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Saga - ST Star Wars: Episode VII- The Bloodline Heir

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by Emperor Ferus, Dec 29, 2019.

  1. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...

    Star Wars

    Episode VII: The Bloodline Heir

    A new Republic has risen following the defeat of the Empire and the death of Emperor Palpatine. Systems are once again represented in democratic government, with liberty promised to all.

    But not everybody is in support of the New Republic. The criminal underworld in the Outer Rim refuses to cooperate with the galactic ruling body. Some crime syndicates have gone so far as to threaten warfare.

    The Republic sends a team of delegates, including Senator Leia Organa Solo, to help negotiate peace with the angry Hutts. But a hidden danger is waiting until the right time to strike...

    TARIS

    The polluted metropolis on the planet of Taris was silent in the night. Air traffic was minimal and mostof the city lights were shut off.

    The city was distant as a lone, cloaked figure rode a long, thin speeder bike alongside the swamp into the jungle neighboring urban Taris. The man was slim, but muscular, wearing a concealing visor mask under his hood.

    As he sped deeper into the swampy jungle, the man put a hand to the pair of curved lightsaber hilts clipped to his belt and caressed them, while gripping the controls of the speeder bike with his other hand.

    Deep in the jungle, the man came across a series of many small huts, forming a tiny village. Several masked guards carrying rifles stood patrolling the camp. These guards were a mix of species, ranging from Niktos to Rodians to humans.

    The masked man did not acknowledge the camp guards as he brought his speeder to a halt, climbing off and striding past the armed guards into the camp.

    The camp was arranged in two rows of tents that formed a pathway to a large canopy tent.

    The hooded, masked man walked past the two large Whiphid guards in front of the tent and ducked through.

    Inside the tent, a middle-aged, bearded human male sat behind a desk with a small holoprojector on it.

    "Ah, the Jedi Hunter," the man named Snoke said, "You're just in time. My spies have located the Republic delegation party bound for the Hutt planet."

    "And the Jedi?" the Hunter asked.

    "With them as expected," Snoke replied, activating the holoprojector to show a Republic diplomatic cruiser bound through hyperspace towards the Nal Hutta system.

    "Time for me to make my attack," the Hunter said, watching the hologram with a smile behind his mask.

    "I already have a crew of guerrilla fighters waiting," Snoke said, pointing with his thumb to the tent's back entrance, "As well as your ship."

    "I will make quick work of them," the Hunter promised, moving towards the small flap.

    "The Republic will know the name of the Freedom Coalition," Snoke said quietly, a small smile appearing on his gruff features.

    A team of armed soldiers of mixed species was at the ready, stationed by a VCX-100 light freighter.

    "Let's go," the Hunter said to the guerrilla fighters, stepping onto the open ramp and climbing in.

    Soon, the modest-looking freighter lifted off over the jungle treetops and blasted into the night over the cities of Taris into space.

    NAL HUTTA SYSTEM

    "We've entered the Nal Hutta system," the pilot of the GX1 Short Hauler reported.

    The captain stepped forward, gazing out the viewscreen at the crime-ridden planet, filled with marshy bogs suited for a Hutt.

    "Time to inform the Senator and the delegation party," the captain replied as the GX1 Short Hauler approached the swampy surface of Nal Hutta.

    "Over there!" the copilot exclaimed as two Dor'bulla class warships appeared, looping around the moons of the system and swarming in front of the Shourt Hauler.

    "Prepare to engage fire, but send a communication first," the captain ordered.

    Before the copilot could do so, a small hologram appeared on the control panel's built-in projector, revealing the blue, transparent image of Gorga the Hutt. Gorga was large and slimy, characteristic of his species, and wore a monocle.

    "You dare enter Hutt space uninvited?" Gorga demanded, "We are not friendly to the Republic systems."

    "The Chief of State made an agreement to meet with your leaders," the captain reminded him, "I'm here with Senator Organa and her diplomats."

    Inside the Hutt Cartel's main headquarters, the Jedi Hunter stood surrounded by the entire Hutt Council, flanked by his army of guerrilla fighters. In his hand, the Hunter held a small holoprojector of the Freedom Coalition leader, Snoke.

    "Ah, the Senator, of course," Gorga replied, "You may proceed with your landing.

    Once the termination ended, Gorga spoke to his fellow members of the Hutt Council.

    "Soon enough, Leia Solo will die, and Jabba will be avenged."

    "I assure you, this arrangement will be mutually beneficial," the hologram of Snoke said to the Hutts, "The Republic and the Jedi have tried to interfere with our way of life for far too long. The Empire was no different."

    To the Hunter, Gorga said, "See to it that the Princess is properly disposed of."

    The Hunter again touched the curved lightsabers with his belt.

    The Short Hauler sped past the Hutt-owned battleships into the foggy, polluted atmosphere of Nal Hutta.

    Soon enough, the ship was sailing over the factories, spaceports and fortresses of the Hutt Cartel homeworld.

    The Jedi Hunter and his army prowled outside of the headquarters, waiting in the shadows as the Republic vessel touched down on the swampy ground of Nal Hutta.

    The Hunter made a gesture with his hand as the hatch to the Short Hauler slid open.

    As the diplomats exited the ship, the Freedom Coalition fighters opened fire, immediately cutting them down.

    One man tried to rush back into the ship, but he was caught by a stray jet of laserfire.

    A large Whiphid turned his automatic rifle towards the cockpit and fired, drilling a smouldering hole in the ship.

    The masked Jedi Hunter withdrew both his curved lightsabers from his belt and braced himself.

    "Finally," he whispered, sensing what was to come.

    The sound of three lightsabers igniting sounded inside the Republic craft. Through the smoke, the Hunter could see three distinct Jedi lightsaber blades. He listened to the hums of their blades as they exited.

    The Hunter ignited his own twin lightsabers, each emitting a scarlet glow.

    Two humans emerged from the damaged ship, a man and a woman, as well as a female Mon Calamari. The Hunter recognized his primary target, Senator Leia Solo of Corellia, as well as Corran Horn and Mon Calamari Jedi Cilghal.

    "Stand down," Leia Organa Solo said in a firm, authoritative tone. She and her fellow warriors faced the Coalition army with their lightsabers in a defensive position.

    Standing tall and regal, Leia was a figure of legend, remaining beautiful despite the years that had passed.

    She had been a leader of the Rebel Alliance during the Galactic Civil War.

    She was the sister of Master Luke Skywalker and a politican as well as a Jedi.

    The Hutts had vowed to kill her after she had killed Jabba, Gorga's uncle and a powerful boss in the Hutt family.

    Snoke and the Coalition likewise viewed Leia Solo as a primary target, standing for two of the worst enemies of the underworld, the Jedi Order and the New Republic.

    "The Hutts are expecting you, Princess Leia," the Jedi Hunter said, approaching the three Jedi, "And so am I."

    "I should have realized you of all people were behind this," Leia replied, addressing the Hunter with disgust.

    "We're giving you and your men a chance to surrender," Corran Horn said, "Take it or leave it."

    "I've been waiting a long time for a Jedi kill," the Hunter said.

    He advanced rapidly on the three Jedi as his guerrilla army opened fire. The Jedi easily redirected the laserfire with their lightsabers, but were caught off guard as the Hunter attacked them all at once.

    He struck at them with both blades, using one to strike against Leia Solo's lightsaber and the other to fend off Corran Horn and Cilghal.

    Master Horn was unprepared for the Hunter's attack, crying out in pain as the red blade struck him across the chest. Horn dropped his lightsaber as he fell to his knees, gasping.

    "No!" Cilghal cried out, striking back harder against the Hunter. She lunged at him as she and Leia both assumed the offensive.

    "That's three of our own that you've killed," Leia Organa said, "Be grateful that we're not like you."

    Her brash assertiveness had certainly not given way, the Hunter noted.

    The Hunter now backed away as both Leia and Cilghal battled against him. Looking between his two opponents, the Hunter dodged to the right before swinging forward with his left blade, slashing hard against Cilghal's arm.

    The Mon Calamari Jedi cried out in pain as the Hunter wounded her. Before Leia could cover the ground to aid her comrade, the Hunter plunged his other saber into Cilghal's chest, killing her instantly.

    Recognizing how much of a threat the Jedi Hunter was, Leia pressed her attack, backing the Hunter towards a corner. He looked backwards briefly, finding a space and Force-leaping away from his opponent.

    Leia raised her blue blade as she faced down her foe.

    "You were foolish to think you could make peace here," the Hunter taunted, gesturing with his lightsaber at the two Jedi corpses.

    Leia glared at him, responding coldly. "Maybe, but you were even more foolish to think you would get away with it."

    The Hunter moved in for the kill, raising both his twin blades.

    Leia removed one hand from her lightsaber and used the Force to catch the Hunter in his tracks.

    She sent him flailing backwards until he was pinned against the wall opposite her.

    "The Republic will not go down so easy," she told him, "I'm going to take you back and the Senate will make you answer for this."

    The Hunter struggled as Leia held him in place. Then, he extended a hand and made a fist.

    Leia gasped as she felt her throat closing. She moved a hand to her neck as she struggled for breath, forced to relinquish her hold on the Hunter.

    The dark warrior raced towards Leia, who, still gasping for air, raised a hand to push him back once again.

    While the Hunter was temporarily neutralized, Leia dashed back into the damaged Short Hauler, racing to its comm radio.

    Patching a signal, Leia spoke quickly.

    "I'm in trouble," she panted, "everyone else was killed, Jedi Hunter..."

    The Jedi Hunter appeared at the entrance to the ship, both lightsabers raised in a dueling position.

    Leia ran into the cockpit where the captain and copilot had been killed and dove out of the hole that had been blasted into it.

    The Hunter pursued her as she ran into the swampy fog of Nal Hutta, determined not to let his quarry escape.

    CORELLIA

    A team of New Republic Interceptors was assembled in orbit of the planet Corellia, Senator Organa Solo's home planet.

    "Yes, this is Rogue Leader," a young pilot named Sam* Fel said into his A9 Vigilance Interceptor.

    Sam Fel was only nineteen, but he was among the best pilots the New Republic military had seen. He had been quickly promoted to leader of Rogue Squadron, serving directly under the main general himself.

    "Rogue Leader, what's the status?" Rogue Three asked.

    "The General wants us to follow him to Hutt space," Sam replied, "Senator Organa Solo's in trouble."

    "Copy that, Captain," Rogue Three replied.

    "I've got the General's coordinates," Sam said to Rogue Squadron, "I'm transmitting them to you. Proceed into lightspeed on my mark."

    Sam punched in the coordinates that he had received into his fighter's computer, transmitting it to his fellow New Republic pilots. Then, he led the Interceptors into hyperspace, following the general on their rescue mission.

    NAL HUTTA

    Leia dashed between buildings, through the barren streets and foggy alleyways. She hated to leave her dead comrades, but it was not tactically wise to remain in one place.

    If she couldn't capture the Jedi Hunter alone, then the next best strategy was to stay alive until help arrived.

    Leia looked up as the Jedi Hunter leapt over her and landed at the end of the alleyway in front of her.

    "Why are you running?" he snarled from behind his mask, "A powerful Jedi like you should be more than a match for someone like me."

    Leia pointed her lightsaber blade at the masked man, warding him off.

    The masked Hunter spoke again. "You know where Luke Skywalker is keeping the rest of the Jedi. If you tell me where their new fortress is, I'll make your death quicker."

    "He moved them because of you," Leia replied fiercely, "Because you murdered your fellow Jedi."

    "The first of many," the Hunter replied.

    He charged at Leia with both blades positioned for attack.

    Leia tilted her blue lightsaber horizontally so that it protected her from both of the Hunter's sabers.

    Up in orbit of the Nal Hutta system, the Interceptors appeared out of hyperspace, surrounding the planet.

    "Time to begin the operation," Captain Fel said to his Rogue squadmates.

    The Cartel Dor'bulla warships appeared alongside the planet, cannons aimed.

    "Prepare for heavy firepower," Fel shouted as he opened fire with his Vigilance Interceptor on the Dor'bulla closest to him.

    "Copy, Rogue Leader."

    As the cannonfire persisted, Fel swerved around the streaks of ammuntion and aimed at the short, stocky fin-shaped wing.

    "I'm going down!" a pilot yelled as the engine of his Interceptor was blasted open.

    "We need the general!"

    "There he is now!" Sam exclaimed, noticing a round, medium sized Corellian freighter manuevering around the Dor'bulla.

    "We're coming in on them, Chewie!" General Han Solo shouted from the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, "You ready?"

    From the gunner's station, Chewbacca gave a roar of affirmation, firing the Falcon's side and back guns at the Dor'bulla while Han shot at the other one from the front.

    Both ships concentrated fire on General Solo's vessel, but his ace piloting was too fast for them to keep up.

    "Just in time, General Solo!" Sam shouted with delight as he continued to fire at the Cartel warship's cannons.

    "Wasn't going to let you claim the glory, was I, Captain?" Han replied with his trademark humor.

    "Let's finish these slime vessels get moving," Sam said as he helped General Solo finish off the Dor'bullas, which erupted in fiery balls of debris.

    As the Interceptors followed the Millennium Falcon towards Nal Hutta's surface, Han said to his Wookiee copilot, "We've gotten a lot better at flying casual, Chewie."

    Chewbacca grunted a reply.

    "No, that was the easy part," Han disagreed, "The hard part's going to be navigating through this foggy slughole."


    HYPERSPACE

    A single StealthX starfighter soared through the depths of space, bound for Corellia.

    Inside it, a teenage Jedi apprentice spoke to a holographic figure.

    "Young Ben Solo," said a reptilian Jedi Master named Saba Sebatyne, "I must ask where you are going."

    "Tell Master Skywalker I'm sorry," Ben Solo replied, "My father wants me back on Corellia to watch over my sister Kira*. Both my parents are on a mission in Hutt Space."

    "I wish them both the best of luck," Sebatyne, a Barabel alien, replied, "And I will tell Master Skywalker."

    "Thank you Master Sebatyne," Ben said before shutting off the holoprojector inside his StealthX.

    Before long, he had come upon his homeworld of Corellia.

    Ben had originally studied under his uncle Luke at the old Jedi Temple on Coruscant, the Republic captial.

    But three years earlier, Ben's best friend Skyler* had turned to the dark side, killing another Jedi Knight. Ben had no idea where Skyler had disappeared to since, but he was rumored to have fallen in with the criminal underworld.

    Because of Skyler's defection, Luke had been forced to move the Jedi Academy to the ancient sanctuary world of Ossus.

    Flying into Corellia's atmosphere, which was much less polluted than it had been during the age of the Empire, Ben flew towards the luxury apartment building where his family resided.

    Inside the Solo family's apartment, a thirteen-year-old girl held a small training lightsaber in her hand as she stared out into the sky.

    "Mistress Kira!" See Threepio said as he entered, "Have you completed your lessons for today?"

    "All done, Threepio," Kira replied as she waved the training saber, simulating the fighting style Djem So.

    "Did you check over them...Mistress Kira, do be careful with that!"

    Kira had stopped listening to Threepio, and was making combat motions with the training lightsaber like the ones used by Jedi Younglings.

    "Do you think Mom and Dad will ever let me try the real thing?" Kira asked, talking to herself more than the family protocol droid. What would Threepio really know about that.

    "Your parents are concerned about your safety first and foremost," Threepio reminded her, "Need I remind you that your brother Ben was nearly killed by..."

    "Ben!" Kira suddenly sensed her brother's presence as his StealthX landed in the apartment building's docking bay.

    Excitedly, she ran from the apartment living room towards the sliding doorway.

    "Mistress Kira, wait!" Threepio cried as he tried to keep up. Kira raced down the staircase towards the hangar, where sure enough, Ben was climbing out of his StealthX.

    Excitedly, Kira flung her arms around her brother.

    "Hey, Kira," Ben said, "Easy."

    "I'm sorry," Kira replied as she let go of him, "I'm just so happy to see you. I've been lonely here by myself."

    "Do you know where Dad went?" Ben asked.

    "He said he needed to go help Mom," Kira replied. A little more downcast, she added, "I hate being here while everybody else in my family is out on the field."

    "Uncle Luke's Jedi Academy isn't exactly out in the field," Ben chuckled, patting his little sister on thr back.

    "Still, it's better than nothing," Kira said wistfully.

    They were now joined by Threepio, who hobbled over to them on his slow metallic legs.

    "Master Ben, I'm most pleased to welcome you home," Threepio said.

    "Hey, Threepio," Ben replied, smiling at the family protocol droid, "Missed you."

    "Why your parents allow you to live so far from the comfort and safety of home is beyond me," Threepio remarked as the three of them started back to their suite.

    "He's lucky!" Kira protested, "I'm older than he was when he started and Mom and Dad still say no!"

    Ben spoke up in defense of their parents.

    "It's been different," he said, "ever since..."

    Ben paused, unable to finish.

    "Ever since that monstrous creature murdered Jedi Master Brand," Threepio finished, "Frankly I don't blame them."

    "Threepio!" Kira chided, "Skyler was Ben's best friend." She looked up with sad, sympathetic eyes as Ben stared hollowly at the ground.

    "It's all right, Kira," Ben said, "Skyler made his choice. Uncle Luke's been a lot more watchful of us all since he killed Master Brand. That's why he moved the Order away from Coruscant."

    Kira continues to gaze sadly at her brother as they climbed the stairs. She knew how painful the loss of Skyler was, and why her parents considered the Jedi Academy dangerous. But that didn't stop her from wanting to go and join the adventure nonetheless.

    "Would you like a refreshment, young Master Ben?" Threepio asked as the trio reached their luxurious apartment suite, "Perhaps a cold drink after your travels?"

    "I'm good for now," Ben said as he sat down on the couch, his lightsaber visible from underneath his Jedi robe. Kira's eyes instinctively darted to it.

    Noticing, Ben unclipped it from his belt and said, "You want to hold it?"

    He held his shining silver lightsaber hilt out for Kira to take.

    Kira moved towards it, but Threepio cut across her.

    "I don't think that's a very good idea," the fussy protocol droid advised, "It's very dangerous..."

    "Oh, shut up," Kira playfully snapped at Threepio before grasping the weapon in Ben's hands.

    The hilt was longer, thicker and more elaborate in design than the training lightsaber Kira was used to.

    Kira slowly pulled it away from her brother's hands, turning the weapon in her hands before switching on the humming, glowing blade.

    Kira gazed in admiration at the green aura from the plasma blade, waving the lightsaber around the living room.

    "Careful with that," Ben said, leaning backwards to avoid the lightsaber's path.

    "You built this?" Kira asked.

    "From the crystals of Ilum," Ben confirmed, "It's tradition for a Jedi to built their own lightsaber. Uncle Luke crafted his on Tatooine."

    "I can't wait to make my own," Kira murmured as she continued to admire Ben's green lightsaber blade, enjoying the texture of the hilt between her fingertips. "Then I can fight like a real Jedi."

    "Being a Jedi isn't about fighting," Ben reminded his little sister, sounding as wise and old as Uncle Luke, "It's about keeping harmony and peace in the galaxy."

    "Yeah, yeah, I know, balance to the Force," Kira replied, more focused on the lightsaber blade.

    More quietly, she said, "Time to battle."

    NAL HUTTA

    Leia waved her blade from side to side as she anticipated the Hunter's next move.

    She needed to get far away where nobody except Han and the Republic could find her, but the Hunter was on her tail. She would not escape without facing him.

    "There's no coming back from what you've done, Hunter," she said, "You're going to be facing harsh justice."

    "I don't intend to come back," the Hunter replied from behind his mask, "I am one with the dark side."

    "That is why you are weak," Leia said.

    The Hunter raced at her, twirling both his curved lightsabers within his grasp.

    Leia braced herself for his attack and moved her blue blade side to side while retreating backwards into the alleyway.

    Suddenly, a group of shadowy figures emerged from around the corner.

    A team of Cartel thugs had arrived to help assassinate Senator Solo.

    Leia sensed them behind her and pivoted, deflecting the shots with her lightsaber while continuing to repel the Hunter's offensive.

    Suddenly, Leia cried out in pain as the Hunter's red blade caught her in the leg.

    She staggered away from him, continuing to use her lightsaber to draw fire from the Hutt lackeys.

    The Hunter raised his other lightsaber to finish her off, but was suddenly forced to defend himself from fire from above.

    The injured Leia looked up and sighed in relief as the Interceptors came soaring into the foggy atmosphere, firing at the Hunter and the thugs sent by the Hutt Cartel.

    The Hunter backed away from Leia as he continued to draw fire from the Interceptors.

    "That's the Senator!" Sam said as he focused his ship's lasers on her mysterious assailant, "Concentrate all fire on the thugs."

    Leia saw the Millennium Falcon bringing up the rear behind the New Republic's Rogue Squadron. Wincing from the pain of the lightsaber injury dealt to her leg, Leia managed a small smile as her husband came to the rescue.

    The Hunter moved to attack Leia, but the laserfire coming his way forced him to remain on the defensive.

    Surrounded by fighters attempting to shoot him down, the Hunter made a break for it, leaping onto the roof of an old, abandoned factory and disappearing in the fog.

    Leia grunted in pain as she stood on her injured leg, waiting as the Falcon landed on the swampy surface along with the Interceptors of Rogue Squadron.

    Leia smiled as she staggered over to the Falcon's hatch as the ramp came down.

    The first thing she heard was the cry of a Wookiee as Chewie came out.

    "Hey, Chewie," she said, "Took you guys long enough."

    Following Chewbacca was Leia's husband, with that scoundrel flyboy grin she had come to love with all her being. He had the same cocky spirit as he had when she'd met him. Han still even wore the same black vest and white shirt underneath, Leia observed humorously.

    "Hello sweetheart," Han said, climbing down the ramp, "Hope I didn't get here too soon."

    Leia took him into her arms and embraced him.

    "You came just in time," she said.

    "Negotiations were a bust, huh?" Han asked, his tone more serious now.

    Leia released her husband and looked up sadly into his eyes.

    "Two of my fellow Jedi, dead," she told him, "The Coalition is working with the Hutt Cartel."

    "I never thought Snoke's crew was that serious of a threat," Han replied. He saw the grief in Leia's eyes and held her close to him again.

    "I'm sorry," he said.

    "Council Members Horn and Cilghal," Leia said, "Not even the strongest of Masters could fight against him. I barely survived myself."

    "You're safe now, honey," Han replied, tenderly stroking his wife's hair.

    "I'm scared," Leia said, "For our children. Ben's a man already, and he's almost done with the training. And Kira, how many more years can we keep her safe from it? She's going to have to go to the Academy soon, and then she'll be put at risk."

    "We'll know when it's the time," Han replied, gently consoling his wife, "Right now, we're doing the right thing keeping her home on Corellia."

    "Senator!" Sam Fel exclaimed as he hurried over from his Interceptor, "You all right?"

    "Never better, Captain," Leia replied with a water smile.

    "Let's get back home," Han said.

    Chewbacca let out a roar of agreement.

    As the Falcon and Interceptors lifted off into the foggy air, the Jedi Hunter hid on the rooftop of Bilbousa Spaceport, remaining in the shadows to avoid detection.

    Quickly and quietly, he pulled the holoprojector from his cloak and contacted Supreme Leader Snoke.

    "Did you succeed in your mission?" the holographic Snoke asked.

