Beyond The End of All Light (Post-NJO AU: Anakin Solo, Jacen, Jaina, L/M, H/L, many more) Updated 11/29/14!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by YodaKenobi, Apr 16, 2010.

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  1. YodaKenobi VIP

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    I'll do replies later. Thought I'd give anyone who is interested a little teaser I promised earlier: Below are the titles of the remaining 24 chapters of this story. There may end up being more than this, of course, as when I actually get to writing these things they tend to expand, but this is my plan based on my outline. Titles are subject to change too, but they might give you a hint of what to expect. I'm putting this all in a spoiler tag for those who don't want to know, but I removed the titles that are really spoilers, so there's no need to worry.

    The Last Chapters:
    Show Spoiler
    Chapter 52: Death Notice
    Chapter 53: Healed
    Chapter 54: Sandstorm
    Chapter 55: The Lands of the Dead Revisited
    Chapter 56: Lady Luck
    Chapter 57: Zonama Sekot
    Chapter 58: Trial of the Jeedai
    Chapter 59: The Corruption
    Chapter 60. Lighting the Way
    Chapter 61: Traitor
    Chapter 62: The Shape of Things to Come
    Chapter 63: The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise
    Chapter 64: The Battle of hidden title
    Chapter 65: Reckoning
    Chapter 66: The Well
    Chapter 67: The Rule of Two
    Chapter 68: The Ashla & the Bogan
    Chapter 69: Omega
    Chapter 70: Legacy of the Sith
    Chapter 71: The End of All Light
    Chapter 72: hidden title
    Chapter 73: Void
    Chapter 74: hidden title
    Epilogue: hidden title



    Hope you guys like them [face_mischief]
    Last edited by YodaKenobi, Aug 29, 2013
  2. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    Those titles..........................




    I like them.
  3. YodaKenobi VIP

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    lol. Well, my user name is "YodaKenobi."




    I liked that one too. Glad you're enjoying the series :)






    Not to sound really full of myself here, but I'm going to try very hard to change your mind on that. I think the way everything comes together in the last few chapters is going to surprise you.

    Glad you like the Lands of the Dead so much though :D I really had fun writing Thrawn's whole Jedi rescue/Apollyon attack scheme.





    I was a little disappointed in the writing on the Jaina and Jacen fight when I did it, but I think a year later or so I reread it when I was doing excerpts for the awards or something, and realized I really liked it too :p

    I can think of one you're either really going to love, or really going to hate :p

    That's awesome :D Not saying how things turn out for Wrev, but he's going to do something... interesting, before the end of the story.





    I assume you're referring to Halo blowing up? There were some interesting responses to that in the thread at the time, but most of the long ones have been cropped like everything else on the boards ( :( ). Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed reading the series so far, and very glad you can't see how things will be wrapped up. I like that it's going to be a surprise :p Thanks for reading and replying :D





    Yeah, I have pretty much given up completely on the EU at this point. What a disaster it is. I tried rereading the NJO earlier this year thinking it would get me motivated to write, but only made it through Onslaught. There are just too many other books I want to read right now :p No time for rereads. But in retrospect, the NJO is a masterpiece compared to everything else that came after.




    Yes, you're right: my NJO stories are only meant to replace the Final Prophecy and the Unifying Force. The stuff that happens in Force Heretic, like Nom Anor becoming Yu'shaa, the Remnant joining the Alliance in their fight, and the Jedi finding Zonama Sekot all play a part in my series. Force Heretic III: Reunion is my canon cut-off point.

    You're ambitious!

    I have boxed up and stored all my SW books that aren't the NJO. Thinking of just getting rid of them. My house is overflowing with books already, and I am pretty much only holding onto the SW ones as research tools in case I need them to write this story :p

    Haha. Same here. But what's with this "if EoAL goes downhill" nonsense?! :eek:





    Thanks!





    New post is coming along. Hoping to have it ready by tomorrow, or at least sometime this weekend.
  4. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    I liked that one too. Glad you're enjoying the series :)

    I assume you're referring to Halo blowing up? There were some interesting responses to that in the thread at the time, but most of the long ones have been cropped like everything else on the boards ( :( ). Anyway, I'm glad you enjoyed reading the series so far, and very glad you can't see how things will be wrapped up. I like that it's going to be a surprise :p Thanks for reading and replying :D
    New post is coming along. Hoping to have it ready by tomorrow, or at least sometime this weekend.[/quote]

    Not sure if I posted this already but I have a feeling The End of All Light will jump to #1 by the time this is all said and done.
    I am referring to everything since The Age of Heroes began. Wow. So intense. Hopefully the turncated posts are fixed soon because I would love to read all of those comments. I can probably predict who might die or live or be completely wrong. I am completely expecting for the worst but am prepared for the best. The worst being one or two people living (since I know they will get through it) and the best being more than that. Thanks for sending me all of them!
    You better be right about tomorrow or the weekend...............
    YodaKenobi likes this.
  5. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

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    Aaaannnnd I'm back!

    So good to return to find that there have been some new chapters, Yobi!

    The Kyle Katarn flashback-ish sequence was really well done. Very intense stuff. I kept being annoyed that I couldn't read faster so that I could hurry up and find out what was going to happen.

    ~Celeste
  6. stormtrooptk421 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Those chapters......ominous, indeed. I can't wait to see how this wraps up! [face_nail_biting]
  7. Vialco Force Ghost

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    Mar 6, 2007
    star 4
    As interesting as this fic is, I do not have an optimistic appraisal of it's completion. Perhaps we ask the impossible of the author, or, perhaps we merely need to find new ways of motivating him. The End of All Light will not be completed on schedule. Darth Malig is most displeased.
  8. Clone_Cmdr_Wedge Force Ghost

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    Mar 18, 2006
    star 3
    @Vialco Maybe the author should double his efforts? We should hope so for his sake. Darth Malig is not as forgiving as we are. *cue ominous music*

    :p

    Well, about one year and six months ago, I'd have thought it impossible for BioWare to royally screw up a story. One year and five months ago, said faith in such an idea was shattered.

