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.

Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Darth_Dreadwar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2010
    star 5
    Haha, you're right. It was going to be :rolleyes: :p [face_mischief] [face_laugh] but I think I've developed Emoticon Overuse Posting Disorder so I removed two of them. [face_laugh]

    Brusque? The *snort* was meant to = *amused snort*, not, well, other kinds of snorts. ;)

    Never mind. [face_peace]
  2. YodaKenobi VIP

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    Member Since:
    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    Spike: Just caught up on the last two updates, YK. All running along nicely so far.

    Thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed them :)

    Although, Nightsisters? After their display in Backlash they'd get their asses kicked even worse than what the Tribe did to them!

    This is very true. If it's any consolation, this was outlined in the plot of this fic long before Backlash and won't bear any resemblence to what happens in that story :p

    Thanks for reading and replying :D





    Magnuskn: Wait, you mean Anakin had a sex-change and married?!? That seems a tad of an extreme reaction to seeing Tahiri alive.

    [face_laugh]

    Hey, I said there would be some surprises in this fic, didn't I? :p

    Although, maybe that's the reason they're not together now. [face_thinking]

    Oh, wait, you meant Leia.

    It could be that too :p






    Celsete: *slides into the post waving and grinning*
    I'm alive, I promise! Sorry, I haven't replied in awhile; finals, a trip to California, and a obligation to exercise my own muse took precedence.


    No worries, there's no rush on replying. Outside of finals, sounds like fun! :D

    I'm back now, however, and all caught up!
    These last few posts have been really great, Yobi!


    Thank you, I'm glad you liked them :)

    I'm especially impressed with how well you handled the massive info-dump in each one!

    I appreciate that. I really hate doing them :p I'm happy to say chapter 8 will be the last one with lengthy backstory, so chapters will move quicker from there.

    It's nice to see that Jaina's up and around, and my heart goes out to Jag...

    We'll be seeing Jag in a few chapters to see how he's really coping...

    I'm glad that Wrev's making at least a small effort to be nice to her... (I'm still cheering for that pairing, btw... )

    I'm glad to see this is gaining so much support :p Wrev has a more substantial role in this story than the last one, if that means anything.

    You scared me though, with one of your comments to another reader after they had mentioned how much they liked Kyp... You replied by saying that lots of people are going to die... was that a hint that Kyp's on that list?

    I can't remember that, so I don't think that's what I was implying exactly. There's going to be some really horrible things that happen in this story and a lot of beloved characters that are going to die. Kyp could definitely be on that list, but I'm not saying he's any more likely to die than anyone else at this point. You'll see Kyp again in a couple chapters.

    Anyway, I'm glad to see Luke back with his family. You write Ben really well!

    Thanks! It was a nice break from all the life and death action stuff :p

    And I couldn't help laughing when he told Tahiri to go to Dathomir... what an obvious set-up! (To us, anyway. )

    Yeah, Luke seems to be stepping in to help his loved ones at the moment.

    Well, that's about it for now... I'm a bit short on time for anything more in depth. I'm looking forward to Friday's post!!

    Thanks and thanks so much for reading and replying :D





    Dreadwar: So when's the next update, Yobi? And no, I don't mean which day, since I know it's Friday, I mean what minute?

    [face_laugh]

    I had something unexpected pop up on my schedule for tomorrow, so it could be earlier or later than usual depending on how things shake out. So I guess the short answer is, "I'm not sure."

    And will we see Malig create a Force storn that destroys the entire galaxy and transports him to Earth just so he can kill Superman, and then travel back in time to 17 billion years ago to start off the Big Bang? Yes, I think he's that badass.

    [face_laugh]

    Wouldn't he need Superman to fly around the world a bunch of times backwards to go back in time? :p

    But yeah, Malig could totally kill Superman :cool:







    New post tomorrow. Hope you guys like it :)
  3. Darth_Dreadwar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 26, 2010
    star 5
    Too bad. I'm aiming to get First this time, you see. :p

    I even have a review ready to copy into the Post Message box, as soon as my 60-Refreshes-Every-Minute Program notifies me you have posted.

    The review is:

    "First!

    Wow, great chapter, Yobi! You continue to excel as always! The last bit was GOLD! Really epic. The middle part was wonderful! And that bit where that something happened? Incredible!"

