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  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Beyond - Legends Blackened Faith (J/J, L/M, H/L, Fel Empire, Force experiments, drama) New weekly updates 2018/2019!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by mayo_durron_666, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Riveting vision and I am so happy and relieved Jaina was able to get crucial details, including the names of the attackers and send the all-important messages!!! =D= [face_relieved]
     
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  2. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Glad you liked that post. :) Jaina was damn determined to get the information. Hopefully she's done enough to stop the vision. [face_nail_biting]

    Here is an update! :D
    Hope you enjoy!
    Cheers to all who read, comment and lurk. [face_peace]

    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    ~

    [Core Worlds. Coruscant. Head of State’s Office.]


    “.. She’s not talking. We’ve got no intel from her.” The insightful Mon Calamari, Racon Gerreon, clarified.

    Disappointed, Jagged Fel shook his head to confirm the same news.

    It had been two days since Julietta Hu’Fetonia’s arrest. She had survived her poisoning thanks to an incredible medical team. But now healthy and in custody Julietta had gone mute. She answered to no one. Her silence was driving all involved to the brink of frustration.

    Stood to the side of both men, Imperial Knight Jacen Solo added hopefully,
    “We have teams going through her quarters now. Also, all her communications and any surveillance we have of her is being thoroughly checked. We’ll find something.”

    “I wish I could share your optimism, Knight Solo.” The Head of State rose to make himself a drink at a side table, “If I’m honest I’m still in shock.”

    Julietta had been his Head of Security. Above most beings Racon had trusted Julietta, her judgement, experience and abilities. She had kept him safe on many occasions. He just couldn’t understand why she would turn on him. This betrayal felt far more personal, something Racon didn’t want to admit to anyone. His last embers of trust had burnt out. She had made him lose faith in others and that lack of belief hurt.

    Quietly, Jagged cleared his throat and spoke gently,
    “If you need time Gerreon I will understand. The past few days have been stressful. I am happy to post-pone the peace announcements, conferences and celebrations.”

    For a moment the Head of State stood quietly contemplating the suggestion. It was tempting.

    Glass in hand, wearing a tired expression with his mind deep in thought, Racon sighed. He was tired, stretched thin and almost completely worn out. But he knew he must continue the course for peace. Once it was agreed upon and in motion, Racon would make his political exit.

    At least the talks between the Republic and Imperials had gone well so far. Jagged Fel was a good man, he kept his word and laboured hard to find solutions that would work for all in future.

    In the past, Racon had felt very alone regarding his role. No one else truly understood the pressure and demands of his role, except the Imperial Emperor who sat on the sofa before him.

    Eventually Racon came back the present, shook his head with a weary smile and replied,
    “I thank you for the offer Fel but I think it is best that we go ahead. To cancel would send the wrong message. The media would likely spin a story on how we aren’t cooperating. We can’t afford such damaging speculation. This is a delicate time. The Peace Summit and all of its arrangements must go ahead.”

    Coolly Jagged nodded,
    “As you wish. I was just concerned for your well-being.”

    “Thank you.” The Head of State went back to his desk, “I must admit... I’m very disheartened by Julietta’s actions - and now her silence. I want answers.”

    In the quiet that followed Jacen spoke up,
    “I can get the answers out of her.”

    Inquisitively, Jagged arched a dark eyebrow up at his brother-in-law,
    “You sound awfully confident. What makes you so sure? What are suggesting, Jacen?”

    Jacen didn’t flinch at the disbelief in Jagged’s words. He didn’t take the words too harshly because he was absolutely certain about this suggestion. If given permission to do it he knew he could get the data.

    Silently Solo planned to do it, with or without their agreement.

    Information was power and Julietta was placing both leaders in danger by withholding it. Ultimately, Jacen wanted their blessing but would go against them if they refused it.

    “Your EDA personnel have interrogated Julietta with the usual methods and had little success.” Jacen said openly, “Let me interrogate her. I can use the Force to see inside her mind. I will be able to pull information from her memories. She won’t have to speak.”

    The Imperial Emperor and Head of State shared a concerned look before turning back to Jacen.

    Intrigued Racon leaned across his desk and asked,
    “Will this Force technique hurt her?”

    “It will be uncomfortable. At times painful.” Jacen answered frankly, “Especially if she fights it.”

    Irritated by the suggestion Jagged rose from his seat, strode to the nearest wall-sized window and gazed out at the city landscape as his mind raced with the moral problems this option brought up. He wanted Julietta to talk. To force someone into revealing intel by invading their personal thoughts felt very wrong. It did not sit well with him at all.

    “I don’t like it.” Jagged admitted firmly as he turned around to face Jacen, “You will be taking something without consent and possibly inflicting pain in the process.”

    “This would be a mercy.” Jacen tried to defend, “It’s better than torture.”

    “Is it?” Fel stepped closer, “Or is it the same?”

    With a tightening jaw, Jacen retorted,
    “Fine. Put it in that category if you wish. But it would yield results and you know it.”

    “Your own sister would not approve and you know it.” Jagged responded curtly, “What you’re suggesting would violate Julietta’s rights as a Republican citizen.”

    “Rights she forfeited when she committed treason.” Reasoned Solo and added with genuine honesty, “Look I have no wish to intentionally hurt Julietta. This technique I am proposing would last only for a few moments. I won’t torment her or prolong the process. We need information and she is our best lead. Let me try.”

    Still uncomfortable with the idea, Jagged Fel crossed his arms and swung his gaze to the Head of State. Julietta’s fate was in the hands of the Republic, she was one of its citizens and therefore under its jurisdiction. In this case Racon had the final say.

    The wise Mon Calamari sat at his desk; one webbed hand tapped the table whilst the other rested under his large chin. His large bulb eyes stayed steady on Jacen’s face, searching for any ulterior motive in the younger man’s features.

    Whatever he saw in Knight Solo’s expression gave Racon the confidence to decide,
    “I give my consent for such an interrogation so long as there is a Republican doctor present. I don’t want her to suffer unnecessarily. You must keep Julietta’s health upmost in your mind during the whole process. Her physical and mental safety is a priority. You have one chance, Jacen, a few minutes only.”

    “That’s all I need.”
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  3. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Excellent post with Jagged's offer of postponing the talks process. I can totally relate to the Head of State's physical and emotional weariness in the aftermath of Julietta's betrayal.

    Jag's points about the morality of the interrogation technique are well-said, and I agree Jaina would not approve in the slightest! But Racon's constraints on the entire process should keep things from diverging from the actual intent of gathering information.

    =D=
     
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  4. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    You know, in a different story this comment would give me the willies. Here? I'm actually okay with him doing this.

    Thanks for writing! I have been slacking a bit on reviewing recently...sorry!
     
  5. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Yes, Jagged is being very considerate I think and rightfully so because poor Racon has been through a lot. Jacen's proposal with Rcaon's restraints should hopefully go smoothly. It was an interesting discussion to write. Cheers for reading! Appreciate it! :)

    SiouxFan: Glad you liked Jacen's portrayal in this and his offer of a different interrogation method. He's not going Sith, I would not want that in this story but it's good to sometimes play with the grey areas. Thanks for readying and commenting! No apologies needed, I'm constantly trying to catch up on my readying on here. ;)
     
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  6. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Next update is here! :D

    Hope you enjoy!

    Thanks to all who read, comment and lurk! :)

    ~

    [Core Worlds. Coruscant. EDA Headquarters. Interrogation Room 06.]


    Gripping the chair arms with whitening knuckles, Julietta swore and squirmed in discomfort. But straps held her securely in place. There was no escape.

    “Stop it!” She yelled, furious. “Stop this! Get out! Get out of my thoughts!”

    To the side the Republican physician, a Togruta called Ashonna, stood watching over the proceedings, monitoring Julietta’s condition. Every now and then, the doctor would glimpse at the screens displaying Julietta’s vital signs. She took her charge seriously and had the final say over the examination. If Ashonna did not like the medical readings she could call the interrogation to a stop.

    Jacen knew this and he too did not want to prolong this awkward situation.

    Arm raised with his hand stretched out wide just above Julietta’s face, Jacen Force-pushed into her mind.

    Memories came and went like fireflies dancing in the darkness. Many were of the Head of State Racon Gerreon, political meetings, discussions with fellow colleagues, Coruscant elite parties and a few rare solitude moments alone in her own quarters.

    Dismissing these, Jacen delved deeper.

    Julietta’s intelligent mind fought him. But to no avail.

    A hazy vision surfaced of her typing secret communications on encrypted comm devices, soon replaced with an image of her copying confidential files in an office out of hours and then of her placing recording devices in the Head of States quarters.

    Advancing further still, Jacen eventually discovered a full holo conversation with Emetta Masso. The Imperial Knight used his enhanced Force skills to hone-in on the memory and forced Julietta to replay it in full.


    In her living room, sick with guilt and racked with anxiety, Julietta stood facing the hologram.

    “.. I’ve done what you asked.” Julietta went on to demand sternly, “Now return what you promised.”

    The three-dimensional projection of Emetta frowned in disapproval,

    “Our collaboration is not yet finished. You know that.”

    Enraged, Julietta lost all civility and shouted at his image,

    “It is for me! I’ve given you everything you asked! I can do no more without getting caught. This is over, Emetta. I won’t do it.”

    Smugly the Quarren shook his squid-like head and replied,

    “Wrong, my dear. Racon Gerreon and Jagged Fel are still alive. Till that changes you are indebted to me.”

    Shaking with anger and fear simultaneously, Julietta begrudgingly lowered her head in obedience.


    “Please!” Distressed, Julietta struggled to get her words out, “Pl-Please. Stop.”

    “Knight Solo,” Ashonna clearly cautioned, “her vitals are becoming erratic and unstable. I must insist you lessen your Force-hold on the patient.”

    All at once, the scene vanished into nothingness.

    Surprisingly, Jacen stood staring down into Julietta’s watery gaze with compassion and understanding.

    There were more memories of Emetta and Viqilis. Hiding deep. Behind a shield of pain and turmoil. He could sense it. A horrifying secret. And it was breaking Julietta because she had carried it alone for months.

    Apologetically, Jacen whispered,
    “They have someone you love.”

    Woefully, she nodded,
    “My sister.”

    “Julietta, I know why you did it.” Wanting to convey his sincerity, Jacen spoke with great care as he continued, “But you don’t have to work for them anymore. Tell us what you know. With your help we can stop Emetta and Viqilis.”

    Wearily, Julietta shook her head and began to cry in earnest,
    “I’m sorry .. but I can’t.”

    “Why not?” Jacen persisted, “Julietta please tell me.”

    Her face now awash with tears, she simply looked him in the eye and shrugged.

    Although she didn’t voice it, Jacen put it all together fast. Clearly Julietta’s sister was in danger and being used as leverage over the former Head of Security. Threats had been made. And Julietta’s silence was meant to keep her sibling safe.

    Jacen admired her will not to give in or give up intel. He even felt for her unfortunate circumstances but he had to keep prying for information. Racon and Jagged’s safety depended on him achieving results. Solo was not going to stop until he got some answers.

    “Julietta, I really don’t want to do this.” He explained, “But if you don’t start responding verbally, I will go back inside your head.”

    Now staring down at her legs, Julietta remained mute.

    Cursing to himself, Jacen paused, he had lost her again. She was back in her tight-lipped state of calm. He could see the resolve burning brightly in her eyes.

    He was about to use the Force again when he realised there was another approach he could try.

    Changing tactics, Jacen knelt by the chair and asked,
    “What’s your sister’s name?”

    That caught her attention. Slowly, Julietta’s raised her head up to find him crouching at her level. His expression was one of genuine interest and his dark eyes were etched with concern.

