1. In Memory of LAJ_FETT: Please share your remembrances and condolences HERE

Beyond - Legends Sacrifice (Jacen, Jaina, AU, 43 ABY, vignette)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by ViariSkywalker, Sep 16, 2022.

  1. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Chosen One star 4

    Aug 9, 2002
    Title: Sacrifice
    Author: ViariSkywalker
    Timeframe: 43 ABY, Enter!verse AU
    Characters: Jacen Solo, Jaina Solo
    Genre: AU, angst, drama, introspection

    Summary: The battle isn’t between dark and light, or shield and sword, or the slayer and the trickster – the battle is between Jacen and Jaina, and this is how it ends.

    Notes: In the Enter!verse, Jaina dies fighting Jacen. I wasn’t sure if I would ever actually show that fight, but then an idea hit me upside the head about two months ago, and I couldn’t let it go. A big thank you to @Gabri_Jade for looking over this for me. [:D]

    Disclaimer: I stole it all. Except for the words. Those are mine.



    He’s not sure how they got here.

    Okay, that’s not entirely true. He knows how they got here – the escape pod bay in the aft of the ship, by way of the turbolaser battery two levels up, where he found her planting a whole skiff load of thermal detonators like shiny, murderous seeds – but he still isn’t sure how they got here, to the point where she’s ready to watch those seeds bloom in flame and take him with them, to the point where he’s ready to stop her by any means necessary, even if that means ending her life.

    They’ve battled their way across multiple decks without either gaining the advantage. Sometimes he presses his attack, leveraging height and weight and superior swordsmanship to put her on the defensive. Sometimes she slips past his blade, a shadow bomb made flesh, focused and tenacious and never to be underestimated. Two sides of the same deadly coin: the Slayer and the Trickster. Somewhere in the distant past, he imagines he can hear Nom Anor’s smug laughter.

    She tries to sway him from his path, using the same arguments he has heard over and over again, that this isn’t what Anakin would have wanted, or Vergere, or Tenel Ka. She recites a litany of their dead, as if he hasn’t already seen each and every one of their faces in the lives he’s destroyed, as if he doesn’t know what he’s doing, as if he’s blind. In the privacy of his own thoughts – there’s nothing but privacy these days – he can admit that that last one really chafes. He thought she knew him better than to think he’d set forward on any course without thinking it through. Unlike some people, he’s actually learned something from the wars they fought.

    The wounds she manages to inflict are superficial: small singes here and there across his arms and legs, a jagged, bloody tear across his back where she slammed him into the bulkhead. Nothing he can’t take completely in stride. The battle outside rages on, and he can feel it reaching a violent boil, vessels spitting fire back and forth across the cold black expanse, spears of plasma shredding through his ship’s shields. He can sense the grim resolve of his loyal bridge crew as they defy their Jedi captors, and then their confusion…

    Two things happen nearly at once.

    First, Jaina anticipates his perfectly executed feint and lands a searing strike left of center that pierces him from front to back; the violet blade sizzles as it burns through layers of flesh and muscle, and despite his usual resistance to the effects of pain, he staggers backward, reaching down in disbelief to touch the wound.

    Second, the bulkhead behind him explodes.

    He raises a hand at the last second, using the Force to throw up a shield of energy around him, deflecting the worst of the explosion. He falls to one knee under the onslaught, gritting his teeth against the lancing pain in his stomach, and when the fire finally abates, he looks up, raising his lightsaber in front of him for her next attack—

    —and he sees Jaina’s weapon deactivate and tumble from her grasp as she stares down at the long shard of twisted durasteel piercing her abdomen.

    Shavit,” she whispers, knees buckling beneath her.

    He lunges forward without thinking and catches her in his arms; her weight and his own injuries send them both crashing hard to the deck, and he ignores the pain that wrenches through him as he drags himself to sit upright, pulling her closer and laying her across his lap.

    He remembers the last time he held her like this, after the battle with Onimi, when his heart clenched to see her so weak, and he was struck by the strangeness of being the strong one, the protector, the one to cradle her and take on her burdens. He remembers how the distance the war had wedged between them finally seemed to fade, the cracks in their bond filled in and smoothed over; and if he was reminded in that moment of her very human frailty, that she was just as impermanent as the rest of the universe, well, it was only a whisper, and he was no longer afraid of the dark.