    All I'm saying is, I've come to expect the worst. That way I'll always be pleasantly surprised. :p

    By the way, those titles? I like 'em. :D
  9. Darth_Rahl Jedi Grand Master

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    May 16, 2008
    Great Chapter!

    The titles alude to an awesome conclusion.

    Can't wait :)
  10. YodaKenobi VIP

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    I hope you're right. When I was rereading them in June, I was kind of surprised to find I thought the tEoAL was by far my favorite.

    Don't hold your breath. I'm leaning toward just reposting every chapter of the series soon. Won't do anything about the replies, of course, but at least people will be able to read the story again.

    I'd love to hear your predictions [face_mischief]

    I wasn't :( Still working on the post. Didn't like a large chunk of the first section so I ended up rewriting more than writing this weekend.

    Thanks again :)




    Celsete! Good to see you again :)

    That was probably because it was obscenely long :p

    Thanks for reading and replying :D




    Hopefully it will be done soon. I think the end of this is my favorite part of the series.




    I knew this day would come :( Wait a sec, I control Darth Malig! :eek:





    If you're going to compare me to EA, I may as well start charging you for additional chapters of the story DLC style :p

    I want to disagree, but that's pretty sound logic.

    Glad to hear it :D My favorite is actually one of the hidden ones.




    Thanks so much, and thanks for reading and replying :D
    Last edited by YodaKenobi, Sep 4, 2013
  11. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Oh well. I can wait. Though I was giving you till monday evening since it was an extended weekend anyway. I was going to say that you were late if it didn't come up since then and then you could tell me Gandalf's quote to Frodo in FOTR.
    "A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to."


    Make the next chapter and the rest of your story the best it can be. I can be patient.
    Reposting the chapters and getting new replies will have to do.
    No idea beyond the basics for how Han, or Luke or could die. Han in a blaze of glory with the Falcon or similar to Luke to save everyone. I think Anakin, Tahiri, Jaina, Wrev, and Jag will live. All of them were thought to be dead at one point or another (or I believe so with Jaina anyway) so unless you are George RR Martin in disguise you won't kill them for good this time. Yes I know you destroyed Halo but I believe they will live. I will give you Anakin though. I could see you possibly killing him off in some fashion. Hopefully to save Jacen. I bet Jacen will save Luke at one point.
    Jacen I think will live and will be redeemed partially or fully. I'm leaning 70/30 he lives and is at least somewhat redeemed. Jacen isn't my most favorite character ever but I'm betting on a good ending for him. If not, please make it more interesting than his end and the aftermath in Invincible and FOTJ! Just give us that! Now Tenel Ka. I hope she lives but wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't. I will wager something happens to her that brings Jacen back to the light.


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  12. Vialco Force Ghost

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    Mar 6, 2007
    star 4
    Only in your mind, Yobi, only in your mind.
  13. Rew Force Ghost

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    Dec 22, 2008
    star 4
    Actually, it's very much in Malig's plans to make Yobi think he controls him, when in fact no one can control Darth Malig.

    He has become self-aware. [face_worried]
    YodaKenobi likes this.
  14. YodaKenobi VIP

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    Unlike Gandalf, that is not when I meant to arrive :p I do where a bitchin' wizards hat though.

    Interesting [face_thinking] They are the old guys now, and those tend to die. I like the idea of Han dying in the Falcon. Double the tragedy :(

    Seem like safe choices, except Wrev and Jag. Could totally see those two dying in redemptive moments. Anakin too, for that matter [face_thinking]

    Kind of what I was thinking there.

    There has been a big rift between them since the first story, when Jacen felt let down by Luke and it kind of propelled him toward Malig. It would be nice to see Jacen return to his uncle and help him.

    I'm very surprised by this prediction [face_thinking]

    That would be very sad [face_thinking]

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts :)





    omg, what if Darth Malig dreamed me?! :eek: *cue Inception horn blasts*



    Great, I can start blaming him for how long it has taken me to post :p

    New post is all done and will be up tomorrow. And it starts with a very sexy bath tub scene!
    Last edited by YodaKenobi, Sep 8, 2013
  15. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Ha ha lol nice. Would like to see that Wizard Hat.
    I knew I shouldn't have mentioned that. Probably won't mention my idea for Leia then.
    Okay fine, something similar to Anakin I guess.
    The reason I didn't think Jag will die is because of the fact that you almost killed him Empire of the Hand. Though it makes sense because of the Alpha Red or whatever the new disease is called.
    Wrev-I don't know why. Just think he will live unless he dies to save Jaina.
    Anakin-Since the series revolves around the fact that he lived.
    Though good to know that we are on the same page in regards to that Anakin could possibly sacrifice himself to save Jacen.
    Jacen saving Luke would be the perfect change from Exodus I think it was?
    I'm still holding on to hope that Jacen comes back to the Light. Its very likely he will die and still be dark but I will hold on the belief he will come back.
    Possibly throw Tenel Ka in this category with Anakin and Leia. I'm assuming Jacen's emphaticness or whatever it is is still intact and will do the right thing to save somebody in the series. Tenel Ka or his son will probably be the best bets to succeed.
    You're welcome! Can't wait for the new chapter!
  16. YodaKenobi VIP

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    Chapter 52: Death Notice

    The bathing pool had forty-three different jets of assorted massaging potentials, nineteen distinct motion modes—including "vortex," "hot spring," "wave," and "eddy"— more than a hundred individual soap scents that activated the brain's memory centers to summon nearly any blissful moment from a being's life, a multitude of bubbles in various colors and shapes that exploded in brilliant, prismatic starbursts when popped, and heated contours molded to fit his body perfectly.