    Softly Julietta answered,
    “Oliviana.”

    Jacen offered a small smile,
    “But ‘Oli’ to you, right?”

    Julietta nodded at the good guess.

    “Julietta, I am sorry you’ve gone through this. Truly I am. I too have a sister. And she was missing for a long time.” As Jacen spoke his voice wavered with emotion, he hid nothing from her, wanting Julietta to see the truth of what he was saying. “She was taken from my family and very badly hurt. But we found her. She’s home now, safe at last.” Jacen went on sympathetically, “I know you’re frightened. You have every reason to be. But if you cooperate and give us some answers then all this unpleasantness will stop. And I promise I will help you bring back your sister.”

    There was a long moment where Julietta searched Jacen’s face. Desperately, Jacen wished for her to confide him, to see the earnest offer and accept his aid. For a second it seemed like she would. But then the cool stoic expression slipped back onto her features and all hope was lost.

    Disillusioned, she finally responded,
    “You can’t promise me anything, Knight Solo.”

    Taken aback, Jacen stood up and moved to be in front of the chair once more.
    “Please don’t make me do this, Julietta. Answer the question. Where is Emetta and Viqilis’s base of operations?”

    A noiseless room was the only reply.
    “Where are they, Julietta?”

    Again, silence reigned.

    Loathing himself, Jacen again lifted his hand and drew the Force to his services, such as they were.

    ~
     
  7. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh wow! Julietta's "cooperation" is bought with threats and emotional blackmail. But even if she had "delivered" Racon and Jag to Emetta and Viqilis, what's to say they wouldn't (or haven't already) disposed of her sister anyway? Jacen's offer and empathy are genuine; the ones she is in league with, their word is not to be trusted! :eek:
    =D=
     
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  8. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: You're totally right, Julietta cannot not trust Viqilis or Emetta's word. But she's stubborn and sees no other way. Hopefully her sister is okay! [face_worried] Thanks for reading and commenting! I have a very exciting post coming soon. :D I really cannot wait to share but I'm editing it atm. It should be up in a day or two. Cheers! [face_peace]
     
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  9. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Okay got a bit of a chunky update today. I hope you like it! ;)

    Thanks to all who read, comment, click and lurk! :D

    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    ~


    [Core Worlds. Coruscant. Head of State’s Office.]


    The Head of State and Imperial Emperor sat around a large table. Endless notes and datapads littered the space. Beside them their assistants typed any new suggestions. Diligently they spoke about all matters great and small. They went over every detail of the treaty and the arrangements for the coming celebrations.

    Precautions were being taken. This was to be expected for any large political event.

    However, the Imperial Empress herself had sent messages to Jagged and Jacen, warning them of a possible attack. And her own team of Imperial Knights were already on the planet tracking down the enemies planning to strike during the festivities. With an EDA unit aiding them, the Knights hoped to detain those accused very shortly.

    In the background a screen played the Galactic HoloNet News. A female twi'lek reporter stood before the Senate building as they informed the audience,
    “.. Though it has been a tense time for both the Republic and the Empire, it appears an overall deal has finally been made. A peace treaty, which sources say has many compromises for each party involved, has been drawn up and will be signed tomorrow, publicly, to coincide with the peace celebrations here on Coruscant. Critics of the treaty say the Republic is being forced to fit too much of the bill..”

    No one took much notice of the holoscreen as it continued to blare on.

    Knight Solo entered. Upon his appearance all conversation stopped, the assistants left and the two leaders waited patiently for news.

    “They’re on the planet Sump in the Outer Rim.” Jacen informed them, “Both the EDA and Imperial Intelligence department have been informed. We are currently attempting to narrow down and confirm an exact location.”

    “Excellent.” Racon said with great relief, “We will have to prepare teams to arrest Viqilis, Emetta and their associates. Precautions must be taken. I expect there will be much resistance.”

    “Highly probable, yes.”

    Wearing a thoughtful expression, Jagged Fel scrutinised his brother-in-law’s tired features as he spoke up,
    “Julietta fought you, didn’t she?” Jacen didn’t answer so the Emperor continued, “And I’m guessing you saw things in her mind other than noteworthy information.”

    Remorsefully, Jacen inclined his head,
    “Yes. I discovered her motives for her actions.”

    “Which were?” Intrigued, Racon rose from his chair and stepped around the table as he asked again, “Tell me, what were her motives?”

    “She did it out of love.” Jacen uttered the words softly, “Julietta’s sister, Oliviana, is being held hostage by Viqilis and Emetta. They threatened to hurt her if Julietta did not cooperate.”

    Looking perplexed, Racon shook his large head in disbelief,
    “That can’t be. No, that can’t be it. Oliviana is a brilliant military pilot, one of the Republic’s finest, we would have been informed if anything had happened to her.”

    With sad eyes the Imperial Knight explained simply,
    “Julietta tampered with official records and changed her sister’s status to: missing in action.”

    The Mon Calamari was speechless. And lost. He didn’t know how to feel anymore.

    Betrayal still coursed and burned through him. But upon hearing of the circumstances behind Julietta’s deceit his heavy heart suddenly ached. Shame washed over the Republic leader. Guilt grew, for not paying attention sooner, for not seeing the pain and for not being there to help a friend in desperate need.

    This betrayal was not so simple anymore. Against her will, Julietta had been turned into a pawn. Understanding this better now, Racon didn’t want to be cruel towards her. But she would still have to answer for her crimes. That twisted his stomach. A deep sadness ate Racon up inside. It was not fair that such a good person had been used this way. There was no saving Julietta from a trial and judgement. Even Racon could not change the fate she would be dealt.

    Julietta’s loyalty may have faltered with him. But it had never wavered with regards to her sister. For that alone, Racon could respect her and maybe even find comfort in Julietta’s simple loving reasoning.

    After gathering his thoughts, Racon spoke up gently,
    “We must find Oliviana. For Julietta. We must bring her back safe.”

    Nodding his agreement, Solo answered,
    “We have intelligence officers already investigating her whereabouts. I believe she’s on Sump. But we need to verify ..” Confused Jacen looked past Racon and swore under his breath, “What the frakk .. what is going on?!”

    Both leaders turned their gazes to the holoscreen.

    To keep himself from swearing too, Jagged’s jaw locked tightly shut. Anger and shock filled his green eyes. Meanwhile apprehension dawned over Racon’s face and turned his large eyes glassy with worry.

    From the holoscreen a single voice resonated, threats lingered in every word,
    “..To all, Republicans and Imperials alike, I am here to inform you of your greatest mistakes. You have lost your path, insulting me and my colleagues along the way. Tonight, I will educate and support you in changing these unfortunate ideals. And in exchange for my infinite wisdom I request a simple compensation for myself and my followers.”

    It was not possible. Yet there he was. One of the main war criminals. The Yuuzhan Vong councillor Viqilis Huzara. Using a pirate holochannel, Viqilis was broadcasting all over the HoloNet, his voice booming from every holoscreen private and public.

    Snapping out of his astonishment, Jacen grabbed his commlink device and contacted Iella Antilles at EDA Headquarters,
    “Are you getting this? How is Viqilis able to do this?”

    “We don’t yet know.” Iella answered, “But we’re already using this stunt against him. This pirate channel is going out to a wide range of planets. I have a team tracing the channel’s signal to locate its origins. This should give us the exact coordinates for their base on Planet Sump.”

    Confidently, Viqilis went on,
    “You think by uniting together you will find peace. You believe together you will create a prosperous new galaxy. And worst of all you think you are morally justified on this new path. These are false hopes. Have you forgotten who the real enemies are? Who is truly to blame? Don’t you recall why this war started in the first place?”

    Feeling a familiar cold prickle down his spine, Jagged straightened to his feet and regarded the screen as if it were a dangerous animal.

    The uneasy sensation hit Fel’s stomach as Viqilis continued his accusation.
    “In both the Republic and the Empire, you have allowed Force-sensitive beings and users to roam, unchallenged, unchecked and unrestrained. According to many sources, I am to be charged with crimes against such beings. But this would be a mistake. For you see, it would be a crime to allow such powerful beings freedom and agency in our systems. They are, and have always been, the real enemies.”

    Wordlessly, Jacen and Jagged shared a troubled glance.

    This broadcast was meant to stir prejudice, fear and hatred. The very same which had started the most recent war. A conflict which had left behind so much death, destruction and trauma. Viqilis was trying to continue this horrific conflict.

    That was something Jagged couldn’t not let happen.

    “Shut this down.” Fel ordered firmly, “I want this pirate channel disrupted now.”

    Stuck between his Emperor’s wishes and his gut to follow Iella’s lead, Jacen countered carefully,
    “We will. But let us get the signal origins first -”

    “I am not asking, Jacen.” Jagged all but yelled at him in a cold rage, “Shut it down!”

    “My actions during this war have been that of scientific exploration and understanding. Instead of running from these powerful individuals I have decided to use them and their talents. I admit to experimenting, as I am accused, but I refuse to believe it was against my own government or people. These experiments are for the populace and their safety. For them, I am creating weapons and medication capable of controlling Force-sensitive beings. I have discovered how to take away their Force-abilities entirely. Better yet, I’ve given Force-abilities to ordinary citizens to even out the power balance across our galaxy.”

    “Damnit Solo!” Racon added his anger, “Get them to shut this channel off. Immediately! He’s giving away classified information.”

    Reluctantly, Jacen spoke into his commlink,
    “Iella, cut this pirate channel off.”

    “We’ve almost got the trace.” She informed, blatantly not happy with the instruction.

    “The Head of State and Imperial Emperor have both ordered this. If it is possible, cut the feed immediately.”

    Secretly, Jacen hoped it was not within their power to do so. Like Iella, he wanted the specific coordinates so they could take the fight directly to Viqilis and Emetta.

    As Iella acknowledged, Viqilis added in his broadcast,
    “And for such exceptional acts I have received .. what exactly? My genius has gone unrewarded. In fact, instead I’ve been condemned. This is most ungrateful of you. I now understand I will never be able to be part of your society. You will detain and judge me. Obviously, this I won’t allow. But I will not hold a grudge. I am willing to be fair.”

    Still holding the commlink up to his mouth, Jacen uttered with dread,
    “I’ve got a bad feeling about this..”

    “Now I’ve explained your misunderstanding and my valiant actions, I am going to offer a simple truce. I want fellow colleagues of mine to be released by both the Republic and the Empire. They are to be freed with pardons. This pardon will of course extend to me, my medical innovations and any who supported my vision. The following are to be set free: Kilipp T’Onosy, Casto Porfeus ..”

    “He can’t be serious.” The Mon Calamari murmured, totally bewildered, as Viqilis listed several names, “We would never agree to such terms.”

    The holoscreen flickered as the camera moved behind Viqilis to show an underground tunnel.

    On the ground prisoners lined up on their knees, hands tied behind their backs with their heads bowed down.

    Viqilis came back into the foreground of the screen and explained,
    “.. If the Republic and Empire fail to release our allies, publicly for all to see, we will be forced to take drastic action. We have our own prisoners. And we will terminate them, one at a time, in live broadcasts every night. For each day you make us wait for our demands we will kill a special guest. Tomorrow, if our demands are not met, EDA Commander Wedge Antilles shall be put on your screens and his last moments will be yours to watch.”

    A beaten man was dragged forward from the floor by two mercenaries. They pulled him up so the camera could capture his image clearly. It was indeed Wedge Antilles. He was barely able to stand, bruises covered him all over and his clothing was dirty, torn, dotted with dried blood.

    “I sincerely hope I do not have to broadcast tomorrow. But that decision I leave entirely up to you all.”