    :p

    Or would that be cheating... [face_thinking] :p

    Well, if a Force storm can transport Darth Rivan into the future, I reckon Malig, who is more badass than even the Ancient Sith in my personal canon, could go back in time. [face_laugh] Then again, it would be very Malig to manipulate Superman into doing his bidding, and then kill him with a have of his hand... and then use his Create-Life powers to create the Sith species, thus starting off everything evil and bad in the Star Wars galaxy. :p

    Malig FTW! :cool:
  4. YodaKenobi VIP

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    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    Dreadwar: Too bad. I'm aiming to get First this time, you see.

    Oh, well keep your eyes open then, post should be up in a few minutes [face_shhh] :p

    I even have a review ready to copy into the Post Message box, as soon as my 60-Refreshes-Every-Minute Program notifies me you have posted.
    The review is:
    "First!
    Wow, great chapter, Yobi! You continue to excel as always! The last bit was GOLD! Really epic. The middle part was wonderful! And that bit where that something happened? Incredible!"
    Or would that be cheating...


    I liked it! :D Though you might want to change part of it to, "that thing at the end? What does it mean!?" :p

    Well, if a Force storm can transport Darth Rivan into the future, I reckon Malig, who is more badass than even the Ancient Sith in my personal canon, could go back in time. Then again, it would be very Malig to manipulate Superman into doing his bidding, and then kill him with a have of his hand... and then use his Create-Life powers to create the Sith species, thus starting off everything evil and bad in the Star Wars galaxy.

    Now this I like a lot! Malig manipulating Superman and then offing him only to create some sort of Sith utopia. Nice [face_mischief]

    Malig FTW!

    Totally :cool:





    New post will be up in a few. Hope you all have a terrific weekend :)
  5. YodaKenobi VIP

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    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    Chapter 7: After the Siege

    The winds howled across the parched canyon below in pale yellow swirls of dust that rose and crashed like tidal waves. When each one crested, it sprayed a mist of grit from its depths to blur the glowing crescent of liquid violet sun sinking on the horizon, filling the air with a gleaming haze. Leia Organa Solo reached up to clean the lenses of her macrobinoculars with the soft cloth of her sleeve as the blown sand formed a murky film across them, threatening to scuff and scratch each plasticlear covering and making it even more difficult to see from their vantage.

    "Nothing?" the man beside her asked when she frowned disapprovingly.

    "Have a look for yourself," Leia replied, the device slumping in her hands before she handed it to her husband without taking her eyes off the canyon floor.

    Han Solo accepted the macrobinoculars and lifted them to his own squinting eyes to peer down where Leia had been searching. While creased by deeper lines than had been present when they'd first met, his features were still as strong and handsome as ever, with a slightly crooked nose that had probably been broken more times than Leia cared to know and a lovely scar faintly slashed across his chin. The former smuggler's hair, which was mostly gray and not as thick as it had once been, was raked by the winds that whipped up from the bowl of the canyon.

    They were perched upon a ridge of tan rock overlooking a serpentine valley that had been cut through the stone thousands of years earlier by a river and long ago dried up, leaving behind a cauldron of steaming dust.

    There was nothing else to be found in the churning haze.

    "I don't get it," Han said, his voice gruff with irritation. "Where could they have gone?"

    "I don't know," Leia admitted. "They might have migrated elsewhere. Perhaps they have some secret hiding place they fled to during the attack on the Temple."

    "We've been searching for days and running scans... I don't think they're here at all, sweetheart."

    "Maybe they left the planet?found some usable ships in the Temple hangars and chose to leave Ossus all together."

    Han turned to her, his brow flattened as though he thought Leia had just suggested they let C-3PO fly the Falcon. "You saw what the Raithians did to the ships in the hangars?did any of them look flyable to you?" he asked. "And besides, the Ysanna aren't exactly technological wizards. I never saw one of those spear-toting weirdos use anything more advanced than a slugthrower. You really think they could have taken a ship and even gotten off this rock? Let alone plot a course through hyperspace?"

    "Okay, I admit it's a stretch, but some of them left their tribes and worked or trained at the Temple," Leia explained. "Others left completely. I'm just trying to think of all the possibilities."

    The Ysanna were the descendants of the Jedi survivors who had inhabited the planet since the catostrophic effects of the Cron Supernova on Ossus thousands of years earlier. Though they were Force-sensitive, they had long forgotten the ways of the Jedi and formed a simpler civilazation of warrior tribes in order to adapt to the planet's unforgiving and unstable environment.

    "Well here's another possibility I think is more likely," Han replied. "After Kre'fey's Fifth Fleet and their new Raithian best buddies got done raiding the Temple, they marched out here and exterminated the Ysanna tribes for kicks?seems right on their vector if you ask me."