    She looks up into his eyes, studying him, and frowns. “You haven’t been sleeping.”

    That statement, uttered without condescension or judgment, drives a stake through his carefully-constructed defenses. This close, he notices the dark, sunken rings under her eyes. “Neither have you.”

    She snorts, loose dark hair cascading across her face as her head rolls toward him. “Haven’t slept in months… maybe years, I don’t know.”

    His gaze drifts to the metal embedded in her abdomen and the blood staining her shirt in an ever-expanding circle. “Too many years,” he agrees quietly.

    She smiles, just a little smile, but one that he knows intimately, though it carries a sorrow he’s never seen in her before.

    “I’m a mom now,” she says weakly. “Did I tell you that?”

    His eyes burn with unshed tears; he can barely see through them. “No,” he replies, reaching out to sweep her hair back from her face, “you didn’t.”

    She winces and drags in a labored breath. “Sorry, Jace. Guess I’ve been distracted.”

    He bites his bottom lip hard enough to draw blood and forces a lopsided smile. “I don’t blame you. A duel to the death is pretty distracting.”

    She closes her eyes and groans. “You’re not funny.”

    He hesitates for half a heartbeat, then leans down to touch his forehead to hers. “I know.”

    That contact floods him with warmth and yearning and guilt and pain, and it’s as if a part of his soul that has lain dormant for too long is finally waking up, scrabbling desperately for purchase, reaching for its other half.

    (not two sides of the same coin, but two halves of the same whole, and how did he ever think he could exist in this universe without her)

    “I’m sorry,” he whispers, tears rolling off his cheeks to splash against hers. “I’m sorry, Jaina, I didn’t— I didn’t mean for—”


    He feels the touch of her mind, really feels it, for the first time in he’s not even sure how long. He hears everything she doesn’t have time to say, all the things she’s sorry for, her regret at not being there for him, at growing up and growing apart and being so wrapped up in the ways her own life was changing that she didn’t see how much he still needed her.

    He tries to tell her that this isn’t her fault, that she’s not the one who broke this; he tries to send every iota of love and reassurance, to let her know he’s still here, he can fix it, they can fix it, together

    Her presence has always felt to him like the pulse of a starfighter’s engines, wild waves of energy held in check by steel and circuitry and a steady hand, oscillating from one extreme to the other without ever tipping over the edge. That thrum of life – that spark that has always been his twin sister – sputters and fades and vanishes completely, and he is left grasping in the dark for some trace of her light.

    “Jaina?” He brushes his thumb across her cheek, shaking. The ship groans as another explosion tears through it. “No…”

    His fingers fall away from her face, and he hugs her lifeless body to his chest, struggling to breathe past the tears and the weight of everything he’s done. Gods, what has he done? She’s gone. Jaina is dead, because of him.

    (please, please just give her back, he’ll do anything)

    Klaxons continue to blare as fire sweeps into the corridor, and he raises a hand over his shoulder, parting the sea of flames around him. The heat blisters his skin, but he hardly notices. He drags Jaina toward the closest escape pod, crossing the threshold as another salvo hits. The fire beats against his Force shield, and he knows he only has a few more seconds until it overwhelms him. Straining to hold back the roaring, ravenous flames, he reaches out and calls his lightsaber to him. As soon as the cool cylinder connects with his hand, he closes the door and launches the pod, collapsing in a heap next to the body of his twin.

    He's not sure how long he lies there. Even though he can sense the battle still raging around him, he feels distant and unreachable here, and he wonders absently if this is anything like a womb, or maybe a cocoon.

    My little shadowmoth, he thinks he hears a voice whisper, echo of a past he can never return to. Why are you crying?

    He laughs and swipes a hand across his eyes, unable to stem the rush of those tears, and he rolls his head to one side, watching the world slant and tumble around him before settling his gaze on Jaina’s face. The lightsaber is still clutched tight in his hand, and as he rubs his fingers across the grip, he realizes it isn’t his lightsaber at all. It’s hers.

    The pod crash lands a few hours later, on some backwater moon in the next system over. He survives – he wonders at this point if it’s even possible for him to die – and crawls from the flaming wreckage, leaving her in there to burn.