    "All of the men you sent with me were killed," the Hunter replied, assuming a neutral tone of voice, "But I killed two of the Jedi sent by the Republic with the delegates."

    "What about Leia Organa Solo?" asked Snoke.

    "I was unable to finish her off," the Hunter replied, "The Republic came to rescue her."

    Snoke snarled angrily. "All the men under your command dead," he snapped, "The target you are assigned to kill alive. What does that tell me about your competence?"

    "I will not rest until she dies at my blade," the Hunter growled.

    "Follow her," Snoke ordered, "immediately. Make sure she does not get back to where she came from."

    "It will be done, Supreme Leader," the Hunter replied.

    After putting away his projector, the Hunter climbed down the spaceport roof and crept along back towards the Cartel headquarters where the VCX-100 freighter he had arrived in remained.

    The Hunter took a savage pleasure walking past the bodies of the two Jedi and the wrecked starship they had come to Nal Hutta. These were his kills, and they would not be the last.

    The Hunter's partnership with Snoke and the Coalition was one of mutual benefit, but the Hunter was by no means subservient. He was his own agent, and would further his own goals once his use for the Freedom Coalition ended.

    At the very least, he agreed with Snoke that the Jedi were a menace that needed to be annihilated.

    The Hunter returned to his own ship evading detection by palace guards and bounty hunters. Best not to let the Hutts know their target was still alive.

    Once inside the cockpit, the Hunter lifted off out of the swamp surrounding the headquarters. Time to follow the Millennium Falcon.

    TARIS

    A small army prowled through the fields towards the Undercity, undetected by patrolling police ships around the border of the metropolitan area.

    Above them, a small hovercraft flew towards the city piloted by a Weequay.

    "Supreme Leader?" inquired Commander Pellaeon, "What are we bringing to the Undercity?"

    "A plan to make the Republic aware of us," Snoke replied, "The underworld has remained in the shadows long enough."

    "Among the men, there are talks of there being weapons of mass destruction present," Pellaeon said, "Are you planning to bomb the city?"

    "I am willing to do whatever is necessary to free the galaxy from government oppression," Snoke replied vaguely, "The Jedi will become aware of us soon enough."

    VANQOR SYSTEM

    Aboard the Millennium Falcon, Leia sat behind Han and Chewie as Captain Fel and the rest of Rogue Squadron flew behind them.

    "The sooner we get back home, the better," Han said.

    "Is Ben back there with Kira?" Leia asked.

    "I sent him back to Corellia to watch her before coming to help you," Han replied, "And hey, I'm sorry about your two friends."

    "Luke will have sensed their deaths by now," Leia said sadly, "It's too bad we couldn't take them with us."

    Suddenly, the Falcon's scanners beeped wildly.

    "General, you there?" Captain Sam Fel asked through the radio of his Vigilance Interceptor.

    "Yeah."

    "We got trouble," Sam declared as a VCX-100 freighter sped up closely behind them, instantly opening fire.

    "Argh, he's got me," Rogue Five said as the approaching ship blasted his fighter, igniting the wing into flames and sending his Interceptor spiraling towards the surface of planet Vanqor.

    "No, Five!" Sam shouted.

    "It's him again," Leia sighed wearily, sensing the Hunter's presence with the Force.

    "Chewie, get to the back guns!" Han shouted, manuevering the Falcon in a circle, "Leia, can you take over for copilot?"

    "On it," Leia replied as Chewie hurried out of the copilot's chair and climbed down the ladder exiting the cockpit.

    Leia manned the front cannons of the Falcon as Han turned the ship to face the attacking vessel.

    "He's too fast!" another Interceptor pilot shouted as the Hunter blasted at him.

    "General, we lost Shevu," Sam reported as the Hunter took down another Interceptor.

    "I got a bad feeling about this," Han muttered as he swerved to avoid the VCX-100's laserfire.

    "Evade!" Sam shouted as the Hunter increased the intensity of his firepower, easily dodging all laserfire coming his way.

    "We have to lose him," Leia said, "We can't let him follow us back to our kids."

    "Either that or get rid of him right here," Han replied.

    Leia fired the front blasters while Chewie manned the gunning station below the cockpit.

    "He's taken two more of our fighters," Sam said, cringing at the sight of the wrecked Interceptors and the dead pilots under his command, "General, I think we might have to go back into lightspeed."

    "Negative," Han replied, "He'll be able to track us straight to our destination, and bring some of his Coalition buddies with him."

    "Then we need to confront him here and now," Leia concluded grimly, watching as the VCX-100 swerved between Interceptors.

    "I'm not sure how much longer we can last," Sam said.

    "If only Luke was here," Han sighed as another Interceptor was taken out.

    "Han," Leia said, laying an urgent hand on her husband's arm, "I don't think we can stay here."

    Han looked around grimly as pilot after pilot was destroyed by the Hunter.

    "You're right," he said, "But we can't go home either with him on our tail."

    Into the radio, he ordered, "Captain, everyone, set your course for the Endor system and make the jump to..."

    "I'm hit!" Sam shouted as his wing was struck by the Hunter's laserfire.

    "Captain!" Han shouted as Sam's Interceptor began to spin out of control.

    Sam fumbled with the controls, but he could not save his fighter from spinning off course.

    The Hunter turned his attention to the Falcon and opened fire.

    Chewbacca let out a howl from down below as the volley of ammunition struck the hull.

    "He's got us now!" Leia shouted as Han tried to move the ship out of the way.

    "I'm trying to get away from him," Han replied, grumbling in frustration as the Hunter persisted his attack.

    "Can you get us into lightspeed?" Leia asked, growing increasingly worried.

    "He blasted our hyperdrive," Han replied, "I'm just going to have to..."

    The Falcon shook as the Hunter's ship blasted it again, sinking towards the crystalline surface of

    Vanqor.

    "Oh no," Han said as the Falcon began to plummet, "Chewie, get in here! Looks like we're going to have to crash land."

    The Hunter followed his target as the Falcon disappeared into Vanqor's atmosphere, descending quickly towards the surface.

    *Name comes from George Lucas's sequel trilogy outline
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  2. Deliveranze

    Deliveranze Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Nov 28, 2015
    The best thing to come out of the ST is these alternate fanfics! You have me intrigued!
     
    Emperor Ferus likes this.
  3. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    Thanks so much! :)
     
    Iron_lord and Deliveranze like this.
  4. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    CORELLIA

    Ben Solo sat in meditation on the balcony outside the family's apartment suite.

    At the moment, he was trying to clear his mind, but it was hard to do so when there was no word from his parents.

    They would be okay, Ben told himself, Dad was as capable a pilot and general as Mom was a Jedi.

    Yet he sensed a vague disturbance in the Force. Something was wrong, this wasn't one of the usual missions.

    He wondered if back on Ossus, Uncle Luke and the other Jedi Masters felt the same thing he did.

    Ben's thoughts were interrupted as his sister Kira came up behind him.

    "Ben, Winter's here!" she said with excitement.

    Ben arose from his meditation and followed Kira back indoors where Winter Celchu was waiting.

    With long, sleek hair the color of her name, Winter had been one of Ben and Kira's mother's childhood friends on Alderaan, and was now an attendant to Leia in her Senatorial duties for Corellia.

    Winter beamed as Ben approached her.

    "Good to see you, Winter," Ben said brightly, "It's been a long time since your last visit."

    "You've gotten big," Winter replied as Ben embraced her, "Both of you have."

    Her smile faded after Ben released her. "I was wondering if either of you have news on the status of your parents."

    Ben grimaced. "Both on a mission to Hutt space. Dad had to go help Mom when something went wrong. I came here from Uncle Luke's Jedi Academy to stay with Kira."

    "You've heard nothing from them?" Winter asked.

    Ben started to reply. "No word, but I've been feeling a disturbance in the..."

    He stopped and glanced sideways at Kira, who was looking up at him with a mixture of alarm and curiosity on her face.

    "Kira, why don't you go to the shopping center for a while?" Ben suggested, "Maybe see if any of your friends will meet you?"

    "No, I never get to see Winter!" Kira protested, "And I want to talk with you guys."

    "Why don't we all go out for a little bit?" Winter said in a tone that indicated that she wanted to keep the peace, "It's been a while since I've gotten any downtime."

    On the streets of Corellia's captial, Coronet City, Kira admired speeders for sale through the window of the dealership while her older brother trailed behind her with Winter.

    "What was it that you wanted to say before?" Winter asked.

    Ben gazed out at the lake below the large bridge where the shops were built.

    "This isn't one of Mom's usual missions," he replied, "I don't know exactly where the disturbance comes from, but I feel like she might be in trouble. And now Dad's gone after her."

    Ben felt Winter's soft hand touch his shoulder.

    "Your father trusted you to look after your sister," she told him gently, "As long as you continue to do that during your parents' absence, there is nothing for you to worry about. I grew up with your mother, and I know there is no danger she can't handle."

    "Ben! Winter!" Kira called, beckoning them over to a store with various types of blasters on display.

    "Ben, do you think I could get this one?" Kira asked, pointing at a DL-44 pistol.

    "No," Ben replied, rolling his eyes, "No weapons for you. You're a thirteen year old girl."

    "Her interests seem to be different than most girls her age," Winter observed lightheartedly, "I thought she'd be more interested in going to buy clothes. Instead, she's over here looking at weapons.

    "Yeah," Ben muttered distractedly. Looking at his sister, Ben suddenly became slightly worried about Kira. He had a vague feeling that her fascination with weapons would be detrimental to her.

    A beep from the comlink on his utility belt pulled him about of his thoughts.

    Hearing the sound, Kira glanced intriguedly as Ben answered it.

    "Ben, this is Saba Sebatyne," the Barabel said through the comlink, all the way back at the Jedi Academy on Ossus, "Something terrible has happened."

    Ben's heart sank and Kira's young eyes widened in fear.

    "What is it? Is it my parents?"

    "Your uncle felt two deaths in the Force. He sensed that the two other Jedi accompanying your mother were killed along with the Republic delegates upon arrival in Hutt space."

    "Oh, no," Ben muttered. Anxiously, Kira clutched his arm.

    "Ask about Mom and Dad," she whispered.

    Winter drew the young girl close to her in a protective gesture, looking around the streets of Coronet City in fear.

    "What about my parents?" Ben asked.

    "Nothing is known at this time, except that your mother and father are alive," Master Sebatyne replied, "Your Uncle says to remain on Corellia for now with your sister."

    "But Mom and Dad!" Kira said, feeling afraid for her parents.

    "Sssh," Ben snapped, before speaking again into his comlink. "Can Master Skywalker do anything to help my parents?"

    "Your uncle intends to act as soon as possible," Master Sebatyne replied, "But there is only a limited number of Jedi Masters available to protect the student, and Master Skywalker has been extensively cautious ever since moving the Jedi away from Coruscant."

    The mention of the Jedi's old home struck a sudden nerve with Ben. Kira clearly sensed it, since she was gazing up at him with concern.

    "Listen, Master," Ben said, "I understand that the Jedi have to protect the students, but my mother is a Jedi as well as a Senator. She was with the two Jedi that were killed. This isn't just the Hutts behind it, I can tell you that much."

    "What's happening?" Kira asked Winter quietly, seeming like a scared little girl.

    "It's okay," Winter replied, affectionately stroking Kira's hair.

    Master Sebatyne responded through the comlink.

    "Master Skywalker believes that your old friend, the fallen student, may be behind the attack."

    "Skyler?" Ben asked, growing uneasy, "Nobody knows what's happened to him."

    "Precisely," Saba Sebatyne replied, "And that is why your uncle suspects him. Do not forget that this Skyler has already killed Master Brand."

    Ben cringed. "I remember," he gulped.

    "Enough!" Kira suddenly gripped Ben's arm again and pulled his hand with the comlink closer to her. She couldn't stand to see her brother reminded of such painful memories, nor could she stand her parents remaining missing with no way to know if they were all right.

    "Are you going to help find our parents or not?"

    "Kira, shut up," Ben hissed, yanking the comlink away from her.

    "Easy," Winter urged quietly.

    A few passerbys on the street had stopped to look at the scene, but Ben impatiently gestured for them to move along.

    Kira tried to reach for the comlink again, but Winter gently held her back.

    "Young Solo, Master Skywalker says to remain on Corellia," Sebatyne said again, sounding annoyed now, "He will assist your parents as soon as he can. Goodbye and good luck."

    Once the communication ended, Ben rounded on Kira.

    "Now look what you did!" he snapped, "Now they're not going to help us?"

    "They weren't going to help anyway!" Kira replied, "All I heard was a lot of talk while Mom and Dad are in trouble."

    By now, more and more pedestrians had stopped to look.

    "We'd better get back indoors," Winter urged, ushering the two siblings back in the direction of the high-rise apartment buildings.

    Back in the Solo family suite, Ben paced the living room floor in worry while Winter sat on the couch with Kira.

    Threepio came with a tray with their dinner, which he set down on the table.

    "Mom and Dad are alive, I know that much," Ben said, "I can feel it."

    "I wish I could feel it," Kira replied. She hated not being able to do anything the way Ben, her parents, or her Uncle Luke could. "I can't know whether they're okay like you can."

    "Well, they are." Ben assured her. "And hey, I'm sorry I snapped before. I'm just worried like you are."

    "I know," Kira replied quietly.

    "I wish Uncle Luke could do something," Ben added in an afterthought.

    "Your uncle cares greatly for your mother and father," Winter said, "But he knows that he must watch over the young students at his academy. There is only a small number of trained Jedi, and there is a dangerous Jedi Hunter on the loose. I'm sure it can't be easy for Luke to remain at the Academy."

    "Yeah, I know," Ben said, "I just wish I could know that Mom and Dad are out of danger."

    VANQOR

    "I can't see anything!" Han complained as the damaged Falcon came down through the dust storm in Vanqor's atmosphere. "We're coming into fog."

    "Looks like a tough landing," Leia commented, seeing the jagged rocky slope down below them.

    "Chewie, see what you can do here," Han said as Chewbacca assumed the controls of the Falcon.

    Leia closed her eyes to connect with the Force while Chewbacca attempted to make a smooth landing, avoiding the hard cliffs and crystal formations.

    The Falcon slid against the rocks as sparks flew from underneath the hull, sending chunks of the cliff across the stormy air.

    "Land it!" Han shouted as the Falcon slid downwards towards the dangerous crystal surface.

    Chewbacca roared in frustration as he tried to apply the Falcon's landing controls.

    At last, the ship reached a flat surface on the cliffside and came to a grinding halt.

    Immediately, Han raced down the cockpit and outside the ship to assess the damage, followed by Leia and Chewbacca.

    "How bad is it?" Leia asked.

    "You tell me."

    The Falcon's engine was severely broken, with smoke and cinders coming from the cracked parts of the exterior.

    "Oh, no," Han groaned. Chewie mournfully bellowed.

    "It's going to be a tough job fixing her, honey."

    Leia was quick to remember what was really important.

    "We have to see if our comm still works," she said, rushing back up the ramp of the Falcon into the hatch.

    Once in the cockpit, Leia worked the radio, trying to patch a signal to Corellia.

    "We need to let the kids know we're all right," she said, "They're certain to be worried about us."

    "We've been on missions before," Han replied, "They know what we do."

    "But we've never dealt with something like this," Leia said, "and I know they do worry. Especially Kira. She hates being the only one who isn't either a Jedi or fighting for the New Republic."

    "She's thirteen, of course she isn't," Han replied, trying to keep a cooler head, but inwardly failing as much as Leia was, "And with people like the one's we're dealing with, who would want to expose their kids to that?"

    "I don't, and I hate thinking about it," Leia said, choking up, "I'm just afraid of when it'll happen."

    Seeing how upset his wife was, Han hugged her and said, "Why don't you try and get in touch with the kids back on Corellia, and Chewie and I try to fix this old girl?"

    Leia managed a watery smile and nodded. "Sounds like a plan, General."

    "All right, your Worshipfulness, I love you."

    "I know you do, you old flyboy," Leia replied before she kissed Han.

    Chewbacca gave Leia a quick, tight embrace before following his captain out of the cockpit.

    The freighter piloted by the Jedi Hunter rested on the summit of a cliff overlooking the dark, gaseous atmosphere of Vanqor.

    Inside, the Hunter spoke to Snoke's hologram.

    "The Hutts grow impatient, Jedi Hunter," Snoke said, "They want the Princess dead."

    "I have them trapped on Vanqor," the Hunter replied, his voice still sounding gruff and emotionless through his mask, "I shot down their ship and jammed their communication system. No help is coming."

    "We are at the brink of open war, Hunter," the Supreme Leader of the Coalition declared, "We will strike first in the heart of Taris and the rest of the Republic will crumble. You must do your part. For all Master Skywalker's talk of keeping the Jedi out of politics, they are still the thugs of the Senate."

    "The two Jedi I killed in the Hutt system will not be the last to perish," the Hunter promised.

    TARIS

    On the outskirts of the desolate, sleeping city, the covert Coaltion members waited as several ships came out of the night sky.

    After terminating the communication with the Jedi Hunter, Supreme Leader Snoke turned his attention to the guerrillas under his command.

    "The Black Sun syndicate has arrived to do their part," he said to them, "Their firepower will help us bring siege to this city."

    The rest of the Coalition speeders and tanks arrived in the field outside the metropolitan border as five Black Sun-owned Gozanti crusiers descended from the night sky.

    Strapping a rifle across his shoulder, Snoke came forth to meet the newcomers, followed closely by armored, masked guards with rifles similar to his own.

    The lead Gozanti opened with a hiss, and a short, horned, red-skinned Devaronian alien exited.

    Snoke approached the aristocratic looking alien.

    "Duke Blazor," he said in greeting.

    "We have brought the rest of the supplies to implant this weapon you speak of underneath the city," Blazor replied, "I also offer the best of Black Sun's firepower to your service Supreme Leader."

    "We need all the weapons we can get," Snoke stated, "Despite their diminished military, the Republic will be a foe to be reckoned with."

    "I officially pledge the support of Black Sun to the Freedom Coalition," Blazor declared, shaking Snoke's hand.

    "It's a deal," Snoke replied, smiling with menace, "Let us bring siege to the city of corruption."

    The tanks, ships, speeders and foot soldiers marched into the streets, between buildings and below the light flow of air traffic.

    A local law enforcement officer sped up on his swoop bike in front of the ascending army.

    "Halt!"

    The officer was mowed down by the Coalition guerrilla fighters. More policemen took to the streets, trying vainly to stop the invaders.

    Civilian ships were fleeing into the skies as the stealthy guerrilla army revealed itself.

    "Fire on them," Snoke said into his comlink, "Don't be afraid to take innocent lives in the name of our message to the galaxy."

    "Copy that, Supreme Leader."

    Coalition and Black Sun ships opened fire, easily tearing apart the unarmed vessels and overpowering the light ammunition of police and civilian craft.

    The Coalition tore across the city, blasting at any being or vehicle that moved.

    Snoke led them to a large, run-down factory that had been abandoned. It was evident that Imperial ships had been made here at one time.

    "Into here," Snoke said.

    "May I ask what we are doing, Supreme Leader?" Commander Paelleon asked.

    "I have surveyed this landscape very carefully ahead of time," Snoke replied, "Under this infrastructure, we will plant a deadly weapon to use against the city if we do not get our intended results."

    CORELLIA

    "Winter, what is it?" Kira asked as Winter watched a snippet of hologram footage with a look of dismay on her face.

    "It's Taris," Winter replied, gesturing to the holographic display of a city under attack, "The Coalition has taken over the capital."

    Kira looked on, a feeling of horror coming over her.

    "Is anybody going to do something about it?"

    "I hope so," Winter replied, "But the Senate is very hesitant to get into another war. It was so hard to bring peace back to the galaxy. The Chancellor will be very hard to convince. Even your mother, for all of her beliefs in peace and diplomacy, believes that the Coalition is a threat not to be taken lightly."

    "I wish I could do something," Kira said, catching her voice trembling ever so slightly, "It's not fair that everything can't just stay good."

    Before she could stop herself, Kira was venting. "And now my mom and dad have to go out and risk their lives again and fight the same war after everything they did, and now these people are making war again. I wish I could stop them. I wish I could go to into battle with a lightsaber and cut them all down."

    "Hey, Kira, it's okay," Winter soothed, wrapping her arms around the obviously distraught girl, "You don't mean that."

    "They're bad people," Kira replied, "And now these same people are after Mom and Dad. I can't just stay here and not do anything."

    “Uncle Luke says that a key cornerstone of mastering the Jedi way is living in the moment,” Ben chimed in as he entered. “I know you want to help, Kira, I do too, but you only help by doing your part. And right now, while you’re young, your place is here.”

    “He’s right,” Winter said quietly.

    Kira merely watched the holofootage silently. Coalition guerrillas were firing on civilians, blasting their ships... these were the people her parents were dealing with.

    “Threepio’s got dinner ready,” Ben said, “Let’s go eat.”

    Gently, he patted Kira on the back as she followed Winter to the dining room. He watched her back with concern, suddenly afraid of how angry she had sounded.

    Kira would have to work on her emotions if she really wanted to train, Ben reflected.

    VANQOR

    The Jedi Hunter left the cockpit after speaking with Snoke, and prowled to another section of the ship, a small cargo hold.

    In it, he withdrew his hood to reveal a blank, sinister mask that only showed the curl of his lips.

    The Hunter moved over to a small, black trunk and opened it, taking into his hands a small, red, glowing artifact. It was a Sith Holocron, one only accessed by a deep knowledge of the dark side.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
    Iron_lord likes this.
  5. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    CORELLIA

    It was nighttime in Corellia's capital of Coronet City. Winter was asleep on the couch while Ben slept in his former room, right next to Kira's.

    Kira, however, was not asleep in her bed.

    Dressed in a flight suit, the thirteen-year-old girl peeked out of her bedroom door, gripping the long hilt of her training saber.

    Reflecting on what she was about to do, Kira looked over to the sleeping Winter. Kira knew that she and Ben would worry about her disappearance.

    But they didn't really understand. Winter was active in the political field alongside Leia, Ben was training at Uncle Luke's Jedi Academy.

    Soon, he would be active on missions, likely against the same people terrorizing their parents and the distant planet Taris.

    Kira was helpless and ignorant, and it would stay that way unless she did something.

    Kira gripped the training saber and tucked it under the belt of her flight suit. She then crept along, partially using the Force to sneak through the apartment without being detected.

    Kira then slipped into a spare room, with a collection of spare ship parts, suits, and weapons.

    Exactly what Kira needed. Kira had had little weapons training, but she had fired a blaster before.

    She went over to the shelf containing a lineup of blasters and noticed a DC-17 hand blaster that caught her eye in particular.

    Quickly and quietly, she picked it up, admiring the weapon as she held it.

    "Perfect," she muttered under her breath.

    Kira holstered the weapon in her flight suit, then moved along.

    "Excuse me Mistress Kira," said Threepio as Kira neared the apartment entrannce.

    Kira jumped in alarm and gritted her teeth in agitation.

    "Threepio!" she hissed.

    "Where do you think you're going?" Threepio asked.

    Winter stirred in her sleep, snoring loud enough to drown out the noise.

    "Look, Threepio, nobody would understand," Kira said impatiently, "I'm not a Jedi like Mom or Ben. I'm not in the military like Dad. I'm here all the time while things go on like the terrorist attack. Mom and Dad are out there with criminals chasing them and Ben doesn't want to do anything without help. Now I'm going to find my parents."