    It was supposed to help him relax.

    Fyor Rodan had never felt more miserable.

    He clambered out of the pool into the fog of steam that now clouded his suite's extravagant refresher unit, his muscles a mass of tension that coiled between his shoulder blades and seemed to tangle every rope of tendon and sinew from his neck down to his heels in its knot. Immediately, the unit's sensors detected his departure from the pool, and the network of vents in the walls and ceiling began to suck away the steam rising from the pool in billowing curtains, while a second system aimed its fans at Fyor to dry him. He stood hunched and dripping on the marble floor for only a few moments before both tasks were completed, and the man could again make out the gold and onyx fixtures mounted about the room and even the subtle vanilla swirls laced across the beautiful white floor.

    "Essie."

    From behind the slender door that slid into the wall frame came the whir of servomotors, and a sleek droid with glossy black plating and luminous yellow photoreceptors strolled stiffly into view through the last wisps of haze. Fyor raised his arms and SE-12 draped him in his lavish black robe of cyrene silk that fell well past his knees. He found a matching pair of loose-fitting sleep pants on the counter and finished dressing. Then, he approached the wide mirror panel above the wash basin. The edges were still fogged and a few beads of condensation made runnels down the glass, but he could see his reflection clearly—too clearly, really.

    Rodan frowned with distaste at the slight sag of his chest peering through the open robe, the strange liver spots on his skin, and the line of his silver hair that seemed to have retreated another quarter-inch up his skull.

    When he actually looked at the face in the mirror panel, he scarcely recognized it. Dark circles hung beneath a pair of dead gray eyes that might have been a stranger's. They looked haunted. They looked half-mad.

    A lifetime ago, when he was a pilot, his chest had been hard muscle, his hair full and black, his skin thick and springy, and his eyes... his eyes had possessed that gleam, a light he recognized now in the eyes of the young, a candle of somethinglife, he supposed.

    He was getting old.

    He realized, with both melancholy and vain relief, that he would probably not be getting much older.

    At least the bruising on his face had finally started to fade. Fyor ran a fine-toothed styling stick through his hair twice, then closed his robe and marched out of the refresher into the cool air of his lavish suite. Wall sconces shaped like inverted pyramids cast thin triangles of golden light from their lamps to the ceiling, giving vague form to the darkness of the living area beyond. Rodan's tired eyes could just make out the thick violet columns that stood like sentinels at the room's boundaries, and the unmoving silhouettes of its lifeless inhabitants. Dust covers draped elegant flowform furniture he'd never really sat down on. An immense ultradef display displayed nothing. Priceless pieces of artwork hung on the walls he couldn't see, had never really seen. Pedestals supported sculptures and artifacts that seemed somehow morbid to him— the busts becoming the unblinking faces of the dead in the darkness.

    It looked like a mausoleum.

    He padded past it without a thought of descending into its crypt.

    "Essie—fetch my night cap."

    "Of course, sir." The tones coming through his vocabulator were the clipped Coruscanti rhythms of an elegant butler droid—the latest in Industrial Automation's celebrated service series. The serving droid scurried away, disappearing behind a dark byrlewood-topped bar while Fyor continued his trek out of the living area. SE-12 met him at the transparisteel partition that separated the apartment from its enormous balcony a moment later. In one of his obsidian hands, he bore a polished silver tray with a full glass, a vintage bottle of Whyren's Reserve, and four credchip sized tablets. Fyor grabbed the tablets and washed them down with the whisky.

    The tablets had been prescribed by a med droid after an examination three days earlier, when the MD unit had determined that stress had caused the Chief of State to develop an ulcer. Rodan believed it. He could feel the damned thing eating away at the lining of his stomach. An intensive bacta regiment was the best course for repairing the damage, but Fyor couldn't afford to be submerged in a tank for weeks—not with so many enemies surrounding him at once.

    He grabbed the Whyren's bottle and refilled his glass.

    SE-12's glowing eyes stared at his master expectantly. "Will you be requiring anything more this evening, Chief Rodan?"

    Fyor walked away without looking back at the droid. "No. Go away."

    "Going away, sir."

    The transparent wall ascended soundlessly into the ceiling at Fyor Rodan's approach. Outside, the air was crisp and cool, provoking a little shiver from Fyor and dotting his freshly soaped skin with goose bumps. He leaned against the railing of the larmalstone balcony and sipped his drink, gazing out into the night, where great superstructures rose from terrain too far below to be seen, and skytowers and spires reached up toward stars equally invisible. But the constellations glimmering on their majestic faces and flowing through the skylanes glowed with life, a movement that once thrilled him.

    In the night, Coruscant was still beautiful.

    It looked nearly identical to the cityscape that had been demolished only a few years ago but to Fyor Rodan, it certainly didn't feel that way—it didn't feel like home. Perhaps it was because he'd moved so much since the Yuuzhan Vong had crushed this world. After the invasion six years earlier, Rodan had left Coruscant for Mon Calamari, then Mon Calamari for Denon, his senate residence for the Chief of State's suite, then finally back to Coruscant.

    Back home.

    Or maybe it was because no place would ever be safe for him again.