    (he can’t watch her disappear slowly beneath dark and unfamiliar soil, burying was never an option)

    He watches the fire climb higher and higher, watches until the ship is nothing but slag and the last embers flicker and vanish against the twilit sky. He watches until he can’t watch anymore, and finally collapses to the ground, fingers digging into the earth. When two farmers come across him hours later, his hands and body are frozen, and his blood stains their field. They lift him up and carry him to their speeder, and he lets them. Some of their words are muffled, spoken in hushed tones that aren’t meant for him; but one thing he hears clearly:

    “How in the worlds did you get here?”

    He stares up at the black sky, at the sea of stars strewn across it, and draws an icy breath past frozen lips, and fills his dead lungs with the cold reality of everything he has ruined and everything he has lost; and when he releases that breath, he reaches once more into the place inside him where Jaina should be, where she would be if he hadn’t been so blind, and he answers in a hollow whisper:

    “I wish I knew.”



    For more of Jacen in this 'verse, check out:
    • Enter the Drabble – a series of drabbles set (mostly) in the Enter!verse, featuring an array of characters (drabble collection; in-progress)
    • The Lands of the Dead – 8 years before the events of EtF, the Starskip twins are captured by the Sith and must fight to survive (43-49 ABY; short story)
    • Here There Be Monsters – Dorian Starskip almost dies (twice) and has a nice chat with Jacen Solo (47 ABY; vignette)
    • Metamorphosis – Jacen Solo thinks about being a shadowmoth (47 ABY; vignette)
    • Enter the Foreign – in which Anakin Skywalker winds up in Ben Skywalker’s crapsack future and joins his fight against the Sith Empire; also featuring Allana Djo Solo, Tahiri Veila, and many more (51 ABY; epic)
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2022
  2. WarmNyota_SweetAyesha

    WarmNyota_SweetAyesha Chosen One star 8

    Aug 31, 2004
    Wow! I'm speechless! To be candid, I didn't read past the NJO because what they did with Jacen just rubbed me all wrong, but the way you've written him is so brilliant and in character. =D= The tragedy of what he does and realizes is so heart-tugging and makes so much total sense! @};-
  3. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    [face_hypnotized] [face_hypnotized] [face_hypnotized]

    :_| :_| :_|

    =((! =((! =((!

    You know what I'm gonna say: Angsty. Timeout. Corner. Now.

    That said, of course this was brilliant and hit all the awful emotional notes and then some. Truly well done! I'm going to process this and be back with my thoughts, but know that this was oh so good. [face_mischief] =D=

    Last edited: Sep 16, 2022
  4. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    OOF! I have to echo Mira’s “corner. Now.” :p This was a real angst tour de force—not that I expected anything less from you :D —and in this short series of scenes you turned the tables on pretty much everything we know about the “prime universe” version of Jacen and Jaina, all while still keeping them both in complete character AND establishing an important premise of your whole universe. I see now how dark your AU really is! And the “shadow moth” throwback was the best touch, of course. :cool: Bravissima once again, ma’am, and thanks so much for sharing! =D=
  5. A Chorus of Disapproval

    A Chorus of Disapproval Head Admin & TV Screaming Service star 10 Staff Member Administrator

    Aug 19, 2003
    Dear heaven. There are no blurbs from book covers I can use for this.

    I suppose my review is this:
  6. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fanfic Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Nov 9, 2002

    I'm so proud of you, Vi *wipes away a tear* [:D]
  7. A Corpse of Disapproval

    A Corpse of Disapproval Severed Head Admin star 3 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 16, 2015
    fEel GoOd STorY oF thE YEAR!!!
  8. Findswoman

    Findswoman Fanfic and Pancakes and Waffles Mod (in Pink) star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Feb 27, 2014
    Yes, one feels good precisely because one knows that whatever trials and tribulations one may be dealing with in one’s life can’t possibly be as bad as Jacen’s and Jaina’s! :D
  9. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    There you have it, Vi. Our new line is going to be: at least it's not Sacrifice, I suspect. ;)
  10. Gabri_Jade

    Gabri_Jade Fanfic Archive Editor Emeritus star 5 VIP

    Nov 9, 2002
    Now that you've done our entire forum proud and broken the head admin, I guess it's time for some actual feedback :p

    Honestly, all us fanfic writers should just use this disclaimer :p

    Look at this beautiful writing [face_love] "Shiny, murderous seeds" is so perfect, and also a callback to Vong tech, plus the layered meaning of the whole passage *chef kiss*

    And again: "a shadow bomb made flesh" is just a gorgeous phrase, and I love the "Slayer and Trickster" reference.