    "You most certainly cannot expect to fly out there into the dangers of the galaxy by yourself," Threepio replied, "I cannot permit it."

    "Yeah, I expected you to say that," Kira growled, "And that's why I'm erasing your memory."

    "My memory?" Threepio asked in horror, "You wouldn't dare!"

    "Not a total mindwipe," Kira said, "Just enough so that you don't remember me leaving."

    "I must stop you," Threepio replied, "Help..."

    Kira quickly reached up and clamped her small hand over Threepio's vocabulator, blocking sound.

    She got behind him and opened up the panel on his back.

    Kira wasn't an expert in tinkering, but she had studied the mechanics of various droids. She turned the dial attached to Threepio's memory bank just before their encounter. Then, she gently switched him off.

    "Sorry about this," she whispered before exiting the apartment suite.

    With her blaster and training saber tucked in her suit, Kira hurried through the darkened corridor and down the staircase towards the hangar where Ben had landed his ship.

    She knew her brother would be angry with her for taking the StealthX, a fighter only flown by the Jedi of Luke's new Order.

    Kira looked between the hangar and the staircase leading back up to the apartment. There was no turning back once she took off.

    Kira tried to reach out with the Force to sense her mother. But she wasn't that attuned yet. She would have to go.

    "Sorry, Ben," Kira whispered. Then, she scrambled across the dimly lit hangar to where the StealthX rested, cockpit open.

    Kira had not had many recent opportunities to pilot, but she had flown her father's ship, The Millennium Falcon, under supervision.

    This didn't seem so hard, she thought, studying the controls as she climbed into the cockpit.

    Kira took one last look back at the doorway leading out of the apartment building's hangar.

    Then, she pressed the button that sealed the cockpit. Once it was shut over her head, Kira pulled what appeared to be the lever connected to the engine. She braced herself as the engine roared and the fighter slowly lifted.

    Kira's heart raced and her breath hastened.

    It's going to go wrong, she thought, I'm going to come crashing down in a fiery ball of death.

    But no, the StealthX remained airborne. Kira relaxed slightly, steering the fighter towards the hangar mouth that led into Corellia's night sky. She felt comforted by the few ships coming and going from the hangar along with her. She felt less alone up in the air.

    That was going to change, Kira knew, once she lifted off into space. It was only when she was above Coronet City's skyscrapers that Kira realized she did not have a plan.

    "I don't know where to go," she said aloud.

    Kira's eyes darted to the computer screen in front of her, her mind racing.

    Pondering her next move, Kira remembered where her mother had been headed, and where her father had left to come to her aid.

    "The Hutt system," she said, a light flashing in her brain. Kira scanned a list of coordinates on the screen until she found what she was looking for.

    "Just like the Falcon," she reflected. After setting the course, Kira watched as the cloudy sky turned into a vacuum, surrounded by millions of stars and systems.

    She shifted in the cockpit seat, trying to get comfortable in her brother's StealthX.

    VANQOR

    Han handed Chewbacca a tool as the Wookiee copilot worked on the engine.

    "How's it looking there, Chewie?" Han asked as he looked around the gaseous horizon beyond the cavernous cliffside.

    Chewbacca responded affirmatively.

    "Good, good," Han replied.

    He knew something wasn't right before Leia came out of the Falcon.

    "Han, I sensed something wrong in the Force," she said, "It's Kira. I think she might have left Corellia."

    Han automatically tensed as Chewie growled. "Oh no," he groaned, "Are you sure?"

    "I know our daughter's presence," Leia replied firmly.

    "Any luck getting a signal out there?" Han asked.

    "No, I think the Falcon's radio got ruined," Leia replied grimly.

    "Well, Chewie's fixed the wiring, so why don't we give it another try?"

    The three of them went back inside the Falcon and climbed back into the cockpit.

    Past the cluster of sharp mountaintops surrounding the Falcon, the Jedi Hunter's freigher hovered through the crystalline fog.

    The Hunter applied his ship's jamming device as he scanned around for the Falcon.

    "It's still not working," Leia said as she tried to send out a communication.

    "I think we're being jammed," Han replied uneasily.

    "He's on to us," Leia realized suddenly, peering out of the cockpit window towards the mountainous landscape, "The Hunter must be blocking us from making contact."

    CORELLIA

    Ben Solo knew something was wrong the minute he woke up.

    He could not feel his sister's presence at all.

    He climbed out of bed and crept through the light of dawn towards her room. The door slid open automatically, but her bed was empty.

    "Kira?" Ben said loudly.

    He looked to the table by her bed and saw that her training saber, normally put there, was gone as well.

    Kira had left during the night.

    "Winter!" Ben ran into the living room.

    Threepio was slouching by the couch where Winter had been sleeping.

    She woke up in a hurry, saying, "What's the matter, Ben?"

    "It's Kira," Ben said urgently, "She's gone."

    "Oh, no," Winter muttered, getting up onto her feet.

    They looked to Threepio, who was shut off.

    Ben reached behind the golden droid and switched him on.

    "Mistress Kira!" Threepio exclaimed, "Where do you think you're going this time of night?"

    "She's gone," Ben realized grimly.

    "Why hello Master Ben, Mistress Winter," Threepio said, greeting them both.

    "Threepio, do you know where Kira is?" Winter asked.

    "I do believe she was going to find Captain Solo and the Princess," Threepio replied.

    "How did I not see this coming?" Ben groaned, full of regret, "How did I miss this?"

    The small holotable nearby flickered as a hologram of Leia Organa Solo switched on and off.

    "Mom!" Ben rushed to the holotable frantically, Winter right behind him.

    "Ben..." Leia said.

    VANQOR

    Chewie tried to fix the Falcon's comm system as Ben's hologram spoke to Leia.

    "Mom, are you and Dad all right?"

    "We're stuck on Vanqor," Leia said, "We met..."

    Ben's hologram disappeared.

    "No luck," Han grumbled, "Chewie, try again."

    Chewbacca growled in frustration as the transmitter remained blocked.

    "We're still blocked," Han said.

    CORELLIA

    "Mom!" Ben shouted, "Dad! Kira's gone..."

    The holograms faded.

    "They're gone," Ben moaned.

    "At least we know they're all right," Winter said consolingly.

    "I hope Kira hasn't gone to the Hutt system," Ben replied. He was full of worry for both his parents and his little sister.

    "We'll do what we can to help," Winter said, "I'll contact the Republic and tell them to protect the Hutt system so that Kira doesn't run into trouble."

    "And what about me?" Ben asked. He felt very young like Kira as he said, "I have to do something too."

    Winter pressed down on his arm reassuringly. "You are. We're going to get help from the Jedi."

    SPACE

    Throughout the local Republic systems, star pilots received the same holographic message:

    "Attention, this is Admiral Wedge Antilles. Civilian craft is not to travel into the Hutt system. Orders from the Chief of State. Republic pilots, keep an eye on ships traveling through Hutt space. This is a state of emergency."

    NIMBAN SYSTEM

    Finally, Captain Sam Fel was able to regain control of his Vigilance Interceptor. He brought the space-bound vehicle to a halt as it stopped spinning, maneuvering it upright.

    Sam switched on his Interceptor's holoprojector, which fortunately still worked.

    "Captain Fel, did you get the broadcast message?" Admiral Wedge Antilles asked.

    "Affirmative, Admiral," Sam replied, "But I have some bad news. I got separated from General Solo and his wife the Senator. We were attacked by the Coalition and the rest of my squadron got wiped out."

    Admiral Antilles was visibly alarmed. "Do you know what system?"

    "I'm in the Nimban system according to my charts," Sam said, "We were ambushed over the planet Vanqor.

    "The situation with the Coalition is worse than the Senate imagined," Antilles replied, "I'll be there with reinforcements as soon as possible. For now, Captain, stay at your post in the Hutt system."

    "Understood, Admiral," Sam replied. The hologram of Wedge Antilles flickered and faded away.

    Sam set the course of his Interceptor back towards Nal Hutta system, wasting no time.

    Any ships flying near the heart of the Hutt crime syndicate would be flying into their death. He hoped General Solo was okay, but right now he had an important assignment.

    Soon enough, the system of Nal Hutta came into view, indicated by the planet's fog and marshes visivle from outside the atmosphere.

    "This is ridiculous," Sam grumbled.

    He flipped the switch on his fighter's radio to try and patch a signal to the Falcon.

    "General Solo?" he said.

    A flicker, static, and silence followed.

    "General?"

    Sam's eyes gazed around at the lonely, desolate vacuum. His heart sank as he saw the fragmented, blasted wing of a wrecked Interceptor floated within his eyesight. Sam

    Sam wondered which of his squadmates the wing had belonged to, killed by the evil Coalition. He fought back a lump in his throat and tears as the Interceptor fragment drifted out of sight.

    He continued to patrol at a safe distance from the planet, away from the Hutt-controlled vessels surrounding it.

    Sam was alone in his cockpit and his thoughts for a few hours. He was jerked into attentive mode when his scanners beeped, picking up on an approaching ship.

    Flying in a loop around the moons of Nal Hutta, Sam spotted the small fighter, sleek and metal and hard to see.

    He didn't recognize the model, it must have been rare.

    Activating the radio to his Interceptor, Sam addressed the strange vehicle.

    "Greetings. This is Captain Sam Fel of the New Republic."

    The ship's pilot did not respond, but continued their course towards the Hutt planet.

    "Is he stupid?" Sam muttered under his breath.

    Into the radio he said, "Can you hear me? This is Captain Fel. Civilian craft is forbidden from travelling into the Hutt system."

    Again, the ship pilot ignored him.

    Sam flew his own craft towards the strange ship, accelerating as the other craft did not stop.

    Out of the corner of his eye, Sam could spot a Cartel-owned Dor'bulla craft hovering in a circle around the polluted planet surface.

    "This is not a safe area," Sam said in a forceful voice, "Turn back now!"

    "I heard you call me stupid," said a voice into Sam's radio.

    Sam jerked back in his seat in shock, temporarily freezing.

    It was the voice of a young girl, no older than twelve or thirteen

    No wonder, he thought.

    "I don't know what you're talking about," Sam replied, "Now turn around before the Hutts spot you."

    "Your radio was on," the girl replied in a casual, indifferent tone of voice.

    "What's a little girl doing out here alone anyway?" Sam asked.

    "Teach you to call me a little girl," Kira Solo replied angrily.

    She picked up speed, flying straight towards the planet surface.

    Inside the Dor'bulla, a Chiss commander said, "I spot a Republic fighter and some other ship."

    "What kind of craft is that?" the Weequat sergeant asked curiously.

    "I think it's a Jedi ship," the Chiss replied, "They have no business here." He flipped on the holoprojector patching them in to the Hutt Council.

    "Might Hutts," the Chiss commander said, "We've picked up on two small crafts coming our way, a Republic Interceptor and another fighter that I'm sure belongs to the Jedi."

    It was Gorga who responded fiercely.

    "The Republic will not stand in our way!" he bellowed, "You know what to do, Commander."

    Kira did not look back as she piloted Ben's StealthX towards the planet of Nal Hutta.

    By now feeling very frustrated, Sam pursued her, a feeling of dread coming over him as the Dor'bulla turned its laser cannons to the two of them.

    "Get away!" he yelled into the radio as the large Hutt Cartel vessel opened fire.

    Kira's heart raced as the red laserfire streaked her way. She steered the StealthX upward and dodged the laserfire.

    "I don't know how to shoot back," Kira muttered to herself as her hands moved frantically around the controls.

    The Dor'bulla fired again, aiming upwards.

    Kira flew around the surface of Nal Hutta, desperate to get away.

    "I did not think this through," she said to herself.

    Sam fired at the ship's laser cannons, hoping to disable them before they blew the little girl to pieces.

    "Deploy the attack vehicles," a slightly mustachioed Hutt named Marlo ordered.

    Sam narrowly dodged a fatal blast from the Dor'bulla, diving straight downward as he aimed to keep the large vessel's fire away from the young girl.

    He turned the Interceptor back upwards to face the Cartel craft, preparing to fire.

    The Dor'bulla's bottom hatch slid open, allowing six M3-A Scyk fighters to emerge from inside.

    "Of course," Sam grumbled.

    The Scyk fighteres opened fire on Sam, who immediately fired back.

    Swerving to avoid the Cartel ships' fire, Sam blasted at the nearest one, managing to strike the rim of the cockpit.

    Sam flew away from the Hutt Cartel fighters and Dor'bulla to circle the planet.

    To his surprise, Sam saw at least ten more Scyks chasing after the girl's fighter, firing in vain after her.

    "How does she do it?" Sam wondered aloud.

    About half of the pursuing Hutt vehicles turned their fire to Sam, who fired back. His laser bolts went straight into the cockpit of the nearest Scyk.

    "How're we doing?" Sam said into his radio.

    "Could use some help!" the girl shouted as she avoided another hail of fire coming her way.

    Kira swerved the Stealth X away from Nal Hutta's surface as the volleys of firing lasers criss-crossed in an array behind her.

    Sam fired again at the Sycks, taking another one out.

    "Laser cannons not working?" he asked.

    "I don't know...how to use them!" Kira replied frustratedly, playing with the levers of the StealthX controls.

    "Could've fooled me," Sam muttered as he shot the wing off of a Syck fighter.

    "Hang on," Kira's fingers twitched on a red lever switch.

    As the first wave of fighters came circling around, Kira pushed down, releasing a volley of laserfire from her StealthX. Not Ben's, hers, she caught herself thinking.

    Kira could not help but feel an odd thrill as the first round of ammunition tore into the Syck in front of her, turning it into a fiery ball of debris.

    "Not bad!" Sam shouted as he took down another Cartel ship of his own, "You catch on quick!"

    "Glad you think so!" Kira replied as she focused on the enemy craft shooting at her.

    She shot back, landing a direct hit. Kira flew into the sea of Sycks waiting for her and Same, and wasted no time in blasting them.

    Sam could not help but open his mouth at the sight of this young, inexperienced girl flying so well. She must have been...

    Sam was jolted back into the real world by a small hit onto his Interceptor.

    "Blast it!" he groaned, feeling his body turn sideways with his fighter. He made a hard steer upwards and launched a jet of laserfire at the swarm of Hutt Cartel ships.

    He turned his head to find the girl's ship flying down towards the foggy atmosphere of Nal Hutta, almost touching the polluted clouds.

    Sam sped along after her, catching up behind the girl.

    "What are you doing?" he demanded, "Everyone here's going to be out to get you. This is Hutt territory!"

    "I'm on a mission," the girl said determinedly, flying through the fog towards the ground below.

    "Look, you can't possibly be on a mission. You're just a kid," Sam replied, "You can't be here!"

    "And yet I am," Kira said, looking for a place on the surface of Nal Hutta to land, "And you're following me." There was a hint of teasing in her voice despite the serious nature of her mission.

    "I can't let you get killed out here," Sam replied, watching through his scanners as the remaining Sycks picked up pursuit.

    Inside the headquarters of the Hutt Council, Gorga said, "Only Jedi fly like that pilot did. Luke Skywalker must have sent another one after Princess Leia."

    "She is no longer here," Marlo pointed out.

    "This other Jedi could be looking for her," Gorga replied, "Maybe the Republic craft is affiliated with General Solo. Maybe together they are the perfect bait."

    A short time later, a cluster of bounty hunters was assembled inside the Cartel headquarters.

    "We have an important assignment for whichever bounty hunter succeeds," Gorga explained, "Two ships have entered our atmosphere, affiliated with the Republic and possibly our target, the Princess. We want the pilots."

    The bounty hunters silently gave their understanding.

    TARIS

    Deep under an old, abandoned factory, a crew worked to finish assembling a long and elaborate series of wires. The connecting cables were set to run throughout long, elaborate tunnels under Taris's captial city.

    The wires were all connected to one central source, a large detonator directly under the factory whose poorly-run city had been laid to waste.

    Flanked by armed guerrillas as well as Black Sun leader Duke Blazor, Supreme Leader Snoke marched through the underground complex.

    "Long preparation has gone into this," he informed Blazor, "The Republic will tremble and soon descend into chaos."

    Suddenly, the gauntlet on Snoke's wrist blinked.

    Snoke raised it and activated the hologram of a woman in Mandalorian armor.

    "Ah, Ailyn," Snoke said, "What news do you have?"

    "I've been following the Solos' daughter from Corellia," bounty hunter Ailyn Fett replied, "She came to the Hutt system to find her parents."

    Snoke stroked his beard with intrigue. "Of course, the General and the Jedi Senator."

    "The Hutts have set a bounty on her," Ailyn continued, "They want her for themselves. I plan to capture her before any other bounty hunter."

    Snoke didn't miss Ailyn's tone of voice, which suggested that the next move was his.

    Looking to Blazor, Snoke said, "The child of the Solos would be the perfect tool in waging war with the Republic. We will pay you a hefty sum for her alive."

    Ailyn nodded, having expected this.

    After the communication ended, Snoke used his wrist gauntlet to make contact with the masked Jedi Hunter.

    "What is it, Supreme Leader?" the Hunter asked. At the moment, he stood on a mountain summit outside his VCX-100 freighter.

    "Forget about Han and Leia Solo," Snoke replied, "We will bring them to us along with their friends and allies once we have their daughter in our hands.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2020
    Iron_lord likes this.
  6. BookExogorth

    BookExogorth Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    May 4, 2017
    Part 1 review:
    Always fun to explore what-might-have-beens!

    Taris! I think I remember you saying you didn't get this planet from Kotor, but it's definitely nostalgic to revisit this planet!

    Interesting that Snoke seems to be less blatantly mysterious in this rewrite. Oh, I also like having the new republic around! This opening scene seems to mirror ep 1 somewhat, with diplomats going to negotiate, but with more going on behind the scenes.

    I love Leia being an active jedi! That she got training was one of my favorite parts of ROS. And we've got some legends jedi! (Rip legends jedi.)

    This Solo family set-up is cute! The interactions between Ben, Kira, and Threepio were well-written, and fun to read!

    Will read chapter 2 sometime soon!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
    Emperor Ferus likes this.
  7. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    Ben, Winter and Threepio sat in the passenger's quarters of Winter's CR70 Corvette, where two security guards stood at attention outside. Threepio was shut off and resting as the two humans spoke.

    "Can you sense either Kira or your parents with the Force?" Winter asked the son of her oldest friend.

    Ben closed his eyes and reached into the Force.

    He concentrated on his connection to his mother and father, trying to get an idea of where they were.

    "I think I can sense my parents," Ben replied, "They're okay, but worried."

    "And Kira?" Winter asked.

    "Nothing," Ben said with a frown, "She needs to be more attuned to the Force herself for me to be able to feel her."

    An officer stepped into the quarters. "Ambassador, we are almost in the system," he reported.

    "Very good," Winter replied solemnly, "Let's go Ben."

    Ben flicked on Threepio's switch and followed Winter out.

    "Come on Threepio."

    "Another space travel adventure," Threepio groaned, "Why did you have to wake me up for this?"

    The three of them entered the cockpit where they could see the planet Ossus through the window as the Corvette came out of lightspeed.

    Ossus had a surface that appeared bright yellow, with multicolored fauna and cities sprinkled around that were visible from space.

    "We're here," Ben said, sensing the power of the Jedi old and new as the Corvette proceeded towards the planet.

    The Jedi Academy had once been used by Jedi of the Old Republic, and had been in use again ever since Luke had taken the Jedi away from Coruscant.

    The Jedi now lived in near seclusion, except for Ben's mother Leia who conducted duties as a Senator for Corellia.

    "Destination, Jedi Academy," Ben said to the pilot, who nodded in understanding and set the course.

    The Corvette sped through the orange and yellow clouds and into Ossus's atmosphere. The ships speeding to, from and through the planet's cities appeared very small from a distance.

    The Academy was a tall stone building built in a forest clearing amid a field of bright, glowing vegetation. Its towers had walkways between them and many staircases visible from the outside.

    Ben could see Jedi Masters, Knights and apprentices walking between staircases and doorways.

    He made out Kam Solusar training a group of youngsters on the field, instructing them in lightsaber combat. The glow from the training lightsabers was visible from high above.

    Twenty-three years after the death of the Empire, there were only about forty Jedi in total, the majority being young apprentices. The number of experienced Masters was even fewer considering the three Jedi who had been killed in the last few years.

    "This planet is a holy sanctuary of the light side," Winter remarked as they flew towards the Jedi Academy.

    Underneath the archway leading into the Academy's main entrance, a blue and white astromech droid beeped and trembled.

    An artificial metallic hand enclosed in a glove patted the top of Artoo Deetoo's domed head.

    Ben closed his eyes in a meditative state as the Corvette descended onto the field.

    Threepio followed Ben and Winter as they exited the cockpit and made their way towards the ship's ramp, which slid open for them.

    Two armed guards joined them, standing on either side of Winter.

    From the Jedi Academy, the Jedi Master Tionne approached Winter's Corvette, walking across the field past Solusar and the young pupils under his tutelage.

    Both Ben and Winter bowed to the blond-haired woman, who bowed back.

    "Young Solo," Tionne said, "Good to see you back.

    "Thank you Master Tionne," Ben replied, "Good to see you."

    "Ambassador," Tionne said, shaking Winter's hand

    "We're here to see Master Skywalker," Winter said, "It's about Ben's sister Kira."

    "I believe Master Skywalker has been expecting you," Tionne replied, "Right this way."

    As Ben, Winter and Threepio followed Tionne through the golden field towards the massive Academy infrastructure, Ben could hear Master Solusar's lesson to the young trainees.

    "The third form of lightsaber combat, Soresu, is largely concerned with defense," Solusar was saying, "It is useful in deflecting shots from an enemy, or defending oneself from another lightsaber..."

    Ben thought back to when he had received this same lesson, years ago in the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. He had been the best in the class, not that it mattered. Skyler had been there with him then, struggling and falling behind.

    Skyler had always acted happy for Ben's prowess during their years of training, but Ben knew that he had been envious. He'd never expected his former best friend to take his jealousy that far, however...

    Winter came up to Ben's side and whispered quietly.

    "For your parents and Kira, let us hope Master Skywalker can give us the help we need."

    Ben nodded, returning to the moment as his Uncle Luke had taught him. The past didn't matter now. His parents and sister did.

    "You're thinking of Skyler now," Winter said observantly.

    Ben flinched, startled at her deduction. No reason to deny it.

    "Yeah. Since I've been here, I've always been thinking...it's because of him that Uncle Luke moved the Jedi here from the Temple. Because of what Skyler did."

    "Master Skywalker cares greatly about the safety of his young Jedi," Winter replied, "He does not want to expose them to the dangers of the galaxy."

    They reached the steps leading up into the Temple's large, overhanging archway, which was flanked by two glass windows.

    "I will fetch Master Skywalker for your graces," Tionne said, bowing to Ben and Winter."

    "Thank you Master," Ben replied, bowing in return.

    Tionne disappeared into the Academy among the Jedi coming and going.

    The hooded man dressed in homespun Jedi robes sat in his private chamber, eyes closed. But he was not in meditation, he was seeking counsel.

    Faithfully, Artoo Deetoo stood perched outside the entrance to his master's quarters, keeping a watchful eye over his old friend.

    Facing away from the doorway, Grand Master Luke Skywalker spoke to the two Force spirits on either side of him.