    He remembered when Coruscant had fallen: plasma rained from the sky, and the great towers toppled down in showers of debris never before imagined; Borsk Fey'lya sacrificed himself in one final, heroic action that somehow washed away a lifetime of scheming and personal ambition that had so often come before what was best; then, when all seemed lost, Princess Leia's voice beamed out across the planet to assure the survivors that this was not the end.

    Fyor himself had not fled like so many others. He'd remained at his post until the very last moment, when no hope remained that the New Republic could maintain its capital. He had been an honorable man back then.

    So how had he become this.

    How could he become a man who would allow the Vagaari to kill thousands on Kuat? How could he have unleashed all this horror on the galaxy?

    The answer was not really his need to protect his brother Tormak, nor his desire to be the Alliance's Chief of State, nor even his dislike for the Jedi. Fyor Rodan had allowed all of this to happen because he hadn't believed anyone would actually be hurt when the Vagaari invaded Kuat. They would appear, Kuat would surrender without a shot being fired, and then the Raithians would swoop in, ridding the galaxy of the pirates without an innocent life lost. In plans, nothing ever went wrong.

    But shots were fired. An entire orbital station was obliterated. Thousands were killed. And since then...

    Fyor Rodan had dishonored himself.

    He took another drink and stared out at the city. All of this space and nowhere for him to hide. He was trapped between two sides in a war of his own making. No matter who won, Fyor Rodan was a dead man.

    And it was his own fault.

    Footsteps rang softly on the white stone behind him. Rodan took another drink and spoke without looking back. "I thought I told you to go away."

    "Yes, I recall that as well, sir," answered Essie. "Only, I thought you should be notified that you have a visitor."

    Fyor spun around, the remaining whisky in his glass nearly sloshing over the brim. "At this hour?"

    The droid took a step back. "I can have her sent away, if you'd prefer, sir."

    "Her?"

    "Commander Klorne," Essie said, as though Rodan had already known. "She's in the foyer with your security detail, Chief Rodan. The hour really is quite late. I'll tell her to return in the morning—"

    "Forget it—I'll see her."

    "Forgetting it, sir."

    Fyor pushed past the droid, his pulse inexplicably racing. He stumbled back through the lifeless suit to the entrance, downed the rest of his whisky for courage, and set the empty glass on a low ebony end table. At the threshold Fyor hesitated a moment, closing his robe high around his neck and looking in a full-length mirror panel on the side wall, then decided that made him appear uptight and opened it—then, seeing again the sad decline of an old man's physique, he closed it halfway. His chest still looked like it hid some strength near his collar...

    Running a hand through his hair, Fyor pressed the toggelpad beside the door and it slid away. The commander was waiting beyond with two Tendrando Arms Guardian droids and a half dozen Senate Guards in black armor.

    Fyor smiled at her and received only a forced twitch of her lips in response. The woman's green eyes did not smile along. Fyor glanced at the guards and they all looked away in embarrassment. The HoloNet was already reporting that he and Lorra Klorne were involved in an affair. No doubt, that's what everyone would assume.

    "May I come in?" Lorra asked.

    "Of course." Fyor stepped aside, gesturing beyond the doorway, and she slipped passed him inside. The door hissed shut, giving him his first clear view of her in the dim lighting of his suite. Klorne's black hair was unbound and unusually disheveled, hiding the strands of gray that were usually visible above her ears when it was tied back, and instead falling nearly to her shoulders. She wore a thigh-length synth-leather coat fastened by a slanting network of buckles and cinched at the waist by a belt. Nothing of what she wore beneath it was visible, except a slim pair of slacks and smart black shoes.

    "We need to talk," she said, turning to face him. If the hour and place of their meeting hadn't made it clear she was bearing bad news, the look in the woman's eyes extinguished any hope that it could be otherwise.

    "I assumed as much." He gestured toward the still open wall. "Let's go out on the balcony—the view is splendid, at least."

    The commander hesitated, no doubt, worrying about being surveilled. "Is it safe?"

    "Commander—this is the Chief of State's apartments. Everywhere here is safe, even out there. The entire suite transmits signal interference in every spectrum imaginable to keep any eavesdroppers baffled."

    She gave a little nod and followed him through the empty living area. SE-12 stood halfway between the open wall and the bar, hands folded to await his master's orders.

    "Essie, a battle of wine—something good—and two glasses."

    "None for me, thanks," Klorne said. "It's very late."

    "Then I'll drink yours."

    They stepped out on the balcony where Coruscant still waited, a burnt forest of dark monoliths with embers still glowing around them, seeming even grimmer somehow than it had a moment ago, as though the city was watching and holding its breath, as filled with foreboding as Fyor suddenly felt. Klorne stared sadly out at the notched skyline. Fyor had never seen that look in the Alliance Commander's eyes before—she looked afraid.

    "Lorra? What is it?"

    "The Raithians found the Jedi base," she said. "They're dead. All of them."

    Fyor Rodan felt as though his stomach had just dropped through the balcony floor and was plunging through the abyss of Coruscant's undercity. He had been expecting bad news, but nothing could have prepared him for something this shocking.

    Essie returned with his tray and Fyor's drinks at that moment, allowing the Chief of State to remain quite a few more heartbeats while his mind whirled with questions, his heart thumped with panic, and he tried in vain to digest the revelation and project an appropriate response. Despite her earlier protest, Klorne accepted one of the glasses and downed half of it in one gulp. Fyor accepted the glass and it nearly slipped from his fingers. His hands were shaking. Thankfully, the usually perceptive woman at his side had not noticed. Fyor set the drink aside and waited for the droid to saunter away before turning back to her.

    "All of them? Are you certain?"

    Lorra Klorne shook her head and stared down into the rose and ruby glimmers of the Alderaanian wine. "The entire Jedi installation was destroyed. There are rumors all over Tatooine about a handful of survivors that were hunted down and killed by a Hutt named 'Gorba.'"