    I also love the indignation here, that he's actually mad that she thinks he doesn't already know exactly what he's doing. It's perfect characterization.

    This is just gorgeous narrative composition. It's almost counterintuitive, to write any part of a fictional story as you do here, almost as - I can't quite find the words I want to describe this. Maybe third person omniscient rather than third person limited? Not exactly, but it has that flavor to it, that Jacen's perceptions are almost outside of himself here, viewing the whole scene from above and after. It almost slides into nonfiction territory, matter-of-factly listing things in order of occurrence. Most writers would have continued writing very directly from inside Jacen's head as it happens. But this is so effective; it essentially pauses the reader's emotional reaction for the duration of this short passage, then slams them right back into the present reality of full third person limited after the bulkhead explodes. It's the literary equivalent of a movie visual of an explosion happening in slow motion. It's incredible and perfect and I love it [face_love]


    But seriously, that after the intended murder on both sides, that his first instinct is to lunge for her to protect rather than to attack and that this is what she says after being mortally wounded and knowing it - let's just underline the tragedy of this whole thing and break everyone's heart, sure, why not

    I might just not be talking to you now [face_not_talking]

    Also, Invincible tried this, as I recall, starting out each chapter with one of Jacen's stupid childhood jokes, and it was pretty obviously meant to present a touching dichotomy of the child that was and the man that is and the end that we all know they're both about to come to, except that it fell so flat that it was actually insulting. It pulled you out of the narrative every single chapter, and the whole set-up had such a profoundly flawed foundation and the execution was so badly done throughout and ever more so as we approached the end that honestly you (or I, at least) just wanted to slap the author. Yes, we know you're writing a tragic story, we did not miss that at any point thanks so much for the idiotic reminders as you tear our favorite characters to shreds that we're supposed to be sad about it, you jerk.

    This, right here? This is what the pro novels tried to do and failed at miserably. You made it genuinely heartbreaking, a truly poignant reminder of all that Jaina and Jacen had been and are no longer.

    Again, just gorgeous writing. I don't feel like I can find the words to do justice to the evaluation of just how good and effective and beautiful and poetic this is.

    This was the moment he really broke, isn't it? This was the point of no return, where he had to find some way to believe he could reverse everything, because he couldn't face even still being alive himself if he didn't.

    *gestures vaguely and wordlessly at the aesthetic and emotional and technical flawlessness of your prose*

    "He wonders at this point if it's even possible for him to die" really hammers home the relief described in that moment in EtF, doesn't it?

    And look at the bookend here, with the layers of meaning and nuance. The skill and talent on display here, babe :cool: *gestures vaguely some more* Next time you angst over whether or not your writing is any good, I'm going to link you back here after the Batman slap, just so you know :p
  11. vader_incarnate

    vader_incarnate Force Ghost star 4

    Jul 29, 2002
    In summary: aaaaaa, but forever.

    The double meanings in this whole paragraph, how you're setting the scene and also reflecting on how things have deteriorated to this point, marvelous

    I love this, how he's so indignant not that she's bringing up all these people but that she's repeating arguments and assuming that he doesn't know what he's doing, and how he's offended that she doesn't think he already thought about it - perfect


    Dammit, Vi, that he instinctively catches her, I can't handle this

    I know she hasn't slept in months or years because everything in their universe has gone to heck - but maybe she also hasn't slept in months because she's a mom now, and I'm going to go ahead and imagine that slightly more wholesome alternative before I wreck myself five seconds from now when I finish typing this sentence when I realize that maybe it's because she's a single mom because - oh there it is. :_|

    This is heartbreaking and so well done as a callback to who he used to be and I just =((

    Dammit Jacen you tool it's not too late

    Vi, I swear to the Fore, the way you tied this back to the beginning of the vig -

    In summary: aaaaaa, but forever. - Elli
  12. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004
    Okay, I'm here with more coherent feedback than just merely flailing and flinging heartbreak emojis at you. :p (Except there's still a great deal of flailing and flinging to be found in this review, you've been warned. ;) [:D])

