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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. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Glad you enjoyed the reunion! :) And yes, hopefully Tahiri and family can rest up for a while safe in the Empire. Thanks for clicking as always! [:D]

    staticsticks: Thanks! :D Cheers for reading!


    Okay sorry I'm one day late posting [face_plain] my weekend kind of got away from me. Anyways, here's a new post! I hope you enjoy. Thanks to all who click, read, comment and lurk! :D

    Comments welcome :)

    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @staticsticks


    [Outer Rim. Atrivis Sector. Mantooine. Several miles west of Detavele at Jivuse]

    Coolly, she stood at the entrance of her little house and played innocent. The stranger who had knocked on her door was clearly a man of action, tall, beefy and made a show of his blaster by having it strapped to his side in plain view.

    “I’m sorry but I haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary lately.” She spoke apologetically, before asking, “Did you say these people were dangerous?”

    Deadly serious, the intimidating male nodded,
    “Yes. Don’t engage with them. Stay alert. And if you see anything suspicious report it to your local authorities immediately.”

    “I will.” The woman answered gratefully, “Thank you for stopping by.”

    As he strode away, moving up the street to the next residence, she shut the entrance and locked it. Watchful, she went into the living room and gazed through the window.

    The rest of his squad moved up the road at his command. With weapons casually swung over their shoulders, dressed in combat gear, all of them looked rough and ready. But there were no insignias on their uniforms to associate them with a certain organisation. These men weren’t military, maybe in the past they had been, now though they were hired men on the hunt. They enquired at a few homes further up and eventually disappeared deeper into the village.

    Sensing the danger had passed, the woman drew the drapes together and turned to focus on the centre of the floor. In mid-air she reached out with her hand and slowly waved it left. Simultaneously, by itself, the large heavy rug on the ground slid aside to reveal a hidden hatch. With the Force she unlocked it and pulled the hatch door open.

    From the dark hideout Gabriela Skywalker climbed out, closely followed by Jysella, Casey and Mirax Horn.

    “Thanks for that.” Mirax dusted herself off, “Seems we’re making a habit of finding small dark spaces lately.”

    After the attack on the Skywalker’s house, Gabriela had led them through many winding underpasses. Eventually emerging out into the woods near Jivuse. In the early hours of dawn, they had snuck through the village to get to this house. They were careful not to be seen. And Gabriela had made contact first in the Force, to prewarn their host that they needed a safe haven.

    Though the circumstances were tense, the welcome here had been warm and generous. Thankfully, the past two days they had stayed here had been uneventful. They had caught up on sleep, laid low in the house, sent encrypted messages and were currently waiting for a response from Luke, Mara or Corran. So far there had been no reply, which was worrying Mirax. It had been mostly peaceful there until this afternoon when the mercenaries had banged on the door.

    Warily the young Skywalker asked,
    “Do you think they’ll come back?”

    In her usual calm voice their host responded,
    “It’s possible,” when Gabriela’s eyes flickered away and a shadow fell over her features, the woman went on to comfort her, “but there’s no need to fear, Gabriela. I won’t let them find you, any of you.”

    The girl gave her a long weary look, filled with anxiety but also faith. Eventually, she inclined her blonde head and went to sit by the fireplace where Casey was trying to reignite the flames. Thoughtfully the three older women watched her from the other side of the living room.

    “This isn’t how it was meant to be. It’s not right.” Mirax uttered aloud softly, “They’re both too young to be going through this kind of … situation. Gabriela especially.”

    “I agree.” Their host gave a sad smile and directed them subtly into her small kitchen. It felt even tinier now that she was seven months pregnant. It wasn’t much to look at but it had everything she needed. At the cooker she put on an old fashion pot to a stove and filled it with liquid, “Would either of you care for a drink? I can’t offer you anything fancy but this is a nice tea. It’s a mixture of local herbs meant to be very soothing.”

    Both Horns agreed to try it. As they waited for their beverages, they helped by getting cups and sweeteners ready. Soon enough the reddish orange liquid boiled and was served. Politely they all stood sipping their drinks in comfortable silence, listening to Casey and Gabriela chat in the next room.

    Over her mug, Jysella shared an uneasy look with Mirax. Delicately her mother shook her head and glimpsed away, suddenly interested in the pretty handmade bowls arranged on one of the shelves. Both Horns had questions but didn’t know exactly how to word them. And they didn’t wish to offend their brilliant host.

    Nevertheless, curiosity had eatten away at Jysella these past couple days. For some reason she couldn’t contain herself anymore and blurted the burning question,
    “Who’s the father?”

    Mirax spat out a big gulp of tea and between coughs reprimanded her daughter,
    “Jysella! - That’s none of our business - I’m so sorry Dakota.”

    Completely composed Dakota Jonon drank a mouthful of her tea very slowly. Holding her cup with both hands above her very obvious baby bump, Dakota then looked from mother to daughter and allowed the awkward moment to go on a little longer. The two Horn women looked uncomfortable. Jysella blushed and had the good sense to look somewhat regretful.

    Finally breaking the uneasiness, Dakota smiled and shook her head at them in mock jest,
    “I was wondering how long it was going to take you. Two days is impressive, Jysella.”

    “I am so sorry,” The younger Horn replied sheepishly, “it wasn’t my place to ask, I know that. I’m sorry! We just haven’t seen you in ages. Then to meet you again under these strange circumstances -”

    Dakota stepped closer, rested a hand on her shoulder and reassured,
    “- It’s alright, Jys. I understand. It must have been quite a shock to see me again. No one knew of my presence here, only the Skywalkers. I’m sorry I wasn’t in contact. But I couldn’t take the risk of too many people knowing where I was.”

    “Or your condition.” The older Horn noted shrewdly.

    Feeling self-conscious all of a sudden, Dakota nodded and went to the sink to wash out her cup. She could sense their scrutiny and interest. It was expected. However, it still made her uneasy. So far, she’d managed to always turn the conversation around onto them when they were catching up, even changing the subject to the children or other mutual friends they knew. Now though the spotlight was on her. And she didn’t like it. She didn’t want to face what had happened to her. Denial seemed simpler. If anything, she wanted to disappear rather than talk about herself.

    It was time, she knew that. Though she might not give away all the gory details it was scary to confront the past nightmare regardless.

    Taking time to steady herself, she nervously tucked a black lock of hair behind her ear and straightened her shoulders. Once more Dakota faced them and carefully explained in her soft voice,
    “After my imprisonment by the Republic and the dissolution of the Jedi Order, I tried to keep under the radar. Unfortunately, I was tracked down and incarcerated again. This time by less civilised beings who claimed they were working for the Republic. I was tested on and made to perform experiments. It’s not something I talk about, even with Mara or Luke. I spent two months in their awful facility until I eventually escaped. I made contact with the Skywalkers and they helped set me up here in secret. No one knew. I had to keep a low profile. As for this,” Dakota glimpsed down and rubbed her extended round stomach, trembling slightly at the truth of her situation. Her hazel eyes grew teary as she went on, “I’m sorry but I can’t tell you who the father is. I’m not ready to share that information yet. I’m doing this alone. And that’s okay, I can do this.”

    Outraged on her behalf and sorry for making her relive the ordeal she’d been through, Mirax went to Dakota’s side and hugged her. Not expecting that reaction at all, it took a moment for Dakota to accept the kind gesture and to embrace the older woman back.

    “You don’t need to explain anything further. Forgive us, forgive Jysella. We should have controlled our curiosity better and waited for you to confide in us. It was just such a surprise when we saw you. A wonderful surprise. We thought you were dead.” Mirax pulled back, held her by the shoulders and continued warmly, “And you’re completely right, you can do this. I know you’re going to be an amazing mother. But you’re wrong too … you are not alone, Dakota. Not ever. Just as the Skywalkers support you, so will we. You need anything you let us know.”

    Over her mother’s shoulder, Jysella gave a heartfelt smile and reiterated,
    “You saved our lives by taking us in, Dakota. Don’t expect us Horns not to return the favour.”

    Weeping a little with relief, Dakota laughed quietly,
    “I knew you would make me cry.”

    “That wasn’t our intention.” Jysella added more seriously, “Really Dakota, I am sorry if we upset you. And I shouldn’t have asked such a personal question so directly. I was just concerned for you. Yesterday I saw the marks on your arm … with you avoiding talking about the past several months and the pregnancy, my mind began to race to some very bad scenarios. I was worried, very worried about you. I didn't mean to make you feel bad in any way.”

    “I know.” Wiping her eyes, Dakota got her emotions back under control quickly and replied, “I’m okay now. It’s been difficult. I haven’t really dealt with it all yet. This baby was a shock. And the father …” she couldn’t finish the sentence, it would break her heart to say it out loud.

    Together Jysella and Mirax helped make another tea to distracted Dakota from her tears. Their support and concern were refreshing. They didn't force her to admit anything or fish for information. They simply waited and when it was clear she didn't have the courage to speak further, they completely accepted it and aided her by changing the subject. For so many months now, Dakota had been alone, isolating herself to a point where even good company could actually make her anxious. Even with Mara or Luke's brief visits she was finding socialising stressful. Adjusting to their company these past few days had been tricky but also desperately needed.

    Dakota knew she could never have turned them away when they knocked on her door. They had needed her. And by some twist of fate, she was realising she had needed them too.

