Beyond The End of All Light (Post-NJO AU: Anakin Solo, Jacen, Jaina, L/M, H/L, many more) Updated 9/9/13!

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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    Is he an ear, nose, and throat guy, cuz Malig clearly has something wrong with his voice?




    I don't doubt it. I'm actually rereading all 4 stories at the moment to make sure everything is still present in my mind and I don't miss any connections that might spring up. When I have been working on this, it's been on that Kyle chapter for so long, and that's really like it's own short story. Been awhile since I've had to think about Luke and the others.

    I will figure out something so everyone can read the story again.




    Yeah, I plan on reediting those someday. Although, LotS is getting a rewrite when I'm done with some major changes.

    A good idea. I'm still mulling over my options.

    Thanks for the help though! :D



    Kyle has a timeshare there, and he was pissed he couldn't find it because this was his vacation.




    I lolled.

    Comparisons to the Star Forge should come up big time in the next chapter. And we'll be seeing Jacen fairly soon as well.

    Thanks for reading and replying :D





    "Previously on Legacy of the Sith..."





    Hoping to have Chapter 51 up within two weeks, but I don't want to make any more promises I can't keep. Chapter title: "The Keepers of the Fire."
    Last edited by YodaKenobi, Jul 5, 2013
  2. JStepp Jedi Master

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    - @YodaKenobi
    This is pure blasphemy!!
  3. anakin_sal-solo Jedi Master

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    great Post, enjoyable start to my 4th of July!!
    Choosing from a list

    From the options:

    • delete

    Random selection is: delete

    Last edited by anakin_sal-solo, Jul 6, 2013
  4. anakin_sal-solo Jedi Master

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    WOW!? okay "Lucas" just don't go completely overboard, we don't need to see Jacen dropping to his knees and screaming :_| NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! when Tenel Ka leaves Centerpoint Station with Anakin, ok? :mad::mad::mad::p:p
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  5. Rew Force Ghost

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    Well, he has a big chin. And of course a bow tie--because bow ties are cool. :cool:

    But yeah, I have a comical mental image of the Doctor examining Darth Malig's mask with his sonic screwdriver trying to figure out what's with the warping of his voice, completely oblivious (or not caring) of the Sith Lord's menace. xD

    (And am I the only Doctor Who fan in this thread? :p)

    Hmmm... I suspect a lot of those changes will have to do with how you changed around when/where Faybol died, correct? [face_thinking]


    I have an idea of where the story goes from here. With what few Jedi are left, they have mobilized to take down Malig once and for all. Now that Kyle's arrived, they have enough info to know where to look.

    So from here, I think we're about to see all our heroes head off to Zonama Sekot for the endgame! Anakin and some others go down to the surface to confront Havok, while Luke and others board the Reckoner to track down Malig in the final battle.

    Another prediction: We haven't had any Namtar flashbacks lately, and I know we still have the Malig vs. Sidious duel to go. I suspect that we'll get flashbacks of that intermittently during Luke's final duel with Malig (similar to how there were flashbacks interspersed in the Anakin vs. Jacen duel in the previous story). And I think that whatever happened in the Malig-Sidious duel will be decisive for what happens in the Jedi's final battle against Malig in the present--and lead to the unmasking.

    Coming soon: STAR WARS Legacy of the Sith -- SPECIAL EDITION! Now with lots more CGI! Anakin shoots first, and Darth Malig now rides a computer-generated ronto. 8-}
  6. Clone_Cmdr_Wedge Force Ghost

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    Pretty much my thinking, yeah... [face_thinking]

    Mass Effect 2 reference, sorry.

    Mass Effect 2 (open)
    The Collectors abuct human colonists and take them to their base in the galactic core to build something. Replace "Collectors" with "Raithians", and "human colonists" with "Force sensitives" and that's more or less what's going on here.



    Well, looking back at it...

    Spoiler? (open)
    1)The impression I got was that it's supposed to "create" something, but I'm not sure if that meant "creating" something tangible (like what the Collector Base in ME2 was doing), or something more like a "new world order" (for lack of a better term). As for how it would do the second... I have no clue.
    2) Looking at a scene where Dani and Jacen are talking about it, they talk about it being a "power source/converter" of some kind, which would then lead me to wonder, what is it supposed to power then?

    Or maybe the question should be who is it supposed to power?

    Side note: That whole conversation was giving me some nasty ME3 flashbacks, considering that the MacGuffin in that, the Crucible, turned out to be pretty much just a power source. At least Dani and Co were able to figure that out, unlike every friggin scientist in the entire galaxy in ME3.