    With those last words, Viqilis and Wedge’s image flickered off the holoscreen.

    After a moment of static the Galactic HoloNet News came back on and a stunned reporter stumbled over their words as they tried to explain what had just happened.


    [Core Worlds. Coruscant. EDA Head Quarters. Intelligence Department.]


    “Did you get that Iella?” Jacen’s voice sounded again on her commlink.

    Snapping out of her shock, the EDA Director responded quietly,
    “Yes, we got the entire broadcast here.”

    Including the part where her own husband was threatened with execution, but Iella didn’t say that part aloud. Everyone saw it. They all knew what was at stake. For her, very personal stakes.

    Both relief and fresh fear consumed her. A little breathless from the colliding emotions and the sympathetic glances from fellow colleagues, Iella stood still for a moment trying to gather her thoughts.

    Wedge was alive. Just the thought of him brought tears to her eyes. It was a miracle. But he was still in danger, along with countless others, and that situation had to be rectified right away.

    Barely containing her emotions, Iella Antilles turned back to the tracing team,
    “Tell me I didn’t listen to that nonsense for no reason - do we have the coordinates?”

    A young man, sat at a desk with several holoscreens connected to his computer, replied confidently,
    “We have the coordinates. The signal originated from Planet Sump just as we predicted. They are situated in a derelict military base, originally from the Old Empire era. We’ve got them, Director.”

    With this valuable information, Iella’s confidence grew,
    “Good, send this intel to the EDA team and Intelligence unit near Riflor. Tell them to rendezvous with our attack fleet at Sump.”

    To Jacen, Iella clicked back on her commlink,
    “We have the coordinates. EDA and Intelligence teams are being informed.”

    Jacen answered straightaway,
    “I’ve been assigned by Emperor Fel to join the Sump assault. I’m making way to my unit now. We’ll be jetting off within the hour.”

    A female officer on the other side of the large office put down her commlink and raced over to inform Iella similarly important news,
    “Director, the Head of State just called - he has approved Operation Sump.”

    Hushed talk began to grow louder as everyone in the department became aware of the importance of the mission.

    Coolly, Iella thanked the officer and then commanded the room to silence with her orders,
    “Everyone at their stations. Operation Sump is a go. We have to help synchronise this mission with the Imperials as well as with our own forces. Let’s be efficient and clear with every communication. Alert the assigned forces, I want them ready, off planet and half way to Sump by the time I come back from my meeting with fellow Director Wylow.”

    With that the headquarters burst into activity and chatter. As fast as she could, Iella walked out to go report to the other Director. And to see if he would swap posts temporarily.

    She wanted to be there, at the frontlines, in the thick of the action. Nothing was going to stop her. Come what may, Iella was bringing her husband home.

    ~
     
  10. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Riveting update! Love Racon's musings about Julietta's fate, how he empathizes with her motivations. [face_thinking] Wow about Wedge... That Viqilis is a piece of nasty work! :eek: =D= I am very happy there is an operation set in motion.
     
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  11. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: So glad you liked the prev update! :D It was good to show that Julietta was not a completely bad person. Viqilis however is definitely a nasty guy! [face_worried] Thanks for reading and commenting! [:D]
     
  12. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Sorry it's been over a week or 2! [face_blush] Life kinda got in the way for a bit. But I have a great update for you! :)

    Hope you enjoy!

    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    ~

    [Core Worlds. Coruscant. Oglista District. Apartment Building 15/72362.]


    “Level 62 is now clear.” A fellow soldier’s voice reported on the comms.

    On Level 72 with her own squad and two Imperial Knights, Lieutenant Krollos clicked her acknowledgement on the communication headset.

    Surrounding floors had been quietly evacuated. They couldn’t take any chances. This was a delicate operation. Though they had Imperial Force users to help, an explosion could still cause structural damage or casualties. All things they wanted to avoid.

    Happy all civilians were out of the danger zone, Lieutenant Krollos confirmed the evacuation status with Imperial Knight Samara Lassha,
    “All clear, above and below, ten levels either way.”

    Gripping her lightsaber, unlit but ready, Samara replied,
    “Let’s do this.”

    Determined and confident, Samara led them down the corridor to apartment 362.

    Weapons drawn; the Republican squad followed Lieutenant Krollos behind the Imperials. Everyone took their positions and braced for action as they neared their destination. They stayed very still. Waiting outside apartment 362.

    At the quarter’s entrance, Samara and the other Imperial Knight Audelia Ebbane paused. The younger woman lifted her hand to the door, closed her eyes and Force scanned the rooms beyond.

    At a whisper Audelia reported,
    “Two individuals. One human. One Quarren. They are packing with haste. One is in the kitchen. The other in the bedroom.”

    “I concur. You go for the one in the bedroom.” Imperial Knight Samara Lassha instructed, “I’ll go for the one in the kitchen.”

    Without another word they burst into the apartment with Republican troops close at their heels.

    Audelia found the Quarren packing in a small room. Before he could reach his blaster, Audelia Force-pulled it into her free hand. Enraged he went to tackle her but skidded to a halt when she simply held up her lightsaber hilt and clicked it to life. A fiery orange blade hovered just inches from the assassin’s squid-like face.

    “Jilkus Azvel you are under arrest.” As Audelia told him his rights, Republican soldiers closed in, they forced the Quarren to the floor and cuffed him. There was no struggle. He knew it was over.

    Meanwhile on the other side of the apartment, Samara had the human male in a throat-Force-grip as she carefully assessed the large bag on the kitchen counter. It was full of explosives, different makes and sizes, enough to take out half the tower block they were standing in. The evidence was damning. The Imperial Empress had been right.

    Delicately, Samara used the Force to float the hazardous bag towards an explosive expert in the Republic squad. He got to work straight away, checking to see if anything was unstable or worse already armed. When she turned back to her prisoner, she saw the fury in his eyes at being caught and the fanatical righteousness in his expression. This guy did not see the wrong in his thoughts and plans.

    “Nollon Pomnoff,” Samara tightened her Force-grip as she added with distain, “you’re under arrest.”

    As Nollon clutched his throat and began to helplessly cough harder, Lieutenant Krollos interjected coolly,
    “Let us take him, Knight Lassha.”

    For a moment Samara didn’t want to release this piece of scum. Instead, she wanted to punish him for his evils: past, present and future. The Quarren and this man had been planning to kill the Emperor and the Head of State, publicly, without care or thought of the masses of civilians who would be nearby.

    Nollon and Jilkus didn’t deserve a trial. Not in her mind anyways. The galaxy was better off without such trash walking around.

    “Samara. Let us take him.” Lieutenant Krollos’s voice held a hint of warning.

    Reluctantly, Samara released her hold and the choking man fell to the floor in a heap.

    Unconcerned whether Nollon could breath or not, Samara walked away and stated simply,
    “He’s all yours.”


    [Outer Rim. Planet Sump. Former Imperial Military Base called Kastell. Incarceration Cell: 549]


    The old Rebel was battered and bloody. His iconic face was almost unrecognisable with the number of bruises, cuts and swelling. They’d beaten him up pretty nastily. And worryingly he was still unconscious after being dropped back into the cell a few hours ago.

    Knelt down beside the injured legend, Oliviana Hu’Fetonia used what little water was left in her bottle to damp a cloth and wipe the older man’s face. Taking care of the cuts at his bottom lip and eyebrow, she attempted to dab the dirt from his features.

    A fellow prisoner stood opposite and queried gently,
    “Is he getting any better?”

    Shrugging helplessly, Oliviana answered,
    “I don’t know.”

    The other prisoner hung their head and sighed shakily. Usually he was man of few words, if not none. But the longer they spent together in this tiny room, beneath ground, with no sign of freedom, the more he began to speak or start conversation.

    At first when they had been thrown into this cell together neither had wanted to be friends. He was an Imperial fighter pilot and Oliviana was a Republican fighter pilot. Outside this prison they probably would have fought to the death just because of their different allegiances. But in here they quickly realised there was no great war. There was only survival.

    The Imperial picked up his own flask and went over to them,
    “We need to wake him enough so he drinks. He needs fluids more than us.”

    Together the two pilots eased Wedge Antilles up into a sitting position and tried to encourage him to drink. The older man could only choke on a few sips. He remained in a comatose state, unresponsive and limp.

    The younger man and woman shared a concerned look.

    Oliviana was about to suggest something when the lights flickered ominously. A huge thunderous sound vibrated through the thick walls and the ground shook with the fury of it all. For one heart-stopping moment the entire prison went dark. Fellow detainees in other cells stirred and shouted.

    A commotion of activity could be heard down the corridor. Footsteps ran in every direction. The guards must have been spooked or called away.

    When the lights returned, Oliviana spotted the Imperial had moved. Now he stood very close to the bars of their cell, trying to see what was happening in the hallway. As he glanced back at her, a warning alarm rang out throughout the base and the lights changed colour to red, all meant to signal danger.

    Lying Wedge down gently, she got to her feet and went to the bars also, muttering as she did,
    “That’s not good. Definitely not good.”

    “Think the base is under attack?” The Imperial murmured out loud, part nervous and yet hopeful.

    Oliviana nodded,
    “And being in here is not going to help us.”

    The Imperial stepped closer to her. He was tall man, with light brown hair and hazel eyes a mixture of colours. And right then those eyes saw straight through her as they narrowed their focus.

    “You have a plan.” He stated, sensing it.

    Completely sure of herself, Oliviana raised her chin and met his stare with poise as she teased,
    “Of course. Don’t you?”

    Unsure and agitated, he moved away. He stared at the legendary Wedge Antilles as he motionless on the dirty floor. The pilot’s expression grew grim.

    Oliviana understood. It was hard to trust. Especially in these circumstances.

    Trying to escape was one thing but trying to do it with a wounded man to carry was not going to aid their chances of success. It was a huge risk.

    “Look you don’t have to help -”

    “But I will.” He spoke matter-of-factly, “Republican or Imperial .. no one deserves to die here.”

    Oliviana breathed a sigh of relief. At least she wouldn’t have to handle this burden alone. His help was greatly appreciated.

    Looking back at her over his shoulder, he asked,
    “What’s our play?”

    Smiling smugly, Oliviana instructed,
    “Follow my lead.”

    The Republican pilot gripped the bars and started yelling for help. There had to be some guards nearby. And what she was shouting was bound to get attention.

    “Help! Please! He’s not breathing! Antilles is not breathing! We need a medic right now! Help us! Please help him!”

    The Imperial joined her at the bars and shouted similar pleas.

    Eventually two guards came rushing down the corridor. Both seemed genuinely concerned, so much so that they forgot who they were dealing with. As they approached the bars to question about the state of Antilles, the two pilots took their joint chance and grabbed the sentries.

    Oliviana pulled her guard head first into the metal bar between them. His forehead hit with a loud thud. Whilst he was still disorientated, she grabbed his blaster and turned it on him. As he crumbled to the ground Oliviana managed to take the electronic key off of him.

    As she went about using the key to open their cell lock, the Imperial pilot quietly held his guard captive with his arms wrapped around his neck through the bars. When the guard finally stopped struggling and passed out, he let go.

    The cell door was open. Oliviana tensed. This was the part where she expected the unexpected. She assumed once freedom was in sight, the man sharing her cell would vanish and leave her alone to get Wedge to safety. Inside her dread began to bubble up.

    It evaporated quickly as the Imperial went about helping her. Not once did he look at the exit or appear to make a move without her.

    Her relief was huge. She would have to thank him if they ever got out of here in one piece.

    In unison they took the guards weapons for themselves and then went to aid Wedge. They lifted the older man by his arms, holding them around their neck and shoulders.