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    =D= [:D] for Dakota and her selfless actions in keeping the "safe house". I am so happy she has the Horns and Skywalkers for tangible and emotional support after her ordeal.

    mayo_durron_666 likes this.
  3. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Thanks for reading! :D I'm so happy that you enjoyed the new OC in this: Dakota. I hope we'll see more of her, and yes you're right she's very lucky to have the Horns and Skywalkers around! :)

    Okay sorry I'm late by a day or two..! :( Here's a new update! I hope you enjoy, some more OC stuff, along with Jacen and Luke! Comments welcome :)

    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @staticsticks


    [Core Worlds, near Planet Velusia. On board Star Destroyer Dark Goddess. Medical Centre.]

    Deeply concerned by recent events, his nephew had visited his quarters the other evening to tell him all about the experiments they had uncovered. Though usually a confident man, Jacen had appeared shaken as he’d shared his fears about these unauthorised tests. He had also revealed his devastation over losing his Force bond with his twin sister Jaina.

    Luke had understood. His own twin, Leia, had suffered because of these experiments, resulting in the severing of their Force bond. It was horribly alien not to be able to connect with her through the Force anymore. Both of them had talked about it and found it unbelievable that breaking a Force bond was possible.

    Since Jacen’s chat, his nephew and Emperor Fel had given Luke access to the medical centre, its records and information on those affected. Jacen thought Luke’s insight would be valuable and could possibly help the victims. In-particular he believed Luke and other ex-Jedi could aid those affected by the experiments, specially the experiment which had given normal beings an intense Force sensitivity.

    It was very disturbing to discover that someone was playing with science in this manner. Glimpsing back at his notes on the datapad in his hand, Luke tried not to dwell too much on the agendas of these experiments.

    They had to be for a reason. And right now, the intentions seemed awfully threatening.

    One experiment was designed to take away all Force related gifts. The second was attempting to give enormous Force capabilities to beings with no natural Force talents. And the third was breaking unique bonds between very strong Force users.

    It was a mixture of trials but Luke saw the blunt propose of each test. By breaking bonds and taking away Force abilities from already established Force users you could easily make those individuals weak and vulnerable. Taking away their exceptional skills would therefore make them less of a threat or make it easier to confront them if needed.

    This was clear with Kyp’s situation. Despite the doctor’s orders, Kyp had tried several times to reconnect to the Force over the past few days. However, each occasion had only resulted in his body going into extreme stress, convulsing violently. Kyp had lost consciousness in all incidents and when he woke up he admitted to feeling frailer than before.

    The other test, affecting people like Hera, which gave beings incredible Force abilities worried Luke immensely. If this experiment was ever truly successful, it meant those in charge of these grotesque experiments could form their very own Force sensitive militia. Though there was no evidence of such an army existing, Luke couldn’t settle his anxious mind whenever he read over his notes.

    In one of the doctor’s offices, Luke sat at a desk going over reports when he heard a member of staff exclaim,
    “Oh no - everyone get back!”

    Sensing the swift power in the Force, Luke stood up and watched as around one patient objects started to float. A glass rose ever so slowly into the air, then a datapad and next a monitor screen began to rise. At first Luke was slightly stunned by this effortless show of ability. But then he saw the patient’s distress and realised that at any moment this display of skill could turn into chaos.

    Setting aside his reading, Luke went very cautiously into the main medical wing. The staff all backed away from the patient making items hover and advised Luke not to get too close. He ignored them.

    Carefully, so as not to startle her or appear intimidating, Luke walked up to the patient’s bed. With a subtle wave of his hand he used the Force to put all the floating objects back down to their original locations. In the Force he sensed the victim’s anxiety and reached out to offer her reassurance.

    As the ward started to go back to normal and staff went about their business, Luke gazed down at the young woman with a kind smile,
    “You must be Hera. Nice to meet you, I'm Luke Skywalker.”

    Pushing her dark hair out of her face nervously, she indicated the glass on her bedside table and replied,
    “I’m sorry about .. that.”

    Understanding her meaning, Luke answered,
    “That .. was very impressive.” Hera looked away uncomfortably and curled herself tighter underneath her covers. Realising he may have upset her, Luke went on to say, “I am sorry you found it disturbing. Using the Force, I mean. This must be very hard to adjust to. These new abilities must seem scary.”

    Still looking at her hands as they clutched the quilt fiercely, Hera inclined her head ever so slightly and admitted under her breath,
    “That’s putting it lightly.”

    “Jacen is my nephew, he told me a bit about your condition. I hope to be able to help you and the other patients.”

    Overwhelmed by everything, the Force energy within her screaming to be unleashed, the ability to feel other people’s emotions and the strange sensing of events before they were about to happen. With tired bleary eyes Hera flickered a look around the ward and felt the bubbling panic begin to rise. What if next time she lost control and hurt someone? What if next time she couldn’t switch it off or calm down? What if the dreadful nightmares she’d been having recently came to be?

    It was too much. She couldn’t focus, couldn’t breath or think straight. Something deadly was building within her cells and driving her mad.

    “Hera,” Luke’s calm voice crept into her consciousness, “Hera, its okay. You are safe here. You are being cared for. You are not alone.”

    Trembling, she whispered,
    “But I’m no longer me,” she held her head in her hands as she wept quietly, “they took that from me.”

    As she cried into her palms and Luke’s voice drifted away, the fear boiled up, raging, preparing to overwhelm her and break free.

    Then she felt an odd warmth brush over her skin, so softly she thought she'd imagined it. The sensation was soothing, an affectionate caress from someone who cared, a reassuring stroke she knew she would one day come to recognise. A familiar presence drifted into her space and embraced her with great tenderness. Needing the connection, Hera focused on the presence, moving her mind towards it, opening up to the link between them.

    Though her eyes were closed, she could smell his scent, feel the strength in his arms and the rasp of his stubble as he placed an encouraging kiss to her cheek.

    You are strong, Hera. So strong. Jacen Solo’s deep voice murmured into her mind like a soft melody. You could never lose who you are. You will be you again, only stronger. Have faith.

    I can’t do this. Hera tentatively attempted to reply in Jacen’s mind. I can’t control it.

    You are right to be fearful. Jacen hugged her tighter through their bond. But let us help you. Go to Bastion like we discussed. Allow the medical staff and my uncle to assist you in your recovery. Luke can teach you control and technique, like he taught me.

    Hera bit her lip, deep in thought. She wanted help. Yet her stubbornness got in the way at times. And she kept wallowing in the past she could no longer have. She didn’t want to be a Force sensitive being. But it seemed that fate was no longer in her hands. Begrudgingly she knew the only way forward was to deal with the situation head on and accept whatever aid there was available.

    Alright, I’ll go to Bastion. I will accept the help offered by you, your uncle and the recommended medical professionals you have suggested. Hera eventually conceded. Jacen’s aura in the Force grew stronger, his support and affection enveloped Hera's spirit and gave her much needed courage. Especially for what she asked next. Jacen, will I see you on Bastion?

    For the longest moment there was no response. Her heart pounded with anticipation. Maybe she had read their chemistry and connection wrong. Perhaps he was only ever being a kind person in her times of need. Though her heart kept telling her differently. Every time they met or interacted there was something there, growing between them.

    All doubts vanished when Hera swore she felt the tickling of his breath near her ear. She could nearly sense the heat from his lips as if he whispered intimately to her.

    If you wish it then of course I will come visit you. Jacen placed a sweet lingering kiss on her forehead. I want to leave with you right now but my duties here are detaining me from doing so. And I didn’t want to presume anything about .. us.

    You think there’s an ‘us’? Hera teased.

    Possibly. Jacen’s voice was full of humour. And don’t jest. You’re not well enough to mentally spar with me yet.

    So you think. Hera laughed internally, where their conversation was private, for them only to hear .

    This Force connection is tiring you out. Jacen’s tone turned sombre. You must rest, Hera. Don’t worry, I’ll arrange your transfer and see if my uncle will consider going to Bastion. I promise I will be with you as soon as I can. With one last kiss on her brow, Jacen’s presence began to fade.

    When she finally opened her bright blue eyes and lifted her head, Hera found herself feeling so much better and knew Jacen had had something to do with calming the inner turmoil.

    Luke Skywalker stood by her bedside still, his expression watchful and all knowing,
    “So, you’re going to Bastion?”

    Looking a little surprised herself by the decision she had just made, Hera replied,
    “How did you know?”

    “Jacen told me. We can communicate with the use of the Force, much like you two just did a moment ago.”

    “Oh. Of course.” Hera felt sheepish not knowing how others could use the Force. And it suddenly dawned on her that she was talking to one of the most revered Force sensitive beings in the galaxy. “Jacen says you can help me. Perhaps even teach me to control this .. this Force gift.”

    With a steady look, Luke observed her tense expression as he asked,
    “You see it as a gift?”

    “No,” Hera answered honestly, “but I want to. Eventually. Will you help me?”

    With the high hopes of his nephew and the reluctant plead from Hera, Luke felt the weight of their expectations fall onto his shoulders.

    Honestly, he couldn’t walk away from this. He had to discover more about these experiments and aid those affected in any way he could. Even if it was only in their recovery, Luke knew he was meant to help them all, Hera and the other patients. Luke couldn’t explain how he knew that but the feeling could not be ignored.

