Beyond The Value of Sacrifice- part II -AU- Solos/Fels, Kyp, Zekk, OCs...Thrawn-clone?! - complete 2/12

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by LexiLupin, Oct 19, 2011.

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  1. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    A/N: So... first things first: I'm sort of breaking my own rule in posting this now but I have my reasons. That rule is that I don't post until a story is completely written.

    WELL- this story is, first of all, in two parts. Part I is ALMOST done.
    More importantly though, this fic is part of an existing AU and it is less generous than other stories in the AU in terms of acting as a standalone story. It won't be impossible as a standalone, but I strongly urge checking out the prior stories, which are all linked in my profile- specifically, Against All Odds and New Beginnings in terms of backstory plot; Reciprocity and Of Nexus and Nobles in terms of characters; and Betrayal, Forgiveness, Redemption as far as main character personal background.

    So basically, by posting the prologue now, I'm hoping that some of you will take the next week to peruse some of the earlier works in this AU so you can fully appreciate this one (New Beginnings, Against All Odds, and Reciprocity would be the most relevant, in that order).

    If you don't have time to go back and read other stories (and I understand that completely if it's the case), then sometime in the next week, I'll be posting a list of OCs for this AU with relatively detailed descriptions of existing ones where applicable. That should help with some parts that might otherwise be confusing.

    Fair warning- pay careful attention whenever a section gives a date, because it means that it falls outside of the main story timeline (which begins in late 46 ABY and extends through 47 ABY through part II). The prologue will confuse you if you don't do this and I think you'll see why pretty soon. ;) There will be periodic occurrences of this in the rest of part I, so watch out.

    Chapter 1 will be up next weekend. I do PMs for those interested. Ask.

    And with no further ado:





    It was like waking from the longest sleep? the longest sleep, filled with decades? worth of dreams- but those dreams weren?t dreams at all, they were? memories.

    Memories?

    Whose memories?

    There was a sensation, like he?d forgotten something vitally important. Something he?d done? Something he was supposed to do?

    Something he was?



    The Value of Sacrifice


    You cannot be so insulated against rumor and gossip as this- why do you think he directed his comments towards Kyp Durron? Leyla is a Fel in name only, not blood? and by admitting the truth of the matter, it will guarantee that the Chiss never give a second thought to Leyla again.

    -Luke Skywalker to Cal Omas and Kenth Hamner- New Beginnings



    Her hands stilled at the controls of the small, lightly-armed cargo ship; drawing a deep breath, she raised her eyes to the viewport and stared at the scene before her.

    The kilometer-long, needle-like Star Destroyer hovered ominously a hundred kilometers ahead; its launch bays sat inactive, though she had little doubt that the complement starfighter squadrons sat ready to launch, should it prove necessary. She didn?t think it would be necessary.

    They probably didn?t either, given the four assault cruisers and accompanying Clawcraft which were mirroring her ship?s movements rather effectively. She came around slightly- the cruisers and Clawcraft matched the slight maneuver with clinical precision- and stared at the blue-grey icy world beyond the other ships.

    She had been born on Csilla, had spent the first year and a half of her life there, had been back to it a dozen times before the age of eleven, before circumstances forced the Fels to abandon the Ascendancy for good. Somehow, that fact- the fact that
    this was her home world in a way that Coruscant could never be- was ironically fitting.

    And as she fought to calm herself, to find that inner peace, it occurred to Leyla that it was strangely poetic, when all was said, that she should meet her end at the hands of the Chiss after all.



    Prologue

    27 BBY ? Csaus ? Chiss Ascendancy

    ?Destroy it.?

    ?Mitth?raw?nuruodo??

    He slamm
  2. LoriLynn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2011
    star 1
    Well you've got me intrigued. I must admit that I didn't expect to see Karrde pop up here, but it was a nice toss up.

    I was really hoping for some fluff in there, but I suppose that will have to wait. [face_love]

    On to read chapter 1. And where is chapter 1 exactly? Do I need to get on a plane to get it out of you? ;)
  3. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Just kidding, quick message here and THEN back to productivity...


    Fluff? FLUFF?

    Hi, I'm Lexi- have we met?

    [face_laugh]:p

    You had to spend two whole stories bugging me for Kyp to find a romantic interest- and then you had to help me write the fluff-laden story about her. The title of this is The Value of SACRIFICE. It opens with Leyla contemplating her doom. AND YOU HOPED FOR FLUFF?!?

    *deep breath*

    And the only way you're seeing chapter 1 before next weekend is, in fact, if you get on a plane, fly to Texas, steal my computer, and find it. :p

    Looooove you....

    :D
  4. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    A/N: As promised, a guide to OCs already created in this AU. Over the course of so many stories, a lot have accumulated- those listed below are relevant (to varying degrees, as some of them are already dead, for instance) in The Value of Sacrifice.

    Essential Guide to Existing OCs
    [Name (Story of origin) (birth or death dates given where relevant)]

    Leyla Solo-Fel (Betrayal, Forgiveness, Redemption)- b. 27 ABY as Leyla Solo, she is the biological child of Jaina Solo and Kyp Durron; due to Kyp?s delusionary fall to darkness during the Yuuzhan Vong war, she was hidden from him by Jaina with the help of Jagged Fel. At the war?s end in 29 ABY, Leyla was revealed to Kyp shortly before Jaina and Jag married- Kyp chose to keep her true paternity a secret until she was old enough to understand why she had grown up not knowing him in the first place. Jaina and Jag moved with Leyla to Coruscant, where Jag took up a role as a diplomatic envoy between the Chiss Ascendancy and the Galactic Alliance.

    In 34 ABY, Leyla was kidnapped by an organization born of Palpatine?s machinations known as Red Hand. Organized by Moff Yarden Morgny originally, it was taken over by Moff Qadrik Croyel upon his assassination of Morgny. Palpatine?s initial scheme of creating a group of Force-trained (non-Jedi, non-Sith) apprentices who would seize control of the Empire should he meet his demise went unfulfilled with the chaos of the unexpected death of Vader as well. Thirty years later, the organization remained secret and expanded into a galaxy-wide network of spies and informants who prepared to destroy the new order. Red Hand met its demise at the hands of Kyp Durron, who infiltrated it in order to locate his lost daughter and Jacen Solo, who, with the help of Zakarisz Ghent, uncovered the names of dozens of supporters. Following these events, Leyla learned that Kyp was her true father.