    "I know Ben has come for help," Luke said, "I know that Han and Leia are in trouble. But I have even more responsibilities than I had when I was a young pilot. I built this new Jedi Order and I need to see it through. I can't let my personal feelings interfere."

    "Grown up you have, Skywalker," replied the ghost of the late Master Yoda, "Your devotion to the protection of your students, admirable it is."

    "How could I face Ben and Kira if I let anything happen to them?" Luke asked, weighing all possible options in his mind.

    "Both your sister and Captain Solo are beyond capable warriors," another voice chimed in. On Luke's other side was the shimmering apparition of another deceased Jedi, the bearded Obi-Wan Kenobi, "They would understand your need to remain with your pupils, especially Leia. She is a trained Jedi herself, after all."

    "I know," Luke replied, "She's handled herself before, and she can again."

    "Your decision, this is as the Grand Master of the Order" Yoda said, "We are only here to advise, not to lead the Jedi for you."

    NAL HUTTA

    Kira glanced frantically over her shoulder at the Sycks gaining on her. "This is bad," she said, "this is really bad."

    The Cartel ships sprang out of the cloudy polluted sky, surrounding Kira's fighter in a ring of laserfire.

    Panting in fear, Kira swerved the StealthX side to side to dodge the hail of bolts speeding downward towards her.

    From above the foggy clouds, Sam Fel piloted his Interceptor towards the swarm of Sycks, opening fire once again.

    About half the Sycks on Kira's tail turned their attention towards Sam, turning their cannons towards him.

    "How did I end up here?" Sam wondered aloud as he pumped his fighter's trigger, blasting through one Hutt Cartel vehicle after another. "Chasing after a kid."

    "I can still hear you!" Kira shouted as she dodged a blast from a Syck fighter. She turned her guns towards the enemy ship and fired back, blasting it into a ball of fire and sending it crashing into the swamp below.

    The splash caused the bubbly liquid to rise, with drops of it striking the window of Kira's cockpit.

    "Damn it," she muttered frustratedly, briefly losing control of the StealthX. She felt herself falling in the pilot's chair towards Nal Hutta's swampy surface before seizing the controls and steering towards the Syck before her.

    The enemy ship fired. Kira turned the StealthX upward to avoid the blast. She was about to fire back before she saw that the Syck had already been hit and burst into flames.

    "You're welcome," Sam said as he flew over her, "Now it's time for you to get away from here."

    "Not a chance," Kira muttered. As gracefully as she could, she steered her brother's StealthX through the fog and landed with a large skid onto the marsh-filled surface.

    "What the hell are you doing?" Sam demanded.

    He began to land his Interceptor onto a piece of solid ground, feeling increasingly dumbfounded by this warrior girl.

    As soon as Kira landed, she opened the StealthX cockpit and climbed out.

    She shivered and cringed in disgust as her boots slipped into the mucky ground.

    "Ugh," she whispered.

    Seeing more Sycks flying in the distance above the buildings partly obscured by the fog, Kira drew the blaster she had taken with her and with her hand groped at the training lightsaber she had kept tucked into her flight suit.

    Kira immediately started towards the spaceport ahead where the Cartel headquarters was located

    Once he had landed on Nal Hutta's surface, Sam wasted no time. He scrambled out of his fighter and pulled out his blaster.

    "Hey!" he shouted, running after the young girl.

    Kira did not turn around, but kept walking towards the cluster of spherical, egglike buildings.

    Sam trudged through the marshes until he caught up with the small girl.

    "What are you doing here, kid?" he demanxed, turning the girl around to face him.

    Kira looked up into the pilot's eyes. The first thought that came into her mind was how good-looking he was. But that didn't mean anything now.

    "I'm here to rescue my parents," Kira replied, recovering from her slight pang of attraction to the pilot, "I'm the daughter of General and Senator Solo. And you must be Captain Sam Fel."

    Sam did a double take. How had he not figured this out? It should have been obvious, given that no other thirteen-year-old girl would fly into Hutt Space at this time.

    "You're Han and Leia's daughter Kira?" he asked, "That explains why you were doing so well against those Hutt Cart fighters."

    "Well thanks," Kira said quietly, looking down at the swampy ground in slight embarrassment.

    "I assume you came to rescue your parents, is that it?" Sam said, "I escaped from here with them, but I lost sight of them when we were attacked by the Coalition."

    Kira looked up at the pilot. "I need to go help them," she said earnestly, "I know they're in danger."

    "I'm sure your Mom and Dad don't want you flying into a danger zone like you just did," Sam replied, "You have to get out of here before..."

    The sound of heavy ammunition interrupted Sam. He pulled Kira to the ground as a missile soared through the gaseous air and struck Ben's resting StealthX.

    "No!" Kira screamed as the Jedi ship erupted in a ball of gas that filled the air. She coughed as the black smoke from the explosion crept towards the two of them.

    "We're in trouble," Sam grumbled, aiming his blaster in the direction the missile had come from.

    A tall, muscular reptilian Trandoshan climbed out of his landspeeder, carrying a large Relby-v10 mortar gun.

    "Get back, Bossk!" Sam yelled, standing protectively over Kira.

    "I know who he is," Kira whispered, recognizing the Trandoshan as a bounty hunter who had been hired to capture her father, losing to Boba Fett.

    "That girl is wanted by the Hutts," Bossk said, "And yet she was stupid enough to come into their territory. If you give her up without a fight, Republic scum, I might let you leave alive."

    "I'm not afraid to shoot you, bounty hunter," Sam replied. His arms trembled as a shudder went through his body at the sight of Bossk's weapon.

    "I have you outgunned," Bossk boasted, "If you fire that puny little blaster, I blow you both up."

    Kira gazed up at her father's pilot, admiring his courage and feeling safer under his protection. But she knew that Bossk had the advantage.

    "If I hear you pull the trigger, I'll put one into yoir skull," Sam threatened.

    They were at a stand-off. Kira looked between Sam and the bounty hunter Bossk. Both of them were looking for a way out.

    Kira raised her own pistol and said, "Now you're outgunned, lizard man."

    Bossk pressed down on the trigger to fire, but Kira yanked out her training lightsaber and activated its short blue blade and dropped her pistol into the puddle of marsh.

    She ran at the unsuspecting Bossk and slammed the lightsaber into his mortar gun.

    Bossk remained on his feet, but stumbled sideways with the heavy weapon in his arms, firing about fifteen feet to the right of Sam, who scrambled out of the way.

    Bossk tried to turn his mortar gun towards Kira, but she pressed against it with all the strength she had.

    With a roar, Bossk raised his large foot and struck Kira hard in the stomach.

    Kira tried to scream as she flew backwards, but Bossk had knocked the wind out of her.

    She fell backwards dazed and landed on the ground hard on her back.

    Kira tried to roll over with a groan of pain, but couldn't move.

    Bossk turned towards her, but stopped as Sam shot at him, hitting him in the arm.

    Bossk stumbled and let the mortar gun slip from his clawed hands.

    Sam aimed for Bossk's head, but the old Trandoshan was too fast. Bossk sprinted back to his swoop bike and climbed on, speeding into the fog.

    Sam ran towards the fallen Kira, who was still struggling to breathe, let alone move.

    "Hey, are you okay?" Sam asked.

    Hearing his voice gave Kira a little more strength.

    She reached up and took his outstreched hand, smiling slightly.

    "Yeah, thanks."

    Sam grunted as he seized both of Kira's hands and pulled her back up.

    "You saved me," Kira said, staring at Sam in awe, "He would have killed me."

    She felt tempted to hug the pilot, but held back.

    "Hey, don't worry about it kid." Sam replied, "Let's just get out of this system."

    "My suit and hair are all muddy," Kira complained.

    "Never mind that," Sam replied, "We have to get out of here."

    The sound of several engines roaring came from the fog as more swoop bikes surrounded the two of them.

    "We want the Solo girl," a female Zabrak named Jas Emari said, "She's worth a lot to the Hutts."

    "Didn't know this many people cared about me," Kira said sarcastically.

    "I'm prepared to shoot to kill," Sam said to the bounty hunters, "You'll have to get through me to have her."

    "The Hutts don't like Republic trespassers," the Kyuzo hunter named Embo replied, "You're marked for death, pilot."

    Sam looked around, pointing his blaster at the team of thugs.

    He pulled the trigger and fired at Embo, who shot back

    Sam swayed out of the way as the red laser jets came flying from the swoop bikes.

    Kira was quick to action, blocking the laserfire with her training saber.

    I can be a Jedi, she thought, I can do whatever they can.

    Sam lunged forward, striking at Embo with his hands and blaster.

    Embo fought back, knocking Sam in the head with his elbow.

    Sam nearly fell over, but came back with a right hook that knocked Embo off his speeder.

    Shooting at Jas Emari, Sam jumped onto the swoop bike and holstered his blaster.

    He shouted to Kira, "Get on!"

    Kira leapt onto the seat behind Sam and wrapped her arms tightly around him.

    Sam started the engine, zooming through the fog as the bounty hunters began pursuit.

    "Hold on tight!" Sam shouted.

    Kira clasped her hands together against Sam, feeling the seat beneath her wobbling.

    "Your ship's that way!" Kira said, looking over her shoulder.

    "We gotta lose them first," Sam replied, swerving the speeder forty-five degrees sideways to avoid the ammunition from their bounty hunter pursuers.

    Kira held on tightly to Sam's middle as she felt her seat wobble beneath her. She shifted uncomfortable as Sam steered the speeder bike in a zig-zag motion.

    The team of bounty hunters had formed a wide circle behind them, making it impossible for Sam to turn back to his Interceptor.

    Kira kept one arm tight against Sam's stomach, then turned around with her pistol and fired.

    Her shot missed the bounty hunter, but it grazed into his speeder, which veered into the swoop bike next to him.

    "Nice work," Sam said, speeding through the fog towards Bilboussa Spaceport, where landspeeder traffic was traveling to and from.

    "You think we're going to lose them in here?" Kira asked.

    "That's the plan," Sam replied, zooming into the small town based around Bilboussa.

    As the bounty hunter swoop bikes kept up the chase, Sam swerved to avoid an incoming speeder.

    The swoop bike rocked from side to side as the speeder struck against another passing vehicle, causing sparks to fly.

    Pedestrians darted out of the way as Sam struggled to fly the speeder bike.

    "I'm losing control," he said, skidding against the wall.

    Kira turned around to find the female Zabrak right on their tail.

    "They're gaining!" she shouted.

    "Hang on!" Sam said, pressing the accelerator.

    Kira screamed as she found herself flying off of her seat onto the ground.

    "Kira!" Sam shouted as Nal Hutta residents hurried past Kira, their bodies obscuring her.

    Kira grabbed for the blaster that had slipped out of her hand, but a passing foot kicked it aside.

    "No," she groaned.

    Sam moved to turn the swoop bike around, but found himself under fire from Jas Emari.

    He pulled the levers on his speeder bike handles to shoot back.

    The bystanders were in a panic now, rushing in all directions to escape the chaos. Kira struggled to get back onto her feet amid the fast-moving pedestrian traffic.

    "Help!" she cried desperately.

    "Kira!" Sam yelled, looking around with his eyes as he continued to exchange fire.

    Kira finally got onto her feet, but felt a large body slam against her, pushing her away from Sam into another alleyway.

    A crowd of unidentifible beings was flooding the alley to escape the violence.

    Her heart pounding in fear, Kira pushed against the mob, weaving her way through everybody to get back to Sam.

    "Sam!" she called out.

    Sam tried to turn his vehicle again, but another swoop bike slammed against it.

    He turned around to find Bossk glowering at him with his reptilian eyes.

    Sam gripped the left handle tightly and with his right hand reached for his blaster to fire.

    The swoop bike spun out of control as Sam exchanged blasterfire with the vengeful Bossk.

    Sam turned his head to find the bike about to crash.

    He let go and jumped off as it crashed into the wall in a fiery explosion, leaving a large hole as a fire erupted.

    Sam coughed on the cinders and ashes as he rolled over, pointing his blaster at Bossk's speeder.

    Bossk had lost sight of his target, searching for Sam amid the fleeing crowd.

    Not wanting to waste any more time, Sam leapt onto his feet and ran with the mob, looking desperately for the daughter of the man he admired most.

    Unable to push back against the larger beings, Kira ran in the direction of the crowd, far from her bounty hunter pursuers.

    She had lost her pistol, but still had her training lightsaber, as useless as it would be in a duel.

    Suddenly, Kira felt a hard object hit her from behind.

    She turned around, only to feel hands grabbing her by the arms.

    Kira screamed and kicked, unable to see her assailiants. She had never been filled with such fear.

    She wanted Sam to be there, or her brother Ben, or her parents...

    "HELP!" she screamed, tears coming to her eyes.

    "Damnit, where are you Kira?" Sam shouted, racing through the crowd.

    Kira kicked hard, trying to fight back with her saber, but the hands held her arm tight.

    She couldn't see, she couldn't breathe, all she could make out was a crowd of people pushing by...

    At last, she managed to pull herself free, falling down onto the ground.

    Kira crawled away, making sure she had her training weapon with her.

    Coughing, she slithered as fast as she could on the street until she found a corner to turn.

    Exhausted, she crawled into the smaller, narrower passageway, and slumped against the wall.

    She couldn't stop herself now. Kira cried as she huddled alone, far from home and her family.

    All of the sudden, Kira felt a hand on her shoulder.

    She jumped in fright, only for the hand press down.

    "Ssh," Ailyn Fett whispered as she leaned into Kira's ear.

    She pressed her stun baton against Kira's neck and the girl went limp.
     
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  8. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    OSSUS

    Ben, Winter and Threepio waited as Luke Skywalker emerged from the entrance to the Jedi Academy, with faithful little Artoo behind him.

    Upon reaching the three newcomers, Luke bowed.

    “Good to see you Luke,” Winter said, bowing back along with Ben.

    “Same to you, Winter,” Luke replied, “I hope the journey was all right.”

    He turned to his young nephew, frowning. “Ben, you came back so soon. What’s going on?”

    Ben swallowed before talking.

    “Uncle...Master Skywalker, Kira took off. She took my StealthX and went after Mom and Dad herself.”

    “That’s bad,” Luke replied, “She’ll be an easy target for the Coalition, not to mention...”

    He paused and exchanged a knowing look with Ben, who nodded in understanding.

    “If Kira’s gone to Hutt Space, there’s no telling what’ll happen to her there,” Luke said, “We have no time to waste.”

    “So you’re coming with us?” Ben asked.

    Luke nodded.

    Threepio approached and said, “Master Luke, how lovely to see you. It has been far too long.”

    Luke patted the golden protocol droid on the shoulder and replied, “Looking shiny, Threepio.”

    Artoo wheeled through the grass to his old friend and beeped a greeting.

    “And Artoo, how I’ve missed you,” Threepio said to the astromech, “You’ll have to tell me everything.”

    Artoo replied again.

    “You’re bored?” Threepio asked pointedly, “You’ve been on this exotic world while I’ve been on baby-sitting duty.”

    Inside the Academy’s main lobby, Luke spoke with Master Saba Sebatyne.

    “I am trusting you to watch over the rest of the Jedi, Saba,” Luke said to her, “I don’t wish to leave the Jedi unsafe, but I trust that you will lead to the best of your ability.”

    “I will defend this Academy with my life, Master,” Saba replied with a bow.

    “I’ll feel better once the overall threat is dealt with,” Luke said, “That is what I hope to do on this mission.”

    Soon enough, Luke was waving goodbye to the Jedi training on the field.

    “Goodbye Master Skywalker!” the youngest students called out in a chorus.

    Luke smiled and gave them a wave as he followed Ben, Winter and Threepio aboard.

    As Artoo trailed behind his master up the ramp, Threepio turned back to his smaller friend.

    “I don’t know how you enjoy these awful star voyages,” he remarked.

    Artoo chuckled in amusement as the ramp closed behind them.

    VANQOR
    Whatever Supreme Leader Snoke’s orders were, the Jedi Hunter was not going to give up on tracking down Han and Leia Solo just yet.

    The Hunter was not a servant of the Coalition, but rather in partnership with it. He served the dark side, not any militia group or guerrilla leader.

    The Hunter flew low inside his freighter, keeping the Sith Holocron at the side of the pilot seat.

    On the cliffside, Leia closed her eyes and felt a dark presence.

    “The Hunter’s looking for us,” she said to Han, “He’s getting close.”

    “We’d better get out of here then,” Han replied.

    Chewbacca let out a roar of warning as the VCX-100 came into view, opening fire on them.

    Leia ignited her blue lightsaber blade as Han and Chewbacca raised their weapons.

    The volley of ammunition coming from the laser cannons flew into the cave over their heads.

    The Hunter aimed to fire directly at the Falcon, ready to blow up the ship he had once known so well...

    He sensed trouble.

    The Hunter turned his head as several Republic Interceptors flew through Vanqor’s crystalline atmosphere towards him, firing their guns.

    “Looks like we’ve got some help!” Leia said, pointing at the Republic craft that had arrived on Vanqor.

    Gritting his teeth in anger, the Hunter dove down in line with the rocky slope to avoid the ships incoming.

    “Finally, we can get that murdering pest off our backs and get off this rock of hell,” Han muttered.

    Seeing the Republic cruiser, which had been upgraded considerable from its predecessor of the Clone Wars era, the Hunter realized he was outnumbered. On land, he knew he’d easily be able to kill those puny pilots, but now he had to be smart.

    The VCX-100 freighter disappeared into the gaseous clouds over the mountaintop as a Marketta-class shuttle came down towards the ledge where the Millennium Falcon had crash-landed.

    Han and Leia embraced in relief as Chewie threw his arms around both of them, roaring loudly.

    The Marketta shuttle landed next to the Falcon and the ramp slid open.

    Han, Leia and Chewie turned to greet the man coming out of the Republic owned shuttle.

    “Took you long enough, Admiral,” Han said with a lopsided grin.

    “Always getting yourself in a jam, aren’t you, you old scoundrel,” Lando Calrissian replied as he came down to greet his old friends.

    “Lando, we have to go now,” Leia said urgently, “Kira’s left Corellia and she’s looking for us. My guess is she went to the Hutt System.”

    “The Hutt System?” Lando repeated, “That’s far away. I’ll get us there as soon as possible, but I’ll contact any available patrol craft and send them there first.”

    “Anything you can do, we appreciate,” Leia replied, clasping Lando’s hand.

    “We’d better get moving then,” Han said, “Thanks for coming after us, Lando.”

    “Of course,” Lando replied with a small grin before turning back to his shuttle.

    He turned back to them as they prepared to reboard the Falcon.

    May the Force be with you guys.”

    “It always is,” Han replied as he followed his wife and his best friend into their ship. He genuinely believed it too.

    NAL HUTTA

    Sam ran through the streets of Bilbousa Spaceport, desperately searching.

    “Kira!” he shouted, his head moving quickly around the fleeing mob.

    Above him, ships and speeders were blasting off into the foggy air.

    By now, alarms were blaring in the spaceport. Sam saw a cloaked thug drawing a blaster and pointing it at him.

    Sam quickly fired and put a bolt through the thug’s chest as the assassin shot at him as well.

    He darted into a narrower passageway and ran as fast as he could.

    “Kira!” he yelled again.

    When he reached the other side, Sam saw a Firespray-class ship docked in a small hangar adjacent to a pub.

    To his horror, Ben saw a woman dragging a small girl into the ship.

    “No!” he yelled, aiming his blaster to shoot.

    The Firespray’s ramp slammed shut as Sam’s blaster bolt zigged past it and went through the wall of the spaceport.

    Sam had no time to lose.

    As the Firespray took off into the sky, Sam sprinted back in the direction of the swamp where he had landed in his Interceptor.

    By the time he reached it through the muck, Sam was exhausted, out of breath, and could barely stand.

    Panting, he staggered into the cockpit of his Interceptor and pulled the lever to start the engine, making to follow the Firespray blasting off into space.

    Sam’s ship veered low as he struggled to catch his breath. With determination, he sped upward in the direction that the Firespray had disappeared into the gaseous fog.

    Finally coming to her senses, Kira lay on a cot in the Firespray, her wrists clamped together by a pair of bindercuffs.

    “Hey!” she shouted, “Let me go!”

    The pilot of the Firespray ignored her at first.

    Sam spotted the Firespray disappearing as soon as he exited the atomosphere of Nal Hutta.

    It was about to go into lightspeed, he was about to lose Kira...

    He couldn’t. Sam prepared to make the jump at the same time as the other ship, wherever it was headed.

    Once she set her ship into autopilot, Ailyn got out of the cockpit and went into the cockpit where her captive was shouting angrily.

    “I can make this journey much more painful for you, girl,” she said.

    Kira glared at the woman who had captured her. The tatooed, dark-haired Ailyn scowled back at her spitefully.

    “Aren’t you taking me to your slug bosse?” she asked.

    Ailyn laughed. “No, the Freedom Coalition has a much higher price on your head. If it wasn’t for that, I’d end your life myself. I know who you are, Solo girl. I know who your family is.”

    “What’s it to you, sleemo?” Kira growled.

    “Your father killed the bounty hunter Boba Fett,” the bounty hunter replied, “I’m Ailyn, Boba’s daughter.”

    Ailyn bent down next to Kira so that their faces were level. She took a chunk of the girl’s hair and yanked it hard.

    “You’re lucky that money means more to me than my family,” Ailyn whispered, “The Coalition wants you alive or you’d be dying painfully right now.”

    “Do your worst,” Kira replied, and spat in the bounry hunter’s tatooed face.

    Ailyn recoiled and growled angrily.

    She pulled Kira up by the hair, and elbowed her in the stomach.

    Kira cried out from the blow and kicked at Ailyn, who slammed her head against the wall, still gripping a lock of Kira’s hair.

    NAL HUTTA

    “Bosses, we got trouble,” the Chiss officer aboard the Dor’bulla reported, “We’ve got several Republic ships entering our system.”

    “This is unacceptable,” fumed Gorga from inside the Hutt Council headquarters.

    Two Republic cruisers emerged from hyperspace, swarmed by about two dozen smaller craft including fighters and transport carriers.

    “The Republic has crossed us for the last time!” Arok the Hutt exclaimed.

    It wasn’t long before the Republic navy overtook the Cartel patrol ships, storming down into the smoky, foggy atmosphere of Nal Hutta.

    The vested, visor wearing New Republic troopers came pouring out of the transport carriers as soon as they landed while the Interceptor pilots did battle with the Cartel Sycks.

    As the Repubic soldiers stormed through the bogs and marshes into Bilbousa Spaceport, they were met by several Hutt Cartel thugs, mostly Weequay and Nikto guards.

    The Republic troops easily outmatched the untrained hires, having years of combat training under their belts.

    One man managed to knock a Nikto’s blaster out of his wrinkled hands. Gripping his own blaster in one hand, the soldier grabbed the Nikto by the shirt and pulled him into an alley.

    “Do you know where the Solo girl is?” the Republic trooper demanded.

    “I don’t know anything,” the Nikto replied fearfully.

    “The Hutts aren’t going to find out. Are you willing to give up your freedom for them?”

    “A bounty hunter in Mandalorian armor got her,” the Nikto sputtered, “Ailyn Fett, she took the girl off planet. I don’t know where they went.”

    Another unit came bursting into the Hutt Cartel headquarters, which was a spherical structure built atop a large cluster of roots from the ground.