    Sincerely, Luke nodded to Hera and said,
    “Of course, I will.”

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
  4. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wonderful details about Hera's understandable sense of being overwhelmed and beautiful how Jacen and then Luke helped. Yikes, the horrifying implications regarding the 3 types of experiments [face_worried] I truly hope the one regarding Force bonds being severed can be reversed. :(
    mayo_durron_666 likes this.
  5. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Thanks! :D I'm so glad you liked the scene with Hera, I enjoy writing the OCs in this, she's a fav of mine, I look forward to seeing her with Jacen more in future. :) Yes, these experiments are nasty [face_nail_biting]we'll hopefully get whose responsible for them in a couple of posts! Cheers for reading!

    Here's a new update! Let's catch up with the Skywalkers..
    Comments welcome :)

    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @staticsticks


    [Core Worlds, near Planet Velusia. On board Star Destroyer Dark Goddess. Hangar Bay 33.]

    As the commotion grew around the hangar, Mara Jade Skywalker started to pack up her tools into an old weathered bag.

    She had thought working on the ship, Jade Shadow, would ease her troubled mind. It hadn’t. Gut instincts were nagging at her that many things were either wrong or about to turn incredibly ugly. No amount of mediation or distraction would dull the warning whispers inside her head.

    Fed up, she wiped her greasy hands with a rag and chucked it in with the tools. Ignoring the mayhem in the bay, she grabbed the sack and went up the walkway of her ship. As she walked down the ship’s main corridor an insistent beeping could be heard coming from the cockpit.

    Mara dumped the bag into a storage compartment and strode towards the noise.

    On the comm part of the cockpit controls a light flashed in time with the incessant beeps, indicating a message had been received and was of great importance. Mara clicked the button to cease the racket and to play the communication.

    No holo-image appeared. Instead, only a voice recording sounded. Mirax Horn’s voice was scratchy in the message as if she’d made it on a bad line or comm system.

    “Mara .. Luke .. it’s Mirax. Anyone there? Plea.. respond! I’ve been trying to reach you for .. days now .. we have been attacked on Mantooine .. your house .. we .. safe for now. Dakota has .. at safe house. But there are mercenaries sti.. everywhere. Don’t .. who behind .. attack. Need immediate assistance. Repeat, we .. assistance -”

    Abruptly the message turned into static and nothing Mara did to the comm unit could salvage it. She saved the recording and played it again to see if she could gain any further details in what Mirax was saying. Heart pounding with every repeat, she listened to it over and over. She could hear the fear in Mirax’s vocals. Mara knew by the inflection on her words that Mirax didn’t believe they would be safe for much longer where they were.

    “Mara?” Leia’s voice echoed from down the hatchway. Mara had been so absorbed in the upsetting message she hadn’t sensed her sister-in-law approaching.

    “Up here!” She responded as she started to automatically plot a course to Mantooine on the navigation computer.

    Behind her at the cockpit entrance, Leia asked,
    “Is everything okay?”

    “No.” She responded earnestly, “I’ve got to talk to Luke, we have to leave, we’ve got to go, right now.”

    Seeing the tension, Leia frowned and queried,
    “Mara, what is it? What’s happened?”

    Overwhelmed all of a sudden, Mara stopped, hung her head and simply clicked the play button. Again, the crackly message reverberated throughout the small space. With each frantic word from Mirax the trepidation for her daughter’s safety intensified. It took all of Mara’s self-control to stop herself from snapping at Leia, from Force-shouting at Luke and hitting the engines on full straight away. It was unbearable knowing her little girl had been through something so awful and scary. And though they were at the safe house now it was clear the threat hadn’t passed. Her daughter, Dakota, Mirax and her children were still in danger.

    As the communication ended Leia gently touched Mara’s shoulder and squeezed. Attempting without words to offer her support.

    Taking a deep breath, Mara clutched at the little control she had left in that moment, when every cell demanded action and all instincts screamed to go find her daughter immediately. Finally, Mara looked over her shoulder at Leia, her expression incapable of hiding her distress and her green eyes awash with unshed tears she would not share with anyone else but Luke.

    Understanding entirely, Leia simply nodded and declared,
    “We’ll go with you.”

    Swallowing back her troubled emotions, Mara answered quietly,
    “Thank you.”

    “I’ll go explain to Han and get the Falcon prepped straight away. Call me when you’re ready to depart.”

    Realising the importance of time, Leia gave Mara’s shoulder one last squeeze, turned and then left.


    “- This is ridiculous, I’m going with you.” Luke stated firmly.

    Since coming back from the medical centre, he had shared with Mara what he had learnt about the Force experiments so far and discussed several of the victims who had suffered by them. Even detailing Hera’s unusual strength with the Force and how she had floated objects without any training.

    However, his wife had cut him off and revealed her anxious state. Mara had explained the situation on Mantooine and played Mirax’s message for him to hear.

    Like Mara, he had wanted to drop everything and go straight to his daughter and friends’ aid. The idea of Gabriela in any kind of danger made him sick to his very stomach. He had never wanted his daughter to live in fear. His main priority had always been to protect his family and friends. But this war had seemed to mock his every attempt to do so. It wasn’t fair.

    “But you are needed here.” His wife reminded.

    “Don’t do that.” Luke spoke bluntly, “I’ve placed duty before my family in the past too many times and I refuse to continue making the same mistak -”

    “- This is not a mistake.” Mara assured as she followed him down one of Jade Shadow’s hallways, “I want you come with me, I honestly do. But with everything you just mentioned about those patients, I can’t help but think we were meant to be here so you could meet them.” She tugged on his arm, forcing him to stop in the corridor and hold her gaze, “You were meant to help them, Luke, I feel it.”

    “I can help them after we get back our daughter.”

    “If what you say about Hera is true,” Mara reasoned reluctantly, “I think you’ll regret leaving.”

    Calming down enough to think a little clearer, Luke’s expression saddened as he admitted openly,
    “True I fear she’ll hurt someone. Not deliberately. But with that much raw power inside I am worried what she’ll do.”

    “And the others?”

    Begrudgingly Luke answered,
    “They’re in pain. A lot of them suffer still, their bodies incapable of accepting the Force now following within them. All of them couldn’t help projecting their agony and terror at what had happened to them. What was still happening to them and their bodies.”

    Their pain weighed down on him, Mara saw it in his blue eyes. Sympathising with his sensitive and giving nature, she slid her arms around his waist and held him close. Luke didn’t fight her affection. He embraced her fiercely needing the physical contact between them.

    She searched his still handsome face, saw the worry lines deepen and knew it was because he agonized over wanting to help so many beings at once, as well as safeguard his family and friends.

    Though she desired him to join her back to Mantooine, Mara’s instincts had been clear the moment Luke had begun talking about the experiments. The patients needed him, whether fated or by someone else’s design, Mara knew that for certain. When she thought of Luke leaving with her now, the Force seemed to lurch around them and darken with future misfortunes. The energy of the universe was demanding that he stay. And Mara had learnt long ago to respect the Force and her gut, even if it all went against her vulnerable heart and it’s wishes.

    “I will meet you on Bastion.” Mara decided for them, her voice quiet but full of promise, “I will find them. And I will bring our daughter back safe.”

    “I don’t want you do this alone.” Luke shook his head, upset that they should part now under such circumstances.

    “I won’t be alone.” Mara comforted him, “Leia and Han are coming with me.”

    “And me.” A determined voice came from behind them. Both Skywalkers were still hugging each other tight as they turned their heads to see their son standing at the end of the corridor. Looking a bit better rested, in fresh attire and a rucksack slung over his shoulder, Ben approached them as he added seriously, “I abandoned you all once because I thought it would keep you safe. Let me be there this time.”

    “You sure?” Mara queried carefully, “You could stay with your father.”

    “My place is with you, Mum.” Ben said with total certainty, “You’re right, Dad is needed here. And we’re needed on Mantooine. Dakota, the Horns and Gabriela all need us. We’ve got to go.”

    “Well,” Luke’s voice trembled a little as he conceded, “it looks like that’s settled then. Though I hate to agree to it.” He gazed back at Mara and whispered honestly, “Just to be clear .. I need all of you, always.”

    “I know.” She uttered back before kissing him deeply.

    Sensing the urgency, Luke squashed her closer and returned the kiss. Heatedly he brushed her lips with his, trying to show her without words how much he adored her. With every brush of his mouth he poured into their bond his unwavering love and devotion.

    As the kiss ended, Mara uttered,
    “We’ll all be together again soon. Have faith, my love.”

    “In you,” Luke spoke sincerely, “my faith is endless.”

    Reluctantly Mara slipped out of his arms and started towards the cockpit.

    Wordlessly, Luke turned to his son and hugged him fiercely. He had been through a lot lately. It was not fair to put Ben in danger again. Young man or not, Ben was still his little boy. Luke had to fight the urge to wrap him up in something soft and hide him away until all threats had past. But Ben, like his wife, would never allow such overprotection.

    Understanding the seriousness of the situation and his father’s worry, Ben returned the hug,
    “It’ll be alright Dad. We’ll get Gabby out of there. I promise.”

    “I know.” Luke eased his hold and stepped back, “I just wish things were different.”