    In 38 ABY, shortly after Leyla began her training on Ossus, the Jedi received word that Jagged and Soontir Fel, as well as Aristocra Chaf?orm?bintrano, met an untimely demise aboard Soontir?s Corellian Corvette due to an accident during a routine tour of the outer territories of the Ascendancy. Jaina was one month pregnant at the time. Suspecting the ?accident? to have truly been an assassination, she and Kyp relocated to Ossus with Leyla to create the illusion that Kyp was her baby?s father, while Kyp worked to slow the fetus?s growth, eliminating the possibility that Jag could be the father. Nine months later in 39 ABY, Jag, Soontir, and Formbi were rescued by Jedi Zekk and Tahlia, Jag?s aide and guard Ashik, and the Fel family?s shadow-child, Cem.

    In 43 ABY, during her apprenticeship with her father and while in the Corellian system with the Fourth Fleet, Leyla was abducted with the use of coma gas and smuggled to the planet through the scheming of Moff Qadrik Croyel who sought revenge for Kyp?s actions against Red Hand and his own subsequent imprisonment. She was rescued by Vulcor and Ashik with the assistance of Iella and Wedge Antilles and Soontir and Syal Fel. Croyel was killed in the process, and his revenge went unfulfilled.

    Leyla was Knighted in early 45 ABY at the age of eighteen.

    Naviin Fel (New Beginnings)- b. 39 ABY, Naviin is the son of Jaina Solo-Fel and Jagged Fel.

    Gennevi Lassiter (Reciprocity)- b. 1 ABY, Gennevi enlisted in the New Republic Navy at the age of eighteen and was commissioned at the age of twenty-four in the months preceding the Yuuzhan Vong invasion. By 27 ABY, she commanded her own squadron. Through 43 ABY, she continued to recruit, train, and command squadrons where necessary, and was assigned to the Fourth Fleet aboard Admiral Gavin Darklighter?s Trucemaker flagship to train the new Trinity squadron. Six months into the squadron?s formation, Kyp Durron and Leyla Solo-Fel spent a month informally attached to the squadron so Leyla could gain experience in starfighter combat.

    During this time, Gennevi and Kyp developed a mutual romantic inter
  5. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Chapter 1

    46 ABY ? Coruscant

    Jag?s consternation was immediately noticeable to Jaina- partly, undoubtedly, because she simply knew him so well, after nearly two decades of marriage. But his sudden disquiet was noticeable due to the sharp contrast from, not just his mood a minute prior, but to the moods of everyone else in the near vicinity. They were happy, festive? slightly inebriated, to be sure? celebratory.

    Sparing a quick glance over to where her seven-year-old son Naviin was sitting and laughing with his older sister Leyla and their cousin Ben, Jaina stood and quietly excused herself from the gathering assembled in her parents? apartment, ducking from the sitting room and heading down the hallway towards the office that held the comm console. She tapped once on the door before slipping into the room. Jag shot her a startled glance before holding up a finger and turning back to murmur in low tones to his sister, Wynssa.

    ?Right,? he responded to some unheard question, ?I understand. Look, mother and father will be arriving early tomorrow before the ceremony, we?ll be in touch.?

    ?Alright,? Wyn said lowly, worriedly. ?Give our best to everyone? is Jaina there with you??

    Jaina slid over to the console and smiled at her sister-in-law. ?I just popped in to see where Jag had run off to. How are you and Syd? And little Ashlin??

    Despite the worry etched on her features, the younger woman smiled and laughed softly. ?We?re all doing just fine. Ashlin though? I don?t know if I?ve ever been so exhausted in my life.?

    ?Learning to walk?? Jaina smirked at Wyn?s wearied nod. ?Yeah, you?ll be chasing her around for the rest of your life, get used to it.?

    ?Thanks,? Wyn answered drily. ?I?ll let you get back to your party now.?

    ?I?ll talk to you tomorrow,? Jag promised, and she nodded tightly before ending the transmission with a stilted farewell. When the screen was dark and the console on standby again, Jag leaned heavily back in the chair and let out a low sigh.

    Jaina put a comforting hand on his arm and peered at him concernedly. ?What?s wrong? Wyn going to have another baby or something? I know how you feel about your sister, you know? being a grown and married woman and all??

    He let out a huff of laughter that lacked any real amusement. ?No,? he informed her shortly. ?It?s not that.? Hesitating a moment, he glanced at the door and listened to the sounds of chatter and laughing down the hallway. ?Look, I don?t want to make this a thing tonight and ruin the atmosphere or whatever, but? Cem?s missing.?

    She blinked. ?What??

    Spreading his hands in confusion, he shook his head. ?He had a two week leave that was supposed to end almost a week ago. He saw Wyn and Syd on the second or third day of it, she thinks, and then? just never turned up again. By the time it worked its way up to the admiral who knows who Cem really is, and he got in touch with Wynssa? well, that was yesterday.?

    ?They have no idea where he might have been going???

    Jag shook his head again. ?You know that when signing out for leave, the military requires any planned trips and modes of transportation to be fully documented, in the event of just such a thing occurring. Cem apparently never gave any indication that he was journeying further than Bastion.? He took a deep breath and stood. ?I?ll discuss the matter with my father tomorrow, he may have some insight that Wyn and I don?t.?

    ?Jag??

    He pulled her to him and kissed her lightly. ?There?s nothing to be done now or from here,? he murmured against her. ?And I don?t want to put a damper on tonight for everyone.?

    Her look was skeptical. ?You really think that Kyp is so oblivious to either of our moods??

    Despite the seriousness of the moment, a roguish grin crossed his face and he kissed her quickly once more before draping an arm about her shoulders and guiding her to the door to rejoin the party.

    ?Darling,? he murmured in her ear, ?twelve hours from now, Kyp Durron is going to be a married man. I fully expect that he?s oblivious to just about anything right now
  6. LoriLynn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2011
    star 1
    Oh, where do I begin....

    ?Yeah, you?ll be chasing her around for the rest of your life, get used to it.?
    Oh how true that is. [face_laugh]

    ?Darling,? he murmured in her ear, ?twelve hours from now, Kyp Durron is going to be a married man.?
    YES!! And again I will channel my grandmother..."It's about damn time!"