    And I better stop there before I rant more about that narrative... catastrophy that was ME3... [face_frustrated]


    A couple of other things I remembered wondering about:

    1)Why would the Vong attack Kyle's team (unless I forgot or missed something)? Did Malig/Jacen/the Raithians convince them that Jedi=bad again, or was it something else?

    2)What is that temple for? Somehow I doubt it's just The Church of Darth Malig for everyone to pray at (Even though I'm 90% sure he's got some sort of "god complex" going on), nor do I think it's for Jacen (Even as a Sith Lord I don't think he has that big an ego. Well, the YKU one anyway. The SWU one though... :p)



    Ah, so... no help from the Chiss, the Empire, the Hapans, or the Alliance. *thinks* Long shot, I know, but what about Klorne? Thought she was at least sympathetic?

    If none of them really are an option, then this just got a lot more... interesting.




    Don't think it really means anything, just the descriptions reminded me of them a little bit. Oh, and even though I self-identify as a Star Wars fan, you gotta check out Wrath of Khan (Star Trek 2) at least. :p


    Actually, I did make a list of everyone who is dead so far from this story (that I could find):

    Deceased List (open)

    Dead:
    Traest Kre’fey
    Danni Quee
    Faybol
    Kurol
    Lura Ve
    Sayge*
    Cilghal*
    Streen*
    Tionne*
    Tresina Lobi*
    Saba Sebatyne*
    Cakhmaim*
    Chaf'ros'tombi*
    Kyrn*
    Meewalh*
    Keyan Farlander*
    Tycho Celchu*
    Winter Celchu*
    Sannah*
    Izal Waz*
    Wonetun*
    Klin-Fa Gi*
    Uldir Lochett*
    Tam Azur-Jamin*
    Markre Medjev*
    Kell Tainer*
    Tyria Tainer*
    The 501st Stormtroopers w/Evlyn*

    MIA: (As in, not 100% confirmed dead or alive)
    Alema Rar
    Jaden Korr
    Lowbacca
    Necil Krace
    Tekli
    Tesar Sebatyne
    Kirana Ti
    Evlyn Tabory (Okay, I'm being picky with her. She was put on an escape pod that was launched, but I don't recall hearing if she was picked up.)

    *= Lost during the Battle for Halo
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  7. YodaKenobi VIP

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    omg I'm a monster
  8. JediMaster_Jen Force Ghost

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    So glad to see this story back! Kyle's account of what happened was chilling. As usual, you've captured the essence of these characters' emotions. Looking forward to the next one.
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  9. Clone_Cmdr_Wedge Force Ghost

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    I think Jon Stewart said it best...

    Show Spoiler
    [IMG]


    JStepp's comment reminded me of that. :p
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  10. JStepp Jedi Master

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    @YodaKenobi So any news? I am sitting here staring at the disappointing Crucible, and I really have a hankering for some quality Star Wars fiction.
  11. YodaKenobi VIP

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    I am actually hard at work on the story (shocker), reading the entire series (just finished LotD) to make certain I haven't forgotten anything important and won't miss any connections that might pop up during the actual writing process. Finalizing my outline for the last act of this thing as well. I don't think it will be a terribly long wait for the next post.
  12. YodaKenobi VIP

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    Finished rereading the series.

    This thing is long.
  13. Draconarius Force Ghost

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    You're only realizing this now!? :p
  14. Rew Force Ghost

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    You actually finished re-reading a little sooner than I thought you would. :p
  15. YodaKenobi VIP

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    It really becomes clear when you try and read it all at once :p I can't believe I wrote all that!


    It was a speed re-read. I read every word of dialogue and internal thoughts, but skimmed descriptions, action scenes, and recaps :p




    I was plotting the storylines for POV characters to make sure I had all my ducks in a row and made this list of the number of times we get certain characters' POV in The End of All Light:


    Jacen (x23)
    Namtar (x19)
    Jaina (x18)
    Anakin (x18)
    Jag (x10)
    Luke (x9)
    Tahiri (x8)
    Leia (x7)
    Han (x6)
    Mara (x5)
    Narrator (x5)
    Tenel Ka (x4)
    Kyp (x4)
    Ben (x4)
    Hala (x4)
    Faybol (x4)
    Malig (x3)
    Rodan (x3)
    Danni (x3)
    Nen Yim (x3)
    Maichen (x2)
    Kyle (x2) (a lot more if you take each individual scenes from last chapter, but let's just say "2" for now)
    Jysella (x2)
    Evlyn (x2)
    Malachor (x2)
    Callista (x1)
    Aero (x1)
    Dagan (x1)
    Tionne (x1)
    Tresina Lobi (x1)
    Streen (x1)
    Saba (x1)
    Colonel Qel-Oro (x1)
    Marro (x1)



    I don't know what this means, but I like that the top two characters are the villains :p
    Last edited by YodaKenobi, Jul 25, 2013
  16. Clone_Cmdr_Wedge Force Ghost

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    Well, I won't mind if it takes an extra week or two to get everything together. Especially if it prevents a Mass Effect 3-class frak up. :p

    That said, don't hold back if you think it's ready.


