Stranger in a Strange Land - Part 7 - Our Time Has Come - UPDATE 5/2 - Chapter 16

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction Stories--Classic JC Board (Reply-Only)' started by Whiskey in the Jar-Jar, Dec 14, 2002.

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  1. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
  2. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    Even seeking positive achievement can lead to a negative impact. So true, so right: Anakin in Episode Two showed that. He thinks he's better than Obi-wan and Mace Windu. When his strength was not enough, when he couldn't save his mother, Anakin blew a fuse. What he knew and what he could do was not enough. He was enraged.

    What could also happen in a similar scenario is dispair. Unable to do what is necessary, one is lost and has to resort to the easy way out of the situation. Perhaps worse. Shon can easily find himself down either path. Good shorty.

    ------------------

    Jaxx? I've talked to him lately: he's still jet setting Europe. He was in England recently, raving about the castles. :D

    DANKERS!
  3. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    The biggest problem with Shon is his Imperial past even though no one else around him seems to think that.

    Part of his anxiety, I think, is what if someone on this trip dies at the hands of his family? Would his peers blame him, or would they not associate his father's atrocities with him?

    The answers will come in time...but for now...


    Nyphidonia

    The Castigator touched down on the redoubt?s landing platform, soon followed by a dozen zero-g troopers who?d detached earlier and had flown recon for the Assault Transport. Now, as they descended they returned to their berths on the sides of the ship, standing ready for any surprises from above or below.

    It was an exercise in boredom, however. In spite of the now-sprouting life on this planet, it was still for all intents and purposes a dead world. When the gangplank dropped and the cadre of stormtroopers emerged, escorting Terin Corvain and his son, they could have been blasting music out of the ship?s loudspeakers for all the world cared. Still, true to Imperial discipline, the Elite Troopers fanned out with blasters ready, creating a human channel down which father and son walked to the redoubt?s entrance.

    Neither one commented at seeing that the locking mechanism had been tampered with?a sloppy move on the part of those who?d come before them. Normally, one who would slice their way into an Imperial installation took painstakingly meticulous steps to cover any signs of tampering. Of course, they also probably never expected that someone would be following them?

    And was soon to come out ahead of the race.

    Once inside the redoubt, Jastro moved towards the main computer console and had it up and running quickly. He had no need for a Moff?s key since he knew all the back doors in the system to access the information he wanted. Within moments a small holo-projector emerged from the console and activated, revealing a middle-aged man dressed in what looked like an Imperial uniform.

    ?Identify yourself,? spoke the man, his Basic slightly accented with a Bothan lilt.

    ?Lieutenant Jastro Corvain of the Imperial Navy,? replied Jastro.

    ?I only answer to one man,? the man said. ?Now go back to the nursery, boy.?

    ?Garm Lebanski sent me,? said Jastro, radiating a confidence that even took his father by surprise. ?He was?killed during a planetary siege and bequeathed the knowledge of the project to me.?

    ?To you?? The man stroked his chin. ?You?re too young to know anything.?

    ?I made it to Nyphidonia, didn?t I??

    The man leaned in closer. ?How do I know this isn?t some Rebel trick?? He?d betrayed his age with that remark. Even the more seasoned members of the Imperial Navy didn?t use that term for the New Republic.

    ?You don?t have to believe me,? said Jastro. ?But you should know that a group of people are on their way to you as we speak. They?ve run the gauntlet and will be there in a few days, and you won?t be able to stop them without me.? He inserted a data chip into the console and transmitted its contents to the man in the hologram. ?This is one of Alpha Squad?s closest-kept secrets.? A schematic for what looked like battle armour appeared briefly on the screen. ?How else would I have this unless by Lieutenant Lebanski??

    The man seemed to think on that question for a while before answering. ?How far have these people come?? he finally asked.

    ?We believe they?ve made it to the planet Endrie,? replied the younger Corvain. ?Which means they?ll be there in a matter of days.?

    ?Given the little ?surprise? that was waiting for any intruders, I?d say they?ve been cut back even further,? said the man. His arm moved slightly and a series of coordinates appeared on the console screen. ?Feed this into your navigational array and it will bring you to me in three days?then we can prepare a proper?reception for our guests.?

    Jastro relayed the coordinates to the Castigator. ?Thank you,? he said. ?We will see you in three days.? He cut the transmission and smiled. ?Scientists/>
  4. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    :eek:

    It appears Feslira as we and the characters in this story know is no more! :eek:

    And now daddy-brother dearest is practically on the doorstep of success, while the heroes may have a new battle front to contend with within. It just doesn't get any easier....