    ?Of course. Master Durron is? how does it go again??
    A question I ask myself all the time...[face_thinking]

    Leia took a break from reminiscing about Han?s roguish young ways- as opposed to his roguish old ways.
    Oh!! I totally forgot about the drabble that this line inspired. I should probably finish that. [face_whistling]

    ?So, Gennevi, when are you and Kyp going to start having kids??
    ?By the way- I was forty-three when Ben was born??

    Took the words out of my mouth! [face_love]

    Oh, and naming credit for Ashlin Myntox goes to LoriLynn (unbeknownst to her until now though, haha)
    ....you're welcome? :confused:
  7. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    A/N: Lori, regarding Ashlin- the name was on your baby-names list, that's all. I just stole it for Wynssa's baby. :)

    Chapter 2

    44.5 ABY ? Trucemaker

    When Keldon Lassiter had watched his eighteen-year-old sister Gennevi enlist in the New Republic Defense Fleet, he never expected that she?d stay in longer than her initial contractual obligation of five years. He certainly had not expected her to receive the references necessary to go through officer?s basic training. It wasn?t that he didn?t have faith in her piloting abilities? it was just that Gennevi had never had the best appreciation for authority and chain-of-command; in fact, he had always suspected that her enlistment was more about rebellion and shirking the norms of Kuati society than any true sense of duty.

    More than twenty-six years later though, as he sat in the front row of an audience that was nearly entirely comprised of former superiors, comrades, and subordinates of his sister, he was forced to reevaluate his initial skeptical reaction to her decision to enlist.

    He?d always known that she could fly- their father may have been killed along with the rest of Carida when they were all of twelve and ten years old, but she had taken after his love for flying, despite the rarity with which they saw him once their parents had separated. Perhaps her enlistment had been an homage of sorts to their flight-instructor father, a father they had, in truth, lost the chance to know very well at all.

    Motivations aside- and, in the grand scheme of things, irrelevant, he supposed- Gennevi was now retiring as a colonel with sixteen years of starfighter command under her belt and just over eighteen months in command operations.

    The siblings had not seen one another in nearly three years, so Keldon had yet to hear the full story of her change from commanding fighter pilots to an advisory post in operations- but he had gathered enough to ascertain that she had done something? well, something stupid, possibly even went against orders in the process? and that the change in position had been the result in a roundabout way.

    He trusted that he would be able to wheedle the full details from her soon. Though more than twenty years later, he never knew the full details of a reprimand she had received during her enlisted tenure, but could infer enough to know that she had gotten involved in a personal relationship with someone prohibited- an officer, probably, but not one in her own chain-of-command, or else she would have been discharged at a moment?s notice, and dishonorably at that.

    And as he sat there, watching the ceremony winding down, Keldon Lassiter was blissfully ignorant of the fact that the officer in question had been, at the time, the commander of the much-celebrated Rogue squadron; that, some twenty years later, Gennevi would fly directly under his command in the Fourth Fleet aboard the Trucemaker; that, at this very moment, the commander in question- Admiral Gavin Darklighter- was pinning Gennevi?s final citation on the left breast of her uniform.

    No, various moments of insubordination aside, Gennevi certainly had a long and distinguished career to look back upon with whatever she decided to do next in life. Her older brother certainly wouldn?t blame her if she took some time to figure that out, after more than a quarter-century spent in military service to the New Republic and later to the Galactic Alliance. Their brief transmission from a month prior gave him the somewhat confusing impression that she planned to relocate to Coruscant, but he hoped to persuade her to spend some time on her home planet of Kuat. It wasn?t that he expected she?d stay long term- there was a reason she?d left in the first place- but if nothing else, she had two nephews and a niece who hadn?t seen her in far too long, the youngest of whom barely remembered his aunt.

    ?Colonel Lassiter,? Darklighter took a step back and stood at attention, ?the Galactic Alliance thanks you for your distinguished and selfless service. As someone who has fl
  8. LoriLynn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2011
    star 1
    Okay kiddies, what did we learn this week?

  9. Keldon Lassiter can be a real douchebag. However, I can't really say that I blame him. Learning that your sister is 'dating' the man who is-for all intents and purposes-a mass murderer, would be shocking for anyone. I am glad that he finally came around though.

  10. Leia can be very persuasive, but I think we already knew this.

  11. Gennevi seems to be slipping into the role of stepmother rather easily. It makes me think she would be an excellent mother [face_whistling]

  12. Zekk and Tahlia are still alive and well at this point. That is a relief.

  13. The galaxy is falling apart. Eh...what else is new. :p


  14. I would LOVE to see a little Kyp-Keldon interaction. Please, please, please, please, please!!!! [face_praying] You can't ignore me forever Lexi, I know where you live (sort of) [face_mischief]
  15. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    [face_pumpkin] Happy Halloween! [face_pumpkin]

    Chapter 3

    Bastion

    Inching uncomfortably close to the century mark in life, Gilad Pellaeon was content to take simple comforts where he could find them- but nevertheless maintained a certain level of restlessness in his retirement that was somewhat assuaged by weekly briefing reports compiled by his successor, Admiral Vitor Reige. Indeed, when the Bloodfin- the pride of the Imperial Home Fleet- was in orbit near Bastion, Reige took the time when he found it to visit the Imperial Palace on the planet and confer with his predecessor in person. Sometimes he asked advice, sometimes he took the opportunity to share concerns and complaints that only one who had been in his position before could truly understand and sometimes? sometimes the two of them just sat and talked about whatever which topic came up, for hours on end.

    Those instances came about rarely anymore. Heads of state and supreme commanders rarely had the luxury of extensive free time, as Pellaeon knew well. Consequently, it was a bit of surprise when he received word that Reige was to be paying him a visit that evening, especially given reports of further upheaval and system secessions from the Galactic Alliance. When he arrived though, Reige quickly waved aside that line of inquiry and sat back in the proffered arm chair with his snifter of brandy and peered intently at the elderly man.

    ?We have intrigue much closer to home, I?m afraid, sir,? Reige confessed and sighed heavily, taking a quick sip of the pale brown liquid. ?A taskforce commander in the Third Fleet seemingly vanished without a trace during a fortnight furlough. He was tracked as far as here, but there is little evidence to even suggest that he made it in his own front door.?