    Well, antagonists usually move the plot forward... [face_thinking]

    Maybe just to add more food for thought to that line: Combined, Malig/Namtar and Jacen have 45, while the main Skywalker/Solo clan (ie: Jaina through Mara) have 81. My guess is that it's just that there are so many protagonists (8, if you go by my counting) while there are only 2 main antagonists, so they are proportionally going to have more scenes per character than the protagonists.

    Also, interesting that you separated "Namtar" and "Malig." I thought they were the same person. [face_thinking]
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  17. Xammer Jedi Grand Master

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    If anyone else is interested in reading or re-reading the whole series (in its current state), I uploaded all these to DropBox:

    YodaKenobi's fics

    I hope it's not a problem - I made this because many people have trouble reading them due to the cutting of the posts.
  18. JStepp Jedi Master

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    [IMG]
    Everytime we ask Yodakenobi for an update he kills a Jedi! LOL!
  19. YodaKenobi VIP

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    Thanks so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it :D It's good to see you again, too.



    I lolled.



    Yeah, Crucible... wow. Not even sure what to say any more about Star Wars fiction.



    Got it all ready now, and without patting myself on the back too much, I can say that the end will not be as bad as Mass Effect 3 :p

    Shooting for this Friday or the next.


    Yeah, that's true. I really thought Jaina would have the most scenes. Was surprised it was Jacen, but it's fitting for this story.

    Yeah, I did that because their point-of-view chapters are so completely different, and for purposes of plotting, they are separate storylines. I think I've mostly confirmed that Namtar is Malig now though, since Plagueis named him "Malig" in that flashback :p




    Wow, that's really awesome. I was looking to do something like that. Thanks so much @Xammer! Much appreciated.





    Later, Jysella.
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  20. Clone_Cmdr_Wedge Force Ghost

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    You know, there has been a rumor that Yobi is really Troy Denning, maybe he's really George R. R. Martin instead? :p


    I guess I'm lucky I don't have the money or space for any more SW books...
    Also, I don't have high hopes for something who's name reminds me of something bad from ME3 (Gah, there I go again. At this rate, we could make a drinking game out of this. "Take a shot everytime Clone_Cmdr_Wedge references ME3!"8-} ) Though, to be fair, I haven't seen much about Crucible. Guess I should take a gander over at Lit...

    Good to hear. Then again, that wouldn't be hard to do...

    Nice! (Doubly so if it's this week!)
  21. YodaKenobi VIP

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    Just realized some of my replies from last time didn't get posted for some reason! Apologies to these people.




    I lolled.




    I have never seen it :p

    No, I like that decision, although the one thing I am going to change in The End of All Light is something you suggested in that scene
    Show Spoiler
    Just having Jaina flat out beat Faybol in the duel. I think she'll cut his hands off, THEN Aero will shoot him when Jaina is demanding that he call his Kurol off Anakin and Tahiri.



    Sounds pretty good so far...

    This is a really interesting prediction and you are right that an important Namtar flashback will run concurrent to Malig's unmasking, but I'm not saying what happens in said flashback [face_whistling]

    In the next SPECIAL EDITION the Squibs are going to blink!






    Not a MacGuffin. I promise the Reckoner has a very real, substantive purpose. Also, like your "1)" [face_whistling]

    We know some of them are slaves. They have slave seed implants like Danni did. It was actually a Vong slave on the Reckoner who caused the explosion that led to Danni's "death" (the first one). But we'll get more answers about the Vong later...



    The Temple's purpose is going to remain a mystery for awhile, but it's important.

    Klorne is feeding the Jedi information (along with Triebakk and A'Kla) but she can't really move a fleet without a certain someone's say-so. Anyway, we'll be seeing a Klorne scene very soon.


    KHAAAAAANNNN!!!!


    What I like about your list there, is that in my notes, I have a list of all the characters in the story (divided by faction), and there is an asterisk next to the names of everyone who dies throughout the course of the story.