    Fyor was in disbelief. "Gorba?"

    "A cousin of Cordoba the Hutt, who operates out of Nar Shaddaa. Apparently, they had a detonator to set over some dealing with the Jedi or are just seeking favor with the Raithians through appeasement—depending on which rumors you believe."

    Did she know?

    "And which rumors do you believe?"

    Klorne looked out at the city again, a sparkle of a tear in her eye that quickly vanished. "I haven't been able to reach any of the Jedi through our relay... I guess I believe all of them."

    Fyor allowed himself to reach for his glass and had a swallow of wine—didn't taste it. "How long ago did all of this happen?"

    "Three days."

    He frowned bitterly at that. Even on a backwater world like Tatooine, something like this wouldn't stay a secret long—not with rumors already trickling in through Klorne's contacts. Very soon, HoloNet broadcasts would get snatches of the story through spacer gossip and the galaxy would know that the Jedi Knights were gone.

    Not long ago, he had longed for the Order to be dismantled because he believed they were more trouble than good, and that Skywalker had gone too far with his involvement in politics—but he had never wanted this.

    If they traced it back...

    "How..." Fyor broke off, knowing he sounded too eager, and attempted to mask it with a dramatic pause. He grimaced, shaking his head, and steadied himself with another drink. He didn't have to feign devastation, at least. He had to be careful in how he spoke, to ask more casually than he desired to, but not so casual as to appear indifferent. The balance was a difficult one. "How did the Raithians learn where the Jedi were hiding?"

    Klorne's eyes glistened with tears again. She shook her head and looked out at Coruscant's vast sprawl of skytowers, where speeders glided as though utterly weightless, like blowing ash on the wind. "I have no idea."

    Relief sang in Fyor's heart. He slowly released the breath he'd been holding and he took another drink. There seemed no obvious conclusion. The Jedi had kept the location of their sanctuary a closely guarded secret. Not even a trusted ally like Klorne had known exactly where the Jedi were hiding.

    She didn't know anything.

    Under the pretense of reaching for the bottle Essie had left behind, Fyor turned to hide his expression from her. His hands were steadier now. He was able to pull the vintage wine bottle's cork and pour himself a glass with only a few tremors in his thin fingers. The initial shock had worn off. Now all that remained was grim certainty.

    Because Fyor Rodan did know.

    He'd known the moment Klorne had told him.

    Reflexively, his fingertips brushed the bruising around his left eye. Keeping his attention on Klorne with his peripheral vision, he continued to furtively touch the mottled patches of faded violet and green, a memento given by Han Solo five days ago. Both the unannounced visit of the Solos and the punch had caught him by surprise, forcing Fyor to think on his feet. There had seemed only one way out of the confrontation that wouldn't immediately result in his being killed, so he'd betrayed Han and Leia Solo, handing them both over to the Raithians and their repulsive son.

    Had the pair been tortured until they revealed the location of the Jedi base? Fyor saw little room to doubt. Of course that is what would be done with them. Darth Malig would have wrung every drop of information from the Solos until they were utterly broken and they'd begged to tell him where the Order had been hiding these many months. The timing fit. Everything fit.

    Fyor Rodan had done this.

    He had needed to get himself out of jamb and turned the Solos over to accomplish it, and now the Jedi were all dead.

    And so, soon, would Fyor be.

    With his enemies gone, Malig no longer needed him. He could supplant him with Jacen Solo, or perhaps the Dark Lord himself, and then there was no question of what Fyor Rodan's fate would be—Malig had taught him that lesson on their first meeting.

    A lesson in how to maintain power, Malig had called it. "You are the Chief of State of the Galactic Alliance, Mr. Rodan. Mr. Omas is your enemy, and he had the position before you. There are those who remain loyal to him, who would follow him in an attempt to regain power—planets, armies, the Jedi Knights. As long as he is alive, he is a threat to you, Rodan."

    Fyor could almost feel the blaster Malig had put in his hand after that, and his fingers trembled involuntarily again.

    In one act of foolishness Fyor had purged an entire Order from the stars and displaced the delicate balance that was keeping him alive.

    The significance of it all was an almost physical weight that caused him to lean against the balcony railing for support. He looked out at the streams of speeder traffic flowing through the night and took another drink.

    "I guess that's it then," he said.

    Klorne turned her gaze in his direction, the sorrow in her eyes steeling to earnestness. "There's still the Remnant and the Ascendancy... And there's you."

    "Me?"

    The woman hesitated a moment, moving closer to him as though what she had to say was so fragile it couldn't travel more than a few centimeters for fear of crumbling on the wind. "Fyor," Klorne began, hesitating once more, her voice seeming moored by unusual tenderness and care in her choice of words. "You can turn our fleets against the Raithians with a single order—brand them as what they truly are to the galaxy. If we join our forces with what remain of the Jedi's coalition—"

    "Have you forgotten what waits in the sky above us?" Fyor asked sharply, gesturing at the utter blackness above speckled by the dazzling tangles of running lamps and incandescent drives glows of starship traffic flowing in and out of the planet's atmosphere. Klorne's mouth closed, her lips forming a hard line like a triggered blast door.

    Though they couldn't see them, they both knew what loomed in the darkness overhead. Two days ago they had come, a fleet of dark-plated Raithian warships to "protect" the planet. Given the sequencing of events in light of Klorne's tidings, Fyor was certain the Raithians' resurfacing on Coruscant after the purge of the Jedi blazoned that Malig meant to dissuade his pet from doing something very much like what the Commander had just suggested. And though the Alliance forces posted around the planet still outnumbered the Raithian fleet, it wasn't overwhelming. The message was all too clear: turn against me and I will see your capital ground to dust anew.