    ?Desertion is uncommon these days, but not unheard of,? Pellaeon countered evenly.

    ?No,? Reige frowned lightly, ?this is something else. The commander- a Davik Antell- paid one known visit while on Bastion? to the apartment of one Sydrion Myntox, a mechanic in the Home Fleet, and his wife Wynssa, better known by her maiden name of Wynssa Fel. This Sydrion Myntox served aboard the same flagship in the Third where Antell was a longtime commander of Bloodfin squadron. Myntox left the Ocean almost two years ago and transferred into the Home Fleet while his wife was pregnant, to be closer to Bastion purportedly.?

    Pellaeon cocked a brow as he considered his successor?s words. ?An affair, perhaps??

    Reige chuckled. ?That was my first guess, when I began looking through the files.?

    ?But you no longer believe that??

    ?I am nearly certain that is not the case. Because such as it is, sir, I don?t believe that Davik Antell is who he says he is; in fact, I do not believe there to be such a person at all.?

    The brow rose a fraction higher towards his grey hairline. ?And pray tell- who has deserted the Third Fleet??

    Reige grinned sardonically. ?Only the best dupe of a con ever executed against the Imperial Navy. Actually, it is really quite embarrassing that it was not spotted sooner, though I expect some complicity on the part of Admiral Nhylatich.?

    ?You have a remarkably cavalier tone regarding the treachery of an admiral under your command, Vitor,? Pellaeon remarked casually.

    ?Ah,? Reige took a swig from his snifter, ?I said he was a con, I never said he was a traitor; indeed, by all accounts, Commander Antell?s service record is exemplary- save one, small, anomalous count against it, and here is where I came to suspect Nhylatich?s knowledge of the scam: Antell was granted an absurdly long leave of absence eight years ago. His file mentions something vague about personal matters, but he was gone for well over six months.?

    ?I am failing to see the connection, Vitor.?

    A wry smile touched the younger man?s lips. ?The last month of his leave coincides perfectly with a leave granted to Sydrion Myntox so that he and his wife could travel to Ossus and visit with her family, including??

    ?Her father and
  16. LoriLynn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2011
    star 1
    ?Kyp, have you ever actually seen Threepio in an asteroid field??
    ?Have you??

    HAHAHAHAHA!! Touche Kyp Durron, touche. [face_laugh]

    "Am I allowed to order him around yet??
    Jaina stared incredulously. ?You weren?t doing that already??

    C'mon Gennevi, you're slacking!!

    "I got married on three weeks? notice, in the middle of a forest, in a green dress??
    ?You rebel.?

    And I'm sure it absolutely KILLED Leia that she couldn't throw an enormous bash in that case.

    ?If I?m the mother of your stepdaughter, that makes you???
    ?The stepmother of your daughter??

    Hahahaha! [face_laugh] Again, touche.

    ?And Leyla said that it was nice to have some more cousins,?
    I really thought she was going to ask when Aunt Gennevi and Uncle Kyp were going to have babies. :confused:

    he felt his wife- still a strange thought-
    But a fabulous one, nonetheless!!

    ?I?m a newly-wed,? she murmured. ?And it?s my wedding night.? At the first sign of Kyp?s cocky smirk that was all-too Han-like, she pressed a finger to his lips. ?And,? she continued, ?Leia and Mara said that if we?re not out of here and enjoying marital bliss in fifteen minutes, they?re going to do something to sabotage our whole evening.?
    Enjoying marital bliss....I think that may have just spawned a shine....[face_whistling]

    [:D]
  17. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Chapter 4

    29 ABY ? Csaus ? Chiss Ascendancy

    The alarm had woken him in the middle of the night, and a cold weight settled over him as he quickly dressed and made his way to the most heavily guarded and secretive of scientific facilities in the planetary capital. In the centermost lab of the complex, behind numerous blast doors and several coded entryways, there was an intruder.

    And Syndic Csun?abr?inrokini had a fearful suspicion that he knew who it was.

    Gripping his charric in one hand, he keyed in the last access code to enter the top-secret facility. There would be no guards to assist him, even in his significantly advanced age- this was his mess, and it was up to him to clean it up.

    The exterior entryway was darkened, and he did not turn on any lighting. Creeping slowly along the sterile corridors, he brought the deadly weapon to bear outside a glass door and waved it open with a gesture from his free hand. It slid silently and he ducked inside the darkened control room and took three steps towards the security set-up- when the lights came on blindingly.

    ?I confess,? a low and even voice murmured, ?I had rather expected your arrival about ten minutes ago, Csun?abr?inrokini.?

    Quickly adjusting to the light, he raised the weapon towards the source of the voice? and then felt it loosen in his grasp as his eyes widened and he took an involuntary step backwards.

    ?But then,? the figure allowed reasonably, ?you are not as young as you once were.?

    X---X---X---X

    46 ABY - Wild Space ? Planetoid 5249125

    ?This place is miserable.?

    ?Now now, Nabrin, it is not so bad, as hideouts go.?

    ?You would know,? the other relented with a huff. ?What news??

    His companion spoke idly, as though commenting on the weather. ?Sullust has seceded.?

    A soft snort. ?Right on schedule.? He stopped to input a clearance code, and heavy blast doors slid open after a moment?s pause. ?What is next??

    ?Bothan Space.? Silence stretched out between them, punctured by the clanging sounds of heavy boots on permacrete floors. ?The bothans will not be so easily intimidated.?

    ?Until they start dying, you mean.?

    ?Yes. This was never going to be bloodless, Nabrin.?

    ?I have long ago accepted that fact.?

    A wry chuckle slipped past dark lips. ?Ironic that so many of your former people would think you didn?t have the stomach for it, after your failure to execute the Fels as planned eight years ago.?

    ?A failure I rue all the more when forced upon places like this,? he returned sardonically, and his companion chuckled lowly. ?The shadow son???

    ?It is done.?

    He hesitated. ?And the other??

    ?All in due course, my old friend.?