    There are a lot of asterisks.



    I am wearing a belt right now, so I think we can rule that out.


    Crucible is truly dreadful. Don't bother reading it.

    Good point. I'll put it this way: After rereading the series, The End of All Light is the best story of the series, in my opinion (which kind of surprised me), and it has far and away, the best ending.

    [/quote]

    Sorry. Friday the 9th!
    Last edited by YodaKenobi, Aug 1, 2013
  22. YodaKenobi VIP

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    New post is done and will be up later today (feel free to be shocked at the fact I'm actually meeting a deadline).
  23. Vialco Force Ghost

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    Nute Gunray:This is impossible!
  24. YodaKenobi VIP

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    Chapter 51: Beginning and the End

    The Force was once a single, unified entity, until a cloister of wizards decided to sort what they found moral about the Force and forbid the rest. When they did this, they not only cast part of the Force into darkness, but the galaxy into darkness as well. The Force has been split, and we are living in ignorance, lost and blind in the desert, kept from its knowledge, forbidden from its truth. When the Force is restored to its natural form, it will not only mean an end to the turmoil caused by the Jedi's "balance," but an awakening for all who have been blinded by it. They will see the truth of our existence. They will understand what it is to be alive.

    —From the journal of Darth Malig


    Long after the Jedi Master had finished his tale, the last remaining members of the Order sat in silence around the fire, listening to the winds flap over the Dune Sea, the crackle of stirred flames, and the troubling thoughts Kyle's story had summoned. No one seemed to know what to say, or even how to process the magnitude of what had been revealed in the pale light of Tatooine's moons. Luke was beginning to realize that he was the one that needed to break the uneasy silence, but found he was at as great a loss as others, unsure, even, of where to begin. He had just started searching for what to say when Han spoke instead, saying what Luke recognized must have been what everyone gathered there was thinking.

    "So let me get this straight," Han began, looking over the fire at Kyle. The flickering amber lighting from below made the hard lines of his face appear all the graver. "The Raithians have Sekot?"

    Katarn nodded. "That's the long and the short of it."

    Luke unfolded his hands from the baggy sleeves of his brown cloak and laid one upon Kyle's shoulder.

    "You made the right decision in returning, Kyle," he said.

    "I wish I could say I knew that." Kyle leaned back wearily against the rock that propped his injured body up. He looked as though the mere act of retelling his story had taken everything he had left.

    A couple meters away, Kyp Durron's brow furrowed and he shifted beneath the olive green blanket that enshrouded him, still trying to coax warmth back into bones that had known the aching cold of space. "Having Sekot... How is that even possible?"

    "Kyle said they found a Bothan corpse," Wedge Antilles offered from the rear of the gathering where he was seated with his wife. "We all know how badly the Bothans have been wanting to find Zonama Sekot so they could get revenge against the Vong. It sounds like at least one of them found his way to where the planet is hiding."

    "The Fifth Fleet," Leia concluded. "They've been missing for months. Do you think Kre'fey attacked Zonama Sekot?"

    "It would explain why no one has heard from them since," Kyp said. "But not how the Raithians managed to capture a living planet."

    "Maybe they didn't capture Sekot," Tenel Ka mused softly. When she realized everyone was looking at her, she explained. "Jacen."

    The word hit Luke in the chest like a slab of duracrete. Though the thought had not occurred to him when Kyle unfolded his tale, he could feel immediately the truth in it when Tenel Ka said his name. Almost too suddenly, everything about Zonama Sekot's presence in the story was becoming painfully clear.

    "Jacen is the closest to Sekot of anyone," Kyp said sadly, casting an apologetic look in Han and Leia's direction for having to say it. "He spent three years there bonding with the planet before all of this happened. If he asked Zonama Sekot to help the Raithians, do you think it would?"

    "Hold your thrusters," Jaina snapped. "We don't know anything about how the Raithians managed to snag Sekot. Jacen might not even know about this."

    "Actually..." Anakin hesitated. Something unreadable flashed over his expression, an uncertainty about what he meant to say. Then, just as quickly, it was gone—not thrust away, just let go of. "Actually, I'm fairly certain Jacen does know."

    Doubt shone in Jaina's eyes. She stared at Anakin, the flame's dance exposing and eclipsing the fear on her face with every shift of the light. "How?"

    "On the Exodus, Jacen had an Embrace of Pain. At the time, I couldn't really think clearly and figure out where he had gotten it, but there is really only one place a person could get a hold of something like that."