    “Me too.” Ben rearranged his bag on his shoulder awkwardly as he asked, “Look Dad, could you – I mean would you mind .. I er .. I would be grateful if you looked out for -”

    “- Siena.” Luke spoke knowingly, “I’ll watch over her. I promise.”

    Nothing else was said between them. The young Skywalker relaxed a little and even managed a small smile of thanks before he too headed towards the cockpit. As the engines whirred to life, Luke knew it was time for them to separate. Begrudgingly he walked down the hallway and exited the craft. With a heavy heart he watched as the Jade Shadow and Millennium Falcon took off without him.

  6. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Ow! I just know Luke was torn up literally at having to stay behind. Every iota of his being wants to go with Mara; but she senses that he's needed with the patients, and he finally agrees. I'm happy Han and Leia and Ben are going along with her to Mantooine.

    It's heart-wrenching to see all these necessary separations in the midst of such uncertainty! :(

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  7. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Yes, it was sad to write this past scene with Mara and Luke being so very torn by their feelings/duties! I think many characters are torn in this atm. [face_devil] Though it's upsetting, these separations will hopefully all have happy reunions! :D[face_love] I want to write happier stuff soon! Thanks for reading as always! Really appreciate it! :D

    Okay next.. we are finally starting to get to the important stuff.. slowly. Enjoy the angst! ;)

    Thanks to all who read, comment and lurk! [face_peace]

    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @staticsticks


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

    He paced his home continuously. No amount of preparation or reassurance seemed to quieten his nerves. As a politician and leader, he had had to exude calm and confidence throughout his career. Sometimes the façade had worked long enough to relax his inner tension. Not today though. Right now, he could barely pull himself together.

    It was vital these peace talks with the Empire go smoothly. This terrible conflict had to end.

    For the millionth time Racon Gerreon adjusted his garments and looked at himself in a nearby window. The tiredness showed on his Mon Calamari features. His large eyes weren’t so bright anymore, wrinkles lined his large jawline and his recent weight loss made him appear awfully gaunt, even ill looking. Gone was the young energetically hopeful senator he had once been. The war had certainly taken its toll and he was no exception.

    He hoped Jagged would be reasonable and not put Racon in a difficult position with regards to certain demands. The young Emperor was intelligent, patient and pragmatic. Fel was the kind of strong leader these times needed. The Head of State admired him and was absolutely certain the dynasty Jagged Fel was creating would prosper for many decades to come.

    Whilst pacing his lounge, Racon’s assistant entered and interrupted his thoughts by simply stating,
    “Head of State, they are arriving.”

    [Core Worlds. Coruscant. On board Fel’s personal ship called Intrepid. Near the Head of State’s Residence.]

    Dressed in his sharpest black suit, Jagged Fel sat quietly in his private room contemplating all the possible ways the Peace Summit could go. It would not be an easy set of talks. There was much to discuss and decide on. Military forces had to be recalled, boundaries had to be renegotiated, war crimes had to be examined, justice had to be served, many terms had to be signed and future cooperation on how to rebuild or trade had to be determined.

    This summit and the weight of such responsibilities pressed down on the Emperor. For a second the overwhelming burden made his chest tighten and his stomach knot. Ignoring everything around him, Jagged hung his head, closed his eyes and focused on nothing else but steady breaths. In, out, he counted his airflow slowly, concentrating on gaining back his control. He needed to be composed. This was a delicate situation, one wrong word or move could end in disaster.

    When he opened his eyes, Jagged distracted himself by pulling on some fine black gloves onto his hands. As the last glove fitted on, a buzzer went off at his quarter’s door.

    Fel straightened and ordered coolly,

    The entrance slid open to allow his brother-in-law in, Jacen Solo. The high-ranking Imperial Knight wore a fresh set of navy robes with red military stripes at the shoulders, his lightsaber hilt hung in plain view from his belt and to complete the picture he wore finely polished black boots.

    “We are about to land.”

    “Good.” Jagged rose to his full height, walked over to his most trusted knight and asked him pensively, “Do you think I’m doing the right thing? Being here?”

    Jacen smiled wistfully,
    “I think we can all agree that we want to be somewhere else right now. But if we don’t confront this .. the Republic, the war, the experiments, all of it will haunt us and cause more hurt further on down the line. The sooner we sort this mess out, the sooner we can all go home.”

    Deadly serious, Jagged nodded and replied,
    “I couldn’t agree more. Let’s get this over with.”

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

    “N-No!” Jaina woke up gasping.

    Only silent darkness greeted her in the large bedroom. She was completely alone.

    Shakily she pushed the covers away and sat upright in the middle of the mattress. She exhaled a long breath and fixated on trying to inhale as slowly as possible to try to compose her breathing. It didn’t help her. Disturbing images kept creeping into her mind, making her anxiety soar to new heights with every vivid detail and horrific replay.

    Unable to fight the demons away, Jaina fell back onto the bed trembling, clutching at the pillows and duvet for stability. Tears flowed down her face and sweat beaded her pale skin all over. The fear was all consuming, it took hold fast and had a powerful grip over her whole being. It was too much.

    For ages Jaina lied there, crying quietly and wheezing erratically. The nightmare was becoming clearer. And the more she thought on it, the more Jaina was certain it was not just a reoccurring dream. Though the nightmare was gut wrenching for her to think about, Jaina tried to examine it in her mind. She let it play again and again, looking for any details that might be of importance. By concentrating on specifics, Jaina was able to detach from the horrifying visuals and regain some control.

    Eventually, the young Empress’s terror subsided enough for her to pull herself out of bed. From a nearby chair she dragged on a robe and headed towards the kitchen to make herself a drink.

    The cool blue milk settled her stomach a little. But Jaina knew she could not go back to sleep easily tonight. Instead of going back to her big empty bed, Jaina decided to curl up on one of the sofas in the spacious living room with a blanket for warmth.

    Mentally Jaina started analysing her most recent nightmare. She knew she could not allow it to control her anymore. However, as she scrutinised the imagery again it suddenly dawned on her: What if this was real? Or about to become a reality?

    Lately, she had had so many horrendous dreams, sometimes it was hard to tell what was a real past trauma and what was a fictional hell.

    “No, no,” Jaina uttered brokenly to herself and covered her face with her hands, “leave me alone. Please.”

    Eventually, after many more tears, Jaina fell back to sleep. And for a short time, the nightmares left her to rest.

  8. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Jag's question: "Am I doing the right thing" is understandable. I love Jacen's reply:

    “I think we can all agree that we want to be somewhere else right now. But if we don’t confront this .. the Republic, the war, the experiments, all of it will haunt us and cause more hurt further on down the line. The sooner we sort this mess out, the sooner we can all go home.”

    And I cannot wait for all of it to be sorted out, for that very reason, and because of Jaina's heart-wrenching experience, which I am sure is the case for all the victims of those horrid experiments: :eek: what is a reliving of a past trauma, a creation of one's overworked imagination, or worst still, a premonition of a looming reality? [face_nail_biting]

    mayo_durron_666 likes this.
  9. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Glad you liked Jacen's response to Jagged. Jacen is very wise in this fic I feel. ;) All will be sorted soon! We'll soon see justice served and happy reunions, I hope! As for Jaina's heartbreaking state of mind at the moment, I think it's definitely a combination of past trauma and future visions merging together. She will see soon enough what's real or not. [face_devil] Thanks for reading and commenting as always! [:D]:) More coming very soon!
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  10. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    Sorry I missed a weekly update! :oops:
    Okay next.. we get a happy gathering.. of sorts! :p Skywalkers, Solos, Horns etc.. Hope you enjoy!

    Thanks to all who read, comment and lurk! [face_peace]

    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @staticsticks


    [Outer Rim. Atrivis Sector. Mantooine. Jivuse village]

    They had landed in a barely inhabited settlement several miles away with fake names and falsified ship information. It meant getting on planet had been easy. However, their ships were well known throughout the galaxy which meant they couldn’t linger for long. Someone would recognise the vessels soon enough and blow their cover. They didn’t have much time.

    Hiking through the dense forest all day had made Mara, Ben, Leia and Han awfully sweaty and tired. With each muddy step through the wilderness, their urgency to get to the safe house had grown immensely. By late afternoon, they had made good time and upon seeing Dakota’s little home all of them had had to hold their nerve.

    The instinct to run over and pound on the door was unbearable. Instead they had settled amongst the trees, rehydrated and waited. Stealth was important. They were going to extract Gabriela, the Horns and Dakota at night and get off planet as soon as possible.

    From the moment they had been close, Mara had used the Force to communicate to Gabriela. She had needed the unique bond with her daughter so much. Just being able to talk with her, sense her feelings and know that she was indeed safe helped Mara breathe a little easier.

    Gabriela had been overjoyed to sense her mother and brother so close. Waves of relief, happiness and gratitude radiated from her endlessly. So palpable was the youngest Skywalker’s emotions that it made Mara’s eyes blur with unshed tears more than once. She couldn’t wait to hold Gabriela close again.

    Finally, night started to creep over the landscape. Heat from the day started to lessen. The vibrant green jungle turned into a mix of murky shadows with animal noises ominously echoing throughout.

    Are you ready? Mara asked, trying to keep the tension out of her Force communication.

    If Gabriela felt it, she didn’t let on. Since their arrival the young girl had dutifully passed on information from Mara to the rest of the Horns and Dakota, explaining about the plan to escape tonight on the Jade Shadow and Millennium Falcon.