    Leia's forehead creased softly as she squinted out over the dust-swept valley for some clue in the dying sunlight of Ossus's primary. "We haven't found any bodies."

    "It's been a year, darlin'?dead bodies don't exactly stick around that long in the wild."

    "They did in the Temple."

    Her husband's features turned grave at the reminder of their trip through the remains of the Jedi Temple. Ten months earlier, an Alliance fleet led by Admiral Traest Kre'fey and their Raithian allies had launched an attack on the Jedi sanctuary af
  6. voxynking Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2005
    star 1
    First

    WOW!!! Was a simple and small chapter but left us with tones of questions. Can't wait to find out what the girls story is, when will we find out, what sort of jedi relics did they get. Great job. As for the other chapters I can't wait to see what's going on, on Dantooine. Hopefully things end well for Anakin and Tahiri. Can't wait for this weeks post.
  7. Maggy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2004
    star 4
    the girl is just Maichen ;) she is great :p
  8. GrandMasterKatarn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 8, 2008
    star 4
    THIRD



    I'll admit it, I laughed at this. It was hilarious. Sounds like a child (Sligh) arguing with an adult (Leia). That also explains why Kyle wasn't able to take Jacen down. he hadn't brushed his teeth :p

    Maichen...that would have been LOTF Leia, not YK Leia. You have nothing to fear, I hope [face_worried]

    Great post, can't wait for more.
  9. Diamond_Revelation Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 25, 2003
    star 3
    oooo so who is maichen really? Great chapters Yoda...I especially loved Tahiri calling Luke and Old Man!!

    Looking forward to the next
  10. Treborani Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2009
    star 3
    [face_laugh] This is why I love Han.

    Another excellent chapter with yet another shocking ending.
  11. dm1 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 9, 2004
    star 4
    Love the Han/Leia banter, and the squibs always provide a bit of humor. Who is Maichen, and why would Leia want to kill her if she found out the truth? That is the mystery....
  12. YodaKenobi VIP

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    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    voxynking: First

    Nicely done =D=

    WOW!!! Was a simple and small chapter but left us with tones of questions.

    Yeah, there are a few mysteries in there, like what happened to the Ysanna and who Maichen really is [face_thinking]

    Can't wait to find out what the girls story is, when will we find out, what sort of jedi relics did they get.

    We'll get some idea about the Jedi artifacts along the way. Maichen's story will be revealed a little beyond midway through the story.

    Great job.

    Thansk!

    As for the other chapters I can't wait to see what's going on, on Dantooine.

    That will be in chapter 9 :)

    Hopefully things end well for Anakin and Tahiri.

    Might see them in chapter 9 too...

    Can't wait for this weeks post

    Should be up on Friday.

    Thanks so much for reading and replying :D






    Maggy: the girl is just Maichen she is great

    Is she? [face_thinking]

    Thanks for reading and replying :D






    GMK: THIRD

    Great job =D=

    I'll admit it, I laughed at this.

    Nothing to be ashamed of :p

    It was hilarious. Sounds like a child (Sligh) arguing with an adult (Leia). That also explains why Kyle wasn't able to take Jacen down. he hadn't brushed his teeth

    [face_laugh]

    All this time, the secret to Kyle's power was good hygine. Didn't see that one coming.

    Maichen...that would have been LOTF Leia, not YK Leia. You have nothing to fear, I hope

    Yeah, it's hard to know why she'd think that [face_thinking]

    Great post, can't wait for more.

    Thanks and thanks for reading and replying :D Will be a new chapter on Friday.





    Diamond: oooo so who is maichen really?

    Good question. Something tells me the answer won't be good [face_thinking]

    Great chapters Yoda...

    Thanks!

    I especially loved Tahiri calling Luke and Old Man!!

    Tahiri's funny :p Even if Luke is getting up there in years...

    Looking forward to the next

    Should be up on Friday.

    Thanks for reading and replying :D






    Treborani: This is why I love Han.

    He's the man [face_cowboy]

    Another excellent chapter with yet another shocking ending.

    Expect another surprise to end chapter 8 :p

    Thanks so much for reading and replying :D I'm glad you liked it :)






    dm1: Love the Han/Leia banter, and the squibs always provide a bit of humor.

    Glad you found it funny :D It was nice to interject some of that given how serious everything else is right now.

    Who is Maichen, and why would Leia want to kill her if she found out the truth? That is the mystery....