    A wave of shock rippled through the gathering. Jaina slowly covered her mouth in horror as the meaning became clear to her. To her right, Leia's eyes grew huge and dark by the glow of their fire. Han wrapped an arm around his wife's slender shoulders, clutching her tightly against him as though to brace himself.

    "Anakin..." Leia's voice was hollow, scarcely more than the breath that produced it, and the thought trailed off in words she could not speak. What happened to you on the Exodus? Han laid his other hand on her shoulder and pulled her closer. This was not a discussion they could have now. Not here.

    Anakin let his gaze linger on his mother's eyes for only a moment. When he turned away, R2-D2 emitted a low, sorrowful tone in the darkness.

    Luke felt his insides grow cold at the revelation. Had Jacen actually tortured his little brother?

    Had his nephew really fallen so far?

    "How the Raithians managed to get Sekot is irrelevant." Mara was crouched next to Luke, sitting on the back of her heels, absently flipping the hilt of her lightsaber in one gloved hand. The last toss landed pommel out. "We need to figure out why they did, and then we need to stop them."

    Luke nodded to his wife in agreement, more appreciative than ever of her knack for cutting through extraneous details to get at the heart of any matter. The Solos seemed to ease slightly, no doubt continuing to imagine the horrors that might have transpired on the Exodus while the rest of those gathered around the fire were polite enough to let the conversation advance without dwelling on it.

    "Isn't it obvious?" Kyp asked. "Zonama Sekot is a weapon. The Raithians are going to use it against their enemies."

    "Is it obvious?" Luke returned, drawing a frown from the younger Master.

    "They have few enemies left," Garrison Shan said from the opposite end of the campfire. Valin Horn and Wedge Antilles glared at the man, thinking he was mocking the losses they'd suffered that horrible day or digging at wounds inflicted only an hour earlier, prior to Katarn's dramatic arrival, but Luke could see the sincerity in what the Raithian Jedi was saying.

    "He has a point," Tahiri sighed, reaching up to tuck a stray curl of her golden hair behind an ear when the cold night winds sent it fluttering over her eyes. "The Raithians are winning this fight right now. Why bother dragging Zonama Sekot into it? It seems sort of unnecessary since they were obviously already planning on having that Zeltron hussy blow up Halo."

    "There's still the Remnant and the Chiss," Octa Ramis reminded from beneath the raised cowl of her sand-speckled cloak. "And whatever enemies the Raithians might have back in their own territory. It might be they have more adversaries than we realize, and the nice feature of having a living planet on your side is that it travels."

    Jaina kicked a small clump of sand next to her boot. "So I guess we don't know why."

    "That doesn't make any sense..." Lando seemed to be speaking to himself, stroking his well-manicured mustache with his thumb and staring into the fire, his mind no doubt trying to grasp the full picture with the few pieces they had of Malig's mosaic. Then he look up at the rest of the group. "If the Raithians want to haul Sekot back to their own star systems, why drag it from the Outer Rim into the Deep Core? For that matter, if they want to move it anywhere, why drag it into the Deep Core? It's the least maneuverable location one could pick. They're sacrificing the thing's mobility."

    "He's right." Jaina brightened. "Remember during the Vong War? We led Tsavong Lah and his forces into the Deep Core at Ebaq 9 for just that reason. Once we had them there, they were trapped."

    "So why risk it?" Mirax Horn asked. She was seated with Kyp and her children, not far from where Kyle and Luke were. "The Raithians don't seem to be in the habit of letting themselves be cornered. There must be some reason for moving Zonama Sekot there."

    "Perhaps it's not about the Core," Tenel Ka said. Her gray eyes were staring dreamily out across the sprawling maze of stone arches and pinnacles to the east, the rust-colored rock turned the same midnight blue as the sands in the moonlight. "Perhaps Zonama Sekot has to be in that star system for a reason."

    Mara looked up from her lightsaber. "So why that system then?" Her eyes shifted to Kyle. "What do we know about it?"

    The injured man shook his head. "The system wasn't on the star charts. Not even an Imperial Survey Number."

    "Not unheard of, but it's unusual in the Core," Mara said. "You have the coordinates recorded, I hope."

    "Should be in Raven's Claw's nav computer," Kyle grunted, leaning back against the hunk of fleckrock again and grabbing his injured arm. "For whatever good they'll do you."

    "We won't need them," Luke said evenly, drawing the stares of everyone around the fire. "It's Tython."

    "Tython?" Jysella gaped. "The Tython."

    Luke nodded. "Given Kyle's description of the vergence he felt in the star system and its location so deep in the Core, there's really nowhere else it could be."