    As they started to make their way out of the cell, the Imperial pilot flickered her a somewhat shy glance and cleared his throat,
    “I’m Cole, by the way. Cole Dellas.”

    Along with the Imperial, she was holding up Antilles with one arm and scanning the corridor with the blaster in her free hand. Despite the dangerous situation, Oliviana managed to sneak Cole a quick grin,
    “Oliviana Hu’Fetonia, pleasure to meet you.”

    “You mean if we survive, right?” Cole teased.

    Quietly she chuckled,
    “Obviously.”

    ~
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2019
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Great action with the Knights getting the criminals and Oliviana and Cole escaping with Wedge [face_relieved] =D=
     
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  14. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    I wouldn't have been to upset if Sam had just chucked the two criminals out the window.

    Finally caught up...again! Oliviana was pretty impressive in this episode...hoping her, Wedge, and Cole can get out without too much drama! Luckily help is on the way!

    Thanks for the update...
     
  15. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Super glad you liked the Knight action. And the Oliviana/Cole/Wedge scene was so interesting to write. :D Thanks for your support on this fic. :) More chapters coming very soon!

    SiouxFan: I totally feel the same and I think Sam was very very temped to throw both criminals out the window. But they aren't her problem now. So happy to hear you enjoyed the new OC, Oliviana. She was great fun to write! :D We'll catch up with Oliviana/Cole/Wedge in the next update. ;)

    Author Note: Been a lil distracted lately but will update on this fic very soon this week! ;) Thanks to all who read, lurk and comment. [face_peace]
     
  16. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Okay it's here! An update from inside the base.. let the action begin! :D
    Comments welcome. :)
    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha


    ~


    [Outer Rim. Planet Sump. Former Imperial Military Base called Kastell.]


    Thunder rolled and resonated throughout the clouds. Crackles of lightning stretched over the horizon. Lighting up the dreary plains below and the enormous armada hovering above. Their shadows loomed largely over the old base targeted beneath.

    The entire military structure was being attack from all angles by the joint Republic and Imperial forces.

    Outside dogfights were racing across the rainy skies. Viqilis and Emetta’s forces were using old Imperial fighters from the base. To avoid confusion and friendly fire in the air it was agreed that only Republican squadrons were to engage with them.

    Imperial Star Destroyers were providing cover firepower whenever needed and a mixture of Republican EDA and Imperial ground teams were working to break into the military compound.

    Inside the Imperials focused their efforts, coming in from the north and east entrances. They pushed through the enemy hallway by hallway. The plan was to meet their Republican allies in the middle, coming from the south and west, to capture as many foes as possible and release the prisoners kept there.

    Rubble flew in all directions as the walls blew apart with each explosion. Dust fell from the ceiling as the whole base shook with the external blasts hitting outside defences. Corridors fell pitch black as the power began to fail.

    Intense battles were around every corner. Flashes of blaster fire ignited the blackness as they whipped across the open spaces, yells of command from both sides were interrupted by the sound of grenades sliding across the metallic floors, followed closely by booming detonations and screams.

    Water from burst pipes dripped onto Corran Horn’s head as he trained his weapon around a corner very slowly.

    Of course, Iella had kept him updated and after the HoloNet threat went galaxy-wide she had enlisted his help with Operation Sump. He had been given a unit with specific orders to find the hostages and get them out at all costs. This was personal for both him and Iella. Corran was not going to fail this mission. He was not going to fail Iella. And most importantly he would not fail Wedge.

    Ignoring the droplets, focused entirely on the night vision scope of his weapon, Corran surveyed the passage ahead. He was tense. Ahead somewhere he could sense a great commotion. And Wedge’s lifeforce appeared to be in the mix of it. He had to get to the prisoners now. But Corran could not afford to make a mistake. The Force nudged for urgency as he reached out to confirm what he was seeing.

    “Four on the right.” Corran whispered to the Republican squad behind him, “Six on the left. On my mark ... Go!”

    A fellow soldier pulled out a smoke grenade. With a flick of a switch it billowed to life, clouding the already smoky and dark space. They leaned around Corran and let it fly towards the enemy. All prepared with googles and masks, Corran’s team ran down the passageway expertly picking off the guards that had been holding them back. When all enemies were taken out, the squad went to the circular door and tried to open it with the controls.

    “This panel is busted.” Spoke one of the soldiers, “We’re going to have to blast the entrance.”

    At Corran’s nod, the explosive expert of the team stepped forward and began work on setting a thermal detonator on the door. Once ready they all stepped back. With a loud bang, the door caved to the angry eruption and produced a large hole. From inside they heard gunfire ricocheting off the walls and shouts for cover.

    Carefully Corran edged closer to the hole. With his weapon and scope ready, he peered in to see what was happening in the next chamber.

    It was utter chaos.

    At first Corran didn’t know what was happening.

    The only thing he did know was that Wedge was close.

    Loads of compartments on either side of the long hallway were open. They were cells with bars. A few remained shut. Up along the corridor and inside every unlocked cell people were fighting.

    Corran noticed a lot of beings involved looked dirty and beaten. Some, still in their blocks, were too weak to walk let alone throw a punch. And most of them were without weapons as they attempted to overpower a select group of well-geared men. Soldiers? No, these were guards.

    Immediately Horn understood.

    It was all happening so fast. Prisoners were fighting their wardens. Somehow, they had managed to get out of their cells and were now brawling with their incarcerators. Fists were flying and blasters were shooting. Those not engaged in skirmishes were dashing for the opposite entrance in small groups.

    “Go!” A young woman, in Republican attire, screamed as she struggled with a guard, “Get out of here!”

    More prisoners from a nearby cell ran at her command. They quickly weaved amidst the madness and disappeared through the other open door.

    With confidence the Republican female swiped her attacker’s legs and pinned him to the ground. She managed to connect a few cracking punches to his head but then the man rolled and overthrew her. Abruptly remembering his weapon, the guard attempted to grab it. Before he could pull the trigger, the woman tugged the weapon up underneath his chin. The blaster fired. And the sentry collapsed on top of her.

    “Oliviana! No!” An Imperial pilot shouted, glancing at her motionless form, as he too wrestled with a guard several feet away.

    Having seen enough, Corran hastily ordered his team,
    “Break up the fights. Protect the hostages. And only target the guards. Don’t fire unless you are certain they are a threat.”

    Combat ready the squad entered the chamber. They fired several warning shots and ordered everyone to the floor. Most were too stunned by their presence to argue. Those still fighting however were separated fast. And all remaining guards were put into an empty cell, disarmed and guarded.

    Now free of the man he’d been fighting, the Imperial pilot crawled over towards the woman he’d called Oliviana. To his great relief, she started to move her arms and managed enough strength to shove the dead sentry off of her body.

    “You okay?” He asked with worry.

    The young woman nodded but wheezed,
    “Just .. had the .. wind .. knocked out .. of me.”

    Impressed and concerned all at the same time, Corran stood above the odd couple. He tugged off his gas mask and introduced himself,
    “I’m EDA Captain Corran Horn. This is my team. We’re here to get you all to safety. I need to know numbers. Is this all of you? Or are there others?”

    The Imperial pilot pointed behind him to the far-off entrance as he answered,
    “There’s another section of cells that way. That’s where we were imprisoned. We were trying to open several cells to allow others to escape but the guards in here discovered what we were doing. They opened the adjoining entrance and attacked us. I'm sorry but I don’t know our numbers exactly. Or if any others managed to get out.”

    “That’s alright,” Corran comforted, “my team will go through and make sure we find everyone. Do you either of you need medical attention?”

    The woman, with the pilot’s aid, got to her feet. She shook her head and dusted herself off. Once Oliviana caught her breath back she spoke urgently,
    “We have an injured cellmate. Please let me take you to him. He needs a medic fast.”

    Sensing no treachery and with both prison sections now under control, Corran inclined his head in agreement and motioned for her to lead.

    Whilst Horn’s EDA soldiers were checking every cell for survivors and opening the ones still locked, Corran followed Oliviana and the pilot down to the other entrance. On the way the pair quickly explained they had carefully deposited their unconscious ward when the guards had surprised them. They had dropped him in an open cell by the door. Not ideal but it was all they could do for him in those precious few moments before the fighting began in earnest.

    As they approached Corran didn’t need to see who it was, he knew, it was Wedge.

    The sight of his old friend so beaten and torn up made Horn want to swear or blast something. Instead, he knelt beside Wedge’s limp body and checked his vitals. Untamed emotions would not help his friend get any better. And in their current dangerous situation it was important to keep a cool head.

    Though inside Corran was a mixture of relief and horror, he held himself steady and focused on the important fact that his friend was right there, before him, alive.

    “He’s breathing.” Horn stated out loud, more for himself than anyone else, “His pulse is weak though. How long has he been out?”

    The woman called Oliviana responded,
    “Several hours now.”

    That was not good and Corran was frustrated because in that moment he didn’t have the time to make a full assessment of Wedge’s injuries. He was running out of time. They had to get out of there.

    Another wretched rumble in the distance shook the base. The ceiling and floor wavered uneasily. All of them, Republic and Imperial alike, paused mid-step or thought.

    It was clear that elsewhere the fighting was not calming down.

    More determined than ever, Corran clicked his ear piece and gave the order for his team to escort the hostages to safety immediately.

    Upon hearing Horn’s words, the Imperial pilot stepped forward to offer,
    “I can carry him.”

    Corran hesitated.

    On the ground was one of his eldest friends and Iella’s husband, fragile and at the mercy of those around him. Could he be trusted to this man? Horn found it hard not to be protective of Wedge when he had just found him. This was a complete stranger offering assistance. But one who had already put his life in danger trying to help Wedge and others in this prison. Surely that counted for something.

    Finally, Corran replied,
    “That would be good, thank you. Means I can cover our backs.”

    “And mine.” The pilot spoke the truth between them and didn’t even flinch.

    This uneasy trust was going to be tested as they exited the compound. And the Imperial knew Corran wouldn’t hesitate to put him down if he thought he was endangering Wedge. Both understood the importance of this agreement as the pilot knelt down to Antilles and prepared to carry the man on his shoulders.

    Stood beside them, Oliviana held out hand expectantly to Horn and said,
    “Well if he’s carrying, then I’m fighting. You got a spare weapon?”

    “You want a blaster?” Corran frowned.

    “In this mess,” She replied in all seriousness, “of course I do.”

    After seeing her in action earlier, Horn was actually intrigued to see what she would be like with a blaster.

    He was not disappointed.


    ~
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  17. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Super action and Oliviana is definitely a strong asset. =D=
     
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  18. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha : Glad you liked the action! :D More is coming! I really enjoyed writing Oliviana, might write her in more stuff soon..

    ~

    Author Note:
    Sorry about the wait.. I've had DRL lately taking over.
    But I'm happy to say this fic is so close to being finished now!
    Only one or two posts left..! :eek:

    But for now .. I hope you enjoy this next action update. [face_devil]

    As always thanks to all who read, comment, click and lurk! [face_batting];)

    ~

    [Outer Rim. Planet Sump. Former Imperial Military Base called Kastell.]


    EDA units and Imperial troops were now in the centre of the base. They had fought hard around every corner, blown through all locked entrances, covered each other’s backs across the many rooms and raced down hallways to find the next defendable positions.

    Viqilis and Emetta’s fighters, many of them Yuuzhan Vong and Quarren, had been fierce opponents not willing to give any ground. They were cunning hiding in small compartments and laying traps at every corner. And they were not afraid to use bombs, even in the lower levels of the base where explosions could cause cave ins.

    Down in the deepest level of the base, the final level, Jacen Solo stood in a poorly lit corridor.