    Yep [face_thinking] She could be another spy for Malig, though it seems unlikely he could have anticipated their meeting and Han rescuing her on Oscurra, so maybe we can rule that out?

    Thanks for reading and replying :D






    Thanks again, everyone [:D]
  13. L0B0 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2008
    star 2
    Great update! You really captured the essence of Han & Leia, and the squibs were more irritating than ever. I totally forgot about Baliss, but Maichen is quickly becoming more intriguing than ever. I wonder what happened to her holocron, and why would she be so sure that Leia would be hostile towards her?

    Naturally, Leia displays uncanny insight regarding Jacen. Unfortunately, she is all too right about him.
  14. Magnuskn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 2002
    star 4
    Uggggh, Squibs. I think one should get a Force Point every time one of kills one of those.

    So, maybe we just saw where all those corpses for the pyres come from, which we saw in the preview? I am still hopeful that it won't be another quasi-purge. :p

    Good banter between Leia and Han.

    And about Maichen... interesting mystery. She obviously isn't a spy like that Zeltron Jedi, but I think there may be some connection to that dark side machinery Malig is building. We'll see. :)

    Don't forget to answer your latest PM. ;)

    Excellent chapter! :)

  15. TahiriSoloFan Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2003
    star 4
    Maichen is quite the mystery... [face_thinking] hmmm.
    Squibs! :p
  16. YodaKenobi VIP

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    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    L0B0: Great update!

    Thank you :)

    You really captured the essence of Han & Leia, and the squibs were more irritating than ever.

    More loveable, you mean [face_mischief]

    And thanks again, I'm glad Han and Leia worked in this chapter.

    I totally forgot about Baliss,

    She's easy to forget given how little she's been in the series, but she does have an important role to play and we'll be seeing her a lot more in this fic.

    but Maichen is quickly becoming more intriguing than ever. I wonder what happened to her holocron, and why would she be so sure that Leia would be hostile towards her?

    All will be answered about Maichen a little more than mid-way through the story. She apparently has some deep dark secret [face_thinking]

    Naturally, Leia displays uncanny insight regarding Jacen. Unfortunately, she is all too right about him.

    Jacen got himself into this and it's probably going to come down to him getting himself out. That doesn't mean others can't help though...

    We'll have to wait and see.

    Thanks so much for reading and replying :D





    Magnuskn: Uggggh, Squibs. I think one should get a Force Point every time one of kills one of those.

    :eek:

    *Covers the Squibs' ears*

    If it makes you feel any better, that may be the last real scene with them in the fic :p

    So, maybe we just saw where all those corpses for the pyres come from, which we saw in the preview? I am still hopeful that it won't be another quasi-purge.

    It's possible, though we didn't get mention of Han or Leia building any pyres. I will say that the pyres seen in the trailer weren't from a purge.

    Good banter between Leia and Han.

    Glad you liked it. I was afraid Han might come off as too flippant over Jacen.

    And about Maichen... interesting mystery. She obviously isn't a spy like that Zeltron Jedi, but I think there may be some connection to that dark side machinery Malig is building. We'll see.

    Yeah, it's hard to see her in the same role as Hala Rozess, but I suppose we'll have to wait and see [face_thinking]

    Don't forget to answer your latest PM.

    Reply sent [face_peace]

    Excellent chapter!

    Thanks and thanks for reading and replying :D






    TSF: Maichen is quite the mystery... hmmm.

    One that will be solved eventually :p

    Squibs!

    Rock!

    Sorry, just finishing your thought for you O:)

    Thanks for reading and replying :D






    New post should be ready to go on Friday. We're going back to Coruscant in this one, as well as a surprise stop somewhere else...
  17. Magnuskn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 2002
    star 4
    Thanks for the assist, now they won't hear me coming. [face_mischief]
  18. YodaKenobi VIP

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    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    I literally laughed out loud when I read this :p







    New post tomorrow :)
  19. Magnuskn Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 14, 2002
    star 4
    Obliged to be of service. :p
  20. PirateofRohan Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2009
    star 3
    Yay! Han's back in action![face_cowboy] The Squibs are um, uh...weird. Munchin has a secret!:eek: I wonder what it is?[face_thinking] Sorry I missed so much, I was finishing up school work. Rock on, Yobi![face_peace]
  21. Maggy Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 2, 2004
    star 4
    Hopefully not like thtat [face_beatup] :p 8-}
    you?re not more than half a sleep the time YK posts 8-}



    YodaKenobi:

    Chapter 5: Lure

    Every tree was her landmark, every creek identifiable by the sound of their purling waters. There were no surprises waiting for her at the crest of a hill or the bend of a stream.