    X---X---X---X

    Coruscant

    She had known him for years, had trusted her own life and those of her family in his hands, had him to largely thank for rescuing Jag from imprisonment in the Ascendancy- but something about Ashik?s glowing red eyes continued to unnerve Jaina even now, and she wondered if it wasn?t just association with the people who had betrayed her husband and father-in-law. His loyalty to the Fels even above his own race was undeniable, even at the cost of his own self-imposed exile from the Ascendancy in the interests of continuing to look after Soontir and Syal.

    With sparkling clarity, Jaina recalled the discussion that threatened to turn into a fierce argument over Ashik?s oath of loyalty and how to fulfill it in light of the circumstances that caused Soontir to relocate to Corellia and Jag to Ossus. Both men had suggested first that Ashik return to his family on Csilla and, when that idea was flatly refused, that he accompany Cem to the Imperial Remnant. Cem had quickly discounted that suggestion by pointing out that having a chiss aide wouldn?t do wonders for maintaining his hidden identity.

    In the end, the sons? concern for their parents' safety on Corellia- the logic being first, that if further retribution were sought against the Fels, it would be directed against Soontir and second, Jag was absurdly well-protected by the remoteness of Ossus and the numerous Jedi presen
  18. LoriLynn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2011
    star 1
    Loved the little Jaina/Jag moment. I believe that's about as mushy as I'm going to get out of you lol

    Also, the little Ben-Leyla moment was adorable. It's about time someone drags that girl out for a little fun! [face_dancing]
  19. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Chapter 5

    Coruscant

    Leia thanked Threepio- many times- before he finally accepted that her guests were comfortable and required no further refreshment. When the metallic clicking of his feet died away as he returned to the kitchen, Leia smiled wryly at Wynn Dorvan and Ferrin Belotab. ?He?s always been a little? over-enthusiastic.?

    Wynn grinned. ?I have some remarkably fond memories of my early days in politics when he would make a fuss over a single word in translated transcripts, insisting that in true Twi?leki, there is no equivalent for the Basic word ?magnanimous???

    ?Please, don?t remind me,? she sighed, and then turned to the Chief of State. ?Chief Belotab, you?ll have to forgive the delay in arranging this meeting; things have been a little chaotic for us with the whole family being on Coruscant, and the wedding??

    ?Of course,? Ferrin smiled easily, and did his best to ignore the fact that the last two times he had dealt with Solos, horribly bad things had ensued- first, in the treachery and death of his wife and second, in the near-assassination of Cal Omas that was just barely thwarted by Jacen Solo. ?And really, it is I who should apologize, Leia. It would have, perhaps, been proper for us to sit down and talk long before now. After all, there are so few who truly appreciate the pressures of the job.?

    Leia?s lips quirked. ?Ah, but I only ran the New Republic- you have the entire Galactic Alliance on your shoulders, Ferrin. Though I suspect that fact is not encouraging at the moment.?

    The Chief of Staff of the largest and most influential political body in the known galaxy leaned forward in his seat, expression serious and a bit overwhelmed. ?That fact is, to be sure, quite daunting at the moment,? he confirmed. ?You know, of course, about the withdrawal of both Rodia and Falleen from the Alliance in the past six months,? Leia nodded. ?Well it will not be made public knowledge for another few days, but I was informed three weeks ago that Sullust will be ceding membership as well.?

    Her brows shot up. ?Sullust? That makes no sense whatsoever- even less sense than Rodia and Falleen, at any rate. From a military standpoint, it?s economic suicide.?

    ?Unless Sorosuub finds another contractor,? Wynn shrugged. ?But you?re absolutely right, with the way the charter stands, the Defense Fleet has to give preference to member worlds over non-members, and more than one company will rush to fill the niche that Sorosuub occupied. Of course, they?ll still attract plenty of private business, but I doubt the corporation will hold up for long without the capital being poured in by the military.? He paused. ?And all of that isn?t even to mention that all government and military personnel who are not established expatriates with current citizenship on Alliance worlds will be forced to resign. Training academies will have to bump up rotation schedules to fill the gaps left by all the sullustans serving in the Fleet.?

    ?Planetary political upheaval??

    Ferrin shrugged. ?Nothing unusual to speak of.?

    Leia frowned heavily. ?Are there any indicators that the systems who have pulled away from the Galactic Alliance- not just the three major ones, but the smaller ones who come and go as politics and economics allow- are banding together? Perhaps trying to form an independent federation from the GA??

    Wynn considered a moment. ?Nothing current. There were factions within the governments of both Rodia and Falleen who supported the short-lived attempt to build a Confederation with Corellia as a rallying point, but those schemes seem to have died with Centerpoint. Several of the smaller bodies- Marikes, Reylion, Xuspcz- strongly supported the idea of a separate Confederation as well, probably as much in the interests of feeling more important in the galaxy than out of any true ideological sense.?

    ?And,? Ferrin murmured, ?all of that aside, there is no indication of a forming alliance among any of the states who are now abandoning the GA, no indication that any of the secessions are related or even discussed among
  20. LoriLynn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2011
    star 1
    I feel like I need to keep track of this story for everyone playing at home.

    So here's what we know:
  21. Kyp and Gennevi finally tied the knot. Her brother, whom she was somewhat estranged from, brought his family and everyone had a merry old time. Afterwards the newlyweds disappeared on their honeymoon and have been...otherwise occupied *cough* making baby Durron *cough* [face_whistling]

  22. Planets are leaving the GA like womprats in front of a T-16. This is in some way related to whatever Zekk and Tahlia are working on. Oh and Karrde knows what's going on--but then that's nothing new. [face_laugh]

  23. Cem Fel has disappeared and the entire Solo-Fel-Antilles clan is out looking for him, but in a covert way.

  24. Leyla is headed to the Senex sector to deal with something pertaining to slaves.

  25. And somehow, all of this is connected.


  26. I don't know how you do it, Lexi, but I'm sure all the little pieces will weave together to make a beautiful rug. I look forward to being floored (get it? Rug...floored? ;) [face_laugh])
  27. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Karma....



  28. Well... that or I'm just screwing with you for the entirety of this part of the story... [face_whistling]

    :oops: Yeah. I get it. :oops::p

    Chapter 6

    Bastion

    Admiral Tal Nhylatich- commander of the Galactic Alliance Third Fleet and currently on a two-week furlough- exited the apartment of the daughter of one of his oldest living comrades in Imperial service with a sense of failure that Soontir assured him was wholly unnecessary. Nevertheless, he couldn?t help but feel that measures could have been taken to better protect the true identity of Commander ?Antell? after the undoubted weakening of the pseudonym after the commander?s long absence from the service several years prior.