    With his lightsaber humming at his side, his chest heaving from the most recent battle, he bowed his head and attempted to re-centre himself.

    There was so much pandemonium, destruction and death.

    Jacen was suddenly overwhelmed by it all.

    He could sense burning blaster wounds that were not his own, could hear the racing heartbeats of fellow soldiers and even felt a growing tightness in his chest as their foes began to choke on fumes.

    In the Force an impressionable hatred could be observed fuelling the defenders of the base. Then there was the fear. It cut through him coldly every time he had to make a kill.

    Terror radiated from the enemy as they witnessed their last moments. And horror filled Jacen with every swing of his lightsaber. Dread started to swell within. The normally confident Imperial Knight feared more and more that with each enemy he despatched it brought him closer to the darkness he never fully wished to embrace.

    Anger had been beneficial in the past. Without the Jedi Order, Jacen had used his darker side in battle but he had always justified that it was for a good morale outcome. But to end this war, on this planet, in this moment, with darkness would not serve Jacen’s soul later on. He knew the truth of that now.

    The breathing exercise he had been taught since he was a small boy helped. But only to a point. He was in a warzone and had to keep his wits about him. Adrenaline pulsed through his body, tensing his muscles and heightening his senses.

    Usually the gentle buzzing from the lightsaber gave reassurance.

    Now though he desired to switch it off and walk away.

    He did not have the luxury of doing so however.

    Another bomb erupted around the bend of the passageway. Fiery smoke whooshed through the tight space. The floor jerked and the supporting walls groaned their distress.

    This place was about to come down.

    The battle had to end.

    Steadying himself, Jacen lifted his head, signalled to his team to cover him and then strode boldly around the corner.

    Letting the Force guide his every move, Jacen whirled his lightsaber in quick successive circles, deflecting shot after shot. Each blast rebounded back towards the enemy. One by one they dropped. Till eventually there was only a single Quarren standing.

    Seeing the end was inevitable as Jacen approached, the Quarren attempted to take them both out by activating all the grenades on his belt.

    Young Solo hesitated. For a split second he couldn’t think as the grenades began beeping loudly and his team screamed their alarm as they attempted to shoot the Quarren down.

    He was too close. Jacen accepted that. And he had to make a choice.

    The decision was simple. Even if it put him in danger. For his team and other innocent bystanders nearby, Jacen no longer paused.

    Seeing no other option, Jacen impulsively Force-flung the Quarren backwards. His foe hit the final chamber door, the last entranceway their opponents had scrambled to defend, as all the grenades blared a furious final warning.

    BOOM!

    Their blast was so powerful it lit up the dark corridor like a small supernova. The fiery detonation punched through the locked door behind and severely damaged the surrounding area, leaving the walls crooked and debris floating in the grey polluted air.

    As the dust settled, Jacen blinked a few times but could not clear his vision.

    Coldness from the ungiving floor started to seep into his body.

    Suddenly his mind and body wanted rest, demanding an instant shut down.

    He almost gave in to it.

    But then someone touched his shoulder and shook him roughly for a response. He attempted to talk but halted as he tasted a copper liquid on his tongue.

    “Knight Solo, can you hear me?” A familiar female voice called urgently.

    Nearby a commlink crackled to life with an incomprehensible query.

    In response to the person on the commlink the woman bluntly ordered into the earpiece,
    “I need a medical team standing by, Knight Solo is wounded and needs immediate care.” To someone else down the corridor she shouted, “Get a damn medic here now! And a hover-stretcher! I need help – Knight Solo? Jacen? Come on, Jacen, answer me!”

    Fighting to stay conscious, all Jacen could do was close his eyes, wheeze for breath and nod weakly.

    Relieved by that minute sign of life, Iella leaned in closer to inform him,
    “Jacen, can you hear me? You’ve been badly injured. We’re going to evac you out of here and transfer you straight to medical. Do you understand? You’re going to be alright.”

    This time there was no response.

    Iella Antilles didn’t leave Jacen Solo’s side until a physician and a fellow Imperial Knight came to move him. Bloody and unconscious, Jacen was carefully put onto a stretcher and escorted out of the base with great haste.

    As Iella rose to her full height, with blaster in her grip and blood dripping from her fingers, she watched helplessly as Jacen’s limp body was whisked away. Quietly, she prayed her words to Jacen held true and that he was going to be okay.

    Before Iella could dwell on the wounds she’d seen and put pressure on, a Republican captain approached,
    “Director Antilles, we’ve cleared and secured the last section that was blown open. There was no enemy opposition. But I suggest you take a look at this.”

    Realising the importance of this moment, ending this battle and subsequentially the war, she followed him to the last compartment.

    Inside the old bunk room bodies were scattered everywhere. Each had blasters in their hands and their figures lied twisted in agony with blank lifelessness eyes.

    Whilst walking through the horrendous scene the captain explained,
    “It looks like the last of them turned on each other, Director. And no one was safe in the end. Not even those of importance.”

    He pointed out one motionless form in particular.

    Frowning, Iella moved closer to inspection the body. It was the Quarren senator: Emetta Masso. His squid-like face was stuck stiff in a mask of horror and shock. He’d not been expecting death but it had come for him anyways, despite the blaster proof doors.

    “What about Huzara?” Iella asked as she stepped away from Masso.

    Wordlessly, the captain walked her over to where a fellow Republican soldier and Imperial Knight Rys Raamon stood guard.

    As Iella joined them she spotted that the soldier had a weapon trained on someone a few feet away. Confident and ready for any sudden moves, Knight Raamon faced the being with two weapons. His own lightsaber in his right gloved hand. And a Yuuzhan Vong coufee dagger in the other.

    “He was going to commit suicide.” Rys explained bluntly when the Republican Director came to his side and arched an eyebrow at the unusual foreign blade in his grasp. “I could not let him.”

    Iella inclined her head in understanding and then turned her attention to the most wanted being in the entire galaxy.

    Before them was the Yuuzhan Vong councillor Viqilis Huzara. He rested huddled in the corner clutching his injured leg. A trail of black blood stretched across the floor to where he sat, shaking from the pain and hissing with rage.

    “Councillor Huzara.” Iella addressed him formally, “It’s over. You are under arrest. Both the Republic and the Empire will see to your judgement.”

    Viqilis spat at them,
    “Fools! Khapet! - You will pay for this!”

    “I think we already have, Councillor.” Iella added coldly, “Now … it’s your turn.”


    ~
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
  19. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb action with Jacen's battle-weariness being understandable. His injuries sound serious ... [face_nail_biting]

    Iella's composure and efficiency are marvelously detailed. I can well imagine she gets a sense of satisfaction that the culprits are accounted for. [face_relieved]
     
    SiouxFan and mayo_durron_666 like this.
  20. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Yikes...I'm 3 weeks late. And yikes...Jacen is in for a long hospital stay, methinks.

    Iella is definitely a cool customer...not easy to stay calm when things are going to crap all around!
     
  21. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha : Thank you! [face_blush] Glad you liked the action. We will catch up with Jacen very soon, he'll be okay, trust me. ;) Yes I agree, Iella took great satisfaction in capturing the most wanted being of the war. Justice will be served at last. Thanks for reading! [:D]

    @SiouxFan : Don't worry about being late, I'm late posting the last part of this fic. :p Haha, yes absolutely, Jacen could use some recovery time for sure! [face_batting] I enjoyed writing Iella, glad you liked how she handled the situation.

    Author's Note:
    I'm sorry it's taking a while for the next post. The next update will be the last. :(
    There's a lot to wrap up which is why I'm taking my time getting it together.
    I aim to post the final update this week coming. :)
    It'll be sad to say goodbye to this fic, but also good to finally finish.
    Thanks to all who click, read, comment and lurk on this fic! ;)[face_peace]
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  22. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Okay its here.. the end! :eek: Or rather many endings. :p

    This fic is finally complete.

    Thanks to all who clicked, read, commented and lurked. ;)

    Hope you enjoy this long final post. :D Enjoy!

    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @SiouxFan

    ~

    Emperor Fel and Head of State Racon Gerreon’s joint Peace Treaty Statement:

    Our war created destruction, fuelled hatred and brought so much heartache with it. Families have been torn apart, friends lost, homes demolished and entire planets ruined. We will have to live with this darkness, the proof of our cruel natures and the depths of our prejudices, for years to come.

    Though it may pain us to remember these recent horrors, this collective memory will be vital to building a better future for everyone. It is crucial we learn from this unkind behaviour and bloody acts of violence so that we never repeat such mistakes again.

    Those criminals, who took advantage of thousands of innocent beings during this conflict, will be brought to justice. Their unethical and illegal research will be investigated thoroughly. The victims affected will be given all the support and care they need. And the one’s responsible will answer for their immoral deeds.

    It will take a great deal of communication, compromise and compassion to start rebuilding our galaxy. If anything is clear it is that we can work together. In war we were divided. For peace we united. And it shows that by doing so we can achieve much more collectively than we ever could apart. It won’t be easy but reconstruction and reform are possible.

    Today marks both an end and a new beginning. Both Imperials and Republicans alike share in this important time of change. For now, we stand united with regret and hope combined.

    Let us pay respect to those who served and fell during this conflict. Our gratitude cannot be fully expressed in words. Their sacrifice will forever remind us to try to shape a more peaceful and prosperous galaxy for all. And in their names, we commemorate:

    A peace hard won. Long may it last.

    On this day we celebrate peace across the galaxy.

    [Core Worlds. Coruscant. Antilles Residence.]

    Wedge didn’t want to move.

    It was too perfect.

    He hadn’t slept so well in weeks. Maybe even years. And the rest was most welcome.

    Now though, he was awake and simply cherishing the moment. It was what they had been fighting for all these months. Iella and him. They had always struggled to balance family and duty. But there had been constant comfort in knowing that they would reunite when the dust settled.

    This time it had taken too long.

    Wedge swore it would never happen again.

    Peacefully Iella dreamed beside him, with her arm across his stomach and head upon his shoulder.

    It had been a week since being rescued.

    Wedge had been in a bad state.

    Closing his eyes, he recalled when they found each other again. Battle worn and exhausted, Iella had still rushed to him. Her aged features a beautiful mixture of concern, relief and tenderness. Tear after tear had trailed her cheeks. And loving words were interrupted by kisses.

    They had clutched each other close for days, fearing that if they lost contact that they would suddenly disappear and be left all alone.

    Better now and home with her, Wedge sighed in satisfaction.

    He was exactly where he desired to be.

    Hugging Iella tightly, Wedge placed a light kiss on her brow and whispered,
    “I’ll never leave you that long again, Iella. I promise.”

    Stirring a bit, she murmured drowsily,
    “You better not.”

    Wedge grinned at his wife’s words and decided to wake her with a real kiss.

    [Core Worlds. Planet Corellia. Horn Residence.]

    The home was new. It needed work. Yet it already felt like home. And for the first time in years the Horns were all together.

    After peace was declared all the Horns, Corran, Mirax, Jysella, Casey and Valin, had met on Coruscant. During their emotional reunion they had all agreed to find a new family house together. Somewhere they could always return to and find family.

    It was situated in the mountains surrounded by rich forests and rivers. Hidden away by nature this new residence was the ideal place to find solace. Fresh air, wild animals, bountiful earth and clean water was just outside their front door. It was perfect.

    Inside the house, Corran and Valin finished up painting another wall. Father and son were covered in spatters and smears. Each wore black trousers which may have been a mistake. Luckily their long-sleeved shirts were lighter shades and could be saved from stains. Neither cared about their spoilt clothing though.

    Together they stepped back to inspect their work.

    Valin crossed his arms in satisfaction,
    “Not bad.”