    I was trying to put my finger about what really struck me in your introduction, and then it occurred to me: this read like the POV of Jacen from the YJK books. (Which, personally, is still my favorite Jacen.) This isn't humorous, no, but there's a certain matter-of-fact quality that borders on that goofy sort of trademark Solo snark, you know? Or at least that's how it read to me. And of course that's all the more heartbreaking, considering just how far this Jacen is from that Jacen. In profic, it's very easy to tell one apart from another, just on account of bad writing, but here they are one and the same, and that's the true tragedy - and brilliance! - of your Enter!verse Jacen. =D=

    Also, I love the seed metaphor. Gosh, but that's perfect. [face_love]

    PERFECT PROSE IS PERFECT with a shadow bomb made flesh. [face_hypnotized] =D=

    This had Stover vibes with the final Obi-Wan vs Anakin battle. =((

    Smug bastard. He would.

    :rolleyes: o_O

    Ugh, Jacen. [face_bleh] But it's this arrogance - the conviction that he's doing the right thing, no matter how vile the ends to justify the means - that makes Jacen really tick as a villain. Here, I couldn't help but think of Allana's realization that Jacen didn't want to be redeemed because he was still so certain that he'd taken the only path he could take and had to remain on that path, which is . . . all sorts of heartbreaking, really.

    I second everything Gabri said here! The angle you used to approach this scene was so, so effective from a technical standpoint. [face_hypnotized]

    That this is at the end of a quite literal duel to the death . . . :_|

    I REMEMBER YOUR DRABBLE, TOO, AND I'M NOT IMPRESSED! [face_not_talking] (Except of course I am. :p)

    This juxtaposition between then and now hurt once again - as did and he was no longer afraid of the dark. :_|

    Because they were once so close, and they loved each other so much! (They are still so close, and they still love each other so much.) It's just so poignant that their last moments together are spent like this. =(( :_|

    :_| =(( :_| =(( :_|

    Dang. Ninjas. Chopping. Onions.

    I flung my phone for this. I couldn't get up and walk it off, but I was very much emotionally compromised. :p


    JACEN, YOU UTTER TOOL. (But seriously, you gave Jacen so much depth and nuance as a villain here, and I am all sorts of awed and amazed!)

    Because it's all about that fixing it for Jacen, isn't it? =((

    The frenzied sense of desperation conveyed through the repetition in your prose was particularly effective here, too. =D=

    One: this is quite possibly my favorite description of Jaina I have ever read - ever. [face_hypnotized] =D=

    Two: how very dare you. [face_not_talking]

    =((! =((! =((!

    :_|! :_|! :_|!

    Womb was beyond fitting here, in light of their connection, and then you brought it full circle with the shadowmoth metaphor. I'm just kinda speechless and in awe for how perfect your prose was in these lines.

    Yep, I flung my phone again, if you were wondering - even on my reread. :p


    Then, in a way, isn't it ironic that it's the kindness of strangers that helps him survive in the end? All your word choices of icy and dead and cold and blind and hollow really helped convey such a sense of desolation that's all too fitting. Out of everyone Jacen's sacrificed on the altar of his misguided delusions, this one has to hurt more so than any other. With Jaina's death, a piece of him has - quite literally - died, too. This made Jacen's relief for his ultimate fate in EtF all the more poignant, I have to echo Gabri again to say! =(( :_|

    Just . . . ten stars out of ten awful stars! I hope that you're proud of this one, because you most certainly should be! This vignette is going to linger with me for a very, very long time. =D= [:D]
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2022
  13. earlybird-obi-wan

    earlybird-obi-wan Chosen One star 6

    Aug 21, 2006
    Just what to say. It is a angsty view on Jacen and Jaina, the twins where one became the slayer of the other. And I loved every word of it
    ViariSkywalker and Kahara like this.
  14. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Chosen One star 4

    Aug 9, 2002
    Well, I was going to try to organize these replies by individual, but there was so much back-and-forth that I decided to just go in order. So you might have to skip around a bit to find all my responses to you *cough*Mira and Gabri*coughcough* :p [face_whistling]