    Cem Fel had come to be under his command more than twenty years prior. Eighteen at the time and already a superior pilot, Soontir had intimated that Cem would have preferred to escape his isolated life in the Empire of the Hand some years prior, but his youth would have made flying under the Remnant tricky at best. Such as it was, he only took up his role in the Imperial Fleet a few years before the Yuuzhan Vong war began, a conflict which resulted in the alliance between the former New Republic and the Imperial Remnant- and the Chiss Ascendancy, before their sudden withdrawal nine years later- and as a result, Cem flew with the Imperial forces comprising the GA Third Fleet for several years.

    Even then, in the years following the truce between the New Republic and what was left of the Empire, Tal had known that to help his former comrade would be to risk his career- or at the very least, his reputable standing in the military- should the deception be revealed. Quite frankly though, Cem Fel was a good enough pilot to risk it, and Tal was reasonably certain that the Empire would have been far worse off at the hands of the Yuuzhan Vong, were it not for his superior understanding of their ways and, Tal suspected, some underhanded coordination of tactics with his younger brother Jagged, and with their father.

    Through those long years, as Tal rose higher in tactical command and Cem rose higher in starfighter command, the eventual admiral had dreaded the prospect of informing Soontir Fel that his son had been killed in combat, especially knowing the purpose of the secrecy surrounding the oldest surviving Fel child; but father and son alike had concurred that there were more important things than protecting the family line- things such as protecting the galaxy, for one. And in that light, Cem?s death would have been difficult to bear, but understandable.

    And so, years later, it was with blindsiding surprise that he found himself discussing the suspicious and mysterious disappearance of Cem with the young commander?s family instead.

    With assurances that he would acquire some additional informational logs requested by Soontir, Tal left the Myntox family apartment quietly and slipped inside his private airspeeder, piloted by his devoted and loyal aide, a young ensign recently commissioned after years of distinguished enlisted service in the Imperial Home Fleet first, and then in the GA Third Fleet.

    Like a good aide, Ensign Goljern asked no questions about the visit, and with a curt nod of readiness from the admiral, maneuvered the speeder away from the private berth at the top of the building. As he eased the vehicle into a steady stream of traffic, however, Goljern uncharacteristically initiated a discussion.

    ?Sir, I-?

    ?A moment, Uliah,? Tal murmured as he scrolled through his schedule- an admiral?s work was never truly finished, even on a ?relaxin
  29. LoriLynn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2011
    star 1
    Why is it that every time I read one of these chapters I feel the need to shout "DUN DUN DUNNNN!!" at the end? You really are the queen of foreboding endings lol

    Also, I loved the little scene between Jaina and Naviin (and yes I was aware that that rhymes [face_whistling] ). He's quickly working his way up my list of favorite characters from you AU. Gennevi is still at the top, but I think most of that might be jealousy that she gets to knock boots with Kyp on a regular basis (what does it say about me that I'm jealous of a fictional character? [face_thinking] )
  30. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Chapter 7

    Ossus

    It took two hours for Kyp to find a moment to get a word in quietly with Jaina, but he finally managed it after dinner while Naviin dragged Gennevi ahead as they meandered towards the temple to visit with Luke and Mara and see Kyp and Gennevi to their quarters for their two-night stay on the forested world before returning to their semi-permanent abode on Coruscant.

    Sensing Kyp?s almost-accusing looks for most of the evening, Jaina kept her attention steadfastly on Naviin as he babbled on about his early studies with the youngest Jedi students and spoke excitedly about when he would be old enough to have his own quarters in the temple- something Jaina and Jag decided he could do at ten years of age, a year younger than Leyla had been, but Leyla had grown up on Coruscant and hadn?t had as much exposure to the temple in her younger years as Naviin. Not to be deterred, however, Kyp meandered along behind while Naviin and Gennevi continued on, so he could talk to Jaina privately.

    ?Don?t tell me he?s done what I think he?s done.?

    ?Don?t start, Kyp.?

    ?Did Jag learn nothing eight years ago??

    ?I said don?t start!?

    He pulled her arm and forced her to stop walking, and she let out an impatient huff and met his stare coolly. ?Jaina, just give me a straight answer- did you lie when you told us that he went to Bastion with his parents??

    ?I couldn?t very well say that he went to Csilla in front of Gennevi, now could I? The truth about Cem isn?t my secret to tell, Kyp- it isn?t yours, either, I might remind you.?

    ?Who went with him??

    ?Ashik. Soontir and Syal really are on Bastion, and they really are visiting with Wyn, regardless what their primary agenda is in Imperial space.?

    He smiled drily. ?Is that supposed to reassure me that I?m only telling my wife a half-lie??

    ?I?m telling your wife a half-lie,? Jaina returned sharply. ?Just don?t say anything about it.?

    ?Jaina, you?re a knot of tension and frustration- and I think you?re angry with him.?

    ?I?m not?? she fought for words and then stalked forward another ten paces before she whirled on Kyp again. ?Fine,? she snarled, ?I?m angry. Once again, I?m left behind to take care of the kid, and this time it?s worse because I?m expecting something to go wrong. But what am I supposed to do? Soontir and Syal have lost half of their children, and the whole family has a sense of duty and loyalty towards each other that I sometimes think surpasses that which Wyn feels towards Syd, or Jag feels towards me and Navi and Leyla. And that aside- how can I tell Jag that I don?t want him to go look for his brother who looked for him? How do I tell him I want him to stay with me, who accepted his ?death? without question and chose to wallow in self-pity instead of at least seek answers that could have led me to him that much faster??

    Kyp stared at her for a long moment before she turned away angrily and continued walking. He matched her pace and spoke quietly, conscious of the fact that Gennevi had noticed their mild altercation. ?Been bottling all this up for a week now, huh??

    ?You have no idea.?

