Caedus – those officers such as Eldo Davip, Face Loran, Atoko and others who had either publicly supported the Sith Lord or simply refused to denounce them

    shouldn't it be "refused to denounce him"?
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  17. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
  18. ShanOffirin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2006
    star 2
    any ideas what did happen to Admiral Atoko?
  19. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Just saw this. Carted off to some quiet corner of the GA no doubt, like Davip, or being allowed an honourable retirement... Assuming Fett doesn't get him.
  20. aalagartassle Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2011
    star 4
    Yes you certainly did! It's an awesome story and very well written! Congratulations
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  21. ShanOffirin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 14, 2006
    star 2

    He was mentioned briefly in Apocalypse. Probably paying for crimes, courtesy of Daala.
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  22. DarthJenari Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2011
    star 4
    This is quite simply writing, and fanfiction, at its finest. It shows an incredible knowledge of the source material and an understanding of the many characters we've all come to love and cherish over the years. This expanded work does an amazing job of taking the final novel of a much hated series, and turns it into a thought provoking finale. Not as satisfying of an ending as The Unifying Force was for the New Jedi Order Series, but a complete and final ending none the less. I find myself wishing that this could actually be added to all copies of Invincible, as it does an excellent job of setting up the Fate of the Jedi Series as well. Well done @Sinrebirth, well done.
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  23. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Thank you, Jenari. That is quite appreciated, I must say.
  24. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Loved it! Great story! That was a finale! Still need to read it with Invincible but it by itself was amazing!
    Sinrebirth likes this.
  25. AzureAngel2 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2005
    star 6
    Woah, real life kept me so much in its grip, that I needed a relatively quiet night to read the last chapter of this thrilling story.

    Luke smiled. “I love you too, son. And your mother does, too. I can feel it.”

    Looking up at his father, Ben Skywalker smiled, because he could tell, right here, right now, that everything would be alright. That they would both heal, and they, and the family, and the galaxy with them, would recover and that from this point onwards, everything would get better. Because his family was strong in the Force, and the Force was full of light, no matter how much the shadows tried to convince people that this was not the case.

    Because love is a candle, and a single candle can illuminate a galaxy.

    “I know it.”

    And what an end! A real tear jerker without being slushy, but very dignified. Thanks, @Sinrebirth !
    Sinrebirth likes this.
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