    At first Dakota had insisted she stay behind so as not to raise suspicions. Over the past several hours however, both Mirax and Jysella had managed to convince Dakota to join them off planet. They all knew she wouldn’t be safe there anymore, especially alone and pregnant.

    We all are. Gabriela replied to her mother with great determination. Coming out now.

    One by one they exited the house and ran the short distance into the jungle where Mara, Ben, Han and Leia waited.

    In the darkness, Gabriela rushed straight into her mother’s waiting arms. The young girl hugged Mara fiercely. It felt so wonderful to be back together. Comfortingly, her mother’s strong arms squeezed her tighter as she whispered words of reassurance into her dark gold curls. This embrace was the best kind of security blanket Gabriela could have ever asked for. And she never wanted to let go.

    Gabriela.. you’ve grown so much. Ben’s voice floated into Gabriela’s mind softly.

    Still wrapped up in her mother’s grasp, the young Skywalker opened her watery eyes and scanned the darkness till she saw her big brother a few feet away. They hadn’t seen each other in ages, not since he had been kidnapped and then gone into hiding.

    Wordlessly Gabriela pulled away from Mara and practically jumped into her brother’s arms. Ben hugged her so hard he lifted her off the ground. Overcome with emotion, he placed several kisses on his sister’s cheek and hoarsely murmured his apologises for not being there for her.

    “You’ve been so brave, Gabby.” Ben spoke quietly as he placed her feet back on the forest floor, “I’m so proud of you.”

    “You should be,” Mirax said in a hushed tone as she reached them, “without Gabriela I don’t think we would have had a chance.”

    Holding on to Dakota arm-in-arm, Jysella nodded in agreement with her mother as she helped her friend to navigate the dark terrain. Meanwhile, Casey stood between the Solos and smiled at Gabriela with total faith in his eyes. None of them had ever underestimated her. Their support throughout this awful experience had given Gabriela a new confidence. Now she knew when pushed she could handle a crisis and stay level headed enough to get out of it.

    “Nicely done kid,” Han stepped over to ruffled Gabriela’s hair, “but don’t get any ideas about pulling this kind of adventure stuff too often. Your father will have a meltdown.”

    Once they were all grouped together, Leia started to lead the way through the trees towards their ships. It would be a long trek over rough terrain, they would have to be conscious of Dakota’s condition and stay hydrated as much as possible. Despite the challenge they were all eager to get on with it and jet off this planet right away.

    Before following them, Gabriela frowned and questioned,
    “Where is dad?”

    “He really wanted to be here, sweetheart. But something bad has happened and he’s been called to Bastion to help.” Mara explained, “We’ll meet him there as soon as possible, okay?”

    Understanding her father and his generous nature, Gabriela nodded and began trailing behind the others deeper into the jungle with her mother behind watching their backs. Surrounded by her family and friends, more secure in her abilities than ever before, the gloomy blackness of the night didn’t seem as scary anymore.

    One day, Gabriela thought optimistically, I might not fear the dark at all.

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  11. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    [face_relieved] =D= Wonderful extraction and reunion! Sweet with Gabriela and Mara. [face_love] And Gabriela and Ben, warmly snuggy feels. :) I am glad that Dakota agreed to leave with the rest. @};-
  12. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    My apologies I was M.I.A for about 2 or 3 weeks [face_dunno] my new job was a tad overwhelming and I got sick. But I'm better again! And I've been itching to finish this.. :D More weekly updates coming!

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: So glad you enjoyed the reunion with Gabriela, Mara and Ben! :) Yes, I'm glad Dakota got out of there too.. maybe we'll discover her baby-daddy soon.. [face_thinking]

    Next update is some talk between some important folks.. but then action will be coming in future updates..! [face_devil]o_O

    Thanks to all who read, comment and lurk! [face_peace]

    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha @staticsticks


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

    Together they sat in the Head of State’s spacious living room, each with their own security teams spread out in and around the home.

    So far, the meeting had gone well. Admittedly it had been an awkward start. Nerves were obvious from both parties. The two leaders had had plenty to discuss. Sadly, a lot of the subjects had been uncomfortable realities of warfare, border disputes, trade route disruptions and other political issues.

    As the long talks went on Emperor Jagged Fel found himself relieved to find that Racon Gerreon had the same mutual desire to work together to end this war and build a better future, for both the Empire and Republic.

    Soon after gaging the Head of State’s genuine intentions, Fel then decided to bring up one of the most difficult issues by simply stating,
    “There is one more matter that needs our attention. The illegal trafficking and experimentation on Force-sensitive beings.”

    Setting down his hot drink on a side table, the Mon Calamari nodded woefully,
    “I have been informed of these atrocities. Though I admit I do not know many details. I was very upset to hear that your wife, Jaina, experienced such an ordeal. I’m so sorry Fel.”

    Swallowing back his own personal feelings on the matter, Jagged continued calmly,
    “Recently imperial forces rescued survivors from these experiments. They also discovered vital data. Thanks to this encounter we now have knowledge on three kinds of illegal scientific tests that were being conducted. And not all of them were on Force-sensitive beings. We have good intel on who is responsible for these crimes. This is information we would like to share but only under the strictest of confidences and supervision. Data of this kind in the wrong hands would be devastating.”

    Leaning forward, Racon asked carefully,
    “There was more than one kind of illegal experiment?”

    Wordlessly, Jagged inclined his head in answer and kept his unwavering green eyes on the Mon Calamari sat before him. The Head of State seemed genuinely stunned by this new bit of information.

    Appearing disgusted by the notion of such awful crimes, Racon sat back with his wide mouth open as he let out a long breath in disbelief. It was clear the senator needed time to digest the serious information. The room remained silent. No one attempted to break the quiet. And Jagged was not willing to give away any more information. At least not yet.

    Finally, Racon spoke,
    “How many beings have been affected?”

    “The numbers are unclear. Currently all we can do is estimate.” Fel replied cautiously, “But it’s thought to be over ten thousand, at least.”

    “I never wanted to think or believe something like this could happen.” Racon uttered completely dumbfounded, “I should have done something sooner.”

    “I don’t think any of us thought such crimes could be done on this scale. Yet here we are.” Jagged glimpsed around at their security teams before he decided to go on warily, “Correct me if I’m wrong but you don’t trust your own military, am I right in thinking that your distrust goes further than that? Do you suspect your own political associates of such war crimes?”

    Pointedly the Mon Calamari looked at his chief of security and motioned for her to give him and Jagged more space. Reluctantly she moved and ordered others out of the room. Eventually only she was guarding the main door. Fel’s knights exited also. All but one, Jacen Solo stood by the other entrance leading out onto a patio area.

    Racon straightened his posture and responded clearly,
    “You know I have many enemies, Fel. The reason I contacted you and asked for assistance for the EDA was because I didn’t trust the military. The Republic lost control of it very early on in this war. Bringing it back to heel was vital. As for the rest … no I do not trust my own peers in the senate. We have suspected for a long time that certain politicians were collaborating with high-ranking military figures so they could use the armed forces for their own operations or means. We finally found evidence of such treason and abuse of power. The EDA has been able to make several arrests already. But there are still two key players at large: Yuuzhan Vong councillor Viqilis Huzara and Quarren senator Emetta Masso. Both of which have expressed extreme anti-Jedi sentiments since coming to office. Recently I’ve had investigators track their finances. They have funded several scientific establishments over the past year or more, some were legit but more than a few were fake businesses or fraudulent research facilities. Many of these research facilities appear to have never existed at all. More concerning though is their sponsorship of private individuals, people we are still struggling to track down.”

    Silently Fel sighed with relief. The information Racon had just divulged matched what his forces had discovered and decrypted. This meant the Head of State was on the same trail they were and wanted exactly what they did: justice.

    Allowing his true feelings about the two criminals to show in his serious gaze, Jagged stated resolutely,
    “Councillor Huzara and senator Masso were on our data files also. Their capture is a high priority. They orchestrated this. They will answer for it.”

    “I couldn’t agree more.” The Head of State confidently, “Well then I believe we are in agreement, Your Imperial Highness.”

    Fel gave a small nod and held out his hand,
    “Let’s settled this Racon, once and for all.”

    As Racon’s webbed hand shook his, the senator answered,
    “Once and for all, Fel. Together.”
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  13. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Superb to see such reciprocal candor and that Gerreon and Fel have the same resolve and are in overall agreement on what needs doing.
    I'm relieved that there are tangible culprits to go after.

    The number of victims is staggering. :(

    mayo_durron_666 likes this.
  14. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Glad you liked the meeting with Fel and Gerreon :) These guys will hopefully start to wrap things up and move the galaxy into better harmony ASAP. As for the culprits they will be discovered shortly. [face_mischief] Thanks for sticking with this! My apologises for no updates the past few weeks, my work life kind of overwhelmed me in April but it's finally starting to calm down now. I have some great stuff coming for this fic and a new fic soon, I hope. Thanks for your constant support! [:D]
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  15. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    Okay, again my apologies for taking so long [face_blush] but I'm back into some routine now and finally got some time to write! I hope to finish this story over the next month or so. :D
    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha
    Here is the latest update. Enjoy! Comments welcome [face_peace]


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

    There was tension in the department. No one knew what to expect. But news was meant to be coming in soon.