    FORWARD HO!
  5. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Well, it's taken some time for the momentum to build in this little tale, but it's going to pick up pretty soon.

    I've actually been rather busy with some other projects, including a rewrite of one of my first Dalan stories. THe first three chapters are actually posted at TDG right now, as well as on another website.

    Well, let's finish this chapter up...


    Shon entered the sick bay of the Wild Karrde and was relieved to see that Ryn was awake. At sight of him he hesitated slightly, still unsure of his feelings. He still felt slightly ashamed that he was healthy and that all of his friends had been all but turned into Jedi paste at the hands of the Endrie sentinel. Yet, as Ryn spotted him and waved him over with a grin, Shon could sense no animosity towards him. If nothing else, Ryn was just glad to have someone to talk with.

    // You?ll have to forgive the telepathy, // projected Ryn, pointing at his jaw. // The knitters aren?t quite finished yet. // His lower jaw was encased in the same anti-grav patches as Anakin?s and a bone knitting compound was currently swirling through his bloodstream, finding and repairing faulty bones.

    ?At least you?ll get bonus credit in telepathy class,? said Shon with a thin smile. ?And maybe some marks in combat.?

    // Doubtful, // thought Ryn with a frown. // That thing got the drop on me before I could do anything. //

    ?Your rad badges said it was hot in there,? said Shon. ?Don?t know anyone who wouldn?t shake down in a place like that.? He paused for a bit. ?That would have been distraction enough, I?d think.?

    // You?re right, // said Ryn. // Still, if nothing else it?s given me a chance to check out a theory I had. // He handed the datapad he was holding to Shon. // Take a look at this. //

    Shon took the pad and called up the last thing Ryn had been working on. It appeared to be a starmap?a woefully incomplete starmap but one nonetheless. On it were the nine star systems that comprised this great hunt for the Prometheus, from Kasveria Prime to the as-yet-unvisited world of Fallacry. // Notice the pattern the stars make? // Ryn asked.

    ?Yeah, kinda like a shepherd?s crook,? said Shon, tracing the hook-like design with his index finger. ?Guess they didn?t want to go too far into the unknown.?

    // Maybe, // said Ryn. // But look at the closest planet to Fallacry. // Shon tapped the pad a few times and his eyes grew wide. Endrie was not the closest planet to Fallacry, but rather it was?

    ?Nyphidonia,? he breathed. ?The newer operating system. The code I used to open the door. Oh, smeck.?

    // That?s what I thought, // said Ryn. // There?s someone out here, also looking for that ship. And I think? //

    ?It?s my father,? said Shon numbly. ?Or someone close to him.? He explained to Ryn about the redoubt?s security code on Nyphidonia and how right then his fears had crystallized into truth. ?For all I know there could be a fleet waiting for us when we get there.?

    // It?d be a fleet of freighters and lesser ships, // said Ryn. // Imp Stars don?t just walk away from their patrols without a full investigation taking place. //

    ?True, but an Assault Carrier can be more of a pain in the butt than a Star Destroyer,? commented Shon. There was no use arguing the point anymore; if they were sailing into a trap, then at least they would know it was a trap, which was the first step in disabling it. ?Guess we won?t know until we get there,? he said. ?I?m gonna go let Karrde ?n? Solo know about this if that?s all right.?

    // Just remember we share in the copyright, // said Ryn with a slight smile. Shon chuckled as he headed out of the sick bay to find Karrde and inform him of Ryn?s findings.

    * * *

    Two more days passed on this unknown world in relative silence. Rare were the times the crews of either ship ventured outside except to get a breath of fresh air or clear their minds. Strategies were formulated, calculated, evalu/>
  6. Grand_Admiral_Jaxx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 5
    Hola!

    Just wanted to drop a line...I'm in London at the moment, and I'm reaching the halfway point of my journey! About a month and a half left in London, then I do a bit more traveling. I'll be back December 20th, and I'll catch up on everything for good! :D

    I was scanning for PMs and I figured I'd just skim over, see how far behind I was, and I noticed your "Jaxx sighting" bit, so I thought I'd pop in real quick ;)

    --Jaxx
  7. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    And we have another Jaxx sighting: just as important as Bigfoot, much more important than Rosanne, but just under Elvis (Sorry, guy, can't top them all). ;)


    Now that our merry band (Waitaparsec....that would be an ultra cool name for a rock band! They can dress as Hobbits: get it....'Merry' Band) is mending and seems to know that bad guys are dead ahead, perhaps they can tuck Fes somewhere, come up with a winning plan, and get to the ship of their nightmares and wipe it all out.....