    Even if Fyor's fleets prevailed in such a contest, which they would eventually, Malig's Sith ships would last long enough to make sure it hurt. Because they weren't there to battle the Alliance should Rodan betray Malig—they were there to turn Coruscant into an inferno, to bombard the world with orbital turbolaser strikes and mega-weapon bomb drops, to shatter Coruscant's lofty towers and send them crashing back down into the depths of hell. And even if they failed, there were already thousands of Raithian soldiers all over the city: patrolling the pedwalks, the plazas, the skylanes; guarding the shipping lanes, landing pads, docking bays; there were even an untold number of them in the Senate Rotunda, in the Chief of State's office, and in the building where Fyor Rodan stood now, watching his every move, waiting for the slightest inkling that he might undermine their agreement.

    There was nothing he could do.

    Fyor wanted to run, to disguise himself and disappear into the murky depths of the undercity with the rest of the planet's flotsam, or sneak to a spaceport and leave Coruscant behind forever, find some world far from the war that neither side cared anything about, to live out what remained of his days hiding in anonymity. He wondered, then, if Lorra would run away with him. For some reason, he felt he might actually have a chance if she did, that the odds would suddenly improve if he had someone at his side, something to really hope for...

    But of course she wouldn't.

    Klorne had too much blasted honor to abandon this fight and spend her life hiding while others suffered. And even if she didn't, she wouldn't want to flee with him. To her, he was just a slimy politician: a sad, sorry excuse for a man who'd gotten in over his head and doomed the galaxy. At best, she pitied him—in all likelihood, however, she was utterly repulsed by him.

    "We can't just give up," she said finally. "We've got to do something. If you would only—"

    "The moment that order would leave my tongue, I'd be a dead man," Rodan snarled. "And I don't want to die. I'm not Borsk Fey'lya."

    Lorra Klorne stared back at him for a long time. Rodan met her gaze unflinchingly. When it was clear there was nothing left to say, she stepped away from the balcony railing slowly and left without saying goodbye.


    ***


    Pain trickled into her body like the white blear of banded light filtering through her eyelashes, a languid ascension into the waking world nerve by nerve. Each throb and ache seemed a little pulse that dragged her up nearer that glaring light from the dark waters of oblivion.

    Evlyn Tabory opened her eyes. As the round pupils in those blue eyes contracted to small points, the formless white above grew more distinct, until the harsh blotch of light shrank to the narrow incandescence of a ceiling-mounted bank of glowpanels. She blinked.

    There were sounds then too: moans, and coughs, and measured, clinical voices. And everywhere, the heavy scent of stericlean.

    Finally, she sat up.

    All of the med bunks that extended from the bulkheads inside the infirmary were occupied by the supine bodies of the wounded, leaving the considerable overflow crammed in the aisles on the floating medical sleds they'd been levitated in on, seated on slim plexoid chairs between bunks, or leaning against the bright walls and open hatchway after having limped in under their own power. The entire med bay seemed so full of patients that it was almost impossible for the Chiss doctors in white lab coats to navigate their way through the labyrinth that had been created.

    By the sleek white design of the interior and the profusion of tattered, singed, and blood-soaked CEDF uniforms on the wounded, Evlyn guessed she was on an Ascendancy vessel. It appeared to be the recovery area of the infirmary; most of the afflicted seemed to be resting quietly in a tangle of IV tubes and electrodes that trailed to a myriad of softly blinking patient monitors , while the others were either speaking to the medical staff interviewing them or waiting for their turn to rest on one of the occupied bunks. Almost all were Chiss, though she saw enough human faces amongst them to realize that this warship had recovered members of the Empire of the Hand or perhaps the Imperial Remnant as well.

    Evlyn searched the faces of the wounded, hoping to recognize a member of her team in the bay. Maybe Ghost, or Wampa, or Mother—

    She stopped.

    Her team was all dead.

    Evlyn had watched Darth Havok butcher them one by one.

    Then, she thought he would kill her too, but somehow she'd survived...

    "Agent Tabory, you need to lay down." Evlyn turned to see a tall Chiss female standing over her bunk with short black hair and a severe expression on her azure face. "You're here to heal, and resting is an important component of the process." The doctor placed a hand on her shoulder nearly as cold as her accented voice and tried to urge Evlyn back down on the bunk. Evlyn resisted.

    "Where am I?" Her voice was a dry rasp, but the words scratched through anyway, drawing an impatient glower from the other woman's red eyes.

    "On the Winter Wind, outside of Ryloth." Evlyn recognized the warship's name as belonging to the Sabosen family, but she couldn't imagine what they were doing at a world like Ryloth. Just how long had she been out?

    "How did I get here?"

    "We found you in an escape pod, alone and half-dead. You don't remember launching it and activating its rescue beacon?"

    Evlyn frowned and shook her head. No, she couldn't possibly have done that. Darth Havok's blade had scorched into her shoulder and chest, a fiery ache she could still feel with each breath, and he had hurled her across the corridor with a Force blast more powerful than she'd ever imagined. The last thing Evlyn remembered was something crushing her skull. She reached up with one pale hand and traced the burn scar beneath her white medical robes with her fingers, trying to recall all that had happened.

    Anakin.

    "No," she said, more to herself than the Chiss looming over her. "It was Solo..." She remembered his presence as though in a dream. Had he spoken to her? She couldn't remember clearly. She had some sense of Anakin Solo there floating along beside her. Somehow, he had found her on the Exodus and put her in that escape pod.

    So why hadn't he been on it too?