    Ignoring the uneasy gut-twisting feeling in her stomach, Iella sat at her desk waiting patiently. It had been a couple weeks since anyone had had any contact with Wedge’s EDA team. The unit had been tasked with apprehending Admiral T’Onosy and escorting his fleet to a Republican port somewhere in Bothan Space. However only hours after their initial success all contact with the EDA team had gone dark.

    It wasn’t the first time Iella had lost contact with her husband. They had gone through many scraps. And Wedge was more than capable of getting himself out of trouble. Knowing this though never fully relieved her fears. She couldn’t explain why but this time felt different.

    “Director Antilles,” Another intelligence officer called her over to their station, “I think we’ve got something. A holo recording from a trading vessel has been sent in.”

    The officer played the recording before them.

    Huge masses of metal debris floated aimlessly in the darkness of space. So many parts, all broken and some were even charred. Clearly there had been an attack and the cost had been high. But the perpetrators were long gone.

    “Where is this?” Iella asked.

    “Near planet Riflor in the Mid Rim.”

    “I don’t see how it’s connect - wait …” Iella leaned closer to the holo, pointed at a certain area and ordered, “Freeze this frame.”

    Flickering slightly, the holo paused and zoomed in on a specific bit of wreckage.

    With her heart in her throat, Iella instructed,
    “Take it back, frame by frame.”

    As the officer followed her directions, the largest remaining chunk of a ship’s hull spun around on screen very slowly. With growing trepidation Iella stared at it, horridly transfixed as she held her breath and prayed she was wrong. Gradually the broken fragment turned and revealed two printed words on it. The words that would forever haunt Iella were: Star Crusher.

    For several seconds everything stopped as the truth set in.

    They were looking at the ruins of a Bothan Assault Cruiser. Not just any cruiser but Admiral T’Onosy’s flagship. The same vessel Wedge and his team had been on.

    Comprehending the seriousness of the situation, the young female officer inclined her head in respect and whispered,
    “I’m so sorry, Director.”

    Blankly, with no emotion what so ever in her voice, Iella commanded,
    “Send this holo and any information attached to it to the other directors. Get the coordinates for these images immediately to the EDA team and Intelligence unit in Bothan Space. They need to get there fast to investigate the area. We need to find out who did this and if there are any surviving ships from the fleet.”

    “Yes, Director.”

    With a confidence she didn’t really feel, Iella walked away from the officer’s desk. Step by step, she made her way out of the headquarters, passing her own desk and several close colleagues.

    She didn’t make eye contact with anyone. Everything around her began to blur. The noise of other staff members talking became one low static sound. Like her vision the noise faded until it was of no importance. And each step towards the door grew heavier and heavier.

    Eventually she stopped.

    She didn’t know how long she had been walking. But she couldn’t move anymore.

    Finally, Iella looked around herself, slightly stunned as to how she’d got to where she was without much thought. She was in a small unused meeting room many floors below her office. It was here she broke down. Where no one could see or hear. Where she could let the tears fall freely and scream if she wanted to.

    In that room, completely alone, she allowed her heart to break.
    SiouxFan likes this.
  16. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Oh! :_| I am so amazed she was able to string any coherent instructions together... I hope there are survivors, one in particular. [:D] [:D]
    mayo_durron_666 likes this.
  17. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 6, 2012
    That was a really well-written chapter; you kept ramping up the tension with the frame-by-frame reply. Cruisers are decent-sized ships, though, so there is a chance for survivors?

    Star Crusher? Egad, that brought back a lot of memories of Kyp and Carrida. The Bothan's have a pretty wicked sense of naming conventions, you ask me!

    I agree with WN...I'm amazed Iella could stand, let alone pass on orders.
    Last edited: May 21, 2019
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  18. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Thanks for reading! :) Iella is a tough woman, she'll get to the bottom of this. ;) I know it's angsty on this thread atm but hopefully there will be survivors.. [face_devil]

    SiouxFan: Glad you enjoyed the tension in the last update! :D We'll catch up with Iella again shortly. Until then, it's going to get a little dicey in the next few posts. [face_devil] Stay tuned for more tension!
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha likes this.
  19. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    Okay, finally got an update for you! :D Things are going to get a little dark over next few posts as this fic finally starts to wrap up. But I promise there will be survivors! ;)
    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    Enjoy the latest update below! Comments welcome [face_peace]


    [Core Worlds. Coruscant. Provisional Imperial Embassy. Jacen’s Private Quarters]

    It was a temporary building. The original embassy was no longer used for diplomatic purposes. That building had been immediately confiscated by the Republic during the outbreak of the most recent war. All Imperial employees had been unceremoniously removed from the old tower and even the adjoining hotels and residences.

    This current embassy was not meant to be permanent. Though the Head of State Racon Gerreon had made it clear that a new one would be discussed, planned and built shortly. Despite the somewhat uneasy and uncertain political situation the temporary block of offices, residences and food courts given to the Imperials were sufficient for their use. In fact, in some parts they were actually quite luxurious. Coruscant, it seemed, wasn’t without it’s perks.

    Jacen tried to keep his mind off the lavish comforts being offered. He needed to focus on the vital tasks and responsibilities at hand. The most important charge of course being the constant security of his brother-in-law: Emperor Jagged Fel.

    Tonight, after ensuring that Fel was well safeguarded in his temporary quarters, Jacen had allowed himself a brief respite to shower, eat and rest.

    He couldn’t remember the last time he had been alone. Lately his mind had been whirring at breakneck speed, trying to keep up with the ever-changing circumstances and his growing obligations. This past week Solo’s mind had been clouded and nearing exhaustion. Silence, just for one night, was all he required to keep his energy up.

    Even Jagged had suggested he take an evening to regroup.

    Fel however was not so lucky. He was constantly going to meetings, reading over fresh deals, signing new agreements, talking with masses of diplomats or military commanders and amending his own important speeches for the many conferences he had to attend. If anyone needed a break it was the Emperor.

    Rather him than me. Jacen thought sadly.

    Sat on a sofa in a newly gifted apartment, only a few floors away from Fel’s, Jacen turned on his holographic comm unit and played the most recent message.

    A three-dimensional hologram projected out into the living space; the person shown was Jered. Dressed in simple black slacks and a pale long-sleeved top, Jered seemed far more relaxed and happier than the last time Jacen had spoken with him.

    Solo,” Jered’s image spoke directly, “Tahiri, Ethan and I have made it to Bastion safely. The medical staff here are taking great care of Tahiri and are speeding up her recovery. I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for her, for all of us.” The image flickered for a moment as Jered went quiet. He appeared to glimpse over his shoulder at someone as he considered his next words carefully. Eventually, he turned back and added grimly, “As requested by Tahiri, I’ve sent you the reports from her most recent mission. I suggest you read them quickly, Jacen. I fear you and Fel are in grave danger.”

    Once the holo vanished, Jacen grabbed a comm monitor and started to read through the files he had been sent.

    Tahiri had been working for a group of Republic senators who seemed deeply concerned about crimes committed by the military and their own political colleagues. She had gone to Mrlsst because a large amount of government money was being funded into a new science lab which was connected to the university. She had gone to see if the investment was legitimate. Undercover as a lecturer Tahiri had discovered that the lab’s purpose was being kept very secret. No teachers or students ever seemed to use it. Questions were raised to the Head Chancellor of the university but he’d swiftly disregarded them or manoeuvre around the subject.

    In her report Tahiri had attached several holo images. Wherever possible she had taken secret shots. One showed the lab entrance; it was heavily fortified and had guards patrolling the premises. Security had been private it seemed. No insignia was clear on their uniforms. And most of the sentries had been Quarren.

    In the next holo, the Head Chancellor appeared to be having an uncomfortable conversation with senator Emetta Masso. Then he had only been a suspect. Now however he was one of the most wanted beings in the galaxy.

    Both Imperial and Republic intelligence all pointed to him and Yuuzhan Vong councillor Viqilis Huzara being the orchestrators of the worst crimes during the war. They had funded, organised and supported the illegal medical experiments on both Jedi and non-Jedi beings. The pair had managed to bribe several Republic generals for their loyalty and to them to loan out their fleets to do whatever the senators wished. And anyone who had disagreed with their decisions or had tried to make this knowledge public had been silenced by well-paid mercenaries.

    Jacen went through the next few images until one caught his full attention. As he stared at the holo on his screen he began to feel his stomach knot.

    The main perpetrators were there, Emetta and Viqilis were coming out of the lab sharing smiles and handshakes, clearly congratulating each other. Jacen dreaded to think what had given them such joy that day. But it wasn’t them he found so interesting. It was the beings in the background. Their security. All mercenaries. Except one.

    Her hair was a different colour. Her eyes were darker. And a small scar ran along her chin. But there was no forgetting that face.

    Jacen had dealt with this person every day since he’d landed on Coruscant. A fearful tingle went up his spine. She knew. The most classified information. Fel and Gerreon’s schedules. And most importantly their security details. This woman knew everything.

    The next picture dashed any hopes of being wrong. As it showed her in a secluded garden talking with another condemned senator: Casto Porfeus. All along she had been with them, working and supporting the corrupt senators.