    You didn't miss out on much by stopping after the NJO, tbh. Looking back, The Unifying Force really would have been a fitting end to the EU, much better than what came after. Allana is the only thing from DN and beyond that I wouldn't give back (and Denning can fight me for her), but the rest was just... I don't know, there were some kernels of interesting ideas even in LotF, but it was wrapped up in this depressing, pessimistic ball of suck that was pretty much the opposite of what SW is. And apparently my version of writing "fix-it fic" is to take the depressing ball of suck and make it ever more depressing, while also fixing a lot of the things that I disagreed with. 8-} So yeah, Jacen still becomes Caedus in this 'verse, but then he loses Jaina and realizes what an arrogant ass he's been, and now he gets to be the dark side version of himself that I think he should have been, if the authors were doing it right. Still doesn't mean I think he should have become a Sith in the profic, or that there isn't a hypothetical dark side version of Jacen that is better or closer to the mark once you take DN and LotF out of the picture. But in fanfic? You better believe I love exploring that side of him.

    I think I had a point in there somewhere? :p Anyway, thank you for reading, and I'm glad you liked my version of Jacen vs Jaina. :D

    [face_rofl] [face_rofl]


    [face_laugh] [face_batting]

    Aw, I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it! I really loved finding a way to recontextualize what everyone knew about the Jacen vs Jaina showdown in this 'verse. I had a somewhat different version of events in mind for a long time, but it never really sat right with me, which was part of why I didn't think I'd ever actually show that scene. But then the idea for this story popped into my head back in July, and it was like "wow, that's it, that's exactly what happened", and now here we are. :p (I couldn't resist the shadowmoth throwback either. It was Jacen's thing before it was ever Dorian's, and I had to allude to it. [face_mischief]) Thanks so much for reading and for your lovely comments! :D

    @A Chorus of Disapproval
    I don't think I could ask for a better reaction than this. ;) [face_mischief] Thank you so much for reading my little fic, and for this very flattering review! [face_batting]

    [face_laugh] [face_mischief] *bows*

    @A Corpse of Disapproval
    lol, there's my book blurb! :cool:

    Sibling rivalry is pretty killer.

    (Too soon? [face_whistling])

    lol, has the vivisection finally been dethroned? [face_whistling] ;)

    [face_laugh] :p

    lolol, I was feeling extra snarky when I wrote that, and I couldn't think of anything that fit with my usual style of disclaimer. I'm pretty proud of it though. :p

    Heh, as soon as I wrote that Jaina was "planting" detonators, it just happened naturally. And I thought "murderous seeds" sounded right for Jacen's dad-joke-adjacent sense of humor. :p I'm glad you approve. [face_love]

    Another turn of phrase I was pleased with. :p Apparently more things stuck with my from the NJO than I realized. Plus I couldn't resist the Slayer and Trickster thing; I mean, this is the twin duel/sacrifice that the Vong's religious fanatics always wanted. [face_plain]

    I'm very happy that you think the characterization is good. [face_blush] Even in a better world where Jacen doesn't embrace the darkness, I think there would still be a bit of ego and arrogance there. It's tempered by his empathy and his goodness, and offset by heaping doses of humility when he does realize he's wrong, but hey, no one is perfect, right?

    :D [face_blush] I'm relieved this section worked so well! I really did want to give the reader a greater scope at this moment, like what you'd experience if you were seeing it on-screen rather than reading it on the page. "Two things happen nearly at once" was really just my way of saying, "this is all going to take place over the course of like two seconds, but I'm going to describe some of it in loving detail first, gimme a sec". ;) :p

    *pats you on the head* [face_whistling]

    [face_dancing] ANGST! [face_dancing]

    (But after writing the Jacen of EtF, the Jacen who mourned for everyone he lost and maybe Jaina most of all, I couldn't see him doing anything else in this moment. And no matter what LotF would have us believe, I couldn't see Jaina being devoid of feeling for her brother in her final confrontation with him either. [face_plain])

    :* [face_batting]

    For the benefit of anyone else reading this, I'll reiterate that I have never actually read Invincible, and I'm perfectly fine with that. I was very close to noping out after Revelation anyway, and then when Invincible came out I read your review and YodaKenobi's and some others, and that was enough, I was already a broke college student, I wasn't forking out twenty-odd dollars on a hardcover I already knew I was going to hate, no matter how much it screwed with my borderline-OCD need to have the series look symmetrical on my bookshelf.