    Corran nodded,
    “No, not bad at all.”

    Father and son shared a relaxed smile.

    Though Valin was an Imperial Knight, the family didn’t treat him any different, he was still a Horn in their eyes.

    It was true they had not always agreed on politics or galactic affairs. During the war they had chosen paths which inevitably had divided them. So much time had been wasted apart. Even separated they had still cared for one another, hoping they would somehow find a way back to each other and be a family once again.

    Though Corran wished his son would change allegiance he knew he couldn’t force him to. Valin was a man and Corran had to respect his choices. It wasn’t easy. But for this, spending time together, Horn would do anything.

    From the recently furnished living room, Jysella called,
    “Caf is ready.”

    Valin went to go grab a mug.

    From the doorway Corran watched as his eldest son sat beside Casey, their adopted sibling, on the floor. Between sips of caf and conversation, Valin helped the teenager construct a small droid by advising on what parts should go where first.

    Mechanical parts were scattered across the carpet when their sister, Jysella, came in and lounged on the large sofa. For a while she observed them and drank her hot chocolate beverage in peace. But she soon got involved too, leaning over their shoulders to give her recommendations.

    War had touched them all. Nonetheless here they were healthy and happy. Words didn’t do this moment justice. It meant everything to Corran Horn to see his children this way.

    Mirax spoke softly as she joined him,
    “You alright?”

    Also transfixed by the sight of their children finally together again, Mirax wrapped her arms around his waist and leaned into her husband’s warmth.

    Corran hugged her close as he answered,
    “This is all I ever wanted.”

    Mirax lifted her face to give him an affectionate look,
    “Dido.”

    Seeing his wife’s striking brown eyes aglow with contentment made a fresh wave of gratitude wash over Corran. With great tenderness, Horn captured her lips with his and swore to himself to try to make Mirax’s eyes light up like that every day from now on.


    [Empire Region. Planet Kalee.]

    Wearing nothing but dark green swim shorts, Jered stretched out on his sunbed and sighed,
    “Oh, I could get used to this.”

    Sat on an adjacent deckchair, Tahiri sneaked a look at her husband from underneath her wide hat.

    His eyes were closed. Stress lines around his facial features had almost vanished. And his large body draped nonchalantly over the lounger as if he were dreaming. Jered had never looked so relaxed.

    “Maybe we should go on vacation more often?” She thought aloud with a hint of amusement, “It seems to agree with you.”

    Glimpsing over to where their son played on the sand with his bucket and spade, Tahiri grinned gladly as she added, “And Ethan.”

    Jered’s eyes fluttered and for a moment he watched his wife gazing lovingly at Ethan. There was so much love in her emerald eyes it made his heart constrict tightly. Besotted, Jered simply took pleasure in the sight of Tahiri resting beside him.

    Never before had he felt this way about anyone. And he knew there was no other woman for him. Tahiri’s endless courage and brilliant mind were why he had fallen so deeply. But her ability to love so strongly after going through so much hurt and tragedy had always amazed him. She was truly beautiful, inside as well as out.

    Looking at her now, Jered reminded himself how lucky he was.

    Dressed in a dark navy swimsuit, with restored blonde curls falling to her shoulders and fair skin perfectly lit by the sunshine, she surveyed the shoreline. Her green eyes taking in every detail. To him, she looked regal. Even with her mental and physical scars, evidence of past struggles, Tahiri was a true queen to him.

    As he sat up, Jered commented,
    “This holiday seems to be having the same effect on you.”

    Resting back into the shade of her lounger, Tahiri took off her hat and used it to fan her face,
    “We can’t be on vacation forever.”

    “Why not?” Twisting his body around to face her, Jered grinned, “We can enjoy ourselves, spend our time visiting all the planets with good weather and gorgeous beaches.”

    “No.” Tahiri spoke softly, her eyes turning serious, “I don’t want that.”

    Sat on the edge of his chair, Jered leaned over and studied her solemn expression. Quietly, she lied there completely still. She was tense. Jered could tell by the way she clutched her hands together on her lap.

    Softly he asked,
    “What do you want Tahiri?”

    For a while she didn’t answer.

    Instead she took his hand in hers and looked out at Ethan again.

    In an earnest whisper, Tahiri responded,
    “I long for a new home for us. You, me, Ethan...” subtly she turned his palm over and pressed it to her flat stomach as she added poignantly, “and anyone else who comes along soon.”

    Jered’s jaw dropped,
    “You mean – we are going to – I mean your – we’re -”

    “Pregnant, yes.” She confirmed joyfully.

    Overwhelmed, Jered stared wordlessly at their joined hands lying on top of her belly.

    Laughing silently at his reaction, Tahiri used her free hand to caress his jaw and to gently turn his face to hers so she could ask,
    “Are you happy?”

    Snapping out of his shock, Jered’s mouth broke out into the widest smile as he replied sincerely,
    “Of course I am! You make me happy every single day, Tahiri. Just when I thought I couldn’t get any luckier you tell me this ... you’re incredible!”

    Tahiri grinned up at him. Overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, she wrapped her arms around his neck, moved closer into his warmth and uttered sweetly,
    “I think we’re both lucky. I love you Jered, with everything that I am I love you.”

    His blue eyes turned a shade darker as he answered huskily,
    “I love you so much Tahiri, you are everything to me. And I will make sure that you have the home you desire and deserve.”

    “Really, you mean it, you’re happy to settle in a new place somewhere?” She whispered with excitement as she captured his lips with hers, “A permanent home?”

    Moaning against her mouth distractedly, he responded,
    “Anything you want, Tahiri.” Her mouth was soft, sweet, hot and intoxicating. Giving him everything he could ever want in one touch. It was always like this with her. “We can choose anywhere and make it ours. As long as I’m with you, I’m home.”

    Savouring her, Jered closed his eyes and melded his lips onto hers more fully. It would never be enough. Each time she kissed him, held his hand or gave a simple tender look, she offered him a priceless gift. And every one deepened his longing for her.

    Tahiri truly was his miracle.

    [Mid Rim. Planet Ylix.]

    “Honestly I don’t need anything else. You, Luke, the Solos and Horns have all out done yourselves. I can’t thank you enough.” Dakota said as she stood in the living room of her apartment.

    Opposite her a life-size holo of Mara Jade Skywalker replied,
    “We were all happy to help. How is the little one doing?”

    Cradling her new-born daughter in her arms, Dakota smiled,
    “Eleanor is doing great. We both are.”

    Not long after peace was made official, Dakota’s little one had decided to come a month early. At the time she had been staying on Bastion with the Fels, Solos and Skywalkers. All of them had been very attentive to her and the new infant. Dakota was beyond grateful for their friendship and support.

    Even when Dakota had decided to move somewhere permanent, they had assisted her in finding a place, helped her travel there and set it up. She owed them everything.

    “I look forward to visiting you both soon.” Mara said warmly, “I have to go unfortunately. But if you need anything -”

    “- I know. I’ll call, I promise.” Dakota laughed good naturally, “Go save the galaxy, my friend.”

    With a final goodbye, Mara’s image faded.

    Tiny Eleanor began to fuss and cry. Dakota shifted her baby girl into a more comfortable position as she sat down on the sofa.

    “Hey,” Dakota soothed softly as she stared down at her daughter, “I know it’s just us now. But we’ll get the hang of this, you’ll see El. We will be our own little family. You will always feel loved and safe.” Chuckling under her breath, Dakota added, “Force knows you have so many aunts, uncles and lifeday parents … you’re going to be spoilt rotten.”

    Almost instantly the baby relaxed and gazed up at her with big dark intelligent eyes.

    A beep from the holo-comm unit went off again. Not wanting to unsettle Eleanor again, Dakota used the Force to hit the button and receive the call.

    Mirax Horn’s form was projected in front of them.

    “Hi Dakota, I just wanted to see how you and El were? Everything alright?”

    For the first time in years, Dakota actually felt at peace. She had her beautiful daughter, a lovely home and good generous friends.

    To some people that wouldn’t have been enough. After everything she had been through, before and during the war, Dakota thought it was more than she could ever have wished for.

    She beamed at her friend and answered,
    “We’ve never been better Mirax. How are you? …”

    [Core Worlds. Coruscant. Republic High Security Detention Centre. Hu’Fetonia’s Cell.]

    All Oliviana wanted to do was hug her sister close, tell her it would all be okay and that they could go home together.

    That wouldn’t happen.

    First there was a force-field between them. Second, Oliviana didn’t know what was going to happen or if anything would ever be alright again. And third, both sisters knew they couldn’t go anywhere together.

    Behind the force-field Julietta sat against the wall of her cell. Looking completely disinterested, dressed in a pristine grey top with matching trousers, Julietta stretched out her legs across the concrete floor.

    The prisoner attire hung too loosely swallowing her figure. At first, the clothing had fit perfectly. However, she wasn’t eating properly lately and as her trial date got closer Julietta appeared weaker.

    She had given up on herself. And it shattered Oliviana’s heart to see her this way.

    “I’ll be there, Jules.” She promised again, “In the courtroom.”

    Julietta hung her head, unable to meet her sister’s gaze as she answered,
    “Please don’t do that, Oli. Don’t be there. Don’t support me. Just don’t.”

    “We’ve been over this.” Oliviana reaffirmed, “You are not a bad person. You were being blackmailed. You did those things to save people. To save me.”

    Overwhelmed with shame, Julietta glimpsed up and responded bluntly,
    “But I still did horrible things. Unforgiveable things. I knew about Viqilis and Emetta’s crimes. I was helping them commit them.”

    “They used you. They used me against you. This is not your fault.” Oliviana reasoned desperately, “Please Jules don’t take this all on yourself. It’s not fair.”

    “No, you’re wrong. It is fair. I made a choice. My actions were criminal. And I will be found guilty.” Julietta voice softened as she added, “Oliviana you must recognize the truth of this.”

    “What truth?”

    Frowning, Oliviana stepped as close to the force-field as she could and stared down at her sibling. Julietta rested, so calm, resigned to her fate. Her sister gazed up and allowed the quiet moment to extend between them.

    It was eerie how Julietta didn’t fight for herself anymore, when in the past she had fought so hard for others. This strong woman, whom Oliviana loved and admired her whole life, was now truly broken.

    With glassy eyes, Julietta explained,
    “The truth is you are the best of us, Oli. Always have been. I did what had to be done. I will be judged for it. And I am okay with that because you are free. That means everything to me. It’s all I wished for. So please, stop wasting your time on me and go be your awesome self. Forget about me. I want you to go live your life. Live it to the fullest.”

    Very upset, Oliviana shook her head,
    “No. You can’t say that to me. I love you, you’re my family, which means I’m never going to forget you or ignore you.”

    A guard came over and told them visiting time was over.

    For a second Oliviana was tempted to argue for an extension but the look she got from Julietta made her pause. There was no use talking to her in this state of mind. Deciding to come back another day, Oliviana nodded to the guard.

    Hastily wiping the tears away from her eyes, Oliviana whispered goodbye,
    “I’ll see you next week, sis. We’ll finish preparing for the trial. Make sure you look after yourself. Eat something, for me, please. Love you, Jules.”

    “Love you too, Oli.” Julietta murmured sorrowfully as she left.


    Once outside the prison, Oliviana’s composure soon dissolved and she found herself crying in the shadows of a large pillar away from the public or any paparazzi.

    It wasn’t fair. In her eyes Julietta was not a criminal or a monster. Julietta was her sister, a woman who had been exploited, threatened to cooperate with villains and their plans. Now she was paying the price for their offenses and convincing herself she was to blame.