    The doctor had grown more impatient over the course of their brief conversation and was clearly agitated at being questioned by a human. "It's not important," she said. "Now please lay back—you need your rest. You've suffered some terrible—"

    Evlyn grabbed the doctor's arm tight. "Did we get him? Did we get Malig?"

    "Malig?" The Chiss stepped back, scrutinizing her with those glowing scarlet eyes. "You don't have any idea what happened, do you?"

    Evlyn frowned at that and her grip loosened on the doctor's arm, a sudden sinking feeling filling her with dread.

    "Doctor... just why are we at Ryloth? ... Why didn't we go back to Tatooine after the battle?"

    The Chiss woman's mouth formed a hard line and she did not answer. Before she could implore Evlyn to lie down again, however, the patient across the aisle did. It was an older male human whose right arm was missing below the elbow.

    "We did return to Tatooine, girl," he said. "But the Raithians got there first and destroyed the Jedi base—killed every single one of 'em."




    Whether the dead man was Luke Skywalker or not was unclear, but the woman with the blaster hole in her chest lying near Skywalker's feet was certainly Octa Ramis, and the dark haired man face down in the sand near Skywalker's sprawled form looked convincingly like Kyp Durron. One of Valin Horn's bloody hands was draped over the Destroyer of Cardia's back, not far from where his mother Mirax's unblinking eyes stared into the sky above. Elsewhere in the pile of bodies could clearly be seen the faces of Iella Antilles, Lando Calrissian, and the Jedi Garrison Shan.

    "Shut it off," Grand Admiral Thrawn said tiredly, gesturing to the hologram floating above the round conference table in the Ostiarius's tactical briefing center. To his left, Voss Parck tapped a switch on the table's control ring and the hazy blue image of robes and unmoving limbs fizzled away in a shimmer of blue static above the projector pod in the table's center, replacing it only with an uneasy silence in the cold metal chamber.

    Parck leaned back in his chair. "Well, I suppose that's that," he sighed.

    Gilad Pellaeon raised a white brow. "You believe the image is real then?"

    The other man shrugged. "It's irrelevant. Either the Jedi are all dead or they are now so few in number as to be of little use in opposing the Raithians."

    The shock off all that had happened at Tatooine had begun to fade in the three days since their defeat, leaving the survivors to grapple with the new realities of the conflict and trying to make sense from the devastating blow that had been dealt them. Both the Imperial and Chiss fleets had taken shelter behind one of Ryloth's moons, hoping the Raithians would not pursue them so far from the Rim. No one seemed to know what became of the vessels which made up the Smuggler's Alliance, and as for the Jedi...

    "You do not believe it, Grand Admiral?" Commander Corssa asked, turning her red eyes on Gilad.

    Seated to Pellaeon's right, Corssa was the chamber's only other occupant. Noticeably absent from the meeting was Jagged Fel. No one was certain whether the Ascendancy's Chief Syndic had survived the battle at Tatooine or not, and even had he lived, Fel would probably not have been welcomed into the briefing chamber. There were many who blamed him for the battle's failure, and despite Gilad's fondness for Fel, he had to admit that the boy had disgraced himself by allowing the Ascendancy's prized flagship to be taken over from within.

    Pellaeon returned his focus from the empty chair to the Chiss at his right. "It certainly appears authentic. Though his face is hidden, that very much appears to be Kyp Durron next to Skywalker. Like all good Imperials, I'd recognize the him anywhere—even in a grainy hologram," he said carefully. "But these things can certainly be forged. Where did this image come from?"

    "One of our intelligence agents acquired it from a spacer out of Tatooine yesterday," Thrawn replied.

    Days after the battle, reports coming from Tatooine were still unclear: there were rumors that a Hutt named Gorba had captured the remaining Jedi and surrendered them to the Raithian survivors who'd taken over Mos Eisley and had them summarily executed; another claimed that this Gorba had simply gunned the Jedi down in the desert; while still other rumors persisted that Gorba had actually transported the Jedi to an abandoned pod racing arena in Mos Espa and forced them to fight captured Raithian soldiers to the death for the entertainment of thousands.

    Just which of these rumors the hologram supported was difficult to say—all it showed was a bunch of Jedi dead in the sand—but Pellaeon imagined, in the end, which death the Jedi suffered wasn't nearly as important as whether or not that death had occurred at all.

    An unreadable expression formed on the Parck's hawkish face that Pellaeon believed dwelled somewhere in the range between indifference and resistance to saying something impolite. "Whether all the Jedi are dead or not, disputing its authenticity is a waste of time."

    "I agree," Corssa said. "The attack at Tatooine cost us greatly. We haven't the luxury of dwelling on the fate of the Jedi Knights now when so much is at stake."

    Pellaeon couldn't disagree. Though their losses at Tatooine and the unknown system where the battle started had been relatively minimal, they had also been entirely needless, and that was something their coalition simply could not afford when they were already vastly outnumbered.

    Reluctantly, Pellaeon nodded. Whether the Jedi Knights were all dead or not, they were certainly gone.

    Thrawn's ruby eyes looked down at the flawless chromium table he was slumped against. "The Jedi had become more of a hindrance than a help in the months since our victory at Apollyon anyway. I wish that things had ended differently, but Skywalker's unwillingness to engage in an effective war brought this tragedy on."

    Pellaeon watched Thrawn carefully. The Grand Admiral seemed to be deteriorating before his eyes—his glowing eyes seemed dimmer, his blue skin dry and flaking, and his once thick black hair was coming out in clumps. And Gilad had never seen Thrawn so utterly out-maneuvered before.

    Malig had beaten him.

    Parck folded his hands in front of him. "So I suppose the real question is, what do we do now?"