    Now, with that said... eugh, right?? You know why Denning had to put those jokes at the beginning of each chapter? Because by the end of that series, Jacen was so OOC that he wasn't even recognizable and no one writing him (possible exception of Allston) even knew who he was and they'd made him so reprehensible that even readers like me were actively rooting for him to die (yeah, I still can't believe how much they poisoned whatever affection I had for the character at the time, my gosh), and suddenly it was book nine of the series and "oh crap, everyone hates Jacen now, how do we convince them that they should feel sad about his death, oh I know, let's remind them of who he used to be, even though we couldn't even be bothered to remember who he used to be when we were writing this series! It's genius!" [face_plain]


    Aww, I tried! [face_blush] [:D]

    Your words are perfect, I'm so pleased you think it's poetic. [face_love]

    That's it exactly. =(( :_|

    I think a lot of my responses to you are just going to be me blushing furiously. [face_blush] :p

    It really does. =(( (Man, Jacen has been mistaken for dead a lot in this 'verse, hasn't he? :p I could really imagine him seeing a dark sort of humor in it after this.)

    I was going to have the farmers say something else, but then I couldn't pass up the chance for a nicely executed bookend. :p Next time I angst about whether my writing is good, you can absolutely Batman slap me, and then link back to this. Thank you for this awesome review, dearest. [face_love] [:D]


    Hee, I'm glad you liked all of this! :D

    It felt weirdly perfect for siblings, too? That's so much of what LotF was missing, those true-to-life family connections. This isn't a Sith Lord being angry at the Jedi for presuming to know anything about him - this is a brother who is incredibly frustrated that his twin sister - who is supposed to know him better than anyone - is talking to him like he's not smart enough to know what he's doing, and that she actually thinks he's so callous that he hasn't considered all the people affected by his actions. And then, like I was saying to Gabri, this is Jacen, and I think he's still bound to have some of that ego even after everything he learned in the NJO, and of course that's going to come out here.


    This was basically the first thing I wrote for this: Jaina getting hit, and Jacen catching her. =((

    Um, talk about being spot-on, Elli. =((

    It's been so, so long since I've read any of the YJK series (and I only read some of it at the time) that I sometimes wonder if I manage to capture that aspect of Jacen's character in a way that makes sense for the grown-up version of him, so it's always good to hear that I've succeeded. (I'm also glad it's heartbreaking, even though I feel sort of sadistic saying that? :oops:)

    I feel like "dammit Jacen you tool" is an evergreen statement around here. :p

    *curtsies* [face_mischief] [face_batting]

    Thanks for the lovely comments, Elli, I loved reading them! [face_love] [:D]

    [face_rofl] [face_rofl]


    This is so good to hear, seriously. Like I was saying to Elli, it's been a long time since I read anything from YJK, and most of how I understand Jacen comes from the NJO (and especially Traitor and the books that came after); so the fact that I can write a version of Jacen that reads true to you and feels like the same person from YJK, while still being what he is in the Enter!verse... that's huge to me. [face_blush] [face_love]

    Not gonna lie, after I wrote it, I thought of the seed metaphors in your Song!verse. [face_love]

    Hee, I'm glad you liked that one, it came on so naturally as I was writing; I was really happy with my Jaina descriptions in this. :D

    Aw yeah, I'll take those vibes. :cool: (I kinda feel like any sibling/family showdown I write is inevitably going to have those Stover RotS battle of heroes vibes because I love that part so much and it's been such a big influence. [face_love])

    Eugh, he would. :rolleyes:

    This is something I still struggle with a little, characterizing Jacen as someone who would use that "ends justify the means" mentality when we saw in Traitor and beyond that he rejected that mentality; but because this 'verse started out as my weird break-it-worse-and-then-fix-it fic, I was originally working off the bones of the skewed characterization we got in DN and LotF, so that's partially how I ended up here. Still, I do think the arrogance wouldn't fully go away - you don't just completely change personalities because you briefly achieved Force nirvana at age twenty - and so I've tried to ground my dark version of Jacen in the things that I think he would realistically retain at this point: his love for his family, his deep capacity for empathy, and some of that ego we saw earlier in the NJO, too. And I feel like I'm not doing this subject justice at all and am missing all sorts of other aspects of Jacen's character here, but I'm not at all prepared to write a full-on meta essay tonight, and besides, you've already read my ramblings over on EtF and Metamorphosis and who knows what else at this point. 8-}