    Oliviana knew her sister wasn’t perfect. But she also knew she wasn’t evil. Why couldn’t Julietta see that or distinguish that important part? It was driving her crazy that Julietta was thinking of herself so harshly.

    Collecting herself together, Oliviana leaned against the marble column and glanced around at the busy boardwalk leading up to the detention centre. People watching for a moment helped her relax enough to steady her breathing and rub the tears away from her eyes.

    Then, amongst the crowd, a certain gentleman caught her attention.

    Stood taller than most, clad all in black, was Cole Dellas. His hazel eyes focused on her as hoards of beings swarmed around him. He saw how vulnerable she was and instinctively a part of Oliviana wanted to run and hide. But then Cole’s eyes softened giving her a kind and knowing look that said, without words, that she wasn’t alone.

    Steadily holding her teary gaze, he made his way through the crowd and into the shadows.

    Opposite each other at last, Oliviana crossed her arms and asked as nonchalantly as possible,
    “What are you doing here?”

    Gently, Cole replied,
    “I thought you could use a friend.”

    At those simple words, Oliviana broke down completely and rushed into his open arms.

    Cole didn’t ask any questions. For which Oliviana was eternally thankful. He simply hugged her tight. Quietly, she wept into his dark coat as he held her close and whispered words of comfort into her hair.

    For the longest time, they stayed that way in the shade away from prying eyes.

    “Thank you.” Oliviana eventually managed to say against his chest.

    Resting his chin on top of her head, Cole replied,
    “You’re welcome.”

    After a while Oliviana’s sobbing calmed. Still the pair didn’t separate. If anything, Cole’s arms squeezed more strongly, whilst she snuggled deeper into his shirt, both needing the contact to last a little longer.

    With great care, Cole escorted Oliviana to his airspeeder so he could take her home.

    He had to be diligent to keep their getaway a secret. Famous Oliviana Hu’Fetonia was a Republican hero, often in the spotlight for her brave deeds during the war and now for her controversial decision to support her sister, who was labelled an outright traitor by the Republican HoloNet News.

    The ride to her apartment was done in silence.

    In a sad daze, Oliviana sat in the passenger seat holding Cole’s free hand. She stared out the speeder window watching the Coruscant traffic lights and skyline flash by. Night time was fast approaching but the city planet showed no signs of slowing down or going to sleep.

    Though Cole appeared to be concentrating on driving, every now and then he would raise the back of her hand to his lips and press a kiss to her skin.

    Oliviana glanced at him. She was so grateful for his company and support. It was so easy with him. They had become fast friends after their escape on Kastell. He listened when she needed to vent, made her laugh when she was taking life too seriously and comforted her during the hard times.

    When Oliviana had been shoved into the dingey cell with him on Kastell, little did either of them know the kind of bond they would form and continue to grow. For Oliviana it was the only good thing which had come out of the war and she didn’t intend to ever take it for granted.

    [Empire Region. Planet Bastion. Imperial Base Ravvin. Dockyard.]

    He wasn’t an Imperial Knight any longer.

    At first that had been a huge blow. It had called everything into question. His place in the Empire, his purpose in life and what he could offer to those he cared about. Durron’s sense of identity had faded almost entirely, with it so had his humour and happiness.

    For weeks he had grappled with his own fears, doubts and soulful questions.

    Eventually he had found threads of his former self and started to rebuild his life.

    Time had shown his worth again. Trials in different interests had revealed his natural abilities long left under-appreciated. Without the Force he was still a fighter. Without the Force he was still an incredible pilot. And without the Force he could still contribute in ways that mattered to him.

    Kyp was back in a pilot’s seat.

    Now he trained new recruits and lead a fresh Imperial fighter squadron. Piloting was as easy as breathing. Taking charge, making tough decisions in a crisis and launching into combat at a moment’s notice was in his blood. If there was trouble Durron could not stand by and watch. He was, and always would be, a man of action.

    As his TIE fighter’s engines whirred down, Kyp removed his helmet and climbed out the cockpit. Back on the ground, he ruffled his hair as he watched the trainees hop out of their fighters with excitement. Hoots echoed, challenges arose and bravado comments flew across the wide space between ships.

    This scene was familiar to Durron. But he was no longer a part of the conversation. Not like he used to be. The hangar bay was noisy with youth, unjaded and untested.

    Oh, to be young again and waaay too overconfident, he thought with a silent snicker to himself, I guess I’m finally old. No, more like grown up, that’s it grown up.

    Turning away from the young pilots congregating in the middle of the hangar, Kyp started his way out and caught sight of Danni waiting near the main exit.

    She was a most welcome sight.

    Danni was his rock. His calm in all stormy weathers. In her Kyp found a real partner. She held his secrets close, bolstered his courage in times of need and sheltered his weary heart away from all kinds of hurt, whether externally caused or self-inflicted by years of own judgement.

    Since the end of the war Danni had been trying to understand the Force experiments Viqilis’s accomplices had committed. Though she was in high demand as a head scientist, Danni always tried to be there when he landed, scheduling her work commitments to fit around his. Even if it meant only getting an hour together, she would be there.

    Secretly Kyp loved the image of her waiting there for him. It meant everything to him. To have someone like Danni anticipating his arrival.

    Today she was dressed in smart brown slacks, dark boots and a long-sleeved cream shirt with a soft blue cloak wrapped around her shoulders. Beautiful blonde curls flickered around her face as her intelligent gaze found and caught his.

    He threw her a lopsided grin. She rolled her eyes back at him. Kyp was smug. He knew why she was there and it sent a thrill of excitement through his whole body.

    Relishing this moment, Kyp strode right up to her and asked curiously,
    “Miss Quee, I thought you were headed to Coruscant?”

    Danni tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear as she replied,
    “I was.”

    She wrapped both her arms around her waist to hold the cloak in place.

    Was it his imagination or did he see something sparkle on her left hand as it moved?

    Kyp swallowed hard. He was hoping and praying his eyes were correct. But without the Force to guide him to conclusions, Kyp had to trust his instincts and physical senses. Though good they could not be trusted completely.

    She had to tell him. This was too important. A hunch was not sufficient.

    All smugness vanished in an instant.

    “But ..?” He urged her to continue gently.

    “But …” Danni stepped closer into his body, pressing her palms to his chest as she gazed up into his eyes and whispered, “I decided to stay with my fiancé another day.”

    Kyp held her hands over his pounding heart. For the longest while he couldn’t talk. Then her words sank in.

    Unconsciously, his rough fingers caressed her delicate digits until he discovered the ring on her left hand.

    Holding his breath, he glimpsed down at the unique band he’d chosen, a silver mix of loops which swirled together to hold a precious diamond at its centre. It was what had shone so mischievously as she had moved her hair.

    “So, it’s a yes?”

    Earlier this morning, he had left the ring in a small ruby box on their bed. There had been an early training drill and no time to propose the way he really wanted. And truth be told he hadn’t had the heart to wake her at such an awful hour.

    She was meant to travel to Coruscant to liaise between Imperial and Republican scientists, doctors and bio-engineers. It was going to be a long trip and they had both avoided talking about it. Kyp had assumed by leaving the ring in Danni’s hand this morning, whilst she slept on oblivious, he would get an answer either way.

    If she had taken the ring with her to Coruscant it would have meant yes. And if she hadn’t … well he would have dealt with that crushing answer in isolation.

    But it was a yes! Kyp’s heart stuttered in disbelief. Was he dreaming again?

    “Danni … are you saying yes?”

    “Yes, Kyp, I will marry you.” Teasingly Danni’s eyes glowed as she added, “If that’s what you are asking?”

    “You know I am.”

    “You didn’t leave a note.” She bit her lip and spoke softly, “You could have woken me.”

    “I know, I’m sorry. I wanted to. But then I saw you sleeping so peacefully …” Kyp rubbed his neck awkwardly and grimaced, “I should have done it properly.”

    “Well?” Danni arched an eyebrow, “You’ve got time now …”

    Halfway through an apology Kyp spotted the playfulness in her gaze and gawked in amazement,

    “You’re enjoying this, aren’t you? Putting me on the spot like this.”

    “Well, if you’d asked me this morning in the privacy of our quarters perhaps you wouldn’t be in this situation. You want an answer. Then you have to ask the question.”

    Now a horde of young pilots had reached them and were watching the scene unfold. All of them were taking great pleasure in seeing Kyp, their tough teacher, sweat.

    Full of anticipation, Danni gave him an expectant look. Yes, it was true she had technically answered his question by wearing the ring but she wasn’t letting him off the hook that easy. She couldn’t help herself; she raised a challenging eyebrow and curled her lips up into a teasing smile while she waited.

    Kyp knew what Danni wanted: a real proposal. Despite his nerves and their growing audience, he was happy to oblige her.

    Slowly, Kyp knelt to one knee and took her hand in his. This was it. The moment. His chance at forever. His ring on her finger already there, promising him happiness and companionship for the rest of his life.

    He stared up into her eyes. Those beautiful unique green eyes glittered back with the same raw emotions that now clogged his throat and made his heartbeat stumble.

    Silence descended over the hangar as he finally asked the important question,
    “Danni Quee, I never knew love until you took a chance on me. Now I’m asking you to bet on me again. I swear no other man will love you as fiercely I do. Yes, I’m flawed and I’ve made mistakes. But loving you makes me a better man every day. And I want to spend the rest of my life loving you with every breath, look and touch. Danni, will you marry me?”

    Everything and everyone disappeared in that second. It was only the two of them, Kyp on his knee and Danni looking down at his earnest expression, his dark emerald eyes shining at her, transfixed on every curve and feature of her face.

    With a subtle nod and beaming smile, Danni answered simply,
    “Yes!”

    The crowd around them erupted into celebration as Kyp rose to his full height to whisk Danni off her feet.

    Pressing her lips eagerly against his, Danni circled her arms around his neck and allowed her cloak to drift to the floor. Her heart stuttered. His arms squeezed tighter. The kiss deepened becoming rougher, sweeter, hotter, until it wiped all sanity out of her head.

    Begrudgingly recalling that they had spectators, Danni parted for air. Her lips tingled from his hungry kisses and she found herself still dangling off the ground in Kyp’s arms, their foreheads touching, happy tears trailing down both of their cheeks as they grinned knowingly at each other.

    [Empire Region. Planet Bastion. Imperial Palace. Hangar Bay 9.]

    “You’re really leaving.”

    “Ben, I need more time.”

    “Oh. Yes. Of course.”

    Ben Skywalker’s face grew sombre.

    He tried to say something else but words failed him. Embarrassed, he glimpsed down at his shiny boots and inhaled a shaky breath. It felt like he’d been punched in the gut.

    This time he could not fake being alright. No matter how hard he tried.

    “Ben,” Siena’s voice was soft, full of affection, “what is it?”

    Looking back up at her, he spoke sadly,
    “I don’t know. I guess - I thought we were doing well. Really well. But this, you leaving, it hurts. Did I say something? Or do something wrong?”

    Siena shook her head,
    “No, not at all. Please don’t think that. You’ve been so good to me. This is just something I have to do, alone.”

    “Oh, okay.”

    Behind Siena the engines of a starship hummed to life. She glanced over her shoulder at the vessel and its open ramp. It was calling to her.

    She wanted to leave, to get some space and perspective. Physically she was healthy but inside she was torn. What she and Ben had gone through had been scary. The trauma was still fresh. And the sight of Ben going dark side haunted her dreams often.

    Yes of course she still cared about Ben. But she worried for him, his temptation towards power and what it could do to his soul. Siena couldn’t stand the idea of losing him to darkness again. She wanted to stay to support him and his rehabilitation, to aid him on the right path. Yet by staying she knew she would neglect her own healing; she would never fully digest what had happened and it would destroy her. Worse it would destroy their relationship entirely.