    Jacen felt sick. His gut twisted with apprehension. And his Force senses screamed at him.

    Without another thought, Jacen grabbed his lightsaber and rushed out of his quarters.

    Something bad was about to happen.

    He just hoped he wasn’t too late.

  20. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Bravo on giving more clues and ramping up the suspense. It is good that the main suspects are now confirmed as ringleaders. Another thing in their favor is the villains (hopefully) don't know Tahiri has tangible evidence of their conspiracy, that Jacen now has seen it, and thus Jacen and the others can be proactive to some extent.

    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
    mayo_durron_666 likes this.
  21. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Glad you are liking the suspense! [face_devil] It's fun to write. I'm really looking forward to wrapping this fic up. Thanks for clicking and supporting! :)[:D]

    Okay.. you are about to get some more clues.. :D;) More danger coming soon!

    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    Enjoy the latest chapter below! Comments welcome [face_peace]


    [Core Worlds. Coruscant. Provisional Imperial Embassy. Emperor Fel’s Private Quarters]

    “Leave?” Jagged questioned in disbelief, “This evening? Right now?”

    “Yes,” One of Jacen’s senior Imperial Knights, Dyllon Besnek, second-in-command of security explained promptly, “Commander Solo believes there is an imminent threat to you and Head of State Gerreon. A ship is ready for your departure.”

    “And what of Gerreon?” Fel demanded, “Has he been informed of the danger?”

    “Commander Solo is on his way to him in person, Your Majesty, with a team of EDA soldiers as well as our own Imperial Knight Raamon.” Dyllon pressed, “Please Your Highness, I must stress the urgency of this situation. We must go.”

    There was a long pause.

    Though Jacen had been adamant that his orders were to be carried out without delay, it was technically still up to Jagged to allow the decision. It pained Dyllon to wait. Quietly, he prayed for the Emperor to make the right choice.

    Begrudgingly, Emperor Fel nodded his consent to depart. He did not want to leave Coruscant at such an important time. But if Jacen was certain of a threat then Jagged had to have faith that he could handle it.

    Before they left however, Jagged insisted that all the important documents he had been examining were gathered up so they could be transported with him. Dyllon made certain the files were collected fast. He didn’t want to linger on Coruscant any longer than necessary.

    Once ready, the security team walked Emperor Fel out of his temporary lodgings.

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

    Radiant lights shone and twinkled over the city skyline from thousands of buildings. It was a beautiful night. Jacen could not see the splendour in it. He only saw danger. Between the illuminations, shadows were cast and grew over the vibrant planet. Little did the rest of Coruscant know that tonight its own leader was in peril.

    The transport vessel settled down on one of the large verandas which connected to Head of State Gerreon’s home. Trying to contain his growing dread, Jacen stepped out first and strode quickly to the nearest entrance.

    A tall Duro with dark purple skin called Knight Rys Raamon walked beside Jacen. An EDA team trailed after them fully armed. Their presence was unexpected and so was their co-operation.

    Thankfully, Tahiri and Jered had also sent her mission reports to the EDA. Spotting the same danger as Jacen, the EDA had quickly agreed to help Commander Solo detain anyone they thought to be a threat. This collaboration, Imperial Knights working with Republic soldiers, had been swiftly organised between EDA’s finest Director Iella Antilles and Imperial Commander Jacen Solo.

    The goal was simple: one arrest.

    “Knight Besnek is moving Emperor Fel.” Rys notified matter-of-factly as he clipped his commlink back onto his belt. “He’ll contact again once they are all safely off planet.”

    Mutely, Jacen nodded. His facial expression grew grimmer the closer they got to the main door. Internally his mind raced to figure out all the possible outcomes of tonight’s arrest. A worst-case scenario was a struggle which could then lead to casualties or even a death. He wanted to avoid that. But there was a nagging voice in the back of his mind that kept whispering that this was not going to be as easy as he hoped.

    Weapons at the ready, half of the EDA troops began to split off to find different vantage points to cover the Imperial Knights and the rest of the squad. They didn’t know what to expect so tried to cover all areas. Any possible escape routes were blocked or watched. They could not afford to let this criminal get away.

    At the main entrance to the property, two guards looked at each other with perplexed expressions before one of them, a bulky man, stepped forward and held up his hand. Respecting the gesture, Jacen, Rys and the human EDA leader, Lieutenant Krollos, stopped a few metres away in plain view before them.

    “State your business Commander Solo? We have not been informed of any Imperial visit this evening.”

    Jacen answered simply,
    “This is not a visit.”

    Lieutenant Krollos took a careful step closer as she explained,
    “An arrest warrant has been issued for Julietta Hu’Fetonia. Commander Solo and I are to take her into custody.”

    The guards appeared genuinely flabbergasted by this announcement. Even after looking over the warrant on Lieutenant Krollos’s datapad the bulky guard shook his head in disbelief and responded,
    “No-no. This is imposs - There must be a mistake.”

    Jacen curtly reminded the two men,
    “If you delay us in finding her, and we are not mistaken, the consequences could be disastrous. Your Head of State is in danger.”

    Realising the severity of the situation the guards unhappily stepped aside, they commed other security team members to stand down and to co-operate with the Imperial Knights and EDA team.

    Wasting no more time, Jacen, Rys, Krollos and a couple other soldiers made their way inside. They systematically went through every hallway and room to ensure it was clear. Any servants found were quickly escorted out. They did not want anyone caught in a crossfire if one occurred.

    Finally, they made it to a spacious study.

    The room was eerily quiet.

    On a comfortable sofa in the left corner, Republican leader Racon Gerreon sat very still and silent. For the briefest of moments Jacen’s heart nearly stopped. He feared the senator was drugged or worse dead. Immediately using the Force to stretch out his senses, Jacen was then full of relief when he discovered the Mon Calamari was alive and uninjured. The politician was surprisingly calm, however beneath his cool exterior Jacen sensed hurt and rage.

    “Commander Solo,” In the other corner of the room, Head of Security Julietta Hu’Fetonia stood confidently, holding a blaster in the Head of State’s direction, “step any closer and I will pull the trigger.”

    Clearly, she had overheard the security team communicating about their arrival. Possibly, she had already watched the EDA teams scout the premises, outside and inside. Escape must have seemed unlikely. So, she had taken control of the only leverage she had left: Racon Gerreon.

    “You know why we are here. And you know this place is surrounded.” Jacen reasoned evenly, “Lower the weapon. There is no need for violence.”

    “I can’t say I agree.” Julietta used the back of her free hand to wipe the perspiration from her brow. “How would you react if cornered, Commander?”

    Jacen was startled to hear such tiredness in her voice.

    More studiously he observed Julietta’s flushed face, her free hand was shaking and for a split second she wavered on her feet. Despite this, she did well to project a sense of complete poise. But Jacen could see right through the act. She was sick. And she was holding a weapon.

    “Julietta,” Jacen spoke carefully and watched her reaction, “what have you done? What have you taken?”

    Determinedly, Julietta held his gaze as she replied,
    “I did what needed to be done. You want answers. And I am unwilling to give them. Death seemed a sure way to keep my silence.”

    Whilst she was distracted conversing with Jacen, Rys deftly made his way left into the study. His boots made no sound as he got into a better position to protect the Head of State. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Krollos softly whispered into her comm device for a medical team to be sent out straightaway. In the shadows of the corridor Krollos kept herself behind Jacen as he stood inside the study doorway. Just able to see around the Imperial Knight, her rifle and scope were kept aimed at Julietta’s head. The lieutenant had a clear shot. It was true they wanted Julietta alive but Krollos was ready if the situation went south.

    “I cannot let you do this.” Jacen said sincerely, “Julietta, you are under arrest for your participation in war crimes, illegal experiments and plots of treason. Put the blaster down. I will only ask once.”

    Holding herself firm, Julietta simply looked at Jacen with a cold detached stare. Still she aimed at Gerreon. Nothing in her stance changed. She knew her time was up. Judgement was coming. And she could not face it.

    Without warning the blaster shot a bright bolt at Gerreon.

    Instinctively Rys Force-pushed the large chair the Head of State rested on to one side whilst Jacen concentrated on the deadly projectile, momentarily holding it in mid-air until Gerreon was out of the line of fire. Once clear, Jacen allowed the blaster fire to hit and hiss against the wall. At the same time, Krollos took a controlled shot at Julietta, hitting her in the shoulder, which forced her drop her weapon and fall backwards.

    As Rys assessed that the Head of State was indeed unscathed, Jacen Force-pulled the fallen blaster into his grip and walked over to Julietta.

    “The med team is on route, Commander.” Lieutenant Krollos stated aloud with total composure, still in the hallway with her weapon focused on their target.

    Clutching her shoulder and shuddering with pain, Julietta rasped angrily,
    “They can’t help me!”

    Standing above her, Jacen answered quietly,
    “We’ll see about that.”

    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  22. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Game Host Who Loves Fanfics & RPGs star 7

    Aug 31, 2004
    Fantastically riveting developments, with Jag and Jacen thankfully being quick to leave while the going's good and to take control of the situation. =D=
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
    mayo_durron_666 likes this.
  23. SiouxFan

    SiouxFan Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 6, 2012
    Yay to Jag for listening to good council! For a second, I thought he was going to do something foolish!