    Also, way to break my heart reminding me once again of that moment in EtF. :_| [face_not_talking]

    Aw, thank you! [face_blush]

    Right?? Ugh, these poor, broken twins. =((

    [face_mischief] [face_whistling]

    I wrote that drabble after I'd started working on this, and I'd been thinking about that part in TUF after Jacen defeats Onimi and he's holding Jaina and how tender it was, and on a recent reread all I could think was my gosh, all the suffering and loss this poor dear boy went through up until now, and the profic after this is going to completely mangle his character and stomp all over the memory of him, but here he is, reaching this state of perfect unity with the Force and using it not to hurt but to heal, and then afterward he's more concerned about his sister and his family, and just... I hate what they did to him, I hate it so much, and I might never fully stop writing dark!Jacen, but dammit, he's still the Jacen I saw in TUF, who loved so much, and I wanted to return to that even if it was just for 100 words in a drabble, or a few hundred depressing words in this vig. =((

    I have a lot of feelings, Mira. :_|

    Yes! Exactly! :_|

    These were among the first lines I wrote for this vig, because I could just so clearly see a dying Jaina being like, "hey, you're an uncle now" as if that's the most important thing happening in that moment. :p


    ;) :p

    [face_blush] [face_blush]

    Lol, yep. :p (And aww, I'm really glad you think so! :D)

    It really is; from this point on, he has to fix the damage he's done, whatever it takes. It's his grief that drives him more than anything, really. =(( I'm glad that desperation came across.

    I don't quite know what to say to such an amazing compliment. :D [face_blush] I'm so happy this description resonated with you! It seems like I'm always comparing the Skywalkers to suns and supernovas and solar flares, but it felt right that Jaina's sense in the Force would link back to her love of flying. [face_love]

    (also, :*)


    I feel like it almost wrote itself, Mira, it was so great. [face_hypnotized] Writing is amazing. [face_love] (I couldn't resist the shadowmoth reference either. ;))

    I'm going to owe you a new phone one of these days, aren't I? [face_laugh] :p

    *bows* [face_batting] [face_mischief] =((

    As I got to this last paragraph, I really did want to show how much this broke Jacen; and so now when you read everything that comes after, you'll always have this in the back of your head. In TLotD, in HTBM, in Metamorphosis, in the drabbles... this is always there. This is the true beginning of the path that culminates in EtF. =((

    [face_blush] I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed it that much, even though it was super angsty and awful. Thank you so much as always for the excellent feedback! [face_love] [:D]

    Aw, thank you! I'm glad you liked it! :D
  15. vader_incarnate

    vader_incarnate Force Ghost star 4

    Jul 29, 2002
    PHENOMENAL, no notes.

    It was a very good disclaimer.

    This is solid and profound, and also I'm entertained by the accuracy of the phrase "briefly achieved Force nirvana."

    The wholesomeness of this just highlights the tragedy :p

  16. Mira_Jade

    Mira_Jade The (FavoriteTM) Fanfic Mod With the Cape star 5 Staff Member Manager

    Jun 29, 2004

    (Except: [face_rofl] [face_rofl] [face_rofl])

    Nope; never. You're just working on a hall of shame we're gonna have to reference like some demented gallery of angstmongery-ness. o_O

    [face_love] [:D]

    I really do love our community for transformative works, yes I do!

    Pfft, pot, kettle, much! ;) [face_not_talking]

    Don't you worry, it's very sturdy, and I'm careful about the flinging - mostly! :p [face_laugh]

    Kahara, Gabri_Jade and ViariSkywalker like this.
  17. ViariSkywalker

    ViariSkywalker Chosen One star 4

    Aug 9, 2002

    :cool: :p

    My work here is done. [face_mischief]

    [face_mischief] [face_mischief] [face_mischief]

    [face_rofl] I like the sound of that. [face_mischief]


    [face_whistling] O:)

    That's good to hear, because you are absolutely going to be tested in the future. [face_mischief] Gabri is pretty confident that you will throw your phone across the room by the time the EtF sequel is done. ;) [face_whistling] [face_batting]