    They were met by a small legion of IG assassin droids, programmed to shoot to kill without asking questions.

    Additional reinforcements entered as Syck after Syck was shot down from the sky.

    “Prepare our evacuation skiff!” Gorga the Hutt ordered.

    HYPERSPACE

    Inside the private quarters of Admiral Calrissian’s shuttle, Lando switched on his holoprojector to receive a message from a Republic soldier.

    “What is it?”

    “Admiral, I was able to question one of the Hutt Cartel guards. Kira Solo was taken by a bounty hunter out of the Hutt system.”

    “That is not good news,” Lando said gravely as he quickly made his way from his quarters into the cockpit, setting the projector down on a special panel that transmitted the communication to the Falcon.

    “Oh no,” Leia whimpered, shuddering in fear and sorrow.

    Han put a comforting arm around his wife, whose face was now stricken with tears.

    “It’s got to be the Coalition after her,” Han said, frowning.

    “Yes, but the problem is we don’t know where they are,” Lando replied.

    NAL HUTTA

    All of the sudden, a flash of two red blades came into the room and made its way through the Republic forces.

    The men screamed as a propeller of plasma cut through their stomachs and necks before they had time to react. Like the men littered in the streets outside, they were quickly reduced to a pile of corpses.

    “Fall back!” the Republic commander shouted in fear.

    Fleeing, the men fired at the masked Jedi Hunter as he slowly prowled towards them, deflecting their shots with his twin lightsabers.

    It was child’s play to the dark warrior as he cut through the soldiers. With one lightsaber he tore through a man’s heart and with the other deflected a volley of ammunition.

    He enjoyed the thrill of victory, even against far inferior opponents such as these.

    Before long, not a single Republic soldier was left alive.

    The Hunter deactivated his red blades and placed them elegantly back in their holsters on his belt.

    He then bent down to pick up the head of a decaptiated Republic corporal. Blood was dripping down the bottom of the man’s neck, the Hunter noticed. Some of it got onto his boots.

    Gripping the man’s head by the visor helmet fastened onto him, the Hunter prowled through the conference room where the Hutts were boarding their massive skiff to leave.

    “Shoot him down!” Marlo ordered.

    The Hunter proudly held up the Republic head.

    “Without me, would it really be a win?” he asked, “Or would the Republic have you under its oppression by now. I laid waste to those men and I will not hesitate to lay more waste

    “What do you want, assassin?” Gorga asked.

    “I want you to reconsider the Coalition’s offer,” the Hunter replied with a sneer, “Leia Solo may not be dead, but after today you cannot deny that our presence is beneficial to you. I propose that you join us, and we will help eradicate the Republic from thr face of the galaxy.”

    On the deck of their skiff, the Hutts all looked at one another and spoke in Huttese.

    The Hunter shifted his feet impatiently.

    At last, Gorga slithered his obese body to the railing and looked down at the Hunter.

    “The Hutt Council has decided to agree to this alliance,” the Hutt replied, “We hope to be free of Republic authority for all time.”

    “You will not regret this,” the Hunter replied, “Supreme Leader Snoke will be pleased to hear of the good news.”

    HYPERSPACE

    With a sudden burst of vigor, Kira kicked harder against Ailyn Fett’s Mandalorian armor chestplates, finally forcing the lithe woman to stumble backwards.

    Before Ailyn could retaliate, Kira twisted her body and slid down off the cot onto her feet.

    Struggling to maintain balance, she moved quickly out of the cargo hold as Ailyn lunged.

    Kira wrapped both of her arms around the seat in the cockpit, trying to break the bindercuffs.

    Ailyn produced a long E-11 rifle to fire, but Kira swung her leg and kicked, causing Ailyn to lose her balance.

    The entire Firespray ship trembled, slowing down.

    Ailyn looked around in bewilderment as the Firespray appeared to develop a mind of its own, suddenly setting course for the nearby ice planet ahead.

    Kira closed her eyes and reached out, trying to tap into her connection to the Force.

    She thought she could feel it at that moment, allowing its will to help her. She was steering the bounty hunter’s ship with her mind.

    “What are you doing, you little brat?” Ailyn demanded, whacking Kira with her rifle.

    Kira cried out from the blow and fell down, her bindercuffs cutting through the seat and snapping off.

    The Firespray was descending faster towards the icy, cavernous planet’s surface, passing through its atmosphere into the thick frosty clouds.

    Ailyn struck at Kira again with her rifle. By instinct, Kira knew to duck even though her attention remained on the controls to the Firespray.

    Inside his Vigilance Interceptor, Sam sped quickly after the bounty hunter’s ship. He was barely able to keep it in the sights of his fighter’s tracking scanners, but he was determined not to lose it.

    According to his readings, the ship was now entering the Ilum system, which was centered around an icy planet filled with caves that contained the Kyber crystals used to power Jedi lightsabers.

    It looked like something inside Firespray was trying to land the ship on the planet Ilum, but that something else was resisting as well.

    “That girl’s a fighter,” Sam muttered to himself, hurrying to catch up.

    Kira dodged another blow from Ailyn Fett, ducking as the woman swung her rifle. Kira dove forward under Ailyn’s arm, pushing the woman towards the controls.

    “I’m going to kill you now, little girl,” Ailyn growled, breathing heavily now as her body crashed into the panel that steered the ship.

    The Firespray was descending faster and faster onto the planet’s surface. They were going to crash...

    Kira closed her eyes, concentrating on her will to live. She was not going to die now, not when her parents were in danger, not when her brother was probably worried sick...

    The Firespray’s descent slowed down as it continued its course through Ilum’s atmosphere.

    At last, it creaked and twisted onto its side, sending Kira and Ailyn both flying against the wall of the cockpit.

    Kira concentrated with the Force, knowing she could die...

    Slowly, the Firespray landed on its side in the Ilum snow.

    Sliding down onto the wall with a thud, Kira rolled over, panting. She needed to escape.

    She climbed up onto her feet while Ailyn Fett did the same.

    “You’re not going anywhere, brat,” Ailyn snarled as she grabbed Kira around the neck and squeezed.

    Kira struggled for air and kicked at the bounty hunter, but Ailyn locked her arm tighter around her neck.

    Summoning all of her might, Kira jumped and sprang backwards, sending Ailyn backwards against the control panel.

    Ailyn cried out as she hit her head against the lever.

    Kira ran as fast as she could out of the cockpit, picking up her discarded training saber off the hard metal floor.

    Ailyn recovered from her daze and picked up her rifle as Kira pounded on the pad that opened the hatch to the crashed Firespray.

    Kira sprinted out and ran through the snow, determined to get far away. The sudden cold of the planet caused her to shiver, but she did not stop.

    Ailyn followed her out of the ship and raised her rifle, firing in the direction that Kira was running.

    Kira dodged the shots coming her way and saw an icy cave up ahead.

    Kira felt a sudden calling to the cave, as though it was beckoning her.

    In any case, she knew she’d be able to hide there.

    Hide, Kira, a voice told her.

    Kira darted towards the mouth of the cave, inside which she could see shining crystals all over the interior, buried within.

    Kira gripped her saber tightly as she ran into the cave, immediately immersed into the darkness.

    Kira turned around and with a gasp, realized that the entrance was gone.

    She was alone and trapped, along the crystals that were calling out to her.

    “Trust your feelings,” a strange voice said.

    “Who’s there?” Kira asked, igniting the training lightsaber.

    She could now see several pathways ahead, distinguished by the multicolored glows from the crystal-filled rocks.

    “The right path lies ahead of you,” the voice said, “Use your feelings to determine it.”

    “I just want to go home,” Kira said in a small, weak voice. She felt like giving up in defeat, but she could not, not when her family was in danger too.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
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  9. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    TARIS

    In the streets of Taris’s captial, a squad of guerrilla fighters stood with their blasters raised.

    A patch of rounded-up civilians were squatted on the cement with their hands in the air, all of them trembling in fear.

    A cloaked human mother held her child tightly as the child sobbed. Next to them crouched a Twilek couple. Capping it off was a mixed family- a Zabrak father, a Togruta mother, and two small children, one of each species

    “Please, just let us go,” the male Twilek begged. His wife trembled and sobbed next to him, “We won’t give you any trouble.

    “We didn’t do anything,” the Togruta protested.

    Supreme Leader Snoke was dressed in full body armor and armed with a T-21B heavy blaster and had a jetpack strapped to his back.

    “On the contrary,” he replied coldly, “You are doing us a great service. When the galaxy sees this, they will realize the strength of the many and the weakness of the failed Republic.”

    “The children!”

    “Tragedy is needed to make change,” Snoke replied, “The lives of a few innocents are worth the cost of our grand revolution.”

    He turned to Duke Blazor of Black Sun.

    “You’re sure this is being broadcasted on the Holonet?”

    Blazor nodded and replied, “My agents have sliced into the system. This will be played everywhere.”

    Snoke signaled to the guerrillas.

    “Execute!”

    A chorus of terrified wails was silenced by the firing of several blasters.

    Snoke stared dispassionately at the bodies, watching the blood trickle from their heads onto the pavement.

    “A new era will begin!” Snoke declared, causing his guerrillas to cheer.

    “The Republic will hear our message. Never again will the mighty underworld be forced to submit to a ruling body. We will bring back the might of our mobs, our syndicates, and our free industries.”

    Applause rang out over the dead carcasses of the captured civilians.

    Snoke pulled his beeping comlink from his belt and answered it.

    “What is it?”

    “I have successfully persuaded the Hutt Cartel to join the Freedom Coalition,” the Jedi Hunter reported from the cockpit of his VCX-100, “They have finally seen our point of view.”

    He piloted his craft through hyperspace alongside the Hutt Cartel ships now pledged to the Coalition.

    “Good work, Hunter,” Supreme Leader Snoke replied, “Our doomsday weapon on Taris is ready. The Republic cannot ignore us for much longer.”

    HYPERSPACE

    “Master Skywalker, what’s wrong?” Winter asked with concern as Luke placed his head in his hands, sighing in sorrow.

    “I sense a disturbance in the Force,” Luke replied, “Darkness has encompassed the galaxy once again.”

    At that moment, Ben came into the passengers’ quarters of Winter’s Corvette.

    “Winter, Master Skywalker,” he said urgently, “you both should take a look at this.”

    Inside the holotable room, the three of them watched the footage of the Coalition guerrillas.

    “They’re monsters,” Winter murmered in shock.

    Luke gazed expressionlessly as the holographic Supreme Leader Snoke gave his speech to the crowd of Coalition warriors, causing cheers to erupt from the guerrillas.

    “I’ve kept the Jedi away for too long,” Luke said, his voice cracking at the sight of the horrific scene, “I didn’t want to put those under my command and protection in danger.”

    “We’ll stop the Coalition,” Ben assured his uncle, “We'll make sure they don’t hurt anyone else ever again.”

    “The Senate is still unwilling to acknowledge them as a major threat,” Winter chimed in, “Despite Senator Organa’s efforts, the Chief does not want to call the Republic to arms.”

    “After today, we’ll see how much longer the Republic ignores them,” Luke replied bitterly.

    NAL HUTTA SYSTEM

    Inside his New Republic shuttle, Lando gravely stared at the holographic footage before him.

    Transmitting a signal to the Falcon, Lando asked, “Han, are you seeing this?”

    “Affirmative,” Han replied dully as Chewbacca gave a ferocious growl.

    “I don’t know how the Chief can dismiss the Coalition as no big deal,” Leia groaned, barely able to watch.

    “I’m sure Luke won’t take this lying down,” Han said, “He’s gotta do something about this if the Republic won’t.”

    “Right now I just need to know that our children are safe,” Leia replied.

    HYPERSPACE

    Inside Winter’s Corvette, Luke and Ben simultaneously sensed a sudden dark disturbance in the Force.

    “What’s wrong?” Winter asked, noticing the haunted look on the faces of the two men.

    “It can’t be him,” Ben said, looking anxiously to his uncle.

    “The Hunter’s found us,” Luke replied.

    The Hutt Cartel fleet flew alongside the Jedi Hunter’s VCX-100, appearing right in front of the Corvette.

    Alarms blared through Winter’s ship as guards rushed to arm the cannons

    The Hunter gazed at the diplomatic cruiser before him through the cockpit, sensing the powerful presence inside.

    “Skywalker,” he snarled.

    Into the radio of his own ship, the Hunter ordered, “Open fire. Deploy your fighters. We can’t let this ship survive.”

    As the Syck fighters came pouring out of the Dor’bulla’s, Luke, Ben and Winter sprinted towards the cockpit of the Corvette.

    Once inside, Luke said to the pilot, “Let me take over.”

    The uniformed man looked to Winter questioningly. She nodded and the man climbed out of his seat.

    Luke immediately took his place, steering the ship straight downwards as the Sycks fired.

    “Look out!” Ben shouted as Luke turned the ship around.

    “Man the front guns!” Luke ordered his nephew as he rapidly evaded the zig-zagging shots from the Hutt Cartel ships.

    “I have a bad feeling about this,” Ben muttered as he obeyed, taking the copilot’s seat and firing at as many Sycks as he could.

    The Hunter sped directly into the fray, firing directly at Winter’s Corvette.

    The consular ship trembled as the Hunter blasted through the blaster’s passenger quarters.

    “We’re taking hits!” a voice shouted into the intercom.

    “We’re taking out as many of their fighters as we can,” Luke replied, “But they’ve got another enemy on their side.”

    As the Sycks around them blew up into balls of fire, the Hunter blasted again at the large ship, causing it to tilt sideways.

    “We’re overrun,” Winter said as she held on tight to the back of Ben’s chair, her feet shaking above the trembling floor.

    The alarms continued to sound as Ben fired with everything he had.

    “He knows it’s us,” Ben said to Luke, “I can feel it.”

    “Focus on getting us out of this,” Luke replied, “He doesn’t matter right now.”

    Inside his VCX-100, the Hunter aimed the guns of his ship at the Republic craft.

    “This kill is mine,” he growled, preparing to fire.

    The time he took to savor the moment was a big mistake.

    The Dor’bulla on the side of the Hunter shook and erupted into flames. He looked to the side and glimsped through his mask the approach of a small Republic fleet, led by that infernal Millenium Falcon.

    “Help has arrived,” Winter whispered as the Republic Interceptors and cruiser began firing on the Hutt Cartel fleet.

    “We did not bargain for this,” Gorga said via hologram to the Hunter.

    “They are no threat to us,” the Hunter replied, not entirely believing his own words, “I can easily deal witb those puny ships.”

    As the Corvette recovered from the hits it had taken and crewmen quickly put out the fire that had started inside, Han patched a signal to the Corvette and said, “Do you read me?”

    “Loud and clear, kid,” Luke replied with a grin.

    “LUKE!” Han shouted in delight.

    At the same time, Leia gasped and likewise said her brother’s name in astonishment.

    “I’ve missed you guys,” Luke said, grinning despite the serious situation

    “We’ve missed you too Luke,” Leia said.

    Artoo gave a beep into the radio.

    “And Artoo says hello.”

    “Look out,” Lando said as the Hunter dodged his way through the fire coming at him and sped towards the Republic fleet.

    “Hey there, Lando,” Luke said to his old friend, “I hope the military life’s been treating you well.”

    “We’ll all catch up more later,” Lando replied, barely dodging a Syck laser blast, “Right now we got to get out of this mess.”

    The Hunter blasted at the Republic ships wildly, his anger at the presence of Skywalker increasing. He had had the Jedi scum in his sights, at his mercy.

    “This is not going well,” Marlo the Hutt observed.

    “The Jedi and the Republic have come together,” the Hunter said, “And they will die together.”

    ILUM

    Dressed in full Mandalorian armor and donning the matching helemt, Ailyn Fett hobbled down the snowy pathway towards the ice cave.

    The cave entrance underneath the mouth was pitch black from Ailyn’s viewpoint, so she deduced that the little girl could not have gotten far without getting lost.

    Ailyn would find her and carry her body out.

    For Kira on the other hand, the cave was lit with crystals pointing to a variety of passageways.

    “I don’t know where to go!” she shouted aloud in frustration, “Someone help!”

    “Search your feelings,” the guiding voice said, “Use the Force to guide you, Kira.”

    “Who’s there?” Kira demanded, raising her blue training saber.

    She looked from the pathway lit blue to the one filled with red crystals in its walls.

    Next to it was green, amethyst purple, yellow, too many for Kira.

    She spun her head around in fear and confusion, trying to use the Force.

    “Calm your mind,” the voice in the cave said.

    Kira let out a growl of frustration and started down the red-crystaled pathway.

    “Kira!” the voice shouted.

    Then, as Kira made her way through the cold narrow passageway, the mysterious voice changed. With a gasp of fright, Kira heard the sound of labored artificial breathing and a deep mechanical voice speaking to her.

    “Fulfill your destiny,” the deep, scary voice told her.

    “Get away from me!” she yelled, waving the lightsaber around in panic. She was going insane in the cave, Kira realized.

    “The dark side runs through your veins,” the evil voice told her, “The Jedi will not give you what you seek.”

    Kira backed away in horror, praying for it to be over, even if it meant her death.

    She gasped and took several deep breaths as the outline of a tall, caped figure formed from the shadows.

    “This way Kira!” the first voice called to her.

    Kira whipped around to find the shimmering form of a ghostly apparition. It was a young man dressed in Jedi robes similar to those of her Uncle Luke. The man seemed strangely familiar to her.

    “It’s just an illusion of the cave,” the young ghost said, “Don’t let the darkness consume you. Keep it out of your head. Let go of your negative emotions.”

    Kira closed her eyes and tried to expel her fear, her anger, her hopelessness. The electronic breathing began to fade away as Kira concentrated on the positive emotions inside her- her love for her family, her desire to help, her confidence in her abilities with the Force...

    “Good, Kira,” the ghost said, “This cave is enchanted with the Force. Generations of Jedi have come here to collect the Kyber crystals to build their lightsabers.”

    Kira looked up at the apparition of the young man smiling at her warmly. It was a smile with the serenity of a much older person

    “You seem very familiar,” Kira said. Then it dawned on her who the ghost was.

    “You’re my grandfather, Anakin.”

    Anakin nodded. “I’m here to guide you Kira, as are all the old Masters. The cave will try to trick you and manipulate your feelings. Much like the dark side.”

    “You were on the dark side,” Kira remembered. Her mother Leia almost never talked about her family history, but Kira knew that Anakin had been a Sith Lord before her Uncle Luke had brought him back. “You served Emperor Palpatine and fought against the Rebellion.”

    Anakin cringed slightly and looked down at the frozen ground in shame.

    “I regret many things from my life,” he replied, “For so long, I let the dark side control me. I let the Emperor exploit me, and I did terrible things. It was your uncle Luke who brought me back. Without him, I would have rotted away as a prisoner of the darkness.”

    “He saw the good in you,” Kira replied, “He said that you were conflicted.”

    “I tried to deny it,” Anakin said ruefully, “but my feelings of love that I had buried for so long were finally brought to light.”

    The red glow in the icy tunnel had gone away. The crystals buried in the rock now glowed a mild pale blue.

    Even in the cave, Kira felt safe under the guidance of her grandfather.

    “Grandfather?” she asked, “Can you help me find my family?”

    Anakin looked down fondly at the young girl.

    “I understand your feelings,” he replied, “I know what is to want to help the ones you love, and not be able to. So yes, I will help you.”

    Kira smiled back at the spirit of her grandfather.

    She followed Anakin as he moved along the glowing, icy path.

    Frustrated, Ailyn Fett stepped out of the dim, shallow cave of rock and ice. She made her way back through the snow to the wreckage of her ship.

    Once she climbed inside and crawled through the mess into the cockpit. Ailyn grabbed her discarded comlink and switched it on, patching a signal all the way to Taris.

    Underneath the streets of Taris’s capital where the Coalition had set up the system of detonators, Snoke responded. “Supreme Leader Snoke here.”

    “This is Fett,” Ailyn replied, “The little demon somehow hijacked my ship and made me crashland on Ilum. I’m trying to snuff her out of the cave.”

    “How you could not manage to detain a small girl is beyond me,” Snoke grumbled in annoyance.

    Ailyn flushed with anger and embarrassment. She hated the girl for showing her up. She would make Kira Solo and her family pay if it was the last thing she did.

    “I’ll have her cornered soon,” she said.

    HYPERSPACE

    As the Hunter avoided fire from the Interceptors of the Republic fleet, his ship’s holoprojector beeped. The Hunter turned it on to display the hologram of Snoke.

    “What’s the status, Jedi Hunter?”

    “I have successfully recruited the Hutt Clans into the Freedom Coalition,” the Hunter replied, “We’ve run into Skywalker and the Republic fleet.”

    “It does not seem like you are in an advantageous position to kill Skywalker just yet,” Snoke said, “but you will be soon. I have a job for you and our new Coalition recruits.”

    “My mission is to hunt down the Jedi first,” the Hunter replied, “And I’ve got their leader in my sights.”

    “I understand, but you need to gain the upper hand. Make Skywalker bend to your terms. The young daughter of Han and Leia Solo is stranded on the ice planet of Ilum. Once you capture her and bring her to me, we should have no problem luring the Jedi to us. Then we can advance our plans and you can have your shot against Skywalker.”

    The Hunter could not pretend that he didn’t see the logic.

    Remaining silent for a minute as though to act as though he was thinking it over, the Hunter switched channels.

    To the Cartel ships, he said, “All craft, make the jump to hyperspace on my mark. Follow my course and take evasive action.”

    As the VCX-100 began to make the jump, the Dor’bullas, Sycks and other Hutt spacecraft followed.

    “They’re running away,” Ben observed.

    “Something’s not right,” Luke replied, “The Coalition is up to something. And so is the dark side.”

    From the Millennium Falcon, Leia responded. “I sense it also. They definitely have a plan of some sort.”

    Lando chimed in. “We’d best get onto land surface and regroup. From there, we can plan our strategy and figure out what’s going on.”

    ILUM

    As Anakin led Kira through the cave, the color of the glowing crystals began to change and flicker.

    “What’s happening?” Kira asked, suddenly alarmed. She held up her training lightsaber as if to ward off approaching evil.

    The Coalition fleet appeared in orbit of the blue and white planet.

    The VCX-100 assumed command position. The Hunter steered his craft towards the surface of Ilum, flanked by a horde of Syck fighters

    The Hunter sped ahead of the Hutt Cartel vessels and said, “Leave this to me.” This was his mission, not that of the Coalition.

    As he flew down into the atmosphere of Ilum, the Hunter could feel the Force-sensitive presence of the Solos’ daughter.

    “Little Kira Solo,” he said quietly to himself, “It’s been a long time since I last saw you.”

    A single Interceptor flew low over the snowy mountains and plains of Ilum.

    Captain Sam Fel accelerated the speed of his ship, making a beeline for the clear, flat piece of ground atop the icy ledge.

    Once he landed, Sam activated his fighter’s radio and said, “This is Rogue Leader speaking. General Solo, do you copy?”

    He tried again. “General Solo? I’ve followed the ship of the bounty hunter who took your daughter. It looks like they landed here for some reason.”

    The shimmering spirit of Anakin looked up in worry. “I sense a strong presence in the dark side.”

    Kira moved closer to him, raising her training lightsaber in alarm.

    “I think I feel it too,” she said, “We’re not alone here.”

    Smoke began to fill the cave.