    That?s really lovely :D
    I think those are the bestest landmarks ;)

    The morning was cold and so overcast nothing could be seen above the trees except for gray. There was no trace of division in the solid ceiling of clouds save for a few tendrils of darkness bleeding through where the condensation had grown heavier. They were stubborn clouds that refused to rain or even move, but appeared to have swollen too densely to merely lounge in the sky. A light fog hung in the air from treetops to roots, drowning the world in front of the Witch in a frosty haze.

    How awesome is that ?!? :eek: =D=

    "Just drop the weapon, braids," Wrev Caster grinned. "Make it easy on both of us."

    Ooops caught

    The Dathomiri Witch grabbed his arm as best she could and used the leverage to get the man on her back before he could regain control. Then she hurled Wrev over her shoulder and into the trunk of a crooked tree. A loud crack sounded as Wrev's back crashed into the ashen trunk and left a bright tan split up its length.

    ROFL - I hope he didn?t break anything he might need later :p





    "You really don't want to know," Jaina lied. "Let's just say I think it's in your best interest to answer my questions."

    LOL she is really mean :p

    "I can show you some techniques to maintain obedience if you desire."

    That sounds a bit after nightsister [face_thinking]

    The Witch considered this for a moment before she looked back to Tenel Ka. "It would probably be best if I showed you."

    [image=http://frankthetank.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/admiral-ackbar.jpg]





    Wrev Caster was a tall man with light brown hair that fell well past his narrowed blue eyes and two days of beard stubble running across his jaw and upper lip. Like the rest of the Jedi team, he was dressed in typical civilian spacer garb?synth leather black jacket, fastened shirt, and dark trousers.

    Some might say ?sexy? :p ;)

    "Great," she lied, trying not to betray the truth of the pain in her joints or throbbing that ran up the muscles around them with each step.

    Four months had passed since Jaina had returned from the Raithian planet Apollyon as part of a Jedi team that rescued Luke and the other captive Jedi Masters?four months since her legs were so crushed she couldn't even stand. The young Jedi Knight had spent two of those months immersed in extensive bacta treatments to mend her bones, and was still struggling with some pain and mild muscle atrophy.


    Brilliantly - why does she go on a hike then? :p

    Death.

    It?s a trap :p

    "You did well, Lura V," announced a smooth, female voice.

    She not only sounds like a nightsister - she is one ...

    "Drop your weapons, Jedi," she sneered.

    Anakin will have a lot of work ahead :p





    Chapter 6: Home Again

    Mara Jade Skywalker's ocean of red hair was tousled and matted in a beautiful mess, spilling across her pillow and his, dancing down her neck and shoulders, curling on her cheek, while a single wavy tendril hung over her closed eyes like a blindfold. Shafts of light stretched over her bare back in bright segments that bleached her already milky skin a starker white and exposed clusters of barely visible freckles. The wonderful line of his wife's back and bumps of her spine ended in a skirt of bunched sheets, from which emerged a single naked thigh draped warmly over Luke's hip.

    Awesome picture there :eek:





    "Yes, but I didn't mean that litera?never mind." The Jedi Master waved his hand to dismiss the issue as he remembered who he was talking to. He was fortunate the protocol droid
  22. YodaKenobi VIP

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    Member Since:
    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    Magnuskn: Obliged to be of service.

    [face_peace]

    *Moves Squibs to secure location* :p





    Rohan: Yay! Han's back in action!

    Yep, with Leia too :cool:

    The Squibs are um, uh...weird.

    I think you mean "awesome" [face_love]

    Munchin has a secret! I wonder what it is?

    We'll find out a little over midway through the story.

    Sorry I missed so much, I was finishing up school work. Rock on, Yobi!

    No need to apologize, there's no rush on replying. I hope all is well with school :)

    And thanks for reading and replying :D





    Maggy: That?s really lovely

    Thanks!

    LOL she is really mean

    I think it's "smart" :p

    Brilliantly - why does she go on a hike then?

    Cause she can't just sit still and do nothing?

    ROFLMAO

    Heh.

    How do you come up with such things?!

    I just get in touch with my inner-Squib [face_love]

    and I agree with Magnuskn

    Noooo! :eek:

    Is it something like ?Crazy Chicken? ? now wait that would mean Vergere ? ohh ? a whole new meaning to the chicken

    I have no idea what you're saying here :p

    Aww come one girl, that?s Han you talk about - he would have helped anyways

    Maichen doesn't understand things like compassion or selflessness.