    They entered the temple ten steps behind Gennevi and Naviin, who waited for them before continuing to the turbolift that would take them up to the upper levels where Luke and Mara kept quarters. Gennevi shot him a questioning look as they stepped inside, but he should his head minutely and glanced down at the top of Naviin?s tousled-haired head. His wife of one month nodded slowly, and Kyp began to wonder if Jaina was wrong; chances were, he?d end up having to force a few half-truths to Gennevi on behalf of the Fel family which had more secrets it seemed than a bothan running for public office.

    X---X---X---X

    Karfeddion

    If the planet- the spaceport, specifically- of the planet Karfeddion was anything to go by, Leyla began to realize just how right Vulcor probably was about visiting Yetoom Na Uun. Outwardly, Karfeddion was? tolerable. Parts of it, on approach, almost seemed pleasant, visually. But there was an
  31. LoriLynn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2011
    star 1
    Ooooo...political intrigued! I like it! =D=

    I definitely enjoyed the tension between Kyp and Jaina, but would it kill you to give me a little K/G fluff? Although I do squeel everytime Kyp says the word 'wife' [face_love]
  32. Darth_Ziantor Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 5, 2005
    star 3
    Just wanted to drop a note and let you know that I've been reading all the other stories in your AU so I could get caught up with this new one. I really like the direction you've taken the characters and can't wait to read more. Great work so far!
  33. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Darth_Ziantor- thanks and glad to know you've been enjoying!

    Lori - you will get your share of political intrigue 'ere the end, I daresay. And sadly, the fluff is at a minimum in this story, as to include extraneous stuff to the plot would make it even longer... and part 2 is going to make the whole thing pretty long, methinks... sorry. But that's what your extra scenes are for, I guess. :p

    Chapter 8

    Yetoom Na Uun

    A mingled series of emotions raced through Leyla?s mind as she set her StealthX down in the indicated hangar bay and began her post-flight check with her astromech; the droid carried the nickname ?Fate? after the last two characters of his serial number: F-8. Fate was pretty new, he had been a gift from Luke and Mara when she was Knighted nearly two years ago. Before then, Leyla had simply made due with full manual controls, but she suspected that her father in particular was uneasy about the idea of her flying around on her own. It was perhaps only natural though that her mother and stepfather would be less concerned, given how young the two of them had been during their military careers.

    And even if Fate was just a droid- and she was positive that either Artoo or Threepio would take offense to such a phrase, should either ever hear her utter it- it was nice to have some form of company during those long flights. Unfortunately, Fate could provide little insight on her current state of conflicting feelings regarding her decision to travel to Yetoom Na Uun after all, upon leaving the planet Knores where she had met with the very kind, very helpful, and all-too oily Duke Viholn. Indeed, it was Viholn?s mention of having briefly encountered Vulcor some five years ago that brought to mind his demand of her to avoid the disreputable and infamous planet of the Senex Sector.

    She knew Vulcor was just trying to look after her, but it still rankled her that he would attempt to control her mission like that. And then she stopped and vaguely wondered how she would have felt had her father, or even her great-uncle Luke made such a stipulation to her going and, as she honestly contemplated it, didn?t think it would have bothered her as much coming from one of them.

    The implications of that fact flitted around her head for a moment before she firmly shut the door on the whole line of thinking and, as though to emphasize her seriousness on the matter, she punched the manual canopy release and then twisted around in the cramped cockpit to reach the small storage box behind her seat where her lightsaber remained stashed away while she traveled. ?Power down the ship, Fate; keep yourself on standby,? she murmured before pulling herself out of the ejection seat and sitting on the edge of the matte-black fighter and turning around, clipping her lightsaber to her belt as she slid gracefully and dropped five meters to the duracrete hangar floor.

    Glancing around, the first thing Leyla noted were the signs in Basic and a few languages she didn?t recognize directing all incoming traffic to the customs booth to pay docking fees and for information on the planet. The fact that this place- more of an open-secret shadowport than anything- expected people to submit to a full customs inspection before leaving the spaceport told Leyla a lot about just how open the secret was- and that far too many of the officials and nobility she?d spoken with in the past three weeks probably knew precisely where and what this place was. And that was, of course, a slave world.

    But for all the tip-toeing around the term during her travels among these self-centered and self-righteous peoples, it still came down to the fact that Vulcor had been right. The Senex-Juvex region had remained autonomous through the vast majority of recent galactic history, in much the same manner as the Hapes Consortium- through economic isolation and strong militarism when need called for it. They were fortunate enough here to have been overlooked by the Yuuzhan Vong, though Leyla wondered how isolationist they would
  34. LoriLynn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2011
    star 1
    Oooohhh...and enter Leyla's love interest!! That should make someone...somewhere...very jealous ;)

    I enjoyed the tiny morsel of H/L cuteness you threw out there as well. I feel like a fluff junkie, and you give me just enough to keep the withdrawl at bay [face_laugh]

    Also....so confused about this crazy virus/bug thingy that the Chiss have created. I knew we couldn't trust those blue people...
  35. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Ahh- you haven't read NJO. Read this, it isn't something I made up.
  36. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Chapter 9

    Sullust

    Whatever Han and Leia were expecting out of a meeting with Niuk Niuv, the actual experience was, frankly, surreal. Gone was the hotheaded and loud-mouthed senator of twenty years ago- a senator with whom Leia had clashed all-too-frequently in the days of the Yuuzhan Vong invasion due to his stolid anti-Jedi attitudes- and in his place was a harried, hassled, distracted being who was, perhaps, just as rude as ever, but less confrontational about it.

    ?You shouldn?t be here.?

    ?Nah,? Han waved aside his protest with a dangerously charming smile, ?Sullust is a great place for a little getaway, a little time to ourselves, if you know what I mean??

    Niuv tapped at his datapad twice before sliding it inside a drawer of his desk and slamming it shut. Leaning forward on short arms, he stared balefully up at Han who, even sitting in an abnormally low chair, still towered above the minister. ?Do not even begin to think that I don?t know precisely why you are here, Captain Solo, Jedi Organa Solo,? he turned and fixed her with a narrow-eyed stare. ?And to be honest, I am surprised that Chief Belotab would stoop as low as to send the two of you running around the galaxy to do his bidding-?

    ?Ferrin did no such thing,? Leia interrupted him firmly. ?And for all that we may have clashed in the past, Niuk, I hope you can trust that, even removed from politics these days, the interests of the Galactic Alliance still occupy a significant place in my heart.? He hesitated and then nodded reluctantly. ?And part of that interest extends to a system that has been a long-time ally of the Alliance, of the Republic, and of the Rebellion before.?