    Anakin’s ghost shimmered and began to flicker as the crystal lights began to shine red once again.

    “What’s happening?” Kira asked fearfully. Her heart began to pound as she shivered in cold and terror.

    “The cave is growing stronger with the dark side,” Anakin told her, “It is affected by the Force and will react to it as well.”

    “Stay with me!” Kira begged as the blue light of Anakin’s ghost grew dimmer.

    “This cave is being filled with dark energy,” Anakin replied sadly, “I’ll guide you as much as I can, but I cannot stay forever. My ability to appear to you cannot be achieved through darkness.”

    Inside his cockpit, the Hunter grasped a glowing red Sith Holocron in his gloved hand.

    “Use your powers,” he said reverently to it, “Let the dark side of the Force reign strong and supreme.”

    The light from the Holocron emitted out of the VCX-100 freighter and into the cave.

    “I know you’re in there, Kira,” the Hunter growled as he gazed with his covered face at the ice cave, “Sooner or later you will have nowhere to run, and I will catch you.”

    “Grandfather!” Kira cried as Anakin’s visage began to fade.

    “I’m sorry Kira,” the young ghost said to her, “Because I exist as an extension of my light side powers, I cannot stay in this domain of evil.”

    “I need you!” she pleaded, tears coming to her eyes as she looked around the grim, sinister cave.

    “Trust your instincts,” Anakin said before disappearing, “Don’t let the darkness take over!”

    “No!” Kira shouted as her grandfather disappeared entirely.

    The masked Jedi Hunter emerged from his freighter into the blizzard, gripping the shining Holocron tightly in his fist.

    “Run!” the voice of Anakin said through the thin air into which he had vanished.

    Kira ran through the icy cave in terror, desperate to escape. She didn’t know where she was going, or whether or not she was headed towards an exit, but Kira needed to keep moving. It was the only way to escape the hopelessness and despair inside of her.
     
    Iron_lord and Deliveranze like this.
  10. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    ILUM

    The Jedi Hunter trudged through the snow, ignoring the intense cold as he approached the cave that was a beacon of the Force.

    He could feel its dark power inside, mixed with the traces of light. The darkness grew stronger as the Sith Holocron in the Hunter’s grasp radiated an aura of power.

    “You can’t hide from me, Kira,” the Hunter said aloud.

    He marched towards the icy mouth of the cave, where he saw the Firespray ship tipped onto its side. Ignoring it, he withdrew one of his twin lightsabers from his belt.

    Crossing under the icicles that made up the cave entrance, the Hunter activated the lightsaber’s red blade.

    He marched into the path of glowing crystals and searched for his prey.

    As the Hunter disappeared into the cave, the Firespray finally began to lift off out of the snow, turning from its side to right-side-up in the process. The Hunter didn’t notice or pay it any mind.

    Kira stopped cold as she felt a new presence.

    “Oh no,” she whispered, trembling.

    A calming voice sounded through the icy, glowing tunnels.

    “Trust your instincts, Kira, and you’ll find the way out,” Anakin said through the frosty air.

    Kira felt slightly reassured at her grandfather’s voice, but she still felt scared.

    “Help me please,” she moaned, trying to use the Force to guide her.

    The Holocron’s red glow radiated through the cave’s passageways as the Hunter accessed its dark, forbidden knowledge.

    “Use the dark power stored within, and unleash your fury,” the Hunter said, almost in prayer.

    The Hunter raised his lightsaber, wavering it as he turned the corner.

    Kira nearly screamed as she stopped to find the tall, masked figure before her, carrying both a red, glowing artifact and a lightsaber with a blade the same color.

    She let out a gasp as she backed away from the evil Jedi Hunter.

    Kira couldn’t move, she was so scared that her legs were paralyzed. She tried to call on protection from her grandfather Anakin, but the dark aura coming from the Hunter’s device was too strong.

    “At last we meet again,” the Hunter said in a neutral yet menacing tone, “I’ve been tracking you and your family down. Now that I have you, they will come to me.”

    Kira couldn’t speak. She was sweating despite the cold. She managed to raise her training lightsaber, but it was useless.

    With a raise of his hand clutching the Sith Holocron, the Hunter managed to wrench the training weapon from Kira’s small hand and send it flying far away, plunging into a block of ice.

    The Hunter pointed his red blade directly at the young girl.

    “I know you want to be a Jedi. I know you think your parents are holding you back. You feel that they are coddling you, sheltering you. Now they will see how right they were.”

    Kira felt a strong surge of anger mesh with her terror.

    She glared at the masked warrior before her and finally managed the courage to speak.

    “How could you do those things, Skyler? Kill the Jedi, all those people? You betrayed Ben and everyone else!”

    The Hunter scoffed from behind his mask. “There was nothing to betray,” he replied, “I seized my destiny the way he seized his. The way you will never seize yours.”

    Kira trembled as she felt her voice crack. “He was your friend. We trusted you and you betrayed us. I know that Uncle Luke rescued you when you were left behind. I know that he helped you and you stabbed him in the back!”

    Kira was now letting loose with her anger, hating this man for hurting the ones she loved. Her brother, her parents, her uncle, the Jedi Order she had grown up idolizing.

    “Your uncle misled me,” the Hunter replied coldly, “I only later discovered the pathway to true greatness. If I had followed his teachings, I would have remained a weak fool like the Jedi he continues to brainwash.”

    “You’re evil,” Kira spat at him, “I hate you for what you did to Ben and Luke and my parents and the Jedi you killed.”

    “Hate me then,” the Hunter taunted, “I revel in it. But now I will bring your journey to an end.”

    Somebody behind the Hunter said, “The girl’s fate will not rest with you.”

    The Hunter pivoted in surprise to find the blue, shimmering form of Anakin Skywalker.

    “What is this?” he growled, frowning at the ghost before him, “Cave magic?”

    “Right now, the enchanted cave allows me to appear before Kira. Her will to survive and reunite with her family is stronger than your lust for blood.”

    “You cannot do anything to me,” the Hunter replied fiercely. Impulsively, he swung his red blade towards Anakin. The plasma sliced through the Chosen One’s midsection without touching him.

    Kira smiled in gratitude at the ghost, who did not return her look.

    Yet Kira understood the message he was sending her through the Force.

    Anakin game a smirk of amusement as the Hunter slashed his blade through him again.

    “Don’t wear yourself out,” he said.

    The Hunter gave a frustrated snarl. “Get out of my head, phantom!”

    “Ironic,” Anakin said, “You call me a phantom, but you answer to someone who no longer exists in any form.”

    He gestured with his transparent hand to the Holocron, which had completely stopped glowing.

    “The legacy of the Sith is mine to continue,” the Hunter growled, “You and your bloodline will be insignificant in the scheme of history. I will seize more power than any Jedi who ever lived!”

    “I am here past my death to make sure the teachings of light do not fade,” Anakin replied with a calm serenity, “We Jedi of the past maintain consciousness beyond our lifetimes to pass on our knowledge. My power is one you will never understand as long as you continue to embrace the dark side.”

    “The dark side always wins!” the Hunter shouted as he slashed through Anakin with his blade again, slicing into the icy cave wall. “You may think you have won, but I, the savior of the Sith, stand before you!”

    “The Sith are doomed to fail,” Anakin replied calmly, “They betray one another by nature, and they possess no loyalty. The dark side turns against its own users in the end.”

    “Get away!” the Hunter snarled, seething in hatred.

    “Deep down, you know I’m right,” Anakin said, briefly a mischievous grin remniscent of the cocky young Jedi he had once been before returning to a calm, stoic demeanor, “Your blind anger only foils you.”

    “It has served me well up to now,” the Hunter growled in reply. “It will be the destruction of your legacy. I will cut down every Jedi until they are no more.”

    As if to demonstrate, the Hunter swung his curved blade behind him, as if to strike down somebody nearby.

    With a start, the Hunter realized that Kira had vanished. He turned back to the shimmering Jedi spirit, glowering in rage from behind his mask.

    Anakin gave a wink to the Jedi Hunter, who pointed his lightsaber at him in a futile threat.

    “You seem confident for a man who was bested by a ghost,” Anakin said.

    “Your tricks will not stop my conquest,” the Hunter growled, “the dark side of the Force is at my service.”

    “It will serve you until it destroys you,” Anakin replied, “Goodbye, Jedi Hunter.”

    The Hunter could only watch as Anakin’s transparent form faded away into the icy cavern.

    “I’ll make you regret this,” he snarled at the frosty air into which Anakin had disappeared.

    He stalked away through the glowing passageway in search of his lost target.

    Kira panted as she pivoted her feet to sprint down the intercepting passageway. She could see her breath as it entered the frosty air.

    She sensed Skyler nearby, but she was not in immediate danger. The spirit of her grandfather Anakin was keeping her as safe as he could. Kira reached out again with her mind., tapping into the Force

    Grasping the Sith Holocron tightly in his gloved fist Hunter thundered down the crystalline passageway in search of his prey.

    Inwardly, the Hunter cursed himself for allowing the ghost of a dead Jedi to toy with him.

    Now the girl Kira was getting away because of his foolishness.

    Kira gazed in awe at the wall of shining crystals guiding her, providing light in the dark, forbidding cave.

    She could hear a familiar voice telling her, This way.”

    “Thank you,” she said aloud, panting in exhaustion.

    She reached out with the Force, continuing to activate the light within the enchanted minerals.

    As Kira found a new source of hope, she began to feel more confident in herself.

    “I can find the way out of here,” she said, “If I follow my instincts.”

    Kira could sense that the exit was not far away. The Force was guiding her because she was letting go of her fear, thanks to the help of her grandfather.

    You’re almost there, Kira.

    Kira stopped to catch her breath as she saw, at the end of a long, wide tunnel, the round, icy exit of the cave. Kira braced herself for the cold outside as she trudged forward.

    Flying low over the snowstorm, Captain Sam Fel scanned the area above him as the alarms of his Interceptor began blaring.

    He could see Hutt Cartel Sycks soaring through the frost above him.

    “I have a bad feeling about this,” he said, speeding away from the approaching vessels.

    Too late. The Hutt fighters opened fire, surrounding Sam’s Interceptor with a hail of laserfire.

    Sam swerved sideways to dodge the enemy fire, turning his craft around so that he was facing the full might of the Coalition forces.

    The Cartel pilots began to form a circular motion surrounding Sam.

    Sam pulled the lever that tilted his fighter so that his seat was directly facing the sky.

    Feeling a slight sensation of motion sickness, Sam zoomed upwards as the shots from the Sycks collided into one another and erupted below him. The Sycks pursued Sam into the clouds, away from the icy cave into which Kira had disappeared.

    Sam was determined to get away and contact General Solo. How his superior officer would react when Sam told him that his daughter had been seized by the Coalition and disappeared into an Ilum cave, Sam did not want to find out.

    Yet he knew he had to do the responsible thing and tell Solo the truth.

    Kira stumbled out into the snow, her spine trembling as she took in the alarming temperature.

    She was unarmed and with no ship, stranded on a snow planet with evil forces looking for her.

    “Be brave,” she whispered to herself. She’d gotten this far, surely there was a way back to her family.

    Kira wondered whether her parents and Ben had discovered what had happened to her, and whether they had started looking for her.

    Looking up at the sky, Kira whispered, “I’m sorry Mom and Dad. I know why you wanted to keep me safe.”

    Kira would have to face danger like the Coalition and Skyler as a Jedi. She knew she wasn’t ready, but she also knew that she had it in her. She had used the Force to guide her out of the labyrinth of a cave, and she would use it to channel her inner Jedi.

    Kira knew that danger was upon her before she saw it.

    She gasped in horror and dropped to the snowy ground as the Firespray Slave I appeared from the fog and opened fire.

    Ailyn Vel had found her. Kira began to run in the opposite direction, away from the assault of ammunition flying at her.

    Over the horizon of the icy cliff, several Syck fighters soared, likewise firing at the helpless Kira.

    Kira dodged the fire with her Force-enhanced reflexes, making her way back towards the cave from which she had escaped.

    Two bars of plasma emitted scarlet light from the mist inside the cave.

    Kira gaped as the Hunter emerged, once again paralyzed in fear. By this time, the Sycks were landing in the snow in a circular pattern around Kira as the Hunter approached.

    A Hutt-owned Dor’bulla loomed above the cavernous mountaintop.

    Kira frantically looked for an escape, finding none. She was completely cornered.

    The uniformed Cartel pilots began emerging from their fighters, drawing blasters.

    The Hunter raised a gloved hand clenching a curved lightsaber and used the Force to knock Kira onto her back in the snow.

    Kira cried out from the pain as the pilots surrounded her and closed in.

    Safely perched behind a tall block of ice on top of the mountain, Sam watched the Coalition forces drag Kira towards the Hunter’s VCX-100.

    “No, no, no,” he groaned. His hand impulsively drifted to the lever pumping the laser canons of his Interceptor, but Sam caught himself immediately. Attacking the Coalition now would put Kira in further danger. There was nothing he could do.

    CORELLIA

    The Jedi and Republic ships had returned to the planet from which Kira Solo had left in search of her parents.

    The group of survivors met inside the hangar of Coronet City’s plaza building.

    Upon seeing Luke, Ben, Winter and the droids emerge from the Corvette, Han and Leia immediately rushed towards their son.

    Ben reciprocated his parents’s embrace as they flung their arms around him.

    “We missed you,” Leia said.

    “You all right, kid?” Han asked.

    “I’m good,” Ben replied, “I missed you both.”

    “How’s the Jedi business?” Han asked.

    Ben grimaced. “Not too good, Dad.”

    Luke approached Han and Leia with Winter.

    “You two all right?” Luke asked.

    “Hey, kid,” Han said, “You look like you’ve seen better days.”

    “How’s everything at the Academy?” Leia asked her brother.”

    “Something’s not right,” Luke said, “The Coalition is on the move.”

    “So we’ll face them together like always,” Han replied, “When we stand together, they don’t stand a chance.”

    Luke frowned, unassured by Han’s words.

    “It’s been too long,” Leia said to her brother as the three of them embraced.

    Chewbacca appeared behind Han and Leia and scooped Luke up in an embrace.

    “Mistress Leia! Captain Solo!” Threepio exclaimed, “How relieved I am to see you home and safe.”

    “Where’s Kira?” Han asked.

    Everyone turned as Lando approached the group along with three other New Republic officers.

    “General Solo, I’ve received contact from Captain Fel from the Ilum system. It seems like Kira’s been taken.”

    “Oh, no,” Leia gasped, her face going pale as she trembled in horror.

    Inside the strategy room, the group addressed the small hologram of Sam.

    “I tried to make contact, but I couldn’t get a signal until now,” the Captain explained.

    “I followed her from the Hutt system to Illum where she escaped from her bounty hunter captor. I tried to rescue her, but the Coalition grabbed her before I could.”

    “I can’t believe it,” Leia whispered.

    “How horrible!” Threepio exclaimed.

    “We need to go after them,” Ben Solo said, chiming in from next to his parents, “If they have her, we can’t waste any time.”

    “I agree with Ben,” Han replied, clapping his son on the back.

    “This could very well be a trap,” Lando pointed out, “The Coalition is very likely using her as bait.”

    “That’s why we have to go,” Ben said, “We need as many Jedi as we can.”

    “It’s the Jedi that the Coalition wants,” Luke chimed in, “I can sense it. Snoke wants to kill as many Jedi as he can.”

    “But we can’t do nothing!” Leia argued.

    “We won’t,” Luke said, “We’ll go rescue Kira, all of us in this room. We won’t be going on Snoke’s terms. We will not be engaging in warfare, we are merely launching a rescue.”

    “We need to be prepared for any ambush they’ll throw at us,” Han said, “We’ll need more military power on our side.”

    “I’ll do whatever I can, Han,” Lando replied, “But the Republic fleet is too small as it is.”

    Ben Solo once again spoke up. “What are we standing around talking for? Kira’s in trouble and we don’t know what the Coalition is doing to her. We need to go help her now!”

    “Ben’s right,” Leia said firmly, “We’re going to go rescue our daughter now, with or without additional support. No more debating.”

    “We’ll have your back, Princess,” Lando said, and Chewbacca gave a supportive growl.

    “Captain Fel, what are your readings?”

    From the depths of hyperspace, Sam Fel remained in pursuit of the large Coalition and Hutt Cartel fleet via his Vigilance interceptor. Thanks to the large cruisers and the hundreds of smaller fighters swarming them, Sam was able to fly unnoticed.

    “I’m on the tail of the Coalition,” he reported, “I won’t lose them.”

    “Stay on their trail and send us your location when you land,” Han ordered, “We’ll be there with you as soon as we can.”

    “Let’s go,” Lando said.

    Soon, the group was back in the landing platform, loading up in their vessels ready to launch.

    Ben stood in front of the Millennium Falcon with Luke and his mother Leia.

    “Ben will be facing combat on this mission,” Luke said to the worried Han and Leia, “I just want the both of you to know that his skill with the Force will protect him.”

    “I know you’ve done everything you can to prepare him,” Leia said, “But I can’t just make my fear go away. Especially with...” Leia gulped, holding back tears, “Kira in danger.”

    “I’ll be okay, Mom,” Ben reassured her, giving Leia a tight embrace.

    “I know,” Leia replied, “The Force is strong in our family.”

    Han emerged from inside the Falcon’s hatch. “All ready to go,” he reported. Chewbacca gave a roar of affirmation.

    “Wait for me!” Threepio called out, hurrying towards the Falcon with uncharacteristic eagerness. “I should hate for anything bad to happen to Mistress Kira.”

    “Good to have you with us,” Han replied. To his son, Han said, “May the Force be with you Ben.” Ben, Luke and Leia gaped at Han in amazement: he had never said those words before.

    “You too kid,” Han said to Luke, seemingly unaware of the others’ surprise at his words.

    “We’ll see you there,” Luke said, before leaving with Ben towards Winter’s Corvette where she and Artoo Deetoo were waiting.

    Han and Leia watched their son disappear aboard the Corvette before climbing back into the Falcon with Threepio.

    Inside the cockpit, Han switched on the radio and said, “Admiral Calrissian, are you with us?”

    “All ready to launch,” Lando replied.

    “Let’s go, then,” Han breathed, pulling the lever on the Falcon.

    A moment later, all craft was launching from the landing platform into the Correllian sky, before entering the planet’s orbit.

    “Winter, do you copy?” Leia said into the radio of the Falcon.

    With you like always, Princess,” Winter replied.

    “We’ll head towards the Hutt system,” Lando said, “And follow the trail that Captain Fel leaves us.”

    “May the Force be with us all,” Luke said from the Corvette just before Lando gave the signal.

    Immediately afterwards, the cluster of Republic ships was blasting off into hyperspace, ready for whatever waited for them
     
  11. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    TARIS

    The armored Supreme Leader Snoke trudged through the underground mines of Taris’s captial city, surveying the wired tracks that ran through the tunnels. Silently, Duke Blazor of Black Sun accompanied Snoke.

    Deep in thought, the grizzled leader of the Freedom Coalition turned as Commander Pellaeon approached.

    “The detonator is all set,” Pellaeon reported, “The mines will be rocked with explosions upon activation of the trigger.”

    “Now our plan is further in motion,” Snoke replied, “With luck, the Republic realizes by now that we are not a small nuisance that will just go away.”

    His comlink suddenly blinked. Snoke pulled the small holoprojector from his belt and switched it on to reveal the small image of the Jedi Hunter.

    Inside the cockpit of his VCX-100 freighter, the masked Hunter addressed Snoke.

    “I have good news, Supreme Leader,” the Hunter reported, “I have the girl Kira Solo as my prisoner. The Hutt Cartel fleet is accompanying me as I bring her to you.”

    “Good work, Hunter,” Snoke replied with a grin, “Her parents and uncle will come running to the rescue, and most likely every ship the Republic has to spare.“

    “I have one condition for bringing the girl to you, Supreme Leader,” the Hunter said.

    Snoke glowered at the tiny hologram. “You think you can bargain with me, Hunter? The revolution would not exist without my leadership!”

    “I am not a servant of the Coalition,” the Hunter replied with menace in his voice, “I am an ally due to our common goals. You will hear my condition and you will comply.”

    Snoke frowned angrily at the hologram. “What is it you want?”

    “I want you to leave any Jedi to me. Destroy as many Republic enforcers as you wish, but it is my sworn task to eliminate the Jedi Knights. Is that a condition you can accept, Supreme Leader?”

    Snoke hated having to endure the Jedi Hunter speaking to him that way. But the Hunter possessed dangerous abilities that Snoke couldn’t even begin to comprehend.

    “As you wish, Jedi Hunter,” he replied, “I will see to it that you are the one to kill the Jedi.”

    “Then I will bring the girl to you as a hostage against the Republic,” the Hunter said calculatingly.

    HYPERSPACE

    Kira struggled in the restraints that pinned her to the wall of the Hunter’s ship. She knew it was in vain; she couldn’t even use the Force to free herself.

    But to Kira, the act of fighting the shackles helped alleviate the fear plaguing her-fear of the Hunter and the Coalition. She knew Skyler and what he was capable of, she remembered how Ben had described his sudden turn to the dark side and the sheer evil that had overcome him almost overnight.

    Kira tried to summon the Force, but the cuffs around her ankles and wrists would not budge.

    “You already know that your resistance is futile,” the masked Hunter taunted. Kira looked up to find him standing at the doorway, his twin sabers hanging from the waist of his cloak. “All you have left is your anger.”

    “You’re evil!” Kira spat at him, “I don’t know why Uncle Luke took you in!”

    “Neither do I,” the Hunter replied.

    “He should have let you rot in the street!” Her spit landed visibly on the cheek of the Hunter’s silver mask.

    Kira didn’t expect Skyler to be particularly wounded by her words, but she needed to hurt him in any way possible.

    “We will be landing on Taris where you will be brought before Supreme Leader Snoke,” Skyler informed her, “Your parents and brother are aware that you are in my possession.”

    “They’ll make you suffer for what you did!” Kira shouted, glaring furiously at her shielded enemy, “They’re going to tear you apart.”

    “Your mother failed to stop me on Nal Hutta,” the Hunter replied without passion, “I nearly killed her then. I will finish the job on Taris.”

    Kira screamed in fury and lashed out, jerking her limbs back and forth. Her elbows struck the wall painfully as she struggled against the bonds restraining her.

    The Hunter chuckled sadistically to himself before disappearing.

    Kira’s rage and fear became mixed with embarrassment as she felt tears in her eyes that began to flow down her cheeks. She had never been so helpless.

    She wished she could protect her mother, along with her father and Ben. She’d tried to be there for them, she’d put herself in harm’s way for the sake of those she loved, and for nothing.

    “Help,” she whispered. She tried to sense her family in the Force. Vaguely, she could feel her brother Ben somewhere, but the presence of the Hunter was impeding her ability to communicate.

    Have faith, said the voice of Kira’s grandfather Anakin.

    Another voice, the wizened, gnarly voice of an old Jedi Master said, Guide you, the Force will.

    Kira closed her eyes, calming herself. A third voice said, Even when all hope seems lost, don’t lose sight of it.

    “I’m going to be okay,” Kira told herself.

    The VCX-100 soared into the foggy atmosphere of Taris, over the dense jungles and rainforests towards the metropolis.

    From his cockpit, the Hunter gazed with satisfaction at the ruined skyscrapers erupting in flames. The Coalition had delivered a message to the oppressive Republic, and the Jedi would answer.