    But that would be boring. [face_laugh]

    COMPLICATE US, OL' DRUNKEN ONE!
  8. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
  9. mouse2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 1999
    star 4
    Okay, I've just spent the entire morning playing catch up. I had almost forgotten how much I love this story Whiskey. I really missed Dalan, Triel and everyone, but still think they all need a good kick in the pants.

    I promise I'll do my best not to stay away so long. [:D]
  10. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGHHHHH! :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

    :stares at screen
    :blinks
    :stares again
    :reaches for drink but realizes he doesn't have one.

    HOLY CRAP! I GOT ONE BACK! WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! :D :D :D :D :D

    Was that over the top? I can never tell :p

    Welcome back, Mouse. Been a looooooooong time. Glad to see you're back amongst the land of the living. :)

    Well, while I'm doing my best to deliver on this latest part, it's been a tough slog with writers block, real life, and just not enough time in the evening to do any writing (can't do it at work in my spare time anymore :( )

    I'm actually getting ready to post another installment either tonight or tomorrow, so hang in there.
  11. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    Hang in there! ALWAYS hang in there. If you post it, they will come (back). ;)

    FORWARD!
  12. mouse2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 1999
    star 4
    I'm still here looking for a post! :) After playing catch-up, I plan on hanging in there!
  13. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    SorrySorrySorrySorrySorrySorrySorrySorrySorrySorrySorrySorry

    I should have posted at least once by now...been tied up with too many other things as of late.

    (Ok, was I trolling for more return readers? Hmmm :p )

    I now reward your patience with...another one.

    :Now waits for the gods of iffiness to smite him...


    Chapter 15 ? Power?s Extent

    Azar stood outside the Invid Hive, doing what the Guardian would have called ?clearing his head.? Since his return from the scouting mission, the Enforcer had been feeling not quite right, and was now prone to hours of solitude, shunning the company of his peers and contenting himself with his own thoughts and the ever-present essence of the Queen.

    However, his recent sortie from the Hive had revealed the fallibility of the Queen?s power, hadn?t it?

    He remembered clearly the moment his thoughts of the Hive were overpowered by that?that?thing in the ground. It was as if a part of him had suddenly been stripped away, leaving him as vulnerable as a Stage One Invid with no nutrient fluid around. The sensation had been altogether unsettling and the Enforcer was having a hard time trying to categorize the feeling. About the closest description he could come up for it was a simple one, but the ramifications of this feeling were indeed far-reaching.

    Fear?he actually felt fear.

    He?d come to terms with the loss of his two wingmates rather quickly, as Enforcers do, but the knowledge that against the Hated Ones the Queen?s voice might not be there to guide him filled him with uncertainty. What if the Keeper was right, and that this world should be abandoned to the Hated Ones? Where would they go? What could they leave behind? The Holy Flower in the possession of a mortal enemy was akin to a sin most grievous and any Invid would gladly lay down their life to prevent that from happening, wouldn?t they?

    As he walked around, he noticed two more Enforcers milling about outside. He recognized them as Mazar and Lizar, two of the survivors from the scouting mission. In one sense he felt relief that he wasn?t the only one feeling the need to be outside and away from the thoughts of others. Out of respect for this need, he made no move to engage them in conversation, instead finding his own little area where he could contemplate.

    His oath to the Keeper a few days before, when he?d pledged to fight alongside the Guardian against the Hated Ones had been true, but he now wondered at the strength of this enemy force. To hear the Guardian tell it, the Hated Ones? hive was far larger and more heavily defended than anyone could have imagined. How could a handful of armed Invid possibly prevail against something like that? It would take an army to mount such an assault.

    No?it would take more than that?it would take a horde.

    Azar was by no means old, but this world had been the only one he knew. The Holy Flower grew here and sustained he and his comrades. For the Hated Ones to come and intrude here so rudely, sending out that creature to cloud the minds of the Invid was more than rude...it was?an act of war.

    This was his home?this was the home of the Invid. How DARE the Hated Ones come here and lay claim. This was not their world, and they had no right to be here. They had to be driven off; why didn?t the Queen see this? Why would she not commit the necessary resources to driving these intruders from their land?

    Frustration now plagued the Enforcer. Like the Keeper, he now saw the desperation of the situation and grew angered at the Queen?s lack of activity. Yet, what could he do? He was part of the One Mind and dared not speak out against the Queen. A mere thought from her would end him and silence any and all hopes of defending this planet against the Hated Ones. Only the One could reason with the Queen and not fear death. Perhaps, if she succeeded in returning the Keeper here, they could both appeal the Queen to take this threat seriously.