    ?And your interests undoubtedly extend to a system that manufactures a significant portion of the militaries of all of those bodies you name??

    ?Yes,? she admitted bluntly, ?and it should concern you as well that losing the contracts with the GA will devastate Sorosuub and will, in turn, destroy the economy of Sullust.?

    His large eyes blinked slowly, expression unreadable. ?Then that is the concern of Sullust; not you.?

    ?Yeah,? Han quipped, ?we could see just how taken the Sullustan people as a whole are with the whole thing on our way in. Did you know you have all kinds of people out there protesting as we speak???

    ?No, it had quite slipped my notice,? Niuv returned sarcastically. ?Leia,? he turned back to her almost reluctantly, ?I cannot help you save to reiterate that you should not be here. Leave Sullust to the Sullustans and you go back and tell the Jedi to keep their noses inside their own boundaries. My assistant will see you out.?

    ?Niuk??

    He held up a hand. ?I?m sorry; I?ve no more to say.? He pressed a button on his desk. ?Asul??

    A young female stepped into the office and stared with wide eyes at Han and Leia until they reluctantly stood. ?You know how to reach me,? Leia said resignedly, nodding her head once towards the minister who remained sitting stiffly behind his desk.

    ?A pleasure as always,? Han added, earning a reproving look from his wife. Together, they followed Asul from the office and wound their way through the twisted corridors that were built into the naturally-formed caverns beneath the world?s surface. As they exited the complex of offices, however, Leia finally gained her bearings enough to recognize that this was not the way they had entered, something she quickly pointed out to their guide.

    ?Maintenance in the main corridor,? she responded stiltedly.

    Han frowned down at her. ?Already? We were just in it forty-five minutes ago.?

    The sullustan did not answer and, instead, palmed open a door that led to a gigantic underground cavern where hundreds- possibly thousands- of sullustans and even a few humans were gathered with signs. Many yelled or chanted, and more than a few carried signs depicting the logo of the Sorosuub corporation that was the primary source of planetary revenue for Sullust.

    ?The tunnel straight across will lead to a forked intersection- take the left and the next right, and you will reach your ship. Do
  37. LoriLynn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2011
    star 1
    Okay, so I'm beginning to question Zekk's part in all this. And that saddens me. :_|

    Although this could all just be a ruse to cover up the fact that he and Tahlia have eloped because she is pregnant but doesn't want to raise the baby in the Jedi way. It could happen....[face_praying]
  38. LexiLupin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 27, 2011
    star 4
    Chapter 10

    Coruscant

    Ferrin Belotab stared in slack-jawed disbelief at his chief of staff, whose forcedly monotonous voice betrayed his own shock as he read the report. The comm speaker on his desk buzzed and was entirely ignored by them both until his assistant in the outer office seemed to realize that her attempts at gaining her boss?s attention would go unnoticed for the moment.

    ?Just- wiped out?? he demanded. ?Just like that?? His voice rang hollow in his ears as Wynn raised his eyes to meet Ferrin?s. ?How is that possible??

    ?I don?t know, sir.?

    ?An entire colony,? he muttered faintly. ?What is- was- the bothan population of Torolis??

    Wynn swallowed. ?Around four and a half million.? Ferrin closed his eyes and leaned his head back against his chair, willing himself to, next time he opened his eyes, find that he was any other ordinary citizen and not the man sitting in this chair in this office. ?Another million and a half to two million humans and negligible minorities of assorted other species,? his chief of staff continued quietly. ?No word yet on whether this disease has affected any of them, but the sector government is already establishing a strict quarantine around the planet- they don?t want any chance of this spreading.?

    ?How does a disease, something so fatal and instantaneous, just mutate on a moment?s notice?? the Chief of State demanded wildly. ?Four and a half million bothans don?t just drop dead, Wynn! It doesn?t work like that, biology doesn?t work like that!?

    ?It is? possible, sir? that someone carried it- knowingly or accidentally- from a place whose population was not susceptible. And given the small size and high concentration of the population of Torolis?? he trailed away and sighed. ?Until we can determine what it was that killed them, there isn?t much we can speculate beyond that.?

    Ferrin ground his teeth together for a moment out of frustration of the fact that he was still him, was still sitting in the office and chair of the Galactic Alliance Chief of State? and of course, the fact that four and a half million bothans on Torolis were still dead. Taking a deep breath in a failed attempt to calm himself, he depressed the comm button finally and spoke stiffly to his secretary. ?Get me the bothan leadership as soon as possible.?

    The twi?lek?s almost nervous voice responded immediately. ?Ah, yes, sir- they?ve actually been waiting for you for a few minutes now??

    ?Send them in,? he snapped, and then felt bad for taking out his frustrations on the poor girl. ?Please.?

    Moments later, three solemn bothans entered the office smoothly and took up the proffered chairs in front of the desk as Wynn stood and crossed to one side of the room where he leaned unobtrusively against the wall. ?Senator Fey?til,? he addressed the oldest of the three first and then turned to the other two. ?Senator Kro?nur, Ambassador Hay?lya. My sincerest condolences on this tragedy on Torolis. Whatever assistance the Galactic Alliance can provide?? he let the offer hang open while the junior senator and the ambassador glanced sidelong at the elderly senior senator, Fey?til.

    Slowly, he got to his feet and extended a grey-silver hand to Ferrin, who took it a bit bemusedly. ?We thank you for your concern and kind words,? his voice was low and gruff. ?I?m afraid we are here on other business, however.?

    Ferrin and Wynn exchanged confused glances. Other business? What other business could a people with a sudden outbreak of a devastatingly deadly plague have?

    Fey?til straightened and met Ferrin?s eye determinedly. ?Chief Belotab, at the instruction and on behalf of the Bothan Council on Bothawui, I hereby offer the formal resignation of myself, Senator Kro?nur, and Ambassador Hay?lya; and with it, announce the immediate secession of the Bothan Sector from the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances.?

    Wynn dropped his datapad; it clattered to the floor, the noise compounded by the stunned silence, and he didn?t bother to pick it up.

    X---X---X---X

    Ossus

    ?I want Leyla
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