    The Hutt Cartel ships followed the Hunter as he piloted towards the old factory that hosted the Coalition’s detonation system.

    As the VCX-100 and criminal underworld ships touched down on the street outside the factory, Supreme Leader Snoke emerged to greet them.

    The Hunter came into the room where Kira was being held prisoner. Kira fought down her urge to scream and glared angrily at her enemy.

    “Your fate now rests in the hands of Snoke,” the Hunter growled.

    “As long as the Force is with me, you will never break me,” Kira said defiantly.

    The Hunter reached into his cloak and pulled our a curved lightsaber, lighting up the room with its red blade. Her heart pounding, Kira let out a yelp as the plasma dipped dangerously close to her neck.

    “As long as you are possessed by fear, you are mine,” the Hunter replied. With a snicker, he switched off the lightsaber and tucked it away.

    Kira trembled, hating the Hunter for the power he carried over her.

    The Hunter raised his gloved hand, raising the vice that held the shackled Kira. The vice floated out of the doorway onto a set of wheels. Kira fought against the restraints as she floated in midair, but still to no avail.

    Two Nikto guards appeared, taking hold of the vice to which Kira was bound.

    “No,” she murmured as they pushed her down the ramp of the Hunter’s ship.

    The masked Hunter followed as Kira came face to face with Supreme Leader Snoke.

    “What do we have here?” the Supreme Leader snarled, “The daughter of a Jedi and a Republic general.”

    Kira took a moment to regain her nerve. The Hunter had reached into her heart and seized it.

    “You and your Coalition are nothing but a terrorist group.”

    “Just like Mother and Father,” Snoke sneered, “Believing that the ideals of the ruling body are best because might makes right. We are prepared to meet the power of the Republic with our fully armed forces.”

    “Take her inside,” the Hunter said to the Nikto guards.

    They obeyed and pushed Kira’s vice into the factory. Snoke and the Hunter followed at a close distance.

    “Skywalker will come, along with his Republic friends,” the Hunter said.

    “And we will be waiting for them,” Snoke replied in a satisfied voice.

    Sam’s Interceptor hovered low over the vine-covered trees of Taris.

    He passed through a narrow clearing of trees before switching his fighter’s headlights on.

    Sam scanned the area, making sure the Interceptor wasn’t going to be tangled in a cluster of vines before touching down in the thick grass.

    Finally, Sam turned on his radio and patched another signal to the Falcon.

    “General Solo,” he said, “It’s Fel. I’ve landed.”

    “I read you, Captain,” Han said from the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. Next to him, Chewbacca extended the communication to the ships in Lando’s fleet as well as Winter’s Corvette. “Give us your location.”

    “I’m hiding in the jungles of Taris,” Sam reported, “They took her into the capital city, which is overrun with Coalition forces.”

    “Oh, no,” Leia whispered.

    “Skyler,” Ben said to Luke aboard the Corvette.

    “The dark side is somehow behind this,” Luke replied, “I can feel it as we speak.”

    “We’ve got no time to lose,” Lando said, “All courses set for Taris.”

    “Let’s go,” Han said darkly, “Chewie, pull the throttle into lightspeed.”

    The whole fleet blasted off towards Taris, where the Coalition was lying in wait.

    “We made it”, Winter reported as the ships began to circle the green planet surface.

    “Not a man lost,” Lando replied.

    “I sense them waiting for us,” Leia said, “Snoke wants us to play by his rules.”

    “We get Kira and we get out of there,” Han replied.

    “Right,” Luke said, “We’re not fighting another war.”

    “Everybody to the coordinates Captain Fel sent us,” Lando ordered.

    The cover of darkness was on their side as the small Republic fleet entered Taris’s atmosphere.

    “Hang on, Kira,” Ben said, “We’re coming for you.”

    As he closed his eyes in concentration, Kira felt his presence from the cold, damp room in which she was being kept prisoner.

    “Ben,” she said, “you’re here!”

    The Hunter was among Snoke’s leading officers in the factory’s main production room when he felt the familiar presences approaching.

    “The Jedi are here,” he growled.

    “Perfect timing,” Snoke replied. He turned to the armed guerrilla fighters standing around.

    “To your positions,” he commanded.

    As the guerrilla warriors scurried, the Hunter stormed down the moldy corridor towards Kira’s cell.

    Opening the door with the Force, he aggressively approached the young girl.

    “You must have sensed what I did,” he said.

    “That’s right,” Kira replied, “And you have nowhere to run, Skyler.”

    “It is the Jedi who will soon run from me,” the Hunter sneered, making every effort to hide his rage at the use of his old name.

    Kira knew she had to summon up some courage to make up for her earlier show of fear.

    Struggling, she finally produced the right words to strike beneath the Hunter’s hood and mask.

    “Why don’t you kill me right now, Hunter?” Kira demanded, “I’m trapped and you’ve got your fancy sabers.”

    The Hunter momentarily froze, his hands on the metal lightsaber hilts resting in his belt.

    Inside Winter’s Corvette, Ben nudged his uncle and master.

    “I sense him waiting for us, Master,” he said, “He knows we’re here.”

    Luke closed his eyes, meditating. No doubt the Jedi Hunter would be a challenging opponent even for his most experienced Masters. Despite his youth, the Hunter possessed innumerable skill with a lightsaber and his abilities with the dark side were beyond comprehension.

    “What use are you to me dead?” the Hunter replied after catching himself, “Without you, there is no leverage against the Jedi.”

    The Hunter quickly exited Kira’s cell, not willing to waste any more time with her.

    Kira could feel her brother’s presence much more strongly now, as well as those of her mother and Uncle Luke.

    “Han, I can feel her,” Leia gasped, tugging on her husband’s arm, “I can sense our daughter.”

    “Me too,” Han said, “It’s not the Force, but I can sense her.”

    “She must be so scared.”

    Chewbacca let out a growl as the Falcon landed in the jungle.

    From a nearby grove, Sam activated the lights of his Interceptor to signal to the new arrivals.

    “It’s Captain Fel,” Han said. Along with Chewie and Threepio, they exited the cockpit and climbed down, emerging from the Falcon’s hatch a moment later.

    Soon, they were joined by Lando and the pilots who had accompanied him. Winter, Luke, Ben and Artoo came next.

    “I’ve had enough of these exotic adventures,” grumbled Threepio. Nobody seemed to hear him.

    Sam came crawling through the vines towards the group.

    “General Solo, Senator Organa, I’m sorry I couldn’t do more,” he said.

    “Forget it, kid”, Han replied, “Now, what are we going to do?

    “The Coalition and their allies are based in the factory in the town plaza,” Sam reported, “Based on the readings from my scanners, it looks like they‘ve built an underground system of explosives.”

    The young pilot unplugged a small disk from his Interceptor and flipped on the switch attached, activating a hologram of the factory’s interior, where a series of wires could be seen running through the floor. A pattern of detonators recurred throughout the wires.

    “They’ve got the whole city under their thumb,” Luke said, a horrible realization coming to him, “The entire population is being used as bait.”

    “Did you manage to get a reading on how to disable it?” Lando asked.

    “I couldn’t let them see me,” Sam replied, “All I know is that Kira is in there.”

    “We can’t waste any time,” Ben interjected, “We need to get Kira out of there now.”

    “Of course we will,” Luke replied, “But we can’t ignore the bigger threat. We will have to face the Coalition.”

    “But we can’t do it on their terms,” Leia chimed in, “They’ve set a death trap for us all, with Kira in the middle of it.”

    “We’ll have to sneak in and get Kira out,” Ben said, “Us Jedi can handle that.”

    Lando nodded. “The rest of us will deal with the fleet. Han and Chewie will lead us with the Falcon and try to lure the Coalition fleet away.”

    “If you think I’m going to be flying away while my daughter is a prisoner, you’re wrong,” Han said.

    Lando flinched at the harshness of his old friend’s tone, but given the circumstances, it shouldn’t have been a surprise.

    “Ben, you help fly the Falcon and lead the fleet away,,” Luke said, “I’ll go with Han and Leia.

    “I can’t just stay away while Kira’s in trouble,” Ben argued.

    “Trust me on this, Ben,” Luke replied calmly, “Your piloting skills will be needed up there, and I’m not sure you’re ready to face the Jedi Hunter.”

    “You do what Luke says,” Han said to his son, who nodded in resignation.

    “Artoo, you come with us to the city and get a better reading on the detonation system,” Luke said to his droid companion, “When you’re done, transmit it to me.”

    Artoo beeped his agreement.

    “We’d better get moving,” Leia said.

    Chewbacca turned to Han, stretching out his arms and growling in concern.

    “I’m going to be all right, pal,” he said, “You just help Ben with the Falcon.”

    Chewbacca was not reassured.

    With a growl, he detached the bowcaster strapped to his back and held it before Han.

    “You want me to take this?” Han asked.

    Chewie nodded with a passionate roar.

    “All right, pal, but only for you,” Han replied. He took the bowcaster and reached into his holster for the pistol inside, handing it to Chewie.

    “Ben, be careful up there,” his mother said.

    “You too, Mom,” Ben replied, still annoyed that he was not going on the mission to rescue his sister.

    He looked pointedly at his master and uncle.

    “I want to go,” he said, “Kira needs me.”

    “I’m sorry, Ben, it’s too dangerous. Three Masters weren’t any match for the Hunter. Be where we need you, and it will all be okay.”

    “As you wish,” Ben replied.

    Chewie and Threepio followed him aboard the Falcon.

    “All pilots, into your ships,” Lando ordered, “Be ready upon signal.”

    The Republic personnel obeyed.

    As Luke, Han, Leia and Artoo started down the vine-filled pathway, Lando called after them. “May the Force be with you?”

    Han turned around and replied, “See you on the other side.”

    The two friends exchanged one last look of mutual respect before Han turned around and Lando disappeared into his shuttle.

    The three humans and their droid began their trek through the jungle towards the city. Han, Luke and Leia looked silently at each other, reminded of old times as they entered the clearing of grass.

    “Do you sense her?” Han asked his wife tenderly.

    Leia nodded, her eyes watery. “She’s okay, but she needs us.”

    Kira’s eyes were closed as she tried to send a beacon through the Force.

    “Mom, Dad,” she said. She knew they were close by, on their way to rescue her.

    “The Jedi are on their way,” the Hunter reported to Snoke.

    “We shouldn’t have to wait much longer then,” the Supreme Leader replied as he surveyed the ranks of the assembled guerrilla fighters. “Remember, men, the Jedi are the thugs of the Republic. They will not show mercy, and so we must not either. Be prepared to blast the city into ruin to stop them.”

    “They are not alone,” the Hunter added, “They are hiding a small fleet in the jungle waiting to ambush.”

    “They’ll be here,” Snoke replied sinisterly, “For now, deal with the Jedi.”

    “Look at the city,” Leia whispered.

    Through macrobinoculars, Luke saw skyscrapers set ablaze, Coaltion forces prowling the streets, and innocent civilians hiding wherever they could.

    Han raised the bowcaster Chewbacca had given him.

    “Kira’s in there,“ he growled, “We’ve got to get her out.”

    “We have to be careful,” Luke said, “They’re expecting us.”

    He lowered the binoculars and started creeping down the hill towards the city’s borders.

    Han, Leia and Artoo followed close behind, Artoo shutting off his lights to transition into stealth mode.

    Meanwhile, the Hunter led a unit of mixed-species guerrilla fighters through the streets of Taris’s capital, past crowds of cowering civilians. They hid among the wreckage of fallen dwellings, within the dark alleyways and spaceports.

    The Hunter and the Coalition army paid them no mind as they marched towards the awaiting speeder bikes at the end of the main avenue.

    “Follow my lead,” the Hunter said to the Coalition fighters, “We are going to find the Jedi.”

    The warriors sped after their leader out of the city over the grassy swampland surrounding it.

    Luke gazed past the fields of grass and the stream of marshland mixed within it.

    “We’re in trouble,” he said, “The Hunter’s coming after us.”

    Han waved the bowcaster in his hands. “We’ll be ready to give him hell.”

    “No,” Leia said to her husband, “We can’t waste any time on him.”

    “I’ll get him out of the way,” Luke said, “You two go ahead.”

    “I won’t let you face him alone, Luke,” Leia insisted.

    “That’s not the plan,” Luke replied, “Just trust me on this, for Kira.”

    A split second passed before Leia nodded and agreed.

    “Be careful,” she said.

    “Yeah, and don’t take too long,” Han added.

    “See you guys in the city,” Luke replied.

    Artoo stayed stubbornly behind with Luke as Han and Leia proceed through the grass. Luke sat down and crossed his legs, closing his eyes.

    The Hunter slowed his swoop bike to a halt, motioning for the Coalition guerrillas under his command to do the same. He turned his cowled and masked head in the direction where he thought he sensed Luke Skywalker.

    “We’ve got him,” the Hunter snarled.
     
  12. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    TARIS

    The Republic fleet was still hiding low under the canopy of the swampy jungle.

    Inside his shuttle, Admiral Calrissian said through the radio, "As soon as we get the signal, we take off. Are all trajectories set?"

    "Yes, sir," Captain Fel replied.

    "Ben, Chewie, we're going to need you and the Falcon to lead the attack," Lando said, "Can you handle that."

    Chewie barked an affirmative. Ben was silent inside the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, his thoughts on his sister imprisoned in the factory.

    It's all right, Kira. I'm coming.

    "Ben?" Winter said from her Corvette, "Are you okay?"

    Chewbacca nudged his young co-pilot. Ben replied, "Affirmative. Ready for takeoff."

    "Oh I wish Artoo was here," Threepio groaned.

    Even brave Artoo was growing anxious as his scanners picked up on Coalition speeders in the distance.

    "Don't worry Artoo," Luke said. He stood from his meditation spot and concentrated on the presence of the Jedi Hunter.

    Luke knew that Leia was right. He couldn't afford to face the Jedi Hunter right now, not alone. Though Luke had originally trained young Skyler, Luke knew that the young warrior had learned a great deal more since his defection from the Jedi Order.

    Concentrating with the Force, Luke reached his robotic hand to a point in the distance.

    The Hunter suddenly changed the direction of his swoop bike, traveling towards the beacon of Luke Skywalker. His heart swelled with anticipation as he sped over swampland and plain.

    "Hurry," Luke whispered to his trusty astromech.

    Artoo followed Luke through the grass towards the city. Far away, the Hunter and his guerrilla fighters swerved onto a new course.

    "That'll keep him off our scent," Luke whispered.

    Han and Leia hurried through the streets of Taris's capital city, sneaking behind every alleyway and every pile of demolished building.

    "Something terrible happened here," Leia said.

    "Tell me about it," Han replied as they passed a cluster of dead bodies, shot to death by the Coalition's thugs.

    Leia pulled her husband to the side as a squad of Black Sun troopers marched down the street, under the glare of the moonlight reflected off the metropolitan buildings.

    "They've got Black Sun and the Hutt Cartel united against us," Leia commented.

    Han raised Chewbacca's bowcaster in the direction of the factory.

    "The longer we wait, the more Kira stays in there."

    The two of them waited until the guards marched away before sneaking towards the factory.

    By this time, Luke and Artoo had also penetrated the city's border. Like Leia, Luke was using the Force to disguise himself from the Coalition.

    He knew the Hunter would catch on soon, and would be back on his trail.

    "He'll be behind us eventually," Luke said to Artoo, "That's why we need to work fast. Get a reading of the factory's detonation system and transmit the blueprint to Lando."

    Artoo acknowledged Luke's order with a whistle.

    With the hood of his robe over his head, Luke crept towards the back hangar. of the factory, where a host of bounty hunters was lurking.

    "Come on, Artoo," Luke whispered.

    As they crept along towards the hangar, a probe droid appeared from a high-rise window nearby and picked up on the trail of Artoo. None other than the masked Ailyn Fett stood in the suite from which the droid had emerged.

    Apparently speaking to itself in droid language, the droid scanned the astromech and his human companion and relayed the footage along.




    Frustratedly, the Hunter stormed across the hill, both his red blades activated.
    "Where is he?" he roared.

    The gauntlet on his wrist blinked. The Hunter turned off one of his sabers and put it away, grabbing his comlink.
    "Yes?"

    "Do they actually call you the Jedi Hunter?" Snoke scoffed.

    "What are you talking about?" hissed the Hunter.

    "Luke Skywalker has been detected near our base of operation," Snoke replied, speaking from the old factory's main production facility, "It seems as though you failed to intercept him."

    "That Jedi snake tricked me!" the Hunter snarled.

    "No doubt there is a fleet of Republic ships lurking about," Snoke said, "Best to deploy our fighters now. Return to base and deal with the Jedi."






    "What's happening?" Han asked in alarm.

    They had nearly reached the main entrance when a swarm of Syck fighters launched from hangars in the surrounding buildings.

    "They know we're here," Leia said. She began to run towards the factory entrance, Han as close behind her as possible.

    Three armed Whiphids appeared in front of them.

    Leia swatted her lightsaber side to side to defend herself and her husband as Han drew their fire with the bowcaster. He sent the Whiphid on the far left flying while Leia got the other two with their own ammunition.

    Snoke drew his blaster and hurried down the corridor along with his guards.

    "Sound the alarm," he ordered Duke Blazor.

    With her jetpack, Ailyn Fett launched from the skyscraper window and hovered into the fray in search of the Solos.

    Kira twisted in her restraints at the sound of the alarm. Someone had come for her- her parents!

    She wanted to cry out, but she dared not show fear. Instead, she closed her eyes and trusted the Force.

    "This way!" Leia kept her blue blade ignited as she ran into the factory. She stopped in her tracks as a squad of IG assassin droids emerged.

    Han pumped his finger back and forth against the trigger of the bowcaster, moving the nozzle in as many directions as he could.

    He knew he owed his survival to Leia, her Jedi reflexes were keeping them both from getting blown to bits.

    Leia raised her hand, sending one assassin droid crashing into another as the two of them advanced into the factory.

    Luke continued to use the Force to mask his presence as he and Artoo snuck along the corridor of the factory.

    He saw the large wiring system running through the tunnels that ran below the factory floor.

    "In here," Luke said, beckoning Artoo along as he darted into a round, earthy tunnel.

    Artoo turned on his rocket-boosters, lifting himself over the mucky dirt as he raced alongside his companion.

    As the Syck fighters soared over the swampland, Lando looked up at the sky and said, "We'd better get moving. All craft, prepare for immediate launch. We're about to be under attack!"

    "They found us already," Sam Fel said into the radio as he led the Interceptors into takeoff.

    Ben pulled the main lever to the Falcon's controls, lifting off.

    "Chewie, get the guns," he said.

    Chewbacca let out a roar, climbing from the cockpit into the gunnery as the small fleet of Republic craft rose over the highest treetops.

    The Cartel fighters wasted no time in attacking, and the Republic ships were ready.

    Ben activated the front guns of the Falcon as he set the ship on autopilot, using the Force to help him.

    "This is for you, Kira", he whispered.




    Finally, Kira's restraints clattered to the floor as she managed to use the Force to break free.

    Tired from the effort, the young girl fell from the vice holding her onto the ground.

    She glanced up at the window outside her cell, where Coalition thugs could be seen rushing into battle.

    The Hunter parked his speeder amidst the chaos of the battle outside. A few brave citizens had begun to fight back, taking advantage of the chaos.

    Igniting one of his twin blades, the Hunter sprinted down the street towards the factory, deflecting any fire coming his way. At one point, he stopped in front of a random man in his way and raised his fist. The man reached at his neck in desperation, but the Hunter quickly crushed his throat and moved along.

    "Remember," Lando said, "Our goal is to keep them away from the city. Let's hope Han and Leia can get Kira out of there as safely as possible."

    "They're in trouble," Ben said, "I know it."
    Something was wrong- though they had reached the factory, Ben's parents were in trouble again.

    "Stay focused," Lando told him.

    "Watch out!" Threepio cried as a blast from a Cartel fighter flew under the hull.

    Ben swerved the Falcon sideways and returned fire. Meanwhile, Chewie was doing well against the ships attempting to sneak behind the Falcon.

    As Han and Leia reached the doorway leading into the narrow corridor, several new sets of footsteps appeared in the lobby.

    They turned to find Snoke among a host of guards and IG assassin droids.

    "Han and Leia Solo, the two faces of the Jedi and Republic regime," he said in a low, cold voice, "Now you see what your tyranny brings upon the galaxy."

    "We represent peace," Leia replied, "We're here to stop your war of terror."

    "This is a necessary war," Snoke said, "You'll find that many of us operate just fine without Republic intervention."

    "You crossed a line when you took our daughter," Han retorted, "Where is she?"

    "As you know, she is here," Snoke replied, "Where exactly she is makes no difference in the end. It will all end up the same."

    "You used up your only chance," Han snapped at him, his self-control entirely forgotten.

    He aimed a shot at Snoke's head, intending to kill.

    Snoke launched into the air with his jetpack and said, "Kill them."

    The living guerrillas and the droids opened fire, forcing Leia to deflect shots from all over the lobby.

    Han backed into the doorway, firing wherever he could.

    Snoke sped out of the lobby towards the street, where he began to fire at the civilians who were now fighting back.

    "We've had enough!" cried a voice from the street.

    "Leia!" Han called out as three Gammoreans, four Niktos and two Weequays flooded the hall.

    Leia ducked in after her husband, slamming the door shut with a flick of the wrist.

    She used her blade to block fire from one side while using the Force to push back the enemies on the other side. Han blasted the thugs who landed on the cold, hard floor, taking no prisoners.

    "Where's Kira?" he snapped.

    "Follow my lead!" Leia called to him.




    Artoo's screwdriver made its way into the slot of the detonation system's control panel.
    However, he had to make his way out alone, since Luke had long since left.
    Artoo then quietly proceeded through the tunnels back towards ground level.

    Snoke was mowing down as many people as he could, until finally, his army had trapped the last group of about twenty survivors. The men and women backed away in fear as the Coalition forces advanced.

    "Our message of fear has been delivered," Snoke said as his boots touched down on the boulevard, "We will take the enterprises of the underworld to new heights of success."

    "No, it will all end here," said a calm, stoic voice.

    Gasps rang as Luke Skywalker threw down his robe and summoned the lightsaber clipped to his waist.

    "You were quicker than I expected, Skywalker," Snoke sneered, "But you're too late."

    "Not yet," Luke replied.

    Snoke gave a signal to his men.

    They opened fire on the screaming Taris citizens, but the blaster bolts all redirected inexplicable into the sky, flying straight upwards until they collided in a small explosion.

    Luke raised his free, flesh hand, forcing the Coalition fighters away from their combatants.

    "The Jedi have brought hope!" one bystander cried as the Coalition guerrillas began firing at Luke.

    "Everybody get out of here!" Luke shouted as he ignited his green blade, expertly returning all fire sent his way. He was careful not to bring his weapon to flesh, he was fighting to defend, not to kill.

    Nevertheless he quickly left a trail of casualties as the civilians fled to safety.






    The Hunter sped into the factory's back entrance, ignoring the battle surrounding him. He knew the Jedi were here, they could not disguise themselves this easily.

    He quickly realized that the best way to draw them out had been obvious the whole time.

    As Kira climbed up a ladder leading onto a walkway above, she gazed down at the chaos below. Nobody seemed to notice her making an escape.

    She continued her climb, determined to get to safety.