    I'm impressed that Rys and Jacen were able to get the Senator out of the jam without any bloodshed. I'm interested in finding out what Julietta's motives are behind all of this.

    Thanks for writing!
  24. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha: Hopefully Jag and Jacen are both out of danger now.. [face_batting] [face_whistling] I'll try to keep them out of danger anyways. Thanks for reading! :D

    SiouxFan: Jag is a sensible man, mostly. ;) Julietta will likely be in a future post or two, so we will find out more about her soon. Cheers for clicking and commenting! :)

    Apologies for no update this past week. :( Work and trip planning has made little time for writing/editing. I'm going away on a trip today and so will likely not update this following week. But when I'm back I will most definitely be posting several big updates! This fic will be concluding this summer and I can't wait to complete it. Hope you guys/girls don't mind waiting a lil for it to finish. Cheers to all who click, read, lurk and comment. [:D] I will be back on boards in about a week! [face_peace]
  25. mayo_durron_666

    mayo_durron_666 Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 26, 2005
    I'm back! [face_batting] Been writing loads and this fic has been so much fun to explore lately.

    I hope you'll enjoy the last few chapters.

    Here, at last, is an update! :D Thanks to all who click, lurk, read and comment. :)

    Tags: @WarmNyota_SweetAyesha


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

    Some things were blurry. People passing by, exterior surroundings, loud noises, vibrations of music and even street food smells would come and go in their clarity.

    It was to be expected. The mind struggled at times to shift through the mix of images brought forth from the Force. Pictures brought with them emotions, they elicited a response, drawing you in by showing people you knew, those closest, whom you loved.

    Certain things were clear. The time. The place. The main figures, the energy of the occasion and its galactic importance.

    Excitement was thick in the air. Crowds of beings hustled through the narrow city alleys. Many were singing and talking enthusiastically as they went towards a wide-open square. Signs were held up on wide banners, songs played to deafening levels, all whilst hot grub stalls wafted delicious flavours over the entrance as people entered the enormous space.

    Decorations, both Republic and Imperial colours, clung to the nearby buildings. Flags fluttered wildly in the wind seeming to share the energy of the day. There was hope again.

    At the head of the square was an enormous podium. On one side Imperial representatives stood in a line on the stage, dressed in their finest dark suits, coolly observing the people arrive. Opposite, on the other end of the platform, were numerous Republican politicians and diplomats. Attired in their best robes they calmly talked amongst themselves as they waited for the historical event to begin.

    Today the Imperial Emperor and the Head of State would address the entire galaxy. These speeches would make peace official and would start the celebrations. The glittering city planet Coruscant was already abuzz with festivities.

    These celebrations were about unity. No more blood was to be spilt. They could rebuild. Restart a new chapter in the galaxy’s history, one of prosperity and peace.

    A hush came over the crowd when the most important pair, Jagged Fel and Racon Gerreon, stepped onto the stage. Side by side, sharing small genuine smiles and words of encouragement, they walked to the middle of the platform where a microphone-stand waited for them.

    It was Racon who spoke first, his words echoing in the concrete jungle for everyone to hear,
    “This is a historic day for the Republic and the Empire. It is my great honour to tell you, that on this day we have finally settled on terms and agreed to peace.”

    Thousands of beings roared their joyous approval. Hoots, whistles, claps and shouts of support came form every direction. All the smiling faces faced the podium, eyes hooked onto the speaker and beaming with elation.

    But there were some who weren’t smiling. And they were moving. Closer to the stage.

    Obliviously the Head of State continued when the people settled down,
    “Though we are here to celebrate this momentous occasion, let us not forget the sacrifices that were made…”

    Near the platform there was a commotion. Security went on alert. All armed personnel nearby rushed to mobilise, to defend the speakers and stop the threat. All reactions were too late.

    Panic swept the crowd. Someone screamed at the front, suddenly blaster shots rained chaotically in all directions and a device was thrown directly at the Head of State and Emperor.

    A furious explosion erupted. The stage was torn apart, the two leaders were thrown backwards and anarchy instantly raced through the masses in the square. People trampled all over each other, squishing beings to death, all scrambling to get away from the attackers, to save themselves.

    As everyone tried to leave, she tried to stay. Moving through the pandemonium towards the front was difficult. Using all her energy and training she pushed through the trance. It was vital she keep focused on the assailants. She had to get every detail.

    The one who had flung the bomb was human. His co-conspirator was Quarren. They were both running, shoving and punching their way through the frightened crowd.

    Now that she was completely calm, she could watch them, study their faces, note their attire and how they moved. Their eyes were full of hatred. There was no mercy in them. If anything, there was satisfaction.

    Another deep breath.

    It soothed her rising feelings.

    She couldn’t allow her emotions to overrule her mind in this. It was imperative that she concentrate and got as much information as possible. This was her last attempt. The past few had drained her immensely.

    Again, she managed to get close to the two foes as they barged through the scared masses.

    “Come on, Jilkus!” The male human yelled urgently, “Or I’m leaving you behind!”

    Furiously, Jilkus swore and raced up behind him,
    “Try to ditch me, Nollon! And it’ll be the last thing you do!”

    “Your Highness?” A concerned female voice drifted into the hazy reality she was in, the sound warping and blurring everything as it asked again, “Your Imperial Highness? Can you hear me? Get help!”

    The image of the two enemies froze in place.

    Utterly still, Jaina’s dark brown eyes remained on the human and Quarren.

    Silently transfixed, Jaina stood amongst the scared Coruscant civilians sprinting for safety.

    Every move seemed to be in slow motion. No one touched or acknowledged her. They couldn’t. Just as she could not interact with them. She was a visitor here, in a possible future and she was only there to observe.

    The first time these images had come to Jaina were in her nightmares. Initially, she had only been able to experience these moments in flashes. Mashed together, a mess of wonderful joy and then sudden awful terror, these pictures had haunted Jaina. It was like they were taunting her, showing her a glimpse of hope before everything was taken away. Including what mattered most to her: Jagged Fel.

    With their features etched into her memory, Jaina swore a private oath and closed her eyes. One breath, then another, the world around her quickly distorted and her spirit was yanked back into herself.

    Exhausted, she woke up on the floor of her exercise room.

    “Your Highness?” Imperial Knight Samara Lassha knelt beside Jaina and barked an order to a nearby servant, “Call a doctor down here now!”

    Rousing enough to protest, Jaina caught Samara’s hand and panted,
    “I’m fine, Sam. I just .. I just need a moment. Since the experiments .. it’s not as easy for me to use the F-Force.”

    Nodding her understanding, Samara supported the Empress up into a sitting position. Samara held Jaina steady, examined her for any visible injuries and scanned the Imperial leader using the Force to ensure she wasn’t critically hurt.

    Thankfully, Jaina was not physically wounded. But she was totally depleted of energy. The Empress was utterly worn out and frail. She needed liquids, food and much more rest.

    “I have to send .. have to send a message.”

    “After the medic has seen to your health first, Your Highness.” Samara stated firmly. She was not going to let Jaina’s condition deteriorate any further, even if it meant getting into trouble later for commanding the Empress to rest.

    “No, Sam this is important!” It took all her determination to stay conscious and alert but Jaina knew she was stubborn enough to do it. She would keep this exhaustion at bay because lives depended on it, one particular life she could not bear the thought of losing depended on her decisions and actions. “I’ve had a vision. I’ve studied it. And I need your help to stop it.”

    At those fierce words, Samara stopped looking over her shoulder for the medical team to arrive and gazed back at Jaina.

    All too well, the young Knight knew what Force visions could show and emote. Familiar feelings of dread, urgency and resolve to change what was coming emitted from Jaina in waves through the Force. Sensing the seriousness of the situation and seeing the grim resolve in the Empress’s dark eyes made Samara’s pulse race, this was real and if they didn’t act fast this vision would become reality.

    “Tell me what to do.” Samara answered quietly with all sincerity, “And I will see it done personally, Your Highness.”

    As the medical team arrived and tended to the Empress, Jaina ignored their fussing and conveyed everything she knew to Samara. Orders were given, the young Knight nodded her understanding and raced for the exit.

    [Empire Region. Planet Bastion. Imperial Knights Main Compound. Hangar Bay 3. On board the Imperial vessel: Blade Five.]

    Over and over, she ran everything through her mind.

    Efficiently Samara had sent the messages Jaina had directed her to, got the Imperial intelligence department to gain valuable information on the two future attackers, then organised a team of Imperial Knights, prepared their transport to leave Bastion immediately and rearranged tighter security on the Imperial Palace.

    Leaving the Empress in such a fragile state had been wrenching. Samara feared what would have happened had she not been so astute as sensing something was wrong. And after hearing about the vision, Samara had grown apprehensive that other possible attacks could happen here in Imperial territory, possibly directed at the Empress herself.

    Reassured by fellow Imperial Knights, the royal medical team and other security personnel, Samara felt safe in the knowledge that the Empress was being well looked after.

    Joining the Knights heading to Coruscant, Samara strode on board their vessel and strapped into her seat. At last she stopped for breath.

    Inwardly, she prayed her actions had been swift enough to change the vision. But only time would tell.

    “Everyone ready?” The pilot yelled from the controls at the front.

    “Punch it!” Samara commanded.

    Without any more ceremony they jetted off, blurring into the skyline, seamlessly joining the stars in the distance.