    This was best for both of them.

    Turning back to Ben, Siena gave a small smile and took his hand in hers,
    “I have to go. I’ll message once I’ve landed.”

    Clutching her fingers, Ben whispered dejectedly,
    “… You’re not coming back.”

    Stunned by his statement, Siena stood there speechless. Tears formed in her dark eyes as she gave his hand a final squeeze and stepped back.

    “I think we both have a lot to sort out.” She concurred woefully, “I can’t be there for you if I’m still broken, Ben. If you and I are meant to be, then we’ll heal, grow and meet again in future. But for now, I guess it’s .. goodbye.”

    Barely holding back his own tears, Ben inclined his head in agreement and uttered,
    “Goodbye, Siena.”

    Heartbroken, the young Skywalker watched her walk away and vanish up the rising ramp.

    He couldn’t force her to stay.

    Siena had been through a lot, he understood it had caused great distress and shock. Part of it was his fault too but he would never take it back. A universe without Siena was grey and joyless in his mind. He was glad he’d saved her.

    The ship began to lift off the ground. Ben followed its progress with watery blue eyes as it powered up to jet out of the hangar.

    Though she would be far away Ben would always think of her.

    As the vessel shot off into the distance, he made a silent vow to be better. From then on, it would be his own personal mission to be the best version of himself. He would follow the path of the light, helping others, striving for peace both externally and internally. Never again would he allow himself to be lured by dark desires and destructive emotions. For her, his family and friends, Ben knew he could do better.

    For Siena, even separated, he would try to evolve and grow.

    “Do or do not,” Ben murmured to himself with renewed purpose, “There is no try.”

    Perhaps one day their lives would touch again.

    Until then, Ben had much work to do.

    [Empire Region. Planet Bastion. Imperial Palace. Jacen’s Quarters.]

    It was still taking some getting used to. But then he knew it would.

    In his own palace quarters, Jacen Solo stood in his bedroom looking down at his feet. Frowning in concentration, he wiggled his toes. Pink ones on the left foot first and then the metallic ones of the right.

    Jacen was lucky to be alive. The blast on Kastell, deep inside the base, should have killed him. Hours of surgery and days of bacta tanks had saved his life. Unfortunately, his right leg from the knee down did not make such a recovery and had been amputated.

    Now attached was a prosthetic limb. It was so alien. Yet it followed commands and moved as if it had always been a part of him. But it wasn’t part of him. At least not yet in his mind. It would take time to adjust.

    A buzz at his chamber door interrupted his contemplation and reminded him that he had a busy morning ahead.

    Jacen quickly pulled on his black boots and tried to ignore the new limb he had been staring at.

    Dressed in his dark navy robes he went to answer the door.

    It whooshed aside to reveal Hera waiting patiently. In tight brown slacks, matching boots and a black shirt, Hera Assandra stood with new confidence. Her body looked a healthier weight, her face was renewed with colour and her dark tresses shone silkily under the fluorescent lights.

    “You ready?”

    Jacen had been training with Hera to help her control her new Force abilities. And his uncle Luke had offered his skills and knowledge often over the past few weeks.

    Hera had improved rapidly, becoming less fearful of her gifts and wanting to develop them further.

    Though she still wasn’t sure if Bastion was where she wanted to make a home, for now being with Jacen and progressing her skills seemed to give her the peace she craved.

    Closing his apartment door, Jacen answered,
    “Yes, let’s go.”

    Together they strolled through the palace, enjoying each other’s company and looking forward to another day together.

    As they approached the training arena entrance, Hera subtly took his hand in hers.

    Simultaneously that small touch felt new and familiar all at once to Jacen. It was thrilling.

    He glimpsed down at their hands. Hera fit with him, he couldn’t explain how he knew, he just did. In that second, it was as if lightning had struck and he knew exactly where he needed to be and who with.

    He sent her a warm smile and interlaced their fingers.

    This one small gesture of affection was the beginning of something. Jacen and Hera both knew it. They held each other’s gaze for a long time, ignoring the bustle around them, seeing only each other.

    “Are you ready?” Jacen questioned.

    Hera knew he wasn’t talking about the training.

    A stunning smile crept onto her lips as she replied simply,
    “Absolutely.”

    [Empire Region. Planet Bastion. Imperial Palace. The Fel’s Private Quarters.]

    “Viqilis Huzara … you are found guilty on all accounts. This court finds you guilty of mass murder, illegal trafficking, illegal medical experiments, blackmailing state officials, treason against the Republican government, bribing military leaders ...”

    It went on and on.

    The large screen projected against the main living room wall showed the conclusion of Viqilis’s trial, one of the most notorious villains of the war.

    Infuriatingly, the Yuuzhan Vong did not react to his list of wrongdoings. There was no remorse in the creature’s features or in his words as he spoke. Just a smug satisfaction in his demeanour.

    “Kriffin’ son of a -” Han began to curse.

    “Han!” Leia warned from behind him as she grabbed the remote and switched the screen off.

    “Hey! I was watching that.”

    “What? You know he’s guilty.” Leia responded reasonably, “You can re-watch the trial later. Besides we have company, with young ears so watch the swearing.”

    Carefully cradling a baby to her chest, Leia walked around the long sofa to sit beside her husband.

    When Han saw his grandson in Leia’s arms, he immediately forgot about the trial and laidback into the couch. With one arm around his wife’s shoulders Han drew them close, so he could ruffle the baby boy’s dark hair and caress his chubby cheeks.

    “Hey there, handsome.” Han cooed. He glimpsed at Leia fondly and asked, “Do you remember when our kids were this small?”

    “Feels like a million years ago.” Leia admitted softly, “We were so busy back then. And they grew up too fast.”

    Understanding the regret in her voice, Han squeezed her shoulder and placed a gentle kiss on the side of her forehead. They may not have been the best parents but they had given it a good go.

    Time had marched on and tested them in ways they could never have imagined all those years ago. Hardships and burdens had taken their toll, even lost them a son: Anakin.

    Now though they could celebrate peace.

    Everyone had suffered during the most recent conflict. Despite the mental and physical wounds left behind, Han and Leia were thankful they had all survived. Together again at last, happy, healthy and with new additions to the family, the Solo clan could finally rest and rejoice in their good fortune.

    The baby began to fuss, crying out and fidgeting. Leia shifted him into a new position, bouncing the boy on her knees as Han amused him with funny faces and noises. Even Leia had to laugh, the great scoundrel she had married was such a softy, especially where his grandchildren were concerned.

    Luke entered the living room and grinned at his brother-in-law’s antics. Oh, how he longed to record precious moments like this, Han would kill him though. With the exception of family, the old smuggler rarely showed this side of himself. Skywalker was glad to see him and his sister so relaxed, making time for each other and delighting in their new grandchildren.

    Close behind him, Mara and Gabriela arrived. They quickly gathered around the Solos and lavished the infant with attention.

    Gabriela was no longer the youngster of the family but she didn’t seem to care. Like every other time they had visited, his daughter’s rich green eyes glowed adoringly at the baby as she followed Han’s example of pulling faces. They were trying to get the little boy to smile. Instead the baby, dressed in a blue onesie covered in smiley stars, sat frowning at them in total confusion. It was hilarious.

    Amused and touched by the scene, Luke was about to join them when Jaina came in totally absorbed in her other bundle of joy.

    Holding the other twin above her face, Jaina laughed as his minute hands patted her face and he stared down at her in fascination.

    “Alright now, easy on the make-up honey, I have to make a good impression tonight. Speaking of which, Mummy and Daddy really have to go soon.” Bringing the child down to cuddle against her bare shoulder, Jaina called over her shoulder, “Jag, you ready?”

    “Almost.” He hollered back.

    In a regal red gown, with her dark hair pinned up in a striking style, her beautiful face enhanced by subtle make-up and glittering jewels adorning her elegant neck, Jaina cut quite the picture as a young confident empress.

    She smiled at her uncle and handed the twin over to him,
    “Thanks for babysitting Tomas and Tyron tonight.”

    Enjoying cuddling Tomas, Luke spoke warmly,
    “It’s honestly our pleasure, Jaina. You will never be short of babysitters in this family.”

    Glancing over to where Tyron was being showered with affection, Jaina chuckled,
    “I think you’re right. Guess we’ll have to add some extra rooms to this place to accommodate you all.”

    “Just how many extra rooms do we need?” Jagged asked, dressed in his finest suit, as he came up behind to snaked his arms around her waist.

    Over his wife’s head, Jagged witnessed the most heart-warming scene.

    Fondly, Han and Luke started retelling old rebellion stories animatedly to the babies. Watching closely, Mara hugged Gabriela as they sat on the plush carpet together, every now and then they would giggle at the tales or add corrections to them. Leia added her thoughts too, shaking her head at her husband and brother’s bad memories, and then again at their awful impersonations of other people.

    There was so much merriment and love. It brought tears to Jaina’s eyes. Happy tears. It had taken years to get to this point. They had been through lots of hurt and misery but they had made it. And this sight, right now in her living room, was utterly priceless.

    Jagged laughed in Jaina’s ear,
    “We’re going to need a much bigger palace, Jay.”

    In the door archway, the royal couple shared an amused look and a sweet kiss when no one was watching.

    Reluctantly they decided to head for their important gala. They said their goodbyes, thanked everyone for babysitting and kissed each of their sons goodnight.

    Feeling like the luckiest woman in the galaxy, Jaina took Jagged’s waiting hand and walked out with him.

    This special event tonight was important. Jaina would usually be nervous. But now she wasn’t at all.

    Was she looking forward to conversations with politicians and fellow leaders? No, absolutely not. But charming all those officials would be worth it when she finally got to dance with her husband later on.

    It was the simple things in life, Jaina decided, that mattered most. And she intended to enjoy them to their fullest.




    Fin.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2019
  23. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Eloquent joint statement wisely and truly stated that communication, compromise, & compassion are vital.
    Fantastic sense of serenity and relief with Wedge and Iella and a sweet family moment with the Horns!
    The scene with Jered and Tahiri especially with the pregnancy reveal was delicious!
    Kyp with Danni - too precious!
    Then the capper was the Skys/Solos/Fels!

    Congratulations on completing this magnificent epic! =D=

    I will eagerly devour anything you write in future, either a sequel or something totally unrelated because you do the couple sizzle exquisitely well!

    [:D]
     
    mayo_durron_666 likes this.
  24. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 6, 2012
    Yay to all of this! Particularly the Danni scene...I'd actually forgotten she was in this -- shame on me! I actually liked the bittersweet ending with Ben...not everyone gets the happy ending they think that they want.

    Good to see Empress Fel comfortable with her role, too. Thanks for writing!!
     
  25. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Registered:
    Nov 26, 2005
    So glad you enjoyed this fic and the many endings! [face_blush]

    It was such fun writing the reunions for Antilles, Horns, Skywalkers, Solos, Fels, etc. :D There was lots of happiness to write after so much angst. Felt rewarding writing the joy and mush! :)

    Thank you so much for supporting this fic and my writings! [:D] I really appreciate it! [:D] You've really helped motivate me back into fanfic and writing it again, cheers!

    I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed both the happy and not-so-joyous endings. :)

    I felt it was important to show that not everyone was in a good place after the war, especially Siena, she's been through a lot with Ben. They both have things to work through.

    Aww cool, I'm glad you liked Danni and Kyp. Their scene was fun to write.[face_love]

    I think Jaina and Jag are in a great place at the end of this and I have no doubt their confidence as leaders will grow in future. :)

    Thanks for reading and commenting! :DAppreciate you coming along for the ride with this fic!