    Movement caught Azar?s attention, and he noticed Mazar walking further a/>
  14. mouse2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 1999
    star 4
    As for his comrades, though?that seemed to be another story?

    I haven't decided if that's a good or a bad thing... They seem to be starting to think for themselves, but I have a bad feeling that the other two may take it to extremes.

    Hooray! It looks like Dalan got that slap upside the head he really needed. Let's just hope he gets the spology right. ;)

    Not iffy at all!! :p
  15. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    Azar sounds like he's taking that first step towards free will. Either the Queen's hold of him is wanning, or matters have evolved.

    NOW Dalen's got to get his tiger on with Triel hurt.

    And don't feel bad about posting: I just went on a hiatus recently because of comp problems. We all need a little time off sometimes. :)
  16. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
  17. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
  18. Grand_Admiral_Jaxx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 23, 2000
    star 5
    Man, I think this little incident will give Dalan the boot to the rear and send him over the edge to ravage the opposition, if you get my drift...

    :)

    I am back!

    --Jaxx
  19. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Back after a month's worth of writer's block and Christmas cheer.

    Mouse: Azar's a bit of a special case, as you'll soon learn. He's certainly not the one to worry about, though. ;)

    Casper: That's Dalan's intention, but...

    Jaxx: Welcome back to the mainland :D :D :D Hope you had fun over in merry old England and all that.

    Well, 2005 is upon us and may this year treat us all better than last year had.


    The door to the decontamination chamber finally opened after several minutes and Dalan stepped into the room. He ran his hands down his arms to smooth out his fur once more after having it stand on end in the chamber....the result of the electrostatic pulse they used to remove any pollen from his being.

    The room was dark, save for one solitary candle burning in the middle of the room. The tiger narrowed his eyelids and his pupils opened up as far as they could to get a read on his surroundings. For the most part the room was empty, save for a table and a couple of chairs off to one side. There was a crude type of ?fresher in one of the corners, walled off for discretion, but not much else.

    He took a step towards the centre of the room and his whiskers stretched forward. Like a feline radar they sensed Triel?s presence in the darkness, her outline barely visible in the candlelight. Dalan could tell she was in a meditative state, given the low level of energy she was giving off. He wondered if she was in some kind of healing trance; Azar had mentioned a fight between she and an unknown number of Vong soldiers?perhaps she?d been hurt more deeply than anyone suspected.

    ?You?re still here.?

    The voice was hollow?distant?as though while she?d sensed his presence in the room the majority of her consciousness was still on some other plane of existence. He almost felt insulted at this greeting, but was also impressed that she was able to divide her mind so. It showed a discipline most people her age could only dream of.

    ?You sound surprised,? he replied, his voice betraying very little in the way of relief or sorrow. While his goal was to walk out of this room with some fences mended, there were still tings that had to be said and question s that needed answering before he could even think of the healing process.

    ?I am,? said Triel, her voice sounding a little more grounded. Dalan figured she was coming out of her meditation now. ?Lights, dim,? she said. Suddenly, an ambient lighting system sparked to life, bathing the room in a soft light. Dalan squinted as his eyes adjusted to the change, then noticed the scar on Triel?s forehead. She would probably carry that scar for the rest of her life now. ?I figured you?d be halfway to Pzob by now,? she said, rising from her seated position.

    ?Shaylear convinced me to stay just in case the Queen changes her mind,? said the tiger. ?She tells me you might have enough evidence to sway her opinion.?

    ?Ah, so now that there?s a chance at winning this you decide to stay,? she said, the venom in her voice noticeable.

    Dalan said nothing in response to the insult, but instead made his way over to the table, where Triel?s lightsabre and respirator lay, along with a couple of energy bars and a few bloody, discarded bacta patches. ?That cut must have run deep,? he said, examining the patches. ?Used up just about every patch you had just to stop the bleeding.?

    ?Yeah, well, taking on six scouts solo doesn?t leave you with much energy to do a healing trance,? said the young Jedi. ?I?ll heal it in good time.?

    ?Six?? Dalan?s ears perked up. ?Not bad for a first solo.? He?d meant it as a compliment, but he could sense Triel taking it completely the wrong way.

    ?You make it sound like I wasn?t ready,? she said sharply.