    When she reached the top, Kira kept running, using her instincts to guide her.

    The Republic craft had overpowered the Hutt Cartel fleet with relative ease.

    They were now bound towards the city, where the Hutts' Dor'bulla cruisers loomed.

    "I thought we'd seen the last of them," Blue Four complained from her fighter.

    "Nope, we've still got a fight ahead of us," Lando commented.

    "They're coming closer!" Arok the Hutt exclaimed from the main conference center of the large Cartel craft.

    "We'd best retreat if we cannot keep them away for long," replied Gurga, "Begin recalling our hunters."

    It was Winter who noticed the Millennium Falcon going off course, flying directly towards the heart of the city.

    "Ben, no, what are you doing?" she exclaimed.

    Chewbacca let out a roar from the gunning station.

    "Trust me, Chewie!" Ben called back.

    "No, it's too dangerous!" Winter cried as Ben flew the ship towards the higher levels of the Coalition stronghold building. "Your parents wanted you to stay away."

    At last, Han and Leia were able to duck into a safe corner.

    "My comlink," Leia said, switching off her lightsaber.

    Han grabbed it and answered, "General Solo."

    "Ben's heading towards the factory in the Falcon!" Winter exclaimed.

    "Oh, no," Leia breathed, "Luke told him to stay with the fleet."

    "We'd better find them both and get out of here," Han said.




    The Hunter drew his twin sabers as he took the desolate narrow staircase up to the higher factory levels. He knew Kira Solo was close.

    Soon, Kira reached the uppermost hangar, which was completely empty. She looked around in desperation for a transport, but she saw none.

    Then, a beacon of hope shone from above.

    Kira gazed up joyfully as the Millennium Falcon flew through the aerial battle towards the platform leading into the factory.

    Her fear was instantly replaced with elation as she ran towards the arriving ship she had grown up with.

    She was all right, her family was safe, they were going to make it out okay...

    Kira screamed as something pulled her back, sending her tumbling onto the floor.

    A red glow filled the dark hangar as the Hunter appeared.

    "You're not getting away from me, girl," he snarled

    Kira looked towards him as she lay on the ground, temporarily dazed.

    As the Hunter advanced with his blades ignited, the hatch to the Falcon opened and Ben Solo emerged, lightsaber in hand.

    "Back away from her, Skyler," he ordered. He was not entirely unafraid of his former friend, but his determination to protect his younger sister outweighed all else.

    "I was wondering when I'd see you again, old friend," the Hunter replied, his attention diverted away from Kira, "Last time we met I gave you the chance to join me in my quest for greater power."

    "The dark side is nothing but pure evil," Ben replied, "And you've brought my family into your schemes."

    "Family," the Hunter repeated the word derisively. "You've chosen the wrong side."

    Pointing both blades at the ground, the Hunter moved towards his foes.

    "Kira, get in the ship!" Ben ordered.

    Kira moved to follow, but the Hunter raced towards her.

    Ben was quick with his lightsaber, activating his green blade and striking at the Hunter with everything he had.

    Taking the pistol Han had given him, Chewbacca ran towards the ramp of the Falcon, leaving Threepio hiding under the holochess table.

    Chewbacca opened fire on the Hunter upon seeing him, forcing the young warrior to divert his attention from Ben.

    Ben pressed his attack, driving the Hunter towards the staircase.

    The Hunter aimed a kick into Ben's gut, causing him to double over in pain.

    Seizing the opportunity, the Hunter grabbed his former friend with the Force, sending him flying over the railing and tumbling onto the gantry below.

    "Ben!" Kira cried with concern for her brother. Ignoring Chewbacca's yells, she ran after the Hunter as he prowled down the staircase after his opponent.

    Ben recovered quickly, looking up as the Hunter came down the stairs with his blades ready for dueling.

    Now alone with his former friend, Ben said, "I still don't understand what happened, Skyler. Master Skywalker found you and raised you. He gave you a home when you had none."

    The Hunter replied, "Enough!" and charged with both blades swinging in full force. Ben could barely hold his own against the dark sider; he was above even most Jedi Masters in skill, but the Hunter's raw abilities were near unprecedented. And Ben had always known why, though he hated to acknowledge it.

    "We were your family," he said, trying vainly to reason with the rage-filled Hunter, "I was your friend when every other trainee feared you. You've only proven them right."

    "I don't need friends," the Hunter replied, letting up enough to allow Ben to defend himself more easily from the oncoming attacks, "I'm not like you and I never was. The pursuit of knowledge has always been my calling."

    Despite his rage, the Hunter had slowed his advance, as if he preferred to continue their verbal match rather than the lightsaber duel.

    "You could have had more," Ben reasoned, "I was your family. Luke was your family."

    "It was a lie from the beginning!" the Hunter yelled, "It was only later when I discovered my true heritage. And now it is my duty to honor the bloodline I am heir to. Just as you are heir to the Skywalker legacy, I must avenge the name of Palpatine."

    Kira reached the bottom of the staircase, watching her brother battle the boy who had once been a brother to him. She was scared that after all this, she would have to watch Ben die in front of her.

    "He wouldn't have loved you even if he were alive," Ben said, "You would be a pawn to him, just as you are a pawn to his memory."

    "I've had enough Jedi wisdom for a day," the Hunter replied, "I've let you toy with me for too long. It didn't have to end this way, but so be it. Goodbye, Ben Solo."

    Kira screamed as the Hunter lunged at Ben, this time showing no restraint. Ben pushed back with his own blade, but it was all he could do to keep himself alive.

    Two hundred meters below, Leia and Han gazed up at the series of walkways and staircases leading to the top floor.

    "It's Ben!" Leia exclaimed, "He's facing the Hunter alone!"

    "We'd better do something before he gets himself killed," Han said.

    "They've hurt our family enough," Leia declared as she led Han up the staircase towards the lightsaber duel high above them.
     
  13. Emperor Ferus

    Emperor Ferus Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jul 29, 2016
    TARIS

    “They’re still coming!” Sam Fel shouted as he narrowly dodged a blast to the cockpit from a Syck fighter.

    “Without Ben and the Falcon, we’ve lost the upper hand,” Winter said from her Corvette, which had just lost a chunk of its left wing.

    “We’ll have to try a new strategy,” Lando declared, “Sam, you take Blue group out of the city and get them on your tail. We’ll deal with whatever’s left. Green group, follow my lead.”

    Winter’s Corvette and Lando’s shuttle sped upwards as Sam signaled for the Blue group Interceptors to follow him.

    Shooting down another Cartel fighter, Sam pumped the acceleration of his craft, speeding as fast as he could in the opposite direction.

    “They’ve got me!” a pilot named Karde shouted as his fighter burst into flames.

    “I have a bad feeling about this,” Sam grumbled, trying not to dwell on the losses. “My group, follow me. We’ll lure them away from their mother ship.”

    Supreme Leader Snoke wasted no time opening fire on Luke, spitting rapid fire from his heavy assault rifle in one hand and a blaster pistol in the other.

    Luke was working hard to keep his enemy at bay. The Jedi Grand Master realized he would have to switch to the offensive.

    He lunged forward, continuing to deflect the blaster bolts at lightning speed. His green blade was a blur as it moved back and forth.

    Snoke cried out in shock as Luke sliced off the nozzle of his rifle, an action met by cheers from the crowd.

    “I need assistance!” Snoke shouted, looking around for help, but many ships were taking off from the factory. Inside, Commander Paelleon, Duke Blazor and other Coalition leaders were fleeing from the danger.

    “Surrender,” Luke said, “It will mean less violence.”

    “Violence is the key to revolution,” Snoke replied, “You should know that as a former Rebel.”

    “I’m giving you a chance to stop the violence,” Luke said with confidence, “I can stop it for you if that’s easier.”

    “Jedi scum,” Snoke growled, activating his jetpack.

    When Luke lifted a hand to stop Snoke from taking off, the Coalition leader withdrew a detonator from his armor suit.

    “I can detonate the city at the click of a button,” he taunted, “This detonator will activate the underground network and level the city. Everybody in sight is at my mercy.”

    “You’ve been foiled, Snoke,” Luke replied with a smile, “Your plan of destruction will not work.”

    “What makes you so confident?” the Supreme Leader asked suspiciously.

    Just then, Artoo Deetoo appeared from the factory, launching out of a window on his rocket boosters.

    “Because my little droid took down your whole system,” Luke replied.

    Snoke bared his teeth in fury, his mustache curling upwards.

    “I can still take out this entire block,” he said coldly.

    Suddenly, Luke seized Snoke with the Force, dragging him from the air back onto the cement.

    His lightsaber hovered near Snoke’s neck, as if winding up to swing.

    “You’re not going to do it,” Snoke gasped, his eyes nonetheless widening in fear.

    “I’m willing to do what’s necessary to protect these people,” Luke replied.

    “I’m defenseless, at your mercy. You’d be breaking your own code.”

    “You know nothing of the Jedi way,” Luke said with a hint of scorn, “Your only purpose is to cause chaos and disorder.”

    Below his face into which Luke was glaring, Snoke’s finger pushed down on the trigger of his smaller blaster.

    Artoo let out a warning beep and extended a cable towards Snoke’s leg.

    Luke caught the close-range blaster bolt with a raise of his robotic hand, suspending it in midair.

    “Hope always conquers fear,” Luke said, redirecting the shot back at Snoke.

    The bearded Supreme Leader flicked his arm, tossing the detonator high into the air towards the factory over the ducking heads of the spectators.

    Luke deactivated his lightsaber as Snoke collapsed to the cement.

    Not wasting any time, Luke sprinted towards the factory with Artoo on his heels, determined to stop the detonation before it was too late.

    On the higher factory levels, Kira ran as fast as she could down the staircase towards the lightsaber duel.

    The Hunter was going in for the kill now, and Ben was barely able to hold his own.

    All of his attention was directed on blocking each strike coming from both of the Hunter’s blades.

    One strike hit Ben’s saber so hard that it knocked him sideways.

    The Hunter swung his lightsaber down, catching the side of Ben’s leg as it cut through.

    Ben howled in pain at the long gash through his side. He tumbled from the walkway and hit the rickety metal floor below with a hard thud.

    Ben’s saber fell a short distance from him. The ignited blade sent sparks flying across the empty space around him.

    He looked up as the Hunter Force-jumped down from the gantry above.

    Desperately, Ben extended his hand to summon his lightsaber, but the Hunter came into view before him, blocking the weapon from his sight.

    Through his mask, the Hunter scowled down at his former friend.

    “You are weak, Ben Solo,” he said, “You could have been something more than a Jedi pawn.”

    “You...are...the pawn,” Ben replied. If he was going to die, he was not going to show fear, though he was very scared on behalf of the young girl making her way towards them as quickly as she could.

    The Hunter lowered his red blade until it was at the tip of Ben’s throat. Ben closed his eyes, picturing every happy memory he’d ever had. He wanted those to be the last thing he saw, not the face of the Hunter.

    The Hunter’s gaze shifted away from Ben.

    “I’ll let you live this time, Solo, for old times’ sake,” he said finally. He stepped away from the fallen Jedi apprentice, dipping his blades towards the floor.

    Suddenly, Ben’s discarded lightsaber flew across the floor into the outstretched hand of the angry girl standing before the Hunter.

    “You stay away from him!” Kira shouted. All fear she had felt towards the Hunter was forgotten. She needed to protect her brother.

    “Big mistake,” the Hunter said.

    Kira rushed at him with the blade grasped in both hands.

    “Kira, no!” Ben yelled.

    The Hunter raised one of his hands gripping a saber hilt, and Kira lifted into the air.

    Her throat was beginning to close. Kira choked as she dropped Ben’s lightsaber, clawing at her neck in terror. She was going to die...

    Ben took advantage of the Hunter’s distraction.

    He raised his hand and sent a push with the Force at the cloaked warrior.

    The Hunter was knocked backwards as the entire building began to tremble.

    Hundreds of meters below, Luke reached towards the beeping detonator with both hands, using the Force to summon it.

    Just as it was about to explode, Luke used the Force to push it at extremely high speed into one of the tunnels that led through the deactivated detonation system.

    “Let’s go,” he urged Artoo.

    The ground below shook as the detonator exploded beneath them.

    Ben summoned his lightsaber back to him, sending another shove towards the Hunter.

    “Ben!” Han yelled.

    “Kira!” Leia shouted.

    Both Han and Leia managed to grab onto the railing to prevent themselves from falling as the ground beneath them rocked from the explosion.

    Kira sprang to her feet with elation.

    “Mom! Dad!”

    The combined power of Ben’s shove and the explosion knocked the Hunter over the edge. He was forced to let one of his sabers fall out of sight as he grabbed onto the ledge of the gantry.

    Han and Leia ran towards their daughter and scooped her into a tight embrace. Kira couldn’t stop herself from crying.

    “Kira, we were so scared,” Leia whispered.

    “Me too,” Kira replied.

    Limping towards his family, Ben pointed at the Hunter and said, “Look out!”

    As Han raised Chewbacca’s bowcaster, the weapon flew out of his hands as the Hunter summoned it.

    With a rapid motion of his lightsaber, the Hunter sliced the bowcaster in half, raising his lightsaber menacingly.

    Cannon fire above them flew towards the Jedi Hunter, who was forced to jump from the gantry onto the level below to avoid the attack from the Millennium Falcon.

    Threepio stood on the ramp of the airborne Falcon, beckoning towards the Solos.

    “Hurry!” the golden protocol droid shouted.

    Kira grabbed onto her mother as Han helped guide his injured son towards the Falcon.

    Leia hurried Kira into the ship while Han dragged Ben after them. Leia grabbed Ben’s arm and helped Han lay their son down on a nearby cot.

    “Chewie, get us out of here!” Han shouted, pressing the button to close the hatch.

    The Hunter was coming back up towards them, seething with rage. He should have killed Ben when he had him at his mercy.

    The hatch to the Falcon slammed shut as Chewbacca pulled the throttle, launching the Falcon out of the shaking factory and sending it into the midst of the aerial battle over the city.

    “This is Solo, we’ve made it,” Han said as he sat down next to Chewie in the cockpit.

    “Glad to hear it,” Lando replied, “We could use a hand with these fighters. They’ve taken out a lot of our men.”

    Leia and Kira were at Ben’s bedside below the cockpit.

    “Are you okay?” Kira asked her brother.

    “Yeah, I’m fine,” Ben said with a pained grin, “You could have gotten killed, you know.”

    “I did what I had to for you,” Kira replied, “For the family.”

    Leia ran a hand through her daughter’s hair lovingly.

    “I know you did, Kira,” she replied, “I would have done the same.”

    While Chewbacca continued to steer the Falcon towards Lando’s besieged ships, Han opened fire on the Sycks ahead.

    “It’s the Falcon!” one of the pilots exclaimed.

    The Hunter hurried down the factory towards the hangar where his VCX-100 freighter was docked. He couldn’t believe that he had let Ben Solo’s words get to him, even temporarily. No, he had no use for friendship or family. The Hunter had legacy of his own to uphold. And he would finish what his ancestor Palpatine started.

    “Chewie, take us out of here,” Han commanded.

    Chewbacca changed course, pointing the Falcon towards the clouds.

    From the other side of the vast jungle near the city, Sam Fel reported in. “This is Captain Fel. We’ve got too many of them on our tail. We need help.”

    Han hesitated, struggling with a hard decision.

    “I’ll be there to help you as soon as I can, Captain,” he promised, “Right now I need to get my family to safety.”

    “What’s going on?” Kira asked, looking up at the cockpit.

    “Don’t worry about it,” Leia replied.

    Kira moved to go into the cockpit, but her mother grabbed her arm.

    Chewbacca steered the Falcon out of Taris’s atmosphere into the black vacuum of space.

    Back on Taris’s surface, Sam and his remaining pilots continued to flee as fast as they could from the large number of Syck fighters on their tail.

    The Jedi Hunter’s freighter blasted at the Republic ships in the city at an alarming speed.

    “Oh, we’re in trouble now,” Lando remarked.

    Luke Skywalker ran through the streets of Taris, Artoo Deetoo trailing close behind.

    The Jedi Master kept leaping back and forth to avoid the blaster fire headed his way.

    Lando’s shuttle descended in front of Luke, with the ramp opening before it touched the ground.

    Luke sprang aboard, narrowly dodging a hail of fire from the Hunter’s ship above.

    The Hunter fired with everything he had on Luke, who didn’t bother to look back before disappearing in Lando’s ship.

    Lando’s crew quickly rejoined the fight as Luke and Artoo came aboard his shuttle.

    The Hunter set his sights on the Corvette he recognized from before. He turned the guns of his freighter and opened fire.

    ROGUE MOON

    As the Falcon flew into the atmosphere of Taris’s Rogue Moon, Leia let out a gasp of horror.

    “What is it, Mom?” Kira asked in alarm.

    She knew what had happened before Leia answered.

    “It’s Winter,” Leia choked, “She’s gone. The Coalition got her.”

    “I feel it too,” Ben said, still weak from his injury.

    “They couldn’t have,” Kira gasped, fighting back tears of grief for her mother’s oldest friend and her longtime babysitter.

    The Falcon touched down on a cliff overlooking the moon’s craters, safe in the cover of an abandoned cavern.

    Han and Chewbacca emerged a minute later with Threepio.

    “Kira, you and Ben stay here while I go back into the battle,” he said.

    “They killed Winter,” Kira said through her now-unrestrained tears.

    Han looked from his daughter to his wife in shock.

    “I don’t believe it,” he said, “Not Winter.”

    Leia gulped. “She was my best friend since we were girls on Alderaan.”

    Kira’s sudden grief quickly transitioned to hatred. “It was the Hunter,” she said, the tears etched on her cheeks, “I know it was him.”

    “We’ll deal with him when the time’s right,” Han assured his daughter, taking hold of Ben’s right arm. “Chewie, help me.”

    Chewbacca came over and seized Ben’s other arm, pulling up the groaning Jedi Padawan.

    “We’ll set you to rest out here for now,” Han told his son gently, “Your mother and sister will stay with you.”

    Leia followed them as they dragged Ben through the hatch of the Millennium Falcon and down the ramp.

    The sky above the cavernous cliff was black and desolate.

    Kira remained rooted inside the Falcon, knowing that she was not going to sit still while more people got killed.

    “Kira, come on out,” her father urged.

    “I can’t,” she cried, “All of you came here for me and now Winter’s dead. I have to stop the Hunter.”

    “Kira, you’re talking crazy,” Ben said through the pain of his wound, “You can’t go back into the war zone.“

    Kira was more determined than she had ever been.

    “I’m through with doing nothing!” she snapped her voice still choked with emotion, “I’m ready to be a Jedi and I’m ready to fight!”

    “Kira Solo, you come out right now!” Han snapped at her, letting go of Ben and rushing back towards the Falcon’s ramp.

    With a slam of her fist onto the control pad, Kira withdrew the ramp and stared through her tears at her family as the hatch sealed her off from them.

    TARIS

    “Admiral, this is Rogue Leader,” Sam reported, “We’re still outmatched by the Coalition fleet.”

    Above the remaining Republic Interceptors, the Hutt Cartel Dor’bulla vessels appeared.

    “All available craft, open fire on the Republic fleet,” commanded Duke Blazor.

    As Lando and his small group of ships appeared over the jungle of Taris, several Black Sun ships joined their allies, further overwhelming the small Republic fleet.

    “It’s been an honor,” Sam Fel said.

    “Don’t talk like that, Fel,” Lando chided him, “Never give up until your last breath.”

    Deep down, Admiral Calrissian knew that unless help arrived, they were badly outmatched. He exchanged a hopeless glance with Luke, who sat next to him in the cockpit.

    ROGUE MOON

    “Mistress Kira, what are you doing?” Threepio demanded as the young girl sprinted for the ladder leading up into the Falcon’s cockpit.

    Kira pulled the lever activating the ship’s engines, wasting no time.

    Calling up after her, Threepio shouted, “I think you’ve risked your own neck quite enough!”

    “You’re not going to stop me, Threepio!” Kira yelled back down as she lifted off from the ledge on which the Falcon had been docked.

    “KIRA!” Han shouted in desperation as his daughter took off into the darkness above.

    “She’s going to get killed,” Ben fretted.

    Leia closed her eyes, trying to use the Force to reach her daughter.

    She stepped away from the mouth of the cave, out of sight from her husband and son.

    “She won’t respond,” said a voice on Leia’s left side, “She’s consumed with the heat of battle.”

    Leia turned to face a shimmering form that caused her heart to pound. After all these years, she still didn’t know how to regard this man, and her feelings about him had never been resolved.

    “Father,” she managed to say.

    “Look at you, Leia,” Anakin said, gazing fondly at his daughter, “You’ve raised a great family, and achieved far better than I dreamed of.“

    “What are you doing here?” Leia asked.

    “I like to watch over my family,” Anakin replied, “I know you may not forgive me yet, but it brings me reassurance to know you’re okay.”

    “But Kira,” Leia replied, “She thinks she’s capable of more than she is. She’s put herself in danger several times now.”

    “I see a lot of you and Luke in her,” Anakin said with wisdom beyond his youthful appearance. Indeed, his ghostly form appeared almost half the age of his daughter. “I was the same when I was young. Kira will risk everything for the ones she cares about.”

    Leia began to tear up again. “I don’t want to lose her,” she said, forgetting that the man she was confiding in had once been her most hated enemy and worst nightmare, “I don’t want her to grow up in war...” Leia hesitated before finishing. “The way I did.”

    Anakin grimaced in apology. “I wish many things could have been different, Leia. And I acknowledge my own role in the hard times you faced. But I promise that I will not let Kira be harmed. I will watch over her and guide her with all the love I carry. For her and for all of you.”

    Leia looked up into the face of a man who had once vowed to protect her with his life, who had once said that his wife and unborn child were everything to him.

    “Thank you, Father,” she said with a grimacing smile.

    Anakin returned the look and bowed his head with remorse.

    TARIS

    “Luke, see what you can do up here,” Lando said to his old friend.

    The pilot got out of his seat as Luke sat down next to the copilot of Lando’s shuttle.

    A Syck fighter struck the top wing of the ship.

    Luke swerved the craft downwards, rapidly avoiding the incoming fire.

    He maneuvered the shuttle back up towards the enemy ships just as quickly, taking down several in a row.

    “Admiral, is that you?” Sam asked.

    “Negative, Captain, you can thank Master Skywalker for that,” Lando replied into the radio as Luke tore his way through fighter after fighter.

    “We might have a shot at this after all,” Sam remarked as Luke saved him from a deadly hail of laserfire.

    “They’re gaining traction,” Gurga the Hutt observed.

    “They have the Jedi with them,” replied the hologram of Commander Paelleon.

    Suddenly, a new craft appeared at the scene, a VCX-100 freighter. This vessel was not specifically designed for warfare, but it was flown by one of the most deadly Force-users alive

    The Sith Holocron was radiating red beams of light on the seat next to the Hunter as he sped on into the battle.

    “We’ve got trouble,” Lando’s copilot said as Luke turned the shuttle around to face the incoming threat.

    “You won’t get away from me now,” the Hunter snarled, his eyes squinting as he fired.

    Luke swerved to avoid the blast, but he was not fast enough to avoid a hit on the side of the shuttle.

    Lando was blasted off his feet as the ship trembled from the blow. The Hunter focused triumphantly on his target as he continued to fire.