    At this, Thrawn seemed to straighten, as though momentarily recapturing some strength that was slowly escaping his failing body. "Isn't it obvious, Admiral Parck? For too long the Jedi have held us back from making a real strike at the heart of our enemies, squandering the opportunities we've had to press our advantages after Apollyon. In the wake of this tragedy at Tatooine, our next course of action could not be clearer."

    Gilad Pellaeon leaned forward. "And that is?"

    Mirth flashed in Thrawn's blood-red eyes when he looked at him.

    "We take Coruscant."
    cthugha and Draconarius like this.
  17. Clone_Cmdr_Wedge Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2006
    star 3
    Wait... Malig has become self-aware!? :eek: Malig has become Skynet!

    ...

    Does that mean he looks like Ahnold? :p

    </Obligatory>
    Oh My... (open)


    EDIT: Whoa! Just as I post, there's an update. Now to read...

    Edit the Second:
    Well, things just got more interesting. Of note:
    *I have a slight urge to call the "very sexy bath tub scene" Fan Disservice. :p

    *Rodan... almost has my sympathy. "Almost" being the operative word. For me at least, he falls into more a "Tragic Villain" category, mostly because he hasn't really done anything that made me sympathetic to him. Also, for some reason, I thought of this scene from an episode of Babylon 5 during the first half of Rodan's scene (after the "sexy bath time" portion). Specifically this part of that clip:

    Elric: "As I look at you Ambassador Mollari, I see a great hand reaching out of the stars. The hand is your hand, and I hear sounds-- The sounds of billions of people calling your name."

    Londo: "My followers?"

    Elric: "Your victims."

    Could also apply to Jacen as well, I suppose.

    *Glad to see that Evlyn is (mostly) okay. Loosing her team though... that's gotta suck big time.

    *I'm pretty much 95% certain that the "deaths" are fake. Mostly for two reasons.
    1) It would make sense for the remaining Jedi to convince everyone that they were all dead, as it might get the Raithians to lower their guard, not expect them. If Luke and Company weren't being hunted, that might give them room to maneuver. Though, it wouldn't surprise me if Malig was Dangerously Genre Savvy enough to see through that...

    2) Grasping at straws a little bit, but I doubt you (or a majority of fanfic writers) would kill off an OC such as Garrison "Malachor" Shan "off-screen" like that. Well, I wouldn't anyway. [face_thinking]

    *Thrawn/Thraawn's plan to attack Coruscant could be useful, I suppose. It might distract the Raithians and Malig from whatever the Jedi are doing, and might... "convince" Rodan that switching sides is a good idea. :p Could also draw troops and ships away from The Reckoner.

    Finally (for now), I never thought I'd see the day when I'd be rooting for the Empire to retake Coruscant... 8-}
    Last edited by Clone_Cmdr_Wedge, Sep 10, 2013
  18. Draconarius Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 27, 2005
    star 4
    Well, a fleet of Imperials appearing over Coruscant in a surprise attack might be enough to convince Rodan to switch sides. If the planet and fleet are going to get hammered anyway, it might as well be for the right reason.

    I am absolutely convinced the image is a fake, though mostly for out-of-universe reasons. I just don't think you'd be willing to have so many characters killed off-screen. In-universe, appearing to be dead would give the Jedi a potential element of surprise when they hit the Reckoner. The only real question I can think of is how they convinced the Hutts to help them pull it off.
  19. Durroness Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2002
    star 1

    Agreed. There's no way Yobi killed all of the Jedi offscreen.... right? The first thought I had when reading that part was about those Vaagarii things that can make people look dead, like when Anakin thought Tahiri was dead. So, maybe the image is actually legit... but just a complete misdirection by the Jedi. I dunno though, would Malig really fall for that?

    And I really liked the scene with Rodan, it was good to see how much he believes he's a dead man walking (he's totally right), and how, even still, he's not willing to defy Malig. I know he was thinking about all of the casualties, but it was a justification. What does he think is going to happen if he does nothing?

    And Thrawn... I don't think Malig is going to see a battle for Coruscant coming from that angle. Maybe he thinks it's too late, that he's already won and it won't matter, and maybe it won't, but I still really want to see how that's going to happen.



    And Evlyn. I'm not really sure how she'll fit into all of this yet. I can see her attempting something stupidly heroic, or realizing that the Jedi aren't really all dead, but I get the feeling maybe that she's got something important to do.
    YodaKenobi likes this.
  20. Xammer Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Rodan reminds me a bit of Ar-Pharazôn the Golden...
    anakin_sal-solo likes this.
  21. cthugha Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 24, 2010
    star 3
    Awesome update!
    It's great to see all those other characters again -- especially the Rodan scene was very atmospheric and chilling, and Thrawn's reaction to the changed situation provided just the right glimmer of hope (and promise of future fleet action ;)) that I needed at this rather depressing point in the story.

    I don't think I've ever made a prediction for this fic, but so here's my first:
    Show Spoiler
    Despite all his pessimism throughout the last few volumes of this story, I think Fyor Rodan is going to be proven wrong after all and actually survive the war -- maybe he will even go on to rule a rehabilitated GFFA.
    Force Smuggler and YodaKenobi like this.
  22. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    Great Chapter! I'm not worried.
    The Empire/Chiss's next plan? Bring it on!
  23. stormtrooptk421 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Coruscant can't seem to catch a break these days. That place changes hands so frequently it's like a game of hot potato.
  24. anakin_sal-solo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2011
    star 1
    so who's r Elendil?
  25. FORCEBlLADE Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2003
    star 3
    The night is at its darkest just before the dawn. Please tell me the dawn is coming soon.
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