    "Wow," Tahiri gasped.

    "Tython?" Han questioned, raising his hands in confusion. "Someone wanna fill me in here?"

    "It would be my pleasure, Captain Solo." C-3PO's glowing yellow photoreceptors seemed to brighten as he shuffled forward a step to address the survivors. "Located in the Tython System from which it derives its name, the planet Tython is the fifth world in orbit around Tythos—"

    "Okay," Han interrupted, "could someone less irritating fill me in?"

    "Tython is the birthplace of the Jedi Order," Tahiri explained, looking over her right shoulder to where Han and Leia were sitting with Maichen and the droids. "It's ancient, and supposed to be sort of... dangerous."

    "Sounds lovely. Thanks, kid."

    Dangerous, was being generous, in Luke's opinion. 25,000 years ago, a group of scholars and philosophers that would be called the "Je'daii Order" settled on the planet Tython to study the mysteries of an energy they came to know as The Force. They soon discovered the importance of maintaining a balance in the Force between its two aspects—the Ashla and the Bogan—named after Tython's two moons, which the Je'daii saw as a metaphor for the Light and Dark Sides of the Force. Whenever the Force grew unbalanced, swaying too far to the Light or Darkness, Tython would be plagued by terrible Force storms. It was the planet's volatile nature that eventually led to its devastation when a group of Je'daii splintered from the Order. They had come to believe the Force was theirs to command, and rejected the notion of balance for the power promised by the Bogan. A great war followed between the followers of the Ashla and those of the Bogan, ending in a horrible cataclysm that ravaged the planet.

    It was the first battle between the Light and Dark Sides of the Force.

    A decade later, the dissidents were vanquished, and the survivors formed the modern Jedi Order. Deciding Tython was too unstable for the Order, they abandoned the planet and its dangers for Ossus and the rest of the galaxy they would go on to protect for millennia.

    Luke had Tython's navigation data erased from Jedi computers, like Korriban and other worlds that were deemed too dangerous to explore, and both the New Republic and Galactic Alliance had followed suit.

    "So what does that mean?" Jagged Fel asked, no doubt, even more lost than Han when it came to Jedi lore.

    "I'm not really sure," Luke admitted.

    Leia's composure seemed to have recovered. "Have you ever been there?"

    Luke shook his head. "No. Tionne traveled there once to search for Jedi artifacts and any knowledge that might remain in its ruins, but decided against actually landing on its surface when she sensed it in the Force."

    "Oh dear," Threepio moaned.

    "Yes, that's very comforting," Jag said dryly. "Is there any connection between this Tython and Zonama Sekot?"

    Luke shook his head. "Other than being unique in the Force, no, I can't think of any connection between them. Zonama Sekot wasn't even from our galaxy originally."

    "What about that other thing?" Valin Horn's voice seemed older than it had when Luke had heard it last—he supposed they had all aged a great deal that day. "The thing Master Katarn saw in Sekot's orbit that felt like the dark side..."

    Silence blanketed the camp again, as several of the beings ringed around their small fire shifted uncomfortably, and all considered what horrors might be hidden within the object constructed in Zonama Sekot's skies.

    "A space installation," Lando said.

    Mirax looked at Kyle. "You said it felt familiar to you but you couldn't place it..."

    "Apollyon," Kyle rasped. "It felt like Apollyon."

    A sudden chill made a million little bumps rise across Luke Skywalker's skin at the very mention of the Raithian homeworld. There were too many horrible memories of his time imprisoned in that hell, and they all seemed to flood his mind at once.

    "So what is it?" Han asked finally.

    "It's called the Reckoner," Luke answered, drawing more looks of surprise from everyone around him—even Mara.

    "You know about this?" Leia said.

    "I saw a hologram of its schematics at the Council of Lords meeting on Apollyon that Malig made me watch. I don't know what it is or what it does, and I got the feeling the Council that was discussing it didn't really know either. But I know it's important."

    "A weapon?" Lando asked. "Another Death Star?"

    "I don't know," Luke admitted, spreading his hands out apologetically.

    "If it's a superweapon of some kind," Wedge pondered, "what in the blazes would this Malig need with Zonama Sekot?"

    Several times as he was speaking, Luke saw Jaina looking over her shoulder at Wrev Caster, who was leaning against a huge slab of stone, silently communicating something unknown to Luke. Finally, Wrev tilted his head at her and said aloud, "Do you wanna tell them, or should I?"

    "I'll do it," Jaina huffed. She rose from where she was sitting to better address the group and dusted the sand off her trousers.

    "What is it?" Leia asked, her growing nervousness apparent in her weary features.

    "Before the battle, Jacen marooned me and Wrev on the planet the Raithian fleet was stationed around," Jaina began. "When we got to the surface, we learned that it was the planet Lehon—Rakata Prime."

    The Jedi listened in silence as Luke's niece quickly recounted her experience on the mysterious world with Wrev: meeting the last living people of a race long believed extinct, being taken to a bizarre excavation site, the story the Rakatan elders told of the space station that had once sat in their own skies and what had become of it.

    "The Star Forge," Luke repeated. "Malig wanted a piece of the Star Forge?"

    It didn't make any sense. He leaned back breathlessly, trying to construct something out of the puzzle before them all.

    "Okay, what's the Star Forge?" Han asked. "Some old super weapon I remember from the histories, but I can't remember what it did."

    "It was a space installation created by the Infinite Empire. It is believed to have used Force energy to produce the Rakata's armada."

    "It built ships?"

    Luke nodded. "Later, a pair of fallen Jedi named Revan and Malak used it to create a Sith fleet."

    "The Sith Empire," Han growled. "That would be the same Sith Empire we're fighting now? Revan's?"

    "Along with the original Sith that fled the known galaxy after the Great Hyperspace War—yes."

    "That was the other thing you need to know," Jaina said, looking at her uncle. "Irsa said that Malig was wearing Darth Revan's mask."

    "He told me as much once," Luke admitted. "I guess that confirms it."

    Lando looked at him incredulously. "Confirms what, exactly?"

    The Jedi Master did not answer. His mind was too busy, watching as the pieces slowly began to fall into place. Over the flickering tongues of flame that separated them, Luke saw his nephew Anakin's blue eyes staring intensely into some abyss known only to him, an expression on his face that was all too familiar.

    Anakin looked up. "Uncle Luke? Where did the Star Forge get its power?"

    "From Lehon's star, I believe," Luke responded, feeling the hairs on the back of his neck prickle. Anakin was obviously following the same line of thought he was. "It harvested raw stellar material, and according to legend, fed off the brutality of the Rakata and the anguish of its slave builders to augment its dark side power. The Star Forge became a living machine that could build anything its creators desired."

    "Wait," Lando said, "what are you two getting at?"

    Anakin ignored him. "And how powerful might it have been, if instead of drawing energy from a star, they had used a living planet?"

    A tingle spidered up Luke's spine at hearing his own vague thoughts given voice to. "I don't know how to quantify something like that," he said, "but it scares me."

    "Hold on a second," Han blurted, "are you two saying that Malig has rebuilt the Star Forge? What is he, Revan's long-lost descendant?"

    Luke shook his head again. "I suspected he was always hinting at something by wearing that mask, and when Anakin told us that the Raithians were the Sith Empire, I assumed that was its meaning. Now I think he was telling us what he planned to do the whole time."

    "Why would Malig want to rebuild the Star Forge?" Leia's brow wrinkled in confusion and she shook her head. "The Raithians have more ships than the Remnant and the Ascendancy combined, and that's without even considering the Alliance and Hapan warships now at their disposal."

    "It doesn't add up," Kyp agreed.

    "I don't think the Reckoner is the Star Forge," Luke explained. "I think it works in the same manner, drawing the Force into it for its own purposes."

    Jaina's brow arched. "And what purpose do you suppose Darth Malig has in mind?"

    In answer, Luke reached into the folds of his dark robes and removed the wide, blood-red leather book he had hidden there, drawing looks of surprise from the survivors gathered around the fire—including Mara.

    "This is Darth Malig's journal," he said.

    Wrev snorted in disgust. "You've got to be kidding me. We're being tormented by a man that keeps a damn diary?"

    Ignoring him, Leia scrutinized the large, flexible volume from where she was seated. "Where did you get it?"

    "On Apollyon, from Malig's home." Luke hesitated, remembering how he'd snatched the tome after plunging a lightsaber into the Sith Lord's belly. And he healed himself...

    "So what's in it?" Jaina asked.

    "A lot," Luke sighed. "More than I've been able to absorb in four months. Threepio has been helping me translate the many language's Malig uses in it, though I still feel like I'm missing something important every time I read it, some little detail that would make everything inside it make sense."

    Luke's thumb traced the now familiar cracks, creases, and veins in the red leather. At times it seemed he was missing some code or cipher, that when the journal was viewed through, would cast every line and letter in a new, clear light.

    Tenel Ka's gaze flickered up from the book to Luke. "Have you finished it?"

    "Not quite. I am nearly through it though. It's mostly a book of Malig's philosophy. There are occasional references to events of his life, or details about himself, but nothing in a chronological manner. Nothing that makes any sense."

    "Does it give any hints about what he's planning to do?" Mara asked.

    Luke frowned, looking back down at the journal in his hands. "Malig seems to believe that the Force is in a state of endless turmoil because of the balance the Jedi have strived to keep. In his mind, the Dark Side is the Force in its natural, unrestrained state..." The Jedi Master hesitated a moment, then said, "I think Malig wants to break that balance. That's what I think the Reckoner does."

    The gathering grew silent again, listening to the crackle of the dying flames and occasional snap of its glowing embers. Finally, Mara glanced up from the fire at her husband.

    "He's going to make the whole galaxy a Dark Side nexus, like Apollyon. He picked the Deep Core to rot the galaxy from the inside out."

    Luke nodded.

    "And when he has this power, when Malig's broken the balance—then what?"

    Luke shook his head. "I don't know."

    Hidden in the subtext of each page and idea of Malig's writings, was a purpose, a goal that was apparently so obvious to him that it needn't be explicitly stated, something that seemed so simple Luke felt as though he should have been able to see it as well, but it always remained just out of his mind's reach. He closed his eyes and tried to see, tried to feel the answer, and found only the vague outlines, shadows, of Darth Malig's secret.

    Beneath the cold starlight, Luke saw his twin sister frown and shake her head again. "That still doesn't tell us why Malig chose Tython. He has Zonama Sekot to power the Reckoner. What's at Tython that he needs to make this work."

    Luke shook his head and stared into the fire.

    "Maybe he just wants the last fight between the Light and Dark sides to be where the first battle was. He wants this all to end where it began... Or maybe..."

    "Or maybe, what?" Han asked.

    Luke look at his old friend. "Maybe he just want to see the Jedi destroyed in the same place they were born."

    The ominous words hung in the air like the glowing flakes of windborne cinders drifting up from the dying fire, and made the desert night's chill seem bitterer, a cold that went bone-deep.

    "Either way," Luke said, "we know what we must do now."

    Lando looked less certain. "What?"

    Luke looked up at the clusters of white stars glittering like gems in the cold, black sky. "In about three hours, the sun is going to rise, and when it does, we'll return to Mos Eisley and get our ships—and then, we're going to Zonama Sekot."

    "And when we get there?" Garrison asked.

    "Figure out what Malig is doing, and find a way to stop him."

    And get my son back, Luke thought to himself.

    Wedge traded looks with Iella and Lando before speaking. "Luke, I feel like you're forgetting about the enormous fleet Kyle says is guarding the entire system."

    A small smile formed across the Jedi leader's mouth as he tucked Malig's journal back into the folds of his robes. "We'll deal with that when we come to it."

    There wasn't much hope, they all knew, but there was a sense of peace in knowing what one was going to do, and Luke saw that sense work its way through the gathering.

    One way or another, this would all be over soon.

    "We should all try and get some rest before—"

    "Luke!"

    Mara had shot to her feet behind him and was gesturing out across the Dune Sea, where a small cloud of dust was kicking up over the distant moonlit ridges in billowing puffs and wind-sprayed curtains. At first glance, Luke assumed it was only another Jawa sandcrawler ambling over the dunes, searching eagerly for more salvage from the battle that had raged in Tatooine's skies earlier that day. When the dark shapes began to materialize in the distant haze however, Luke began to discern the ripples of repulsorlifts in the gap between the sand and vessels where tread should have been, and knew he was mistaken.

    Mara had freed a pair of electrobinoculars from her belt and was holding them up to her eyes, her gloved hands adjusting the magnification and imaging as she peered through the high-powered lenses. The dark shapes grew nearer, and lumbering at the center of the pack, the bluish glow of Tatooine's moons defined the familiar contours and spine-like ridges of a black sail barge.

    "What is it?" Han asked, moving in behind the Skywalkers with Leia at his side.

    Mara lowered her electrobinoculars and blew out a tired sigh.

    "Hutts."
    Last edited by YodaKenobi, Aug 9, 2013
    Rew likes this.
  25. stormtrooptk421 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Ah, Tython. Malig must love irony if that's where he's activating the Reckoner. All the pieces are coming in to place.......but I'm still clueless on the matter of Malig's identity. I guess that'll just make the end more satisfying for me. Great job with this one. Keep it up! ^:)^
    YodaKenobi likes this.
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