    ?No,? said Dalan. ?That?s not what I meant at all. I merely stated that you did well for the first time going into combat alone. Assuming we make it off this rock, I should talk to Master Skywalker about promoting you to Apprentice.? He looked at Triel?s lightsabre for a moment, remembe/>
  20. mouse2 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 1999
    star 4
    Here I am hoping for the best, thinking that maybe they'll just patch things up. But no...

    And now you've gone and made me cry! :_|

    A fabulous post Whiskey! What a way to start off the new year!
  21. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Oops...:(

    Why is that? I finally put something up after over a month's hiatus and I make someone cry...grr..BAD GUNGAN...BAD BAD GUNGAN!!!

    *Picture Jar-Jar doing his best imitation of Dobby*

    Well, another two paragraphs and I'll be able to post again...this time with a bit less drama and a lot more of what I'm known for [face_devil]
  22. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    Ah man, Dalan, you're taking this way too far!

    Then again how else do we get to read great drama without it? ;)

    With that little tease in the last post, I can't wait to read what happens next to Dalan; as if Triel is the only one that will fall.

    FORWARD!
  23. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
    Well, Casper, you know how it is...first some angst, a little drama, combine it with growing frustration, add a little spice, let simmer for 10 minutes...

    And...

    PRESTO!


    While the plea had fallen on deaf ears, it had not gone completely without notice.

    Dalan sat in a huge, empty room with a pair of giant doors on the opposite end from where he was. He could smell the latent scent of the Flower of Life in the air and figured this must be one of the Hive?s many storage areas, where during a good harvest the Flower was kept for processing into fuel, nutrient fluid, and food for the many Invid inhabitants. Now, with the Vong raiding each harvesting party and the increasing depletion of fertile land, it was now little more than a place where one tiger with a weighted mind could come and sit?and think.

    Why?why had she been so visceral in her attacks? Why did she go so far in her efforts to proclaim her independence from him? Had he and Tamus not done a good enough job? Was this typical teenage rebellion kicking in? He?d spent his sixteenth year of life as an exile from his Clan, so he had an entirely different set of reasons to hate his parents. In truth, when it came to dealing with Triel at this point in her life he had no real reference.

    He could feel the discomfort along the bond he shared with her?a bond he would soon have severed once back on Naboo. As much as he didn?t want to have that bond removed, he figured it would be for the best. Masters and Padawans share an understanding when the pairing is made that some parts of each other?s minds are off-limits. Mental shields are put into place to protect certain memories and feelings from one another and out of respect those lines are never crossed.

    Triel had the advantage over Dalan in that she had the mental abilities of a Jedi, but was bonded to someone who was not. Granted he had some form of control over his mind, but all he could really do was tone down the bond the way one would reduce the volume on a stereo. However, like the old television sets in the book 1984, he couldn?t switch it off. Only a Jedi with the ability to see beyond the Force could ever hope to do that?and that Jedi was Anakin.

    Dalan had allowed Triel to cross the line a few times in the past, letting her see parts of his life he was either too embarrassed to discuss or had a hard time trying to describe. When it came to discussing his home world and its many wonders, he would often allow her to explore his mind so that she could feel the same things he did when he talked of Bengalis. It was the ultimate form of trust, he thought. If he could trust her to enter his mind and not expose anything hidden, then he could really trust her with anything.

    It seemed though that the trust was only one way. Apparently Triel didn?t trust him enough to talk about her real parents or her being sold into slavery by them. Now, that lack of trust was going to come back to her in the form of a lengthy court battle, possible criminal charges coming against Dalan and Tamus, which could include prison time, a huge black mark on Naboo for harbouring kidnappers, and Triel heading back into the infinite loop known as the Slaver?s Circle.

    The Slaver?s Circle was a cute little term used for the endless cycle of servitude a slave endured throughout his or her life. Once sold into slavery by a parent or guardian, the circle began. Should the slave run away, and if the slave is under-aged, the local government?s form of Social Services typically picked up the child and reunited him or her with the parents, who would then claim a finder?s fee and turn the child back over to the slavers. In a legal sense, there was no way for a slave to escape bondage. In spite of its illegal nature, slavery actually used the legal system to reclaim and runaway slaves.

    Triel?s status as a Jedi, though, would make things worse for her, Dalan figured. The only slaver of any power on Corellia was Botullu the Hutt, and out of mere hatred for the Jedi would probably face her off ag/>
  24. Whiskey in the Jar-Jar Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2000
    star 4
  25. Casper_Knightshade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2000
    star 6
    Wicked post: Ravage is back and nasty as ever!

    Alas, through victory and a betrayal is unconvered. Call me Cliffy because I'm hanging around like everyone else.

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, what is next, what is next?!? [face_devil]
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