    Why would she think that?

    Good question.

    great updates, YK

    Thanks and thanks for reading and replying :D





    New post will be up in a little bit :)
  23. CelseteAntola TF.N Books Staff

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    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 3
    *sneaks in before the new post*

    I'm out of time for anything in depth, but WOW! :eek: Evil cliffie!!

    I'm really looking forward to finding out what's up with Maichen... although with you, I know I'll have to wait awhile. ;)

    ~Celeste
  24. YodaKenobi VIP

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    Celsete: *sneaks in before the new post*
    I'm out of time for anything in depth, but WOW! Evil cliffie!!


    Yeah, the one at the end of chapter 8 is way worse :p

    I'm really looking forward to finding out what's up with Maichen... although with you, I know I'll have to wait awhile.

    That's true :p It will be months and months, but not nearly as long as waiting to see Malig's face 8-}

    Thanks so much for reading and replying :D
  25. YodaKenobi VIP

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    May 27, 2003
    star 6
    Chapter 8: Fallout

    No structure piled atop the sprawling, durasteel-caked terrain of Galactic City was as recognizable as the mountain-sized Senate Rotunda at the heart of Coruscant's most prestigious district. It lay in the center of a long, flat expanse of gray permacrete at the zenith of a colossal superstructure where the most ambitious of Coruscant's skytowers gave way for kilometers and surrounded it like a crown.

    This plateau was known as the Avenue of the Core Founders, and it was lined by crudely sculpted metallic statues of thirty-meter-tall humanoids with long, spindly limbs that bore giant staffs. Behind their stone pedestals were rows of multicolored flags twisting in the daytime breeze, all of which dwarfed the tiny beings making the long march across the concourse and mounting the deceptively steep flights of permacrete stairs to the Great Door, emblazoned with the seal of the Galactic Alliance.

    The Rotunda itself was an enormous dome perched over a slightly tapered drum-shaped body that shimmered in the late morning sunlight like a great shield to protect the galaxy from injustice?or as Mulla Habbas?former Kuati Senator, Minister of State, lover of all things edible, and current corpse? had once described it in private: "Like a giant, overstuffed cupcake."

    Its insides were far different, and certainly nowhere as sweet as Habbas's analogy.

    Most of the Senate Building's interior was occupied by a vast spherical cavity of black walls ringed by more than a thousand darkened repulsor pods called the Grand Convocation Chamber. In each of these pods was a representative of one of the Galactic Alliance's members, be it from a planet, system, entire sector, or corporate interest, and their respective haggle of datapad-wielding aides and advisors. At the center of the chamber stood an elevated podium that towered up more than thirty meters and was bathed in a shaft of white light that beamed down from the ceiling.

    Standing on this podium, was the Senate Speaker, the Minister of State, a scribe, two aides, a pair of Senate Guards, and the Galactic Alliance's Chief of State.

    Fyor Rodan gazed out across the abyss of the Grand Convocation Chamber and tried not to look like his head was killing him. When his pale eyes became unfocused, he realized the array of repulsor pods moored to the curved walls made an endless series of overlapping concentric circles that was absolutely hypnotic.

    He blinked and tried to keep his attention on the sole pod that had detached from its alloy nest and was currently hovering in the immense gulf of empty space between the podium and the chamber walls. A tall Elomin with rust-colored skin and a flood of violet septsilk robes ringed by bands of gold trim scowled across the Senate from the center of the pod while the microphone built into its short podium augmented his deep, raspy voice for the chamber to hear. He had a noseless face that left deep nostrils smashed at the top of his nasal passages and long, pointed ears. The eyes above those nostrils were deeply set in sunken sockets, beady things the color of burst capillaries that seemed as wicked as the four flesh-colored horns that snaked out crookedly from the top of his skull.

    "... Demand an investigation," Hykynnan R'og was saying, an expression of disgust curving like a hook down his long face. "If the Jedi can infiltrate our capital so easily and escape unscathed, nowhere is safe. They can launch guerilla attacks anywhere, ambush our fleets, or harass our shipping lanes."

    And that's your real point of concern, isn't it? Rodan thought cynically. R'og was the Senate Representative of the Mining Guild?an impressive feat for an Elomin, but perhaps unsurprising when one realized how much power the relatively small species possessed. Their homeworld of Elom was the lone source of lommite, the principle ore required in the creation of transparisteel and durasteel, making it crucial in the construction of ship armor and viewports, as well as many skytowers